What does a day’s worth of food look like? How much do you eat in a day and how much should you eat? It varies by age, sex, and activity level. For an average adult woman, the FDA recommends a daily intake of about 2,000 calories. Men are higher at about 2400 calories. See the US Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 – the Estimated Calorie Needs per Day, by Age, Sex, and Physical Activity Level.(See our prior post on what’s a calorie and how many do we need.)

How those calories is eaten makes a huge difference. Visual cues are powerful so here are some examples with photos.

Huffington Post: This Is What 2,000 Calories A Day Actually Looks Like

Here’s what 2,000 calories of food look like in one day for a range of different diets.

Business Insider: What 2000 calories looks like at every major food chain

“We decided to do our own version and visit 13 fast-food chains to discover what ordering 2,000 calories looks like — it’s shockingly easy.
While many of these arrangements look like single meals, each one would be all you are recommended to eat in an entire day.”

What do nutritionists say that a healthy day’s worth of food looks like? We have some examples:

Center for Science in the Public Interest: What’s a decent day’s worth of food look like?

How big should a serving of fruit, grains, dairy, or nuts be? Here’s a day’s worth of food adapted from the diets tested in the OmniHeart study which cut heart disease risk the most.

Nutrition Action: A Day’s Worth of Food (PDF)

Here’s how many servings to aim for—and what a typical serving consists of— if you eat roughly 2,000 calories a day on a DASH- or OmniHeart-style diet.

Prevention Magazine: This Is What A Perfect Day Of Eating Looks Like

Raise your hand if you wish a nutritionist would tell you exactly what to eat and when to look and feel great all day long. Yeah, we thought so—that’s why we tapped three experts who counsel real women on the simple secrets of smarter meal planning.


Request a Quote