What Does 1500 Calories Look Like?

by Andie Mitchell on May 1, 2012

Breakfast

huevos_rancheros1

1 egg + 2 egg whites, fried in cooking spray 110
1 small corn tortilla  50
2 tablespoons guacamole  50
2 tablespoons fresh salsa  10
2 cups mixed fresh berries 100
300 calories

Lunch

burger salad

Loaded lunchtime salad (Cheeseburger Salad pictured above)- see How to Make a Delicious 400 Calorie Salad
400 calories

Eat it everyday.

Snack

apple

Apple
100 calories

For me, there is no 100 calorie portion of anything that proves as filling, as sweetly satisfying as an apple.

Dinner

herb_roasted_chicken-02

4 ouncesButter Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Sage 200
2 heaping cups zucchini and summer squash sauteed in 2 teaspoons olive oil 150
350 calories

I eat an enormous side of vegetables at dinnertime. It’s the best way to feel fuller while still eating what you love, what you crave. This post explains a lot of my vegetable eccentricity. I like dinner to be slow and satisfying, but ultimately, I know dessert is just around the corner.

Dessert

celebritycruise-26-1

8 oz decaf nonfat latte or cappuccino 100
1 3″ diameter chocolate cookie or a 2″ square of brownie ~200
300 calories

Sipping a hot drink is soothing. It’s also a way to slowly savor a treat because of the length of time it takes to finish it. I always try to pair a sweet treat with a hot tea or coffee. Something about the slowness and the completeness of eating and drinking makes the treat that much more special.

Here, the protein in the milk will help to slow the absorption of the all the sugar in your dessert, keeping your blood sugar from spiking and crashing so violently.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

meagan May 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Thank you for this!!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh May 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

It all looks wonderful!

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Rachel Goode May 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I STARTED following your blog because you’d lost 135 pounds and are gorgeous. I KEPT following your blog because you are an incredibly talented writer with a unique gift for poignant authenticity. Added bonuses are that you are intelligent, inspire me to eat better, and provide beautiful photographs.

I enjoy your talent so much!

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Curly Girl May 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I LOVE that you included dessert on this 1500 cal menu. It’s a must and nice to see how it fits in. :)

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Nat May 1, 2012 at 7:28 pm

oh, this is lovely!

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TA May 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I absolutely love these meal posts as well as the rest of your blog!

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Elsa Montalvo May 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Hey andie,
As you know I love your posts, your blog and everything you write and everything you represent! You are my hero!

I was wondering if you could post a 1,000 calorie menu for us on a more strict diet :)

Or maybe I can skip dessert! hehe

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Mary May 2, 2012 at 7:52 am

I am not Andie but I would argue that a 1000 a day calorie intake, over a period of time, is simply not healthy. If you are eating this little one day a week, maybe. But as a habit? You are doing your body a disservice; without sufficient energy on which to run the body enters starvation mode and begins to store what it can rather than burning it. In the long run you will only end up slowing down your metabolism and as a result, slow down your weight loss. Just my two cents – and I would be very surprised (and disappointed) if Andie provided a 1000-calorie meal plan. I don’t feel it ‘meshes’ with what she believes to be a healthy lifestyle.

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Ana Maria May 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I have to say, I completely agree Mary! In fact, I’ve found that I could lose weight even at around 2000 calories with a bit more activity. It just takes longer, but it certainly is a happier process!

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Mary S May 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm

how lucky are we- two posts in one day!! thanks Andie :)

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AZJoy May 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm

yummmm! Thanks so much. This is the calorie count I am trying for each day, so this is perfect!!!! Cant get enough of your writing!

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Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! May 2, 2012 at 4:52 am

This is fantastic! Everything looks soo good!!

I’m trying to eat a salad every day for lunch :)

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Denise Musser May 2, 2012 at 5:05 am

Thank you for this! If you could do a whole cookbook or meal plan around this, I could easily stick to it!

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Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats May 2, 2012 at 6:29 am

Yummm. Can I come over to eat with you?

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Suzette May 2, 2012 at 6:59 am

You read my mind!!!!! Thank you!

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Diane May 2, 2012 at 7:59 am

I have enjoyed your blog for about a year now, but I think my favorite posts have been the 2 most recent. Thank you for showing/reminding me that 1500 calories can be fun AND filling!

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Brianna May 2, 2012 at 8:05 am

This is great! I have having chicken and avo salads for lunch and they are very satisfying! Tell us…is this your everyday caloric intake or are you shooting for a specific goal?

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Diana May 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

Your food looks and sounds delicious./ Why don’t you come cook for me?

