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Here’s What 2,000 Calories Actually Looks Like

Here’s What 2,000 Calories Actually Looks Like

Think you’re good at guessing how many calories you’re eating when you pick up a dessert or snack? What about your favorite Starbucks order? Store chains are increasingly providing nutrition info for the foods they sell, which had traditionally been tucked away in easily-ignored pamphlets or not provided at all. Hopefully, this will make us make smarter choices at fast food chains, coffee shops, restaurants, and other venues where the food typically doesn’t come in packages with nutrition labels. This isn’t universal, however, so we still have to play a guessing game now and again with our meals and snacks. Or maybe some people just don’t want to know; ignorance is bliss, and all that.

The healthy choice initiative is part of an increased effort to get us to eat close to the USDA’s recommended calorie intake for the average person, about 2,000 calories. This calorie amount is the best amount for most people, but not all, as your body can require more or less depending on your height, activity level, and other factors. So, for the average person, what would their recommended daily intake look like if it were represented in everyday foods?

Below are images of what 2,000 calories of common drink and food items actually looks like. Which would you choose?

5.7 bagels, about 350 calories each

(Source: CalorieCounter.com)

FYI: Store-bought bagels are often on the lower side of calorie counts, but they’re still heavier than a typical slice of bread. Get your bagels from a bakery or cafe, where they’re usually larger and denser, and you’re likely eating a lot more for something you might’ve considered a snack or light lunch.

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

    (Source: Wendys.com)

    FYI: Pre-made salads give the illusion of being healthier alternatives, but are typically loaded with dressings and high-sodium, high-calorie ingredients that take away the point of having a salad. This one from Wendy’s is more than a third of a typical recommended calorie intake for a day! Skip the pre-made and go for the homemade, you can choose better quality ingredients and tweak the calorie count to fit your daily meals.

      20 medium sized apples, 100 calories each

      (Source: USDA)

      FYI: The average apple is around 80-100 calories each and has lots of fiber, making it a good choice for a snack or addition to a meal. You’d have to eat a lot of these to get up to 2,000 calories in a day!

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        2.3 McDonald’s Large Chocolate Shakes, 560 calories each

        (Source: McDonalds.com)

        FYI: No surprise to anyone, I’m sure. However, McDonald’s classic “triple thick” shakes, which these McCafe ones replaced, were a lot more calorie-wise. So, at least you could try to justify one of these with that fact.

          12 non-light beers, about 156 calories each

          (Source: Fermentedly Challenged)

          FYI: One or two beers won’t tip the scales too drastically, but if you’re pounding them back every weekend, you’re looking at a good chunk of calories that aren’t even food.

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            4 Jamba Juice Large Razzmatazz Smoothies, 500 calories each

            (Source: JambaJuice.com)

            FYI: Most of Jamba Juice’s drinks are just large amounts of sugar and calories marketed as super healthy. It only takes four of an average Jamba Juice smoothie to reach your daily calorie recommendation.

              3.33 1 cup servings of granola, around 600 calories each

              (Source: NutritionByEve)

              FYI: Another food that most people think is a healthy alternative but actually isn’t is granola, or at least the store-bought kind. It often has additives and fillers, and few people stick to the typical 1/4 cup serving size. Granola can totally be healthy or even low-calorie if you make your own.

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                5.4 Starbucks Grande Espresso Frappucinos, 370 calories each

                (Source: Starbucks.com)

                FYI: Thought Starbucks is now providing calorie counts on its in-store menus, some people may choose to look the other way rather than find out how much their daily drink is adding. If you’re trying to cut back on a high daily intake, consider this first.

                  333 stalks of celery, 6 calories each

                  (Source: USDA)

                  FYI: While celery is super low in calories, it’s largely made of water and doesn’t have all the vitamins you need. Make sure you’re eating plenty of other veggie varieties.

                    Featured photo credit: Bagel Factory/Benny Lin via flic.kr

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                    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                    1. Create a Daily Plan

                    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                    3. Use a Calendar

                    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                    4. Use an Organizer

                    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                    5. Know Your Deadlines

                    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                    6. Learn to Say “No”

                    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                    7. Target to Be Early

                    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                    8. Time Box Your Activities

                    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                    11. Focus

                    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                    12. Block out Distractions

                    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                    13. Track Your Time Spent

                    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                    15. Prioritize

                    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                    16. Delegate

                    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                    For related work, batch them together.

                    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                    2. coaching
                    3. workshop development
                    4. business development
                    5. administrative

                    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                    19. Cut off When You Need To

                    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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