What Does 2000 Calories Look Like?



1/2 cup dry old fashioned rolled oats + 1 thinly sliced banana- both cooked in 1 cup lowfat milk +1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon peanut butter
400 calories




Loaded lunch Salad- see How to Make a Delicious 400 Calorie Salad
400 calories



3/4 cup plain lowfat yogurt 100
1 cup fresh fruit 70
1/4 cup granola 100
2 teaspoons jam or honey 30
300 calories



Slow Cooker Pulled Pork on a whole grain bun 400
2-3 cups cooked vegetables or salad 100
500 calories



2 Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies 300
1 cup lowfat milk 100
400 calories



36 thoughts on “What Does 2000 Calories Look Like?

  1. Ashley

    I have read on another one of your posts and I think the calories were divided a bit differently? Do you think it matters if you divide your day into 3 meals/3snacks or 3 meals/2 snacks etc as long as you stay in the 2000 calorie range? p.s. I LOVE your recipes and stories and everything on here! Thanks!

  2. Odette

    I love your website! I’m actually doing Weight watchers in Australia at the moment.. and you have motivated me to think differently about lifestyle/food and exercise. I love your recipes and ideas.. I personally have a lot of trouble staying ‘on the wagon’ for longer periods of time, but I hope that by adopting a different mindset, I’ll be able to do it for the long haul, which you’ve shown is completely possible!
    Many thanks!

  3. Janessa

    I absolutely loved this post! It is pretty much exactly how I feel after recently losing 50 pounds and getting close to my goal weight.
    Thanks for the honesty & motivation you have been for me.

  4. Mindy

    Pics are beautiful! How did you get to the point of knowing 2,000 works for you? Do you walk/exercise everyday? If not, do you eat fewer? Still trying to figure out where I fall – please keep in my mind I’m approaching 40. Ahhhh, the magical age where metabolism shifts. And not for the better! ;)

    Have a great day – so happy when I see a new blog posted, it just makes my day!

  5. Stephanie

    Wow! Great pictures! 2000 calories is actually a lot of food! Last week I started a 6am fitness boot camp. My goal is to attend five days a week. I’m really trying to eat smart because I need that energy! I love your healthy food pics.

  6. BobSmith

    Yes, but what does 1400 calories look like? 1200? I would imagine most of the readers here aren’t in maintenance mode, and 2000 is not the number they’re working with.

    1. Krystina

      I think they should probably talk to their doctor(s) or nutritionist(s) to create a meal plan if they’re looking to cut their calories that low.

      2,000 calories is what is recommended for the average person, so it’s fine for Andie to write a post like this, but she is not qualified to write meal plans for those looking to cut calories and doesn’t know what will work for an individual person looking to lose weight through diet.

      1. BobSmith

        I was under the impression that this site offered weight loss inspiration and healthy meal options. By your logic, Andie is also not qualified to put out a 2000 calorie meal plan, either, since she’s not a nutritionist.


    2. admin

      Excellent that you pointed this out. I have in fact created this same type of post with the following calorie amounts: 1200, 1500, 1800. I will publish all of them, just for a fun- ‘this is what that looks like’ type of post. I wanted to begin with the 2000 calories because it’s what I eat and I think that’s a good starting point :)


  7. Gretchen

    To the above comment:
    I don’t think Andie is “putting out a meal plan” at all. She is simply sharing what her day looks like and what works for HER.

  8. Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

    Pulled pork was the first recipe of yours I ever made :)

    I love these posts–it’s hard to visualize calorie counts sometimes. I try to stick to under 1500 calories a day, but I’m rather short. Sadly it’s probably even less lately (bad, I know!) because the results of my surgery have made me scared to eat :\

  9. Miss McBooty

    I wish I had the strength you do when it comes to food. Almost every morning I start with oatmeal and fruit, but as the day goes on, I find myself snacking on more than yogurt and granola :) Cheers to you!

  10. Christine

    You eat 2000 calories per day and still manage to LOSE weight? I don’t know why this doesn’t work for me. Averaging about 1700 a day, I still barely lose weight, much less maintain and I am very active. Is this your typical calorie intake?

      1. lara

        …and I think she said in her last post that she was eating ~1400 cal/day when she was losing. You should try wearing a HRM too see how many calories you are burning – you might not be eating back enough calories!

        1. Christine

          Hmm, that HRM sounds like a good idea! I burn A LOT of calories per day with my workouts, especially since I do two-a-days. Thanks for the tip!

  11. BobSmith

    This is why I asked what 1200 or 1400 calories a day looks like. I’d imagine it’s more difficult to get a dessert or chocolate fix in there without some “fake” diet foods.

    1. lara

      I just have to say I disagree – I eat 1600 now, but for a long time, I was between 1200 – 1500 and I always have a cookie or a 1/2 serving of ice cream everyday and my food is all real, healthy food (AND I eat a lot of fats, like butter, cream, etc). If you have 3 400 calorie meals, you can easily have 200 calories for fun food. For example, I eat an omelet for breakfast, a salad + potato for lunch, and stir fry for dinner (w/ brown rice). I have 200 calories left over which I use for soy misto and cookie.

    2. Jessica

      I *know* she has posted examples and discussed what a typical 1200-1500 calorie day would be like, I just can’t find a link for you, Bob. Poke around, you’ll probably find it – even if not, you’ll definitely find the positive, inspiring stuff that has been so encouraging to so many of us.
      But as others have said, how many calories each of us needs to lose varies so widely, and depends on health conditions, current weight vs healthy weight, activity level, etc.
      On a personal note, I used to obsess about having a sweet treat at the end of the meal, at the end of the day, like a reward. Sometimes it helps to go ‘cold turkey’ on the stuff for a couple of weeks, quell the cravings, so you can focus your energies on nourishing yourself with foods that are fuel. Like detox.
      Hope it helps, good luck.

  12. BobSmith

    I guess I haven’t yet gotten to that elevated plain of eating/dieting where a *quarter cup* of ice cream satiates my craving for dessert.

  13. Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats

    There are some interesting comments on here. I feel that consuming 2,000 calories a day is perfectly fine if you’re trying to maintain your weight and can get some exercise in as well. Everyone has different goals in mind and for those people who are looking to consume fewer calories, I would say you should look at the post above and see what you can live without…for example for me it would be the granola, the honey/jam, and the bun for the pulled pork sandwich. Just my thoughts!

  14. Joy

    Possibly the best article I have EVER read on dieting! It’s balance in our lives that makes the difference, some people never get it… never understand that it’s more than rules and boundaries. This, dear ones, is all we get. Our life is played out with family and celebrations, trials and tribulations and the food along the way not only sustains us but it rewards us with a goodness that’s more than the sweetness that remains after a cupcake. It’s sitting on that painted barstool watching your Mom do her magic tricks that has etched in your heart the love of food. She baked hearts in those cakes, invisible hearts.

  15. Chelsea

    Beautiful empowering and brilliant. I needed this SO badly today. Thank you for sharing. I really love your blog, and I’m an avid reader. :)

  16. Tracy

    Amazing post! Everybody knows the dedication and the struggles that comes with losing weight…all too well, I might add. But the simple fact that you throw it out there, acknowledge it and work through it is what makes it a reality. Very inspiring and also assuring to know we’ve all had those exact thoughts. Thank you for that!

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