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michelle May 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

Hello!

Could you possibly show what a day of 1500 calories would look like if you had to eat out for either lunch or dinner?

I travel quite a bit and I have adopted your philosophy for salads around 400 calories for lunch but eating out at dinner proves to be a challenge due to most restaurants vegetables are cooked in a lot of fat.

Thanks and keep writing! I love your blog! :)

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Katie May 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I love the honesty of your blog. I’ve lost the weight, kept if off for years and am now gaining it back. It is and will be a constant battle and I’m tired of people saying it’s easy. Even if you lose the weight you always have to pay attention to your body and always remember what it took to get you there. Wonderful post!

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Andrea May 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I just found your blog through pinterest. I am so inspired! Starting my own weightloss journey and I needed some inspiration! Thank you!

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cate May 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

thank you so much for posting this!!!

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Marie May 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Andie,
I’ve been reading your posts for months now (thanks to pinterest) and I am constantly inspired & motivated through your honest reflections, humor, and openness. I’ve made so many of your recipes now that I owe you $$ lol. This post is so helpful as it easily puts things into perspective. Thanks again for sharing and I really do hope your book tour brings you to Chicago, I will be the 1st in line!!!

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Melissa @ SquatsandSquash May 3, 2012 at 6:10 am

Love that you have breakfast as the biggest and most calorie-laden meal of the day! it’s SUCH an important part of being healthy….plus its my FAVORITE. I don’t understand why people simply skip breakfast!!!

Thanks for laying it out so well (and beautifully!)

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Robyn May 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

LOOKS AMAZING! How did you make the chicken from the LUNCH picture? YUMMY!

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karen May 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

what exactly is in that lunch salad? it looks delicious.

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Rocio April 15, 2013 at 11:11 am

Wow Andie, you make it seem so easy :)

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Adam July 5, 2013 at 2:07 am

Hello Andie, thanks for the article, but I couldn’t help but wonder how accurately those calorie numbers are. For example, an egg is 70 calories, 2 egg whites are 35 calories, and one tablespoon of olive oil to fry the egg is at least 100 calories. However it says that all of those are 100 calories. Another example for the breakfast was that 2 cups of fruit is just 100 calories….. One large banana (which is less than one cup) is 105 calories so I have no idea what kind of fruit your using. I didn’t read past the breakfast section, but I’m sure you know what I’m getting at here. I’m not against you, I’m just skeptical about where you got your calorie/nutrition information from. It seems to me like your trying to lower the total calorie count, which is understandable. I just want to let others know to be careful when reading these types of articles online.

-Adam

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Andie Mitchell July 5, 2013 at 9:44 am

Adam, I appreciate your comment and you’ve made some excellent points. They speak to the fact that I was not descriptive nor explicit enough in my post. For example, at breakfast, I didn’t factor in oil for the eggs, assuming (unwisely, yes) that folks would use cooking spray, but thinking it through now, obviously not when you see the word “fried” as the directive (though, “frying” is the manner of cooking an egg in a pan regardless of the amount of oil used). Also, as far as the fruit is concerned, you’re right–I d not account for bananas, or perhaps even grapes, which are also quite calorically dense; I was assuming something on the order of a fruit salad (berries, cut watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon…), but why? I’m not sure now. You bring up valid ideas and I thank you for them. I’ve updated the post to be more explicit (calling for the egg to be fried with cooking spray and adjusting the calories accordingly, and noting that the fruit should be mixed berries).

Best,
Andie

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Danica August 28, 2013 at 12:27 am

Soooooo… here’s a question. I’ve searched for a general estimate of nutrition facts for mixed dark and light meat from a whole roasted bird. How do you come up with 200 calories for the 4oz of chicken?
This might be me being crazy detail lady.

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Andie Mitchell September 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

Hey Danica!

Valid question, and certainly one I had wondered about too! Searching online, you’ll find SO many different calorie estimates are for chicken meat cooked with skin versus chicken meat cooked without. Since the skin provides a layer of fat that is rendering itself and seeping into the meat (for excellent flavor and tenderness!), I tend to think that chicken breast meat cooked with skin on clocks in at around 40 calories per ounce (for white meat only; skin removed after cooking), rather than the traditional 30 calories per ounce for boneless, skinless breasts.
The recipe I linked to above uses additional fat in the cooking process (butter), so that explains why the 4 ounces are not simply 180 calories, and instead 200.
Hope this helps!

Andie

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Danica September 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Thank you!

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Danica August 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

Just for the record, I did click the link to the recipe. I didn’t see nutrition facts there. And I REALIZE this is kind of above and beyond. :)

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