Home Tools For Weight Loss Video Vault: What Does 2,000 Calories Look Like?

Video Vault: What Does 2,000 Calories Look Like?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

When it comes to weight loss, I think it’s pretty clear that veggies are the best way to get the biggest bang for your caloric buck. Vegetables are decidedly lower-calorie for very filling, very fibrous food. But by how much?


It’s very rare that we get to see, in all its glory, a real comparison of vegetables stacked up against our – ahem – normal fare.

Thank you, BuzzFeed. May you never view a Cinnabon – or a Chipotle burrito, my word – the same way again. Whew. Good luck burning THAT off.

While I cannot ignore the fact that I’m a firm believer that 2,000 calories of protein in comparison to 2,000 calories of carbs, or 2,000 calories of complex carbs in comparison 2,000 calories of pure sugar all do comparably different things in the body… most people don’t even get that far in their understanding; some of us still, sometimes, need to see the sheer reason why they may be eating junk food and still feel unfulfilled. 2,000 calories of bread and frosting, or 2,000 calories of starchy, white, mushy, goes-down-easyness vs 2,000 calories of bacon or 2,000 calories of nutrition, fiber, and tangy-ness? For the first time in my life, I can admit it: I’d rather eat the bacon.

(It’s still #TeamANTIBacon, though.)

I’m also going to say, that it’s nice to talk about this in terms of Big Macs vs. Carrots, and while we’ll probably go on to wax nutrition about how 4 big macs might be cheaper – and more pleasant and “affirming” to eat – than a bajillion carrots, we need to put this into context. No one buys 4 big macs, by themselves, to eat 4 big macs, by themselves. Chances are high that you’re buying four value meals. It’s not simply 4 big macs – it’s 4 big macs, 4 large fries and 4 monster cokes… hopefully for four people.

On the point about “affirming,” that’s not as complicated as it sounds. Think about it – if all you have is $10, do you feel better about the little money you have if you can buy this giant spread of food – a big sandwich, a mountain of fries and a huge drink – or if you’re simply sticking to the carrots? That’s why those are called value meals. They’re designed to appeal to someone not entirely focused on nutrition, but someone to whom “value” is of the utmost importance: the person with the least amount of cash on hand.

And, if you really want to do epidemiological commentary – because that’s what this begins to boil down to – if you have very limited money on hand, chances are high that it’s because you’re working a demanding job that pays very little… and what goes hand in hand with “demanding job?” “Limited time to cook.” So…are you going to eat raw produce instead of big macs, because you have neither the time to cook (or the time you think it takes to cook) nor the time to learn?

While I can admit that the choice is rarely “do I eat 64 carrots today, or 4 big macs,” it still touches on that implication of the “cheapness” vs. “expensiveness” of one’s food choices, and the very blatant reality that is “the more nutritious the item, the greater the challenges.”

What do you think?

You may also like


CurlyCuse April 2, 2013 - 11:28 AM

I haven’t eaten meat in 30 years, but those bacon strips still made more sense to me nutritionally than those large fries! Wow! Eye-opening!!

TeeNikki April 2, 2013 - 1:23 PM

That was…..nasty. The amount of calories in some foods is sickening. But, while this type of video is a good visual, it’s just that, a visual. It doesn’t take anything into account except calories. Somebody ignorant and not knowing any better will see that and figure “Well I can eat those 4 Macs throughout the day and it’s the same as a bucket of carrots and ‘tastes better’.” While calorie wise is true, as far as total nutrition, it’s BS. Is like to see that type of video with whole meals for the day. 2,000 calories, x amount of sodium, x amount of fats, x amount of sugar, etc (can’t remember the DVs right now). Healthy and trashy so folks can REALLY see what’s what.

MM April 2, 2013 - 6:12 PM

The “value” and quick availability are important for many. That’s the whole marketing scheme of “fast food.” However it’s just not good for you! I wish there were more “fast” places that offered nutritious/healthy options (as much as that’s possible anyway). However, nothing is as nutritious/healthy as what you can prepare at home! It doesn’t take long at all to cook good food! It just takes planning on a busy schedule and a little prep time. It also can be just as cheap if you buy in season, on sale, etc. Plus in the end, you pay for poor food choices with your health. It’s not worth it but I understand the challenges. Subsidize veggies!!!

kami April 4, 2013 - 9:21 PM

I am focusing on cooking more. I have been cooking four times a week which is an increase from zero. My foods have been consisting of healthy meals. Now I am growing to love it. May favorite seasoning is cilantro. I am still learning portion control. All those foods shown in the video were mostly fast foods that were highly caloric and lacked nutritional value. Most people would probably could not finish overeating on carrots because of the fiber. Thank for this video it keeps me educated.

Mimi May 27, 2013 - 12:28 AM

I am currently at that point in my life where nutrition sometimes takes a back seat to value. If a person only has $10 to spend on food a week they may choose to buy that cheeseburger for a dollar from the dollar menu as opposed to spending $3 or $4 a bunch for kale or $4 a carton for strawberries or $5.99 for a pack of chicken (small). Or they may buy ramen noodles which could last them a week but have no nutritional value or that $1 pack of cookies they can divide up for the week. Fact of the matter is it costs more to eat healthy contrary to what health enthusiast like to say. I am currently in the situation and have to make some tough choices when in the grocery store. I would like to see someone make a comparison video for $20 worth of healthy foods vs not-so-healthy foods bc maybe i’m missing something.

Erika Nicole Kendall May 27, 2013 - 8:28 AM

” Fact of the matter is it costs more to eat healthy contrary to what health enthusiast like to say.”

The actual fact of the matter is that an inability to cook what is least expensive is what makes eating healthily so costly. NOT the choice between a cheeseburger and kale.

“I would like to see someone make a comparison video for $20 worth of healthy foods vs not-so-healthy foods bc maybe i’m missing something.”

I think you might be.

Who’s going to tell you to blow $10 on kale and strawberries when you only have $10? Frozen vegetables are often cheap – sometimes even $1 a bag – and dried beans are often $1 a pound. A week’s worth of oatmeal isn’t more than $2 in most places. If you’re only left with $10 for food at the end of paying bills, not only would I tell you to consider applying for SNAP, I’d also tell you that you need to genuinely look at your expenses and see if you can’t taper some things downward so that you can at least bump your expenses up to $30 a week, which is something some people do every week (and blog about it.)

RozB May 27, 2013 - 8:40 AM

This information makes it even more important to address food deserts and the availability of affordable food choices in many minority neighborhoods. More McDonald’s than fresh food markets in many urban areas.

tamy October 27, 2013 - 1:33 AM

all i could think of is how long it would take me to eat those dang carrots- i would be hungry because it would take me so long to eat them!…and that i would love a blt with that bacon, lol!

Comments are closed.