What 2147 Calories Looks Like

Posted: July 20, 2011 at 7:00 am

After giving birth to Makenzie, I discovered one of the best things ever. Food is not the enemy! In fact, my body told me EAT if you want to get in the shape you hope to achieve. And as I grew deeper in my faith and recognized my body as something of value, I began to see the importance of respecting it and fueling it adequately. I finally chose to listen to my body after years of following crazy food rules and ended up in the best shape of my life. I took that same approach post-Braedon and, wouldn’t you know, I made the same sort of progress and feel pretty dang good if I do say so myself. Eat well. Have energy. Live well. Get a healthy, strong, FIT body. Don’t mind if I do!

It always saddens me when I hear about diet plans with recommended calorie intakes of 1200 calories. I truly believe its possible for a healthy individual with no metabolic issues to lose weight eating more than that. I hope to display that you can certainly eat enough food to fuel your body well, feel satiated, and still make progress.

Peas and Crayons

I certainly don’t post all of my eats on a daily basis, so for today’s What I Ate Wednesday post I wanted to give a rundown of ALL my typical daily meals and how they add up. I even broke out the Eat Smart Precision food scale I received at the Fitbloggin conference to get accurate counts for you all. I ate as I normally do, but simply measured the portions I typically use. The scale made measuring for the day easy and accurate since I could choose to measure in grams. Note: If you measure things, always use grams. You get more food. Reason enough for me!


Oh, flashbacks to competition prep days! It’s been a long time since I’ve measured things besides the occasional check on portion sizes or for recipe purposes. And it’s certainly been forever since I have measured things like raisins! Nevertheless, I wanted to get an accurate depiction, so here we are. Besides - calories beware. You don’t scare me!



Banana = ~ 110 calories



  • 1/2 cup rolled oats cooked in water
  • 4 large strawberries diced
  • handful of raisins (ended up at 26 grams)
  • big blob of peanut butter (ended up at 29 grams)
  • splash of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze to reach the right consistency + almond milk in my iced coffee (~ 1/2 cup)
  • sprinkle of brown sugar for sweetener (~ 1 tsp?)

Grand Total = 467 calories


wrap lunch

  • flat out wrap
  • sliced deli ham – 4 oz
  • 1 garlic herb laughing cow wedge
  • mustard
  • handful of spinach
  • thick slice of tomato
  • 2/3 of a mango
  • 2 large carrots chopped into sticks
  • 2 tablespoons Sabra Roasted Pine Nut hummus

Grand Total = 432 calories

Afternoon Snack:

  • whole wheat English muffin
  • spread of peanut butter on each slice (equaled 14 grams)
  • spread of “just fruit” strawberry jam on each slice (equaled 12 grams)
  • 6 oz container vanilla Chobani yogurt
  • handful Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal (equaled 22 grams)

Grand Total = 448 calories


pasta salad dinner

  • 3/4 cup cooked whole wheat penne pasta
  • chopped cherry tomatoes
  • diced zucchini
  • diced mushrooms
  • chopped artichoke hearts
  • chopped black olives
  • 1 oz feta cheese
  • 1.5 tbsp Ken’s Northern Italian dressing

Grand Total (estimate on this one because I got so sick of measuring): 450 calories


  • Private Collection cookie ice-cream sandwich while finishing up The Bachelorette

Total = 240 calories

In total, I ate 2147 calories on a typical day of meals. I haven’t changed my eating habits from when I made progress on my Body After Baby journey. I usually eat a good deal more than this on weekends as I consumer more “treats” and have a hunger monster at work every Saturday after my long runs. Sure, every body is different. However, I know in light of certain diets, it can appear that we need to eat less less less. From my personal experience, I find the opposite. My body will only reach the places it has when I give it what it needs. And I want to show the value in eating enough. Enough is different for each body…but why not push the limits to get the most quality fuel you can to it? Eating is fun. Enough with the starvation!

  • Do you ever track your food at all?
  • Because I’m curious – your thoughts on The Bachelorette if you watched!

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151 Comments to “What 2147 Calories Looks Like”
  1. Lauren says:

    For years, I tracked every single morsel that went into my mouth and then it lead me into an unhealthy mindset. Then, a year ago when I was diagnosed with Chron’s I had to start tracking food again and it made me crazy. I am so happy I don’t have to now. It’s so freeing to just be able to eat what you know makes you feel good and not worry about anything else. It makes me appreciate food and all it’s wonder even more.

  2. I love this post, Tina! Not just because you give us the run down of your eats, but because you’re confident and proud of it! I sometimes track calories when I feel like I need to get back on the healthy train after a week of indulgences.

