Fast food is a beast like no other. Sometimes it is too difficult to avoid, even for the healthiest of the health nuts (there’s only so many options when out ‘n’ about and on the go). As obesity has become a huge issue in America, with the FLOTUS even making it her mission to end childhood obesity, many organizations and restaurants have pledged to do what they can to stop contributing to it. Over the years, chain restaurants have started to scrap their Super Size Me ways and even begun offering smaller portions. Still, many of the meals at some of our favorite guilty pleasures would be lying if they called themselves healthy — but just *how* unhealthy are they?
Some of the plates in question at favorite restaurants, from Chipotle to Olive Garden, can account for an entire DAY’s worth of calories — between 1,600 and 2,400, depending on age and gender (YIKES!). The New York Times posted the following pretty pix to show us just how much 2,000 calories looks like at different chains. They just might terrify you into sticking to those New Year’s resolutions.
1. Chipotle: Although a lot of the food at the Mexican grill is locally sourced and nutritious, the meals as a whole are huge portions — you’ve seen them pack a burrito. All that guac and cheese adds up eventually.
2. Shake Shack: Even if you go with a single patty burger instead of the standard two, all the toppings (cheese on cheese, fries and a milkshake obviously) will make this an over 1,000 calorie meal.
3. Starbucks: Yeah, that daily Frappuccino you’re picking up is not exactly a green smoothie.
4. P.F. Chang’s: Although 2,000 calories at this bistro can get you multiple plates, there’s some serious sodium lurking in there.
5. McDonald’s: Maybe just stick to an order of the Dollar Menu fries at the Golden Arches and you could come out shining. Maybe.
6. Olive Garden: Not gonna lie, we could probably hit the 2,000 calorie intake goal on this Italian chain’s breadsticks alone.
7. Cheesecake Factory: You could without a doubt get a week’s worth of calories from the book-size menu at this multi-cuisine chain. Don’t even allow yourself to go down that rabbit hole.
8. Subway: Out of all of the chains pictured, Subway’s 2,000 calorie spread looks a lot like, well, an entire day’s worth of food. Who knows, maybe this IS exactly how Jared did lose all that weight.
9. Ruth’s Chris Steak House: What’s better than a steak and a martini? Your waistline, right? Um, or how about your heart health. Eek.
10. IHOP: Although breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we don’t think filling up on your day’s calorie intake with a meal like this one is the way to go.
11. Sonic: Want to know something sad and scary? You can top the calorie chart with only a shake from this drive-in. So good it hurts. Seriously.
12. Burger King: “Would you like to make that a combo?” That question will now be haunting our nightmares after learning how many calories are in the King’s numbered combo meals.
13. Wendy’s: Is it really any surprise that adding a loaded baked potato to a meal, especially at a fast food chain, would catapult you over your daily intake? We didn’t think so.
14. Pizza Hut: All these two-piece treats look more like samples than an actual meal, right? Maybe skip this pizza house and bust out the pizza stone at home.
At Home: Of course, you could always make everything at home and be much healthier (and save money), while filling those plates. Why not look through some of our favorite recipes to get you started?
Are you planning on sticking to at home eating after these findings? Let us know in the comments.