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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 July 10, 2020

                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                    Boundaries are limits

                    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                    • When do you feel disrespected?
                    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                    • When do you want to be alone?
                    • How much space do you need?

                    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                    Sample language:

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                    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                    Final Thoughts

                    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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