    I love that you eat such a large afternoon snack – I always need to do that to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner!

  3. Priyanka says:

    I tried to track my food for a while (recently.) I would do okay during the daytime but then it got to be too much of a pain for dinner so I stopped. It wasn’t really helping me with anything anyway. The only thing it did help with was to make me aware of all the bites, licks and tastes that I was getting.

    • Tina says:

      I think tracking can be helpful to stop and take a better look at our eating habits on occasion, but definitely hate getting obsessive with it. Look – I couldn’t even meticulously track a day! LOL

  4. Thank you for this informative post signifying how important it is to EAT in order to be healthy! It makes me so upset to hear when people are planning to diet & skip meals in order to achieve a certain body composition.

    Your mindset is commendable 🙂

  5. Tina, this is so timely that you wrote this. I was seriously just thinking at the gym this morning how many misconceptions there are when it comes to food and maintenance/weight loss. You are such a positive light in the blogging community! (And you have a rockin’ bod!)

  6. Looks like a great day of eats! I completely agree that 1,200 calories is ridiculously low. I’ve tracked my calorie intake before and hit 1,200 by Noon! If you work out and want to stay energized throughout the day you need to provide your body the proper nutrition – starvation will just lead to a slowed metabolism and an incredibly hangry person 😉

  7. 1. You’ve always been and remain an inspiration to me. Your worth ethic (motivation included), faith and honesty are so valuable and really shine through on your blog. I just had to tell you.
    2. It’s nice to see what “normal” eating looks like on a blog– esp when there are too many negative and unhealthy influences on the web. 1200 calories is not enough fuel for a woman, let alone anyone.
    3. I thought Ames was ADORABLE!! But I think she’ll pick JP… or go home alone. What did you think?

    • Tina says:

      I’m thinking JP too. Although the drama coming up with the family is intriguing. No matter what it shall be interesting to see if it lasts at all. LOL

  8. Tina,

    I definitely agree that 1200 calories is not enough to for a healthy individual, especially if they want to be active! Your’e a great example of someone who eats to live! 🙂

  9. great idea for a post! i might have to do this too

  10. Jill says:

    I am a tracker. If I don’t- I gain weight. I wish it were different, but I can’t seem to get there…. YET

    JP or Bust! 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I have nothing against tracking. I kind of mentally track as I go through my day normally anyways…nothing meticulous though right now. I think it can certainly be helpful – as long as the person still makes sure to eat ENOUGH and doesn’t let the number control the relationship with the body if that makes sense?

  11. lindsay says:

    this is such a great example tina. Healthy, nourishing, and balanced. Thats how life should be anyway, right?!
    I don’t track my food, but when I am training for something I try to check in at least a few times to make sure I am getting the right amount and them some.

  12. Erica says:

    GREAT topic. I must agree- starvation causes way more damage than good! I track my protein intake for the baby but not everything else. Your lunch mango makes me want to run out and buy one!

  13. Holly says:

    Sing it sister! I work at a gym, and sometimes people comment about my weight (I still haven’t figured out why it’s not okay to say “hey, you look like you’re carrying around a little extra somethin’ somethin’! <– but that's another issue). I literally got asked the other day if I ate..This was a GREAT post to show that athletic, beautiful women DO eat, and that we enjoy our food! If I get another comment saying "don't you eat?" I'm gonna send them to your blog and say "I EAT LIKE TINA!" I fuel myself properly and I mmmm through every last bite!

  14. it used to be such a struggle for me with disordered eating, so i really don’t track my food intake numbers all that much. HOWEVER, i do try and stay in a general number just because if i don’t i’ll totally overdo it every day…not good either!

    • Tina says:

      That’s my approach to. I mentally keep up with things but not anything meticulous. I couldn’t even meticulously do a whole day since I gave up by dinner. LOL

      But I do make sure with generalizations that I’m within a certain range to be sure I’m eating enough….or not going overboard as well.

  15. Alexandra says:

    I think I would die on 1200 calories a day. I can’t believe at one point I survived on less ughh. Your WIAW looks so good and nutritious! I wish more women could see that eating over 2000 calories is not only healthy but right/awesome! 🙂

  16. Jolene says:

    This is SO interesting to me because right now, I am calorie counting and sticking to less calories than this on an ongoing basis (not 1200, more than that, of course), but think for me, consistency is key. Not having huge peaks and valleys in my eating and sticking to the same calories every day, no matter what. So far, it’s been working for me, but I also really dig your approach and think that you are right – everyone is different but super restrictive eating isn’t going to help, just hinder, progress.

