To fuel the body's basic energy needs, calories are of course paramount. Yet many of us find it difficult to take in the right amount—and the right kind—of fuel. No matter how many dietary guidelines we're given, we still crave what we know is bad for us. And in an era where sugary and fatty snacks are often within arm's reach, resisting those cravings has become exceedingly difficult. And there is more to food and diet, because what you eat also carries cultural, social, and economic weight. Holidays and gatherings, for example, highlight food as the main event, which can complicate the meaning of a meal. So what's an average consumer to do? Read on for some insight into why we behave the way we do around food, and what you can do to make eating healthier just a little bit easier. 
Loads of research demonstrates people who log everything they eat — especially those who log while they're eating — are more likely to lose weight and keep it off for the long-haul. Start tracking on an app like MyFitnessPal when the pounds start sneaking up on you. It'll help you stay accountable for what you've eaten. Plus, you can easily identify some other areas of your daily eats that could use a little improvement when it's written out in front of you.
"When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I've shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I'm on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year." —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL
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