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What 2000 Calories Of One Food Looks Like

sweet tooth
sweet tooth

Two thousand calories, or 8,700 kilojoules, is often used as a benchmark figure in Australia for the average calorie intake of an adult.

While our energy needs do differ based on age, gender, activity levels, height and weight, regardless of the amount of energy we need, food is fuel -- and the way we fuel our bodies is incredibly important.

"The foods we eat provide energy -- just how much energy depends on the amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat the food contains," Charlene Grosse, accredited practising dietitian and DAA spokesperson, told The Huffington Post Australia.

"Foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes are relatively low energy dense foods. Foods which are high in fats, added sugars or alcohol are by far the most energy-dense foods. This is why they should only be consumed in moderation, particularly if you are overweight or obese."

As you will see in the following photos, a person can eat a huge amount of whole foods to make up 2000 calories, and only a little amount of junk food. And while it's pretty much impossible to eat 2000 calories' worth of carrots, we all know how easy it is to eat a few pieces of cake, which add up to the same amount.

"High-energy processed foods are calorie dense and nutrient poor -- they are not filling and often we end up feeling hungry sooner and eating again to increase our desire to feel satisfied," Grosse said.

"It’s easy to keep eating it once you start -- it's what we call 'passive over-consumption'). There’s little in the way of fibre, vegetables or whole grains to apply the brakes."

While it can be beneficial to see how much food 2000 calories is, Grosse recommends counting nutrients instead of counting calories.

"It’s important to focus on the quality of foods, rather than simply the energy they supply," Grosse told HuffPost Australia.

"Some foods like nuts, avocado and oily fish are energy dense, but they also provide an array of nutrients, while others, like sugar sweetened beverages, cakes, pastries, chips, and lollies are energy dense, but with little other nutritional value.

"By focusing mainly on foods from the five core food groups (vegetables and legumes, fruit, whole grains, protein and dairy), you are most likely to reach your nutrient requirements without consuming excessive kilojoules."

This is what 2000 calories of one food consists of.

Here's an example of a balanced 2000 calorie meal plan.

Breakfast -- Two wheat biscuits with ½ cup reduced fat milk, one small tub reduced-fat yoghurt, one banana and one reduced-fat cappuccino or latte.

Morning tea -- Handful of mixed nuts.

Lunch -- Meat, cheese and salad sandwich, plus one apple.

Dinner -- Home-made lasagne with salad.

Dessert -- Two scoops yoghurt with one cup fruit salad.

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