  17. Your such a great example Tina! I used to think that I had to workout 6 days a week and eat under 1500 calories a day to reach my goals. I actually had to cut down on my workouts (due to a neck strain) and I’ve actually lost a couple pounds. I think that just goes to show I was working my body to hard. Thanks once again 🙂

  18. For 6 months I tracked everything that I ate. I was 16 and life sucked. I didnt need to track food, I was not concerned about my weight or size, so when I turned 17 I stopped. I found it too hard to remember, write down and such. It may work for some, but not for me 🙂

  19. chelsea says:

    I useed to track my food and count calories but it got obsessive and time consuming. I stopped. I’ll do it every one and awhile to see how many I’m eating and I’m eating about 1600calories now on a daily basis still which is a-okay to me 🙂 Anything over 1800calories and I feel sick to my stomach from so much food haha. At least you got 2147 GOOD calories. Like it’s all healthy meals from home :)!

  20. I am definitely on Team JP! They are clearly into each other. Now you have to tell us what YOU think. 🙂

  21. It’s so not fun tracking everything you eat everyday. This post is great and really shows how if you are eating quality, nutrient-dense foods, you CAN eat more and still lose or maintain your weight (depending on your goals).

    Bachelorette–ugh I don’t know what to think. I think she has the best connection with JP but I don’t know if I see lasting love with any of the 3 that are left.

  22. Looks like a delicious day!
    I track all my calories for WIAW, too, and I agree- it can get to be a pain in the butt 🙂
    But I do enjoy using calories as a way to keep track of food, and probably will utilize it somewhat after the baby is born, even though I’m sure I’ll be eating just as much, if not MORE, afterwards. I’m worried about keeping up milk supply!

  23. Errign says:

    (Really weird – you know how it saves your reply info? It wasn’t mine, but some lady named Lisa’s with her URL & email…huh!)

    I do use myplate occasionally, but I don’t have a food scale so I don’t go nuts tracking or anything.

  24. Thanks for this post it shows how much food you really can have and still maintain a low calorie count for the day

  25. Amanda says:

    Oh, My gosh!! The pasta looks SO good. So simple too, my favorite thing. Looks like supper to me! Thanks for the idea!

  26. That’s so Weird. My comment came up as something Amanda posted. Her info stayed in the reply lines…It really was me though, I swear!!

    “Oh, My gosh!! The pasta looks SO good. So simple too, my favorite thing. Looks like supper to me! Thanks for the idea!”

  27. Oh my gosh, thank you for posting this! I easily eat over 2000 calories every day and I know that I couldn’t go for any less! I’ve tracked my calories before and it just made me frustrated to see the numbers because it kind of freaked me out (even though I know that I need that amount). As for the bachelorette, I’m totally for JP :).

  28. Kelly says:

    Every so often I total up my calories to see where I am at and I usually end around 1900-2000. It makes me cringe when I think about the days when I was eating 1000-1200 plus running 10+ miles every single day. Makes me sad about how I used to live and how unhappy I was inside.

  29. Katie says:

    Hi love!!!

    I actually don’t track my calories, I listen to my body and eat when Im hungry, I usually eat 2 or 3 snacks a day and 3 meals! I know I am fueling my body right, because I feel good and am strong!

  30. Amanda says:

    I am a food tracker. I started doing this back in college when I weighed almost 200lbs. It really helped me to recognize what I was puting into my body. I’ve been modifying my tracking style to fit my needs. I am happy to say that I do so much better at intuitive eating when I track myself. And I don’t always plan out the entire day’s meal, but knowing how much I’ve eaten and what I’ve put into my body helps me to fuel properly.

    I, like you, have been eating upwards of 2000 calories since I started running consistently this summer. At first it freaked me out because I’ve always been told 1200-1500 to lose weight. Well that would probably kill all my energy to get any real training done. I’ve lost all the 10lbs I put on over the winter by eating those 2000 calories and I don’t intend to modify unless my training schedule is less.

    • Tina says:

      Awesome on the progress! Doesn’t it feel great to eat enough to fuel our bodies and still have them do their thing? 🙂

  31. I do track my calories sometimes. I tend to over-eat and lose sight of my portions occasionally. So measuring and counting calories gets me back on track and shows me, how much food I really need in a day. Measuring and counting every morsel of food that goes into my mouth is really a pain in the butt, so I like to take ‘breaks’ with tracking, to stay sane.
    I’m surprised that you eat more than 2000 calories on an average day! I usually aim for 1600-1800, but I probably only work out half as much. Guess I just have to move more to get in shape, instead of cutting down calories?

