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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 September 16, 2019

                    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                    • (1) Research
                    • (2) Deciding the topic
                    • (3) Creating the outline
                    • (4) Drafting the content
                    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                    • (6) Revision
                    • (7) etc.

                    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                    2. Change Your Environment

                    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                    6. Get a Buddy

                    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                    Reality check:

                    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                    More About Procrastination

                    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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