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What 500 Calories Really Looks Like in Different Foods

What 500 Calories Really Looks Like in Different Foods

Food is at once the most amazing and annoying part of our lives. We have to eat in order to live, and there are so many delicious flavors to enjoy in the world. The problem is that everything we eat has a cost attached to it; not just a monetary cost (although that’s annoying as well), but rather the calorie count of the food we eat that really gets us—especially in the USA.

Making dietary decisions is difficult, but we’re not walking into it blindly. There are guidelines available: the average person (depending on height, weight, age, and level of physical activity) requires between 2000 and 3000 calories. That sounds like a lot, but it’s pretty easy to go over that in a day. Here are some foods that are ~500 calories to assist you in deciding what to eat.

Arby’s Beef ‘n Cheddar Classic w/ 1 tbsp. of Horsey sauce

beef n cheddar

    Arby’s classic sized Beef ‘n Cheddar isn’t quite 500 calories, but once you add just 1 tbsp of Horsey sauce (less than 1 packet), it hits pretty quickly. A small order of curly fries adds another 331 calories to your meal.

    Plain Bagel w/ Plain Cream Cheese

    bagel and cream cheese

      Bagels vary in size, but a plain bagel with one 3-oz packet of plain cream cheese will take you around 500-550 calories. If you use another packet of cream cheese (because let’s face it, one is only enough for half a bagel), you’re adding another 291 calories.

      Large Belgian Waffle w/ 1.5 tbsp. Maple syrup

      belgian waffle

        Maple syrup

          Just a Belgian Waffle and a slight drizzle of syrup is enough to hit 500 calories for breakfast. See below for more details on the calorie count of butter

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          Dunkin Donuts Medium Frozen Mint Chocolate Chip Coffee Coolatta with Skim Milk

          Frozen Coffee Coolatta

            Change to a medium or use 2% (or cream) instead of skim, and you’re adding 200-500 extra calories to this drink.

            McDonalds Big Mac

            big mac

              The Big Mac is actually 550 calories, but if you leave a bite or two, you’ll be able to slide under the bar.

              Bacon (~ 4 slices)

              Bacon

                It only takes 4 slices of bacon to hit 500 calories. Add this to your Belgian waffle & DD Coolatta, and you can easily consume your daily caloric allowance.

                Starbucks Venti Caramel Frappuccino w/ 2% milk & whipped cream

                Caramel Frappuccino

                  Starbucks may be overly sugary, but they run their business with a high level of morals, providing benefits to part-time workers and often overpaying for their coffee beans. If you’re feeling guilty about that DD Coolatta, this is a larger drink for the same 500 calories.

                  Subway 6-inch Black Forest Ham on Wheat Bread w/ Oil & Vinegar (no cheese or toppings)

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                  Subway Ham

                    Subway advertises themselves as being healthy, but the calories get you where you wouldn’t think. All it takes to hit 500 calories on a 6-inch ham on wheat, all you need to add is oil and vinegar.

                    Cheddar Cheese (4.5 oz)

                    Cheddar Cheese

                      Whether it’s a salad or a burger, it only takes 4.5 oz of cheese to add 500 calories to your diet.

                      Snickers Regular Size (2)

                      Snickers

                        Candy is bad for you, but it’s not entirely because of calories. 2 bars will get you to 500 calories.

                        Skittles Regular Size (2)

                        Skittles

                          The rainbow tastes like just under 500 calories by the time you’re finished polishing off 2 standard sized bags of this sweet treat.

                          Raw Golden Delicious Apple (5)

                          Raw Golden Delicious Apple

                            A golden delicious apple is 100 calories. Five apples a day keeps the craving for Snickers and Skittles away.

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                            Jamba Juice Aloha Pineapple Original Size

                            Jamba Juice Aloha Pineapple Original Size

                              It’s not just coffee drinks: smoothies have calories too. Adding a boost or upping the size at Jamba Juice adds 100+ calories.

                              Eggs

                              eggs

                                It takes over half a dozen eggs to get to 500 calories. Cut it down to 2 eggs, and add small amounts of bacon & cheese for a well-rounded 500 calorie breakfast.

                                Steak

                                steak

                                  A 9-oz lean steak gets you just under 500 calories, but the seasonings you use can quickly raise that. Get a fattier steak, and the calories go up accordingly.

                                  Chili’s Baby back Ribs Half rack

                                  Chilis Baby back Ribs Half rack

                                    At 480 calories, Chili’s famous half rack of baby back ribs leaves you room for an iced tea or a couple French fries.

                                    Banana (105 calories)

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                                    banana

                                      If you eat 5 bananas, you’ll have consumed the caloric equivalent of a Big Mac.

                                      If you want to add more flavor to your food, here’s the calorie count of different condiments to get you started:

                                      Condiments:

                                      Ranch Dressing (80 calories per tbsp.)

                                      Butter (102 calories per tbsp.)

                                      Ketchup (19 calories per tbsp.)

                                      Mustard (3 calories per tbsp.)

                                      Hot Sauce (0 calories)

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                                      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                                      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                                      1. Exercise Daily

                                      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                                      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                                      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                                      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                                      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                                      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                                      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                                      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                                      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                                      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                                      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                                      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                                      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                                      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                                      The basic nutritional advice includes:

                                      • Eat unprocessed foods
                                      • Eat more veggies
                                      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                                      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                                      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                                        5. Watch Out for Travel

                                        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                                        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                                        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                                        6. Start Slow

                                        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                                        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                                        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                                        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                                        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                                        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                                        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                                        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                                        More Tips on Getting in Shape

                                        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                                        Reference

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