  32. I have tracked calories for a time. I think it was a useful experience, because it gave me a better idea both about the calories I was taking in and expending. Like budgeting with money, it is good to have a basic awareness of where it’s all going. Or coming from, as the case may be. And to see what 1 serving of a given food actually looks like. I agree that ‘enough’ varies from person to person and even from day to day.

  33. Sam says:

    thanks for this post! i try to eat between 1,500-2,000, which i think is appropriate for the amount of activity i get. i must try one of those yummy wraps you had for lunch 🙂

  34. I honestly have never been a calorie counter and have never even tracked one day! Sometimes I’ll do a mental tally in my head, but it’s really not accurate because I have no idea how close I am to a serving or if I’m under- or overestimating the amount of calories in something. I tend to concentrate more on the types of food I eat and the portion sizes without worryng about the amount of calories. I’m sure I could benefit from doing more calorie counting, but then again, I’m happy and healthy so why worry about sometthing else when I already worry about so many other things!? 😀

    • Tina says:

      This is the exact approach I take day to day now. It works well for me. I used to track religiously, but not my style anymore. It was so weird doing it yesterday!

  35. Have you seen Sabra’s pesto hummus? I just bought some and I think it has surpassed the pine nut as my favorite.

    What are you thoughts on monitoring sugar intake? I’ve heard that argument that it is more important to keep that low than count calories.

    • Tina says:

      I think I could probably benefit from that since I eat a lot of things that have sugar in them (fruit, yogurt, etc)…but I can’t bring myself to do it because it would probably depress me. LOL

  36. I’ve tried tracking my food, but like you I got so sick of measuring and calculating that I gave up. I know I eat at least 2000 cals per day and more if I exercise intensely.

    I’ve tried a 1200 cal diet before and all it did was make me tired and hungry. I had no energy and food was the enemy. That is no way to live!

  37. cheryl says:

    I hate the 1200 calories myth…I just wrote about it a bit here: http://clg1213.blogspot.com/2011/07/wherein-i-talk-about-building-healthy.html (towards the end). i know i fell into the trap of reading mags that said not to go under 1200 and decided this meant 1200 was the perfect goal….so wrong and often so unhealthy. FOOD IS GOOD!!

    i’ll also try to avoid a rant on people yelling at Mrs. Obama for having a fun meal at a burger joint….HEALTHY DIETS INCLUDE FUN TOO!

  38. Haley Q says:

    I agree-those plans that require you to eat less than 1500 calories are crazzzyyyyyy (unless of course, you’re under extreme circumstances). I know that with my body, the more I feed it (in a healthy, controlled way), the better I feel physically and mentally. I’ve been in that ~1200 cal a day diet and it’s miserable in every way possible.
    Okay Ames is a total sweetheart and I loved that he was reserved and didn’t want to throw himself at Ashley like some of the other guys, but I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t give him a rose. She’s totally obsessed with JP and while he’s attractive, he seems wayyyyyy too jealous. Like he’s on the Bachelorette yet he gets upset when she goes on dates with other guys? I don’t understand. I’m pulling for Ben F, if he doesn’t win, I want him!

  39. Tara says:

    Oh I have to tell you how I LOVE, LOVE reading your blog!! I am a mom of two young girls and have struggled seriously all my life with my weight…getting skinny enough, being healthy enough, fit enough, etc… I just want you to know that reading your blog is so inspiring, refreshing and real!!! You are truly a God send and I can’t say thank you enough for all your other blogs, but especially for this one! To be free to eat what I want and when I’m really hungry without the guilt or shame is my prayer and today I see the first glimpse of that happening!!

    Thanks so much, again and God bless you!!! 🙂

    P.S. You have such a beautiful family and way to go, girl on what you have accomplished and continue to move forward in accomplishing in the future!!

  40. Jess says:

    This is a really interesting post. Not only do I LOVE to see how you eat everyday, but I love how free you are from the numbers conundrum. As you know, I’ve been keeping a food log as part of the barre n9ne challenge and it’s been very eye opening. I’ve learned a lot about my habits and my feelings towards food and it’s been awesome. I’ve also been eating a lot less calories than I used to (not that I knew what I ate before, since I wasn’t counting, but I KNOW it was a lot more than what I’m eating now). So I’m torn. On the one hand, I love the accountability of the food log (and didn’t think I would) but on the other, I wonder if the number I’m eating a day is “right” or if I’m fixating too much on it some days vs. others. for the most part, I think I’ve kept good balance but other days, I think I could do a better job of not harping on it. So I’m rambling – but really, this post made me think. So thank you for that. As usual 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I think as long as you still honor your body and don’t keep numbers from controlling your choices much its not a bad thing to track. And as long as you get enough to fuel your body and to have energy. I don’t think tracking is wrong in the least unless it becomes obsessive. I tend to loosely track in my head most days, but still focus on the types of foods and eating what will satisfy my hunger adequately without going overboard.

