What Does 200 Calories Look Like?
OUR OFFICE SNACKETERIA doesn't discriminate:
It's stocked with everything from single-serving bags of baby
carrots (for when you're trying to watch what you eat) to full-size
candy bars (for when only chocolaty nougat will do). Sandwiched
somewhere between the two extremes - mmm,
sandwiches! - are bags of pretzels that have been thoughtfully
pre-dosed into 100-calorie portions.
Such foresight can be helpful, because all too often we don't
know the caloric content of the food we eat unless it comes from a
package with nutrition information on the side. But what about that
morning latte, that cup of hummus or - gulp! - that candy bar?
"Nobody knows how many calories they should be eating, nobody
knows how many they are eating, and nobody knows how many calories
are in foods," says registered dietitian and USA Today
food blogger Dawn Jackson Blatner. "I would say it's beyond
calorie-confused. It's calorie-oblivious."
Don't guess how many calories you should be consuming a day. You
can find out the recommended number based on your height, weight
and activity level using one of the many calorie calculators
online, such as the one at mayoclinic.com (just type "calorie calculator"
into the search box).
Once you have that number, it's time to put things into
perspective - literally. Get ready to gaze upon some of your
favorite snacks, 200 calories at a time.
1. NONFAT LATTE
Belly up for a 16-ounce grande and you will still have 30 calories
to spare-plus, the milk provides 16 grams of protein and 48 percent
of the day's calcium.
2. BABY CARROTS
Hope you're hungry: Depending on the size of those "babies," 200
calories means eating 40 to 50 of them. Added bonus: Your vitamin A
for the day will be through the roof.
Dip away! A half-cup of hummus clocks in just over 200 calories,
and is high in ber, too.
You might be surprised to learn you could eat almost six strips of
bacon in a 200-calorie allowance. Just be warned they contain 36
percent of the day's sodium, and 26 percent of the day's saturated
5. SNICKERS CANDY BAR
The good news: Technically, you can have two Snickers candy bars
and come in just under 200 calories! The bad news: That's two of
the "fun-size" minis. A regular 2-ounce bar contains 276 calories -
and the same amount of saturated fat as those six strips of
Ready for the new New Math? Two-hundred calories equals 58 plain
chocolate M&M's. But you'll have consumed more saturated fat
than either the bacon or the Snickers.
7. MICROWAVE POPCORN
With the "ultimate butter" option, six cups of popped corn comes
in at 204 calories … and about
36 percent of the day's saturated fat. Go with the "light butter"
option to drop that to 130 calories and 14 percent of the day's
An apple a day? Try two - no matter whether you prefer Granny
Smith, Gala or Red or Yellow Delicious, a pair of medium-sized
apples contains about 180 calories - and provides plenty of fiber
and vitamin C.
Just for the heck of it: Celery is a "zero-calorie food,"
so-called because the body burns more calories chewing and
digesting it than it earns from eating it. You will have to lay
waste to more than one platter of crudités to consume 200 calories'
worth of raw celery - try 10½ cups. The good news: You also will
have reached more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A.
The bad news: You will have just eaten 10½ cups of celery (and
still somehow not reached 100 percent of the daily value for fiber,
- By Sam Mittelsteadt