You might know that the FDA recommends people consume on average around 2,000 calories a day. But what does 2,000 calories actually look like? This video lays it all bare, often depressingly so.
If you've gone on a calorie-restricted diet, you know that 2,000 calories for an entire day does not look like all that much food. What might come as a shock is just how bad dining out appears to be. A trip to Olive Garden or to Cinnabon could very well satisfy your nutritional requirements for an entire day -- in a single sitting.
Of course that whole 2,000 calories yardstick is fairly interesting in its own right. This Slate article helps to explain how the FDA came up with the number, and it's not surprising the agency picked it because it was nice and round and easier for people to wrap their heads around than ranges for women, men, and children.
If you've dieted, you know that 2,000 calories is a damn dirty lie sent from the pits of hell to torture the chubby. Your average calorie-restricted diet knocks 500 to a 1,000 calories off your daily intake. A well-balanced 1,500-calorie diet is a bit less depressing to consider at than the knowledge that a single Cinnabon could feed you for a whole day. Of course, the upshot is that you can probably eat a lot more bacon than you thought you could and vegetables are quite low, so why not try some bacon-wrapped carrots?
This video was based on an article from Wise Geek that showed what a mere 200 calories of a huge assortment of foods looked like -- 200 calories being a reasonable serving size that people could grok.