  41. Kara says:

    I don’t track what I eat all all (amounts or calories), but I’m pretty sure most of my readers would be shocked because I pretty much eat like a 15 year old boy. Example: breakfast this morning was three slices of cold pepperoni pizza eaten quickly so I could workout during nap time.

    I’m 100% positive that I eat more than you, but my metabolism runs a little hotter than most.

  42. I’m honestly not sure that I could do measure and weigh all day again. Kudos to you! It makes you think “how did we do that EVERYDAY!?”

  43. Tina says:

    Tina I love this post! I’m struggling right now with the idea of counting calories or not. I want to loose some weight and although I think i’m eating well sometimes I feel counting might help me adjust things to see the change in weight that I want. Also, I’m not able to exercise at this time because of a back problem. At the sametime keeping track of numbers is what has set me up for bingeing in the past.

    • Tina says:

      Maybe you could loosely track or track just a couple days a week. That way you can be aware but not obsessive…and just make sure you don’t try to eat less than your body needs. I loosely track in my head to help stay on point but not overly crazy with it.

      • Tina says:

        I think that is a good idea. I’m going to try that because maybe I’m not eating enough. I tend to think I have to be a little hungry or something is wrong. I guess that’s still the old mentality of being on a diet.

        I love your site Tina, you really are so positive and such an inspiration!

  44. How funny, I pretty much did this post yesterday, because I’m dropping weight almost too fast while breastfeeding. The difference is yours is healthy!!! I figured out that on Monday I had eaten around 2,300 calories, but the scale still said I dropped 2 pounds the next day! I need to copy some of your meal ideas!

  45. I “track” my calories occasionally but usually just eat when I’m hungry. My snacks are a bit smaller than your afternoon snack but sometimes I’ll have a hard boiled egg and an hour later eat a GNU bar and an hour later eat something else. But that’s how I like to eat and that’s what works for me. Everyone is different though. I find I operate best with small consistent meals and snacks. Some days I migth eat 1700 calories, other days I might eat 2500 calories. It all balances in the end though and I just keep listening….seems to be working great for me!

    • Tina says:

      Yep. It certainly does all balance out. I know I have days where I’m not as hungry and then days where I’m a ravenous beast. LOL

  46. Rachel says:

    I have tracked calories in the past because I was overweight. It helped me to learn proper portion size, and I lost 25 lbs and got to a healthy size.

    After I got married I gained it allll back, and I have tracked some again (since it keeps me accountable). What I like about tracking is that I can see that I’m maintaining a calorie differential, since obviously working out is also a big part of the equation. I use Sparkpeople.com which computes everything for me and is free.

    For the past month or so I’ve abandoned tracking and have been following Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live plan. I was never VERY overweight to begin with (my BMI was 25.5 at my highest I think), but with this plan I do eat fewer calories because it’s focused on veggies, fruits, and beans with small portions of nuts and grains (limited meat, dairy, processed sugar). Since I’m eating a large volume of food I feel very full and I love not tracking, and I lost 6 lbs this past month. Excellent for me! I’m now very close to my “happy weight.”

    My point from this small novel (sorry!) is that tracking can be a useful tool, especially to learn portion size. But, I think tracking macro and micro nutrients can be more beneficial than calories alone.

    • Tina says:

      AGREED! I think tracking is a very useful tool as long as the focus is still on eating enough, quality foods, and learning our bodies energy needs. If it gets obsessive or makes you choose the 100 cal pack over the pb & banana snack bec of numbers…not so good. Love your comment.

  47. You are so right – food is not the enemy! I love that mantra of “Eat well. Have energy. Live well. Get a healthy, strong, FIT body.” I eat about the same amount of calories per day – but I know that some days I go over, some days I go under. I also know that some days I exercise more (and burn more calories) and some days I burn less. But it all evens out in the end 🙂

  48. I do track my calories, but not obsessively so. And I was actually eating too less of calories at around 1300 during the week so I upped it to 1600 and was able to lose weight and gain muscle tone. On the weekends I eat a lot more ..and now with baby on board, I’m eating closer to 1800 daily — gotta feed the little one!

  49. I do Weight Watchers, so I keep a food journal. At this time in my life, it keeps me in check and I like that. I can look back and see if I got enough fruits and veggies in, drank a lot of water, etc.

  50. […] reading here: What 2147 Calories Looks Like :body, body-as-something, body-told, discovered-one, eat, grew-deeper, makenzie, shape, […]

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