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What 2,000 Calories Looks Like

The USDA recommends a 2,000 calorie a day diet for the average person — meaning, it’s best for most people, but not all, as everyone’s bodies require more or less depending on height, activity level, and more.

Many of us think we have a pretty good guess as to how many calories we consume each day, but what about when you decide to pick up a piece of coffee cake with your latte? Or grab a burger for lunch instead of a salad? Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to diet, if you aren’t watching what you eat, chances are you’ll end up watching your waistline expand.

So what does 2,000 calories per day actually look like? We’ve outlined some common food and drink items to show you!

  • 5.7 bagels, about 350 calories each 

We often view bagels as a light snack or great sandwich bread alternative, but they are actually pretty calorie dense. The good news? Store bought bagels typically have a few less calories.

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  • 2.5 Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Caesar Salads, 780 calories each

Far too often we think salad and automatically assume it’s a light and healthy meal. However, the dressings are usually loaded with fats and sodium, and the salads are often accompanied by higher calorie ingredients. Skip pre-made salads like this one from Wendy’s, and opt for a homemade one where you choose better quality ingredients and whole foods.

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  • 20 medium sized apples, 100 calories each

The average apple is between 80-100 calories, packed with fiber, and an excellent choice as a snack or meal addition. You’d have to eat A LOT of apples to reach 2,000 calories in a day!

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  • 12 non-light beers, about 156 calories each

Think about your weekends… if you’re throwing back several beers, you’re consuming a lot of calories that aren’t even food! Worth it? Nope.

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  • 3.33 1 cup servings of granola, about 600 calories each

Granola is another food that many people mistake as healthy, but it’s often packed with additives and fillers. It’s nutrition label usually recommends a 1/4 cup serving size, which most people ignore. You can make your own or search for healthier alternatives to lower the calorie count, or you can load up with fruits and veggies with far more ease.

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What does 2,000 calories typically look like for your day? We’d love to hear in the comments below!