What do 2000 calories a day look like?

The average woman needs to eat approximately 2000 calories a day but do you really know what 2000 calories of food actually looks like? Try our quiz to find out.

Meet Mrs Average

Mrs Average is watching her weight, so on this day she skipped breakfast, had half a small quiche and salad with a drizzle of Caesar salad dressing for lunch, a latte mid afternoon, enjoyed some luxury fish pie and peas for supper and managed to avoid the temptation to have any dessert or wine in the evening.

Mrs Average's food intake for the day.

Meet Mrs Appetite
Mrs Appetite loves to eat. She starts the day with a bowl of shredded wheat bite-size and milk topped with blueberries, a banana and a small glass of fresh orange juice topped up with sparkling water. On the way to work she has a cup of hot chocolate and a little later in the morning an orange followed by couple of oatcakes topped with reduced fat cream cheese and ham.

[See also: Is coffee the real cause for raised cholesterol and heart disease?]

For lunch she has baked beans on toast followed by a banana, a handful of ready to eat dried apricots and a slice of malt loaf topped with reduced fat cheddar cheese. Mid afternoon she has a coffee with a two finger KitKat and a bowl of fresh fruit salad.

On the way home from work she munches on an apple then, whilst preparing her evening meal she nibbles on a few carrot sticks dipped in reduced fat hummus. Supper is large bowl of salad dressed in balsamic vinegar and sweet chilli dipping sauce topped with a hot smoked salmon fillet. Finally, to round off the day she has a bowl of strawberries topped with low fat strawberry yogurt for dessert and a white wine spritzer.

Mrs Appetite's food intake for the day.

Guess which daily diet is equal to 2000 calories, Mrs Average or Mrs Appetite?

The Answer?
Both of them. However, you'll notice that Mrs Appetite managed to far more than Mrs Average and still fit in foods such as such as chocolate, cheese, wine, coffee and hot chocolate, plenty of snacks, drinks and dessert. That's because Mrs Appetite knows the three golden rules of satisfying a healthy appetite without piling on the pounds.

1. Fill up on fibre
High fibre foods such as Shredded Wheat, semi dried apricots, oatcakes, fruit and vegetables add bulk to food which helps to trigger feelings of fullness without the calories. They also slow down the release of sugars into the blood stream keeping hunger at bay.

2. Dilute your drinks
The calories in drinks can soon mount up and the sugars and alcohol they contain can send blood sugars soaring resulting in increased appetite and cravings. A great way to reduce both the calorie content of your beverages and the affect they have on your blood sugars is to dilute them with still or sparkling water (as Mrs Appetite has done here with her orange juice and wine). Swapping lattes for instant or fresh coffee made with water and just a small amount of milk added can also save over 200 calories per coffee.

3. Focus on fats
Nuts, seeds, oils and oily fish such as Mrs Appetite's fillet of salmon can all be great sources of essential fatty acids essential for a whole host of functions from a strong immune system through to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's and many cancers. However, it's important to limit your intake of saturated fats found in cakes, biscuits, crisps, chocolate, pastries, cheese, fried and processed foods.

You'll notice Mrs Appetite, has gone for reduced or low fat dairy foods such as skimmed milk, low fat yogurt, reduced fat cream cheese and half fat cheddar, swapped fatty salad dressings for balsamic vinegar, and (apart from her two finger KitKat) has based most of her snacks and desserts around fruit or vegetables such as apples, oranges or carrots dipped in hummus.

Mrs Average, on the other hand, despite eating much less has wracked up the same amount of calories with far fewer nutrients by choosing high fat foods such as the pastry, bacon, cheese and cream in the quiche and the Caesar salad dressing followed by the butter, cheese and yet more cream in both the sauce and the potato of the luxury fish pie.

Six ways to stay slim without dieting

The biggest breakfast cereal offenders

Lose up to a stone in a month without crash dieting