With the ever increasing awareness of health and fitness, people are realizing that exercising without paying heed to your daily diet is actually pointless because weight loss and a fit body can be achieved only by the combination of a balanced low-calorie diet and daily physical activities. No matter how much time you put into exercise, without following a balanced diet plan it will be of no use. And when it comes to a diet, cutting out all the calories at once might make you tired and nauseous along with lack of muscle tone, energy and concentration. So the body might think that you have started following a fad diet and react negatively to it by going into fat storage mode.
Therefore, we have come up with a fool proof 2000 calorie diet plan that helps in maintaining a healthy weight in moderately active adults and promotes weight loss in highly active individuals. And what makes it better than the 1200 calorie per day diet is that it can also be followed by people who are into intense physical training, because it provides the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates and the essential nutrients needed by the body for weight loss.
Who Can Follow the 2000 Calorie Diet Plan?
The 2000 calorie diet is a multipurpose diet than can help in maintaining, gaining and losing weight depending on the age, gender, activity level and daily calorie intake of the individual.
- A 2000 calorie diet plan is suitable for women with a sedentary lifestyle in the ages of 19 to 30, moderately active women in the ages of 19 and 50 and active women over the age of 50 years.
- It helps in maintaining a healthy weight in sedentary men over the age of 50 years and promotes weight loss is active men and women below the age of 50 years.
- It is especially suitable for people with larger and taller builds in keeping the body energized while promoting healthy weight loss.
- People with an intensely active lifestyle who engage in exercises several times a week or train to meet particular fitness goals can also follow this balanced diet chart because it helps in shedding the excess weight while allowing the body to rebuild and recover periodically.
- A moderately active individual interested in maintaining the current weight can also follow this diet plan.
- The 2000 calorie diet is also suitable for a person recovering from illness. At this stage, the body requires rest and this diet plan helps in healthy weight gain in order to rebuild muscle tone and strengthen the bones.
- People suffering from chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension or kidney diseases can also benefit from the 2000 calorie diet plan. The diet plan should be combined with medication and daily physical activity for best results.
Recommended Food Groups for the 2000 Calorie Meal Plan
A balanced 2000 calorie meal plan should include all the important food groups like vegetables, fruits, proteins, dairy, grains and oils
- 5 cups of vegetables
- 2 cups of Fruits
- 5 Ounces of protein foods
- 3 cups from the dairy group
- 6 ounces of grain
- 6 teaspoons from the oils group
Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables form a major part of the 2000 calorie diet menu because they are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is important to add 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits to your daily diet.
Proteins – You can consume 5.5 ounces of protein foods each day. Natural sources of protein include meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, soy products, legumes, seeds and nuts.
Grains – Whole grains also form a significant portion of the 2000 calorie meal plan, and you can consume about 6 ounces of grains daily. Food in this group includes brown rice, whole grain pasta, cooked cereals like quinoa, finger millet, bulgur, oatmeal, whole-grain bread.
Dairy – Dairy foods are the most important source of calcium and dietary protein, and you can consume up to 3 cups of dairy foods each day. Dairy foods include cottage cheese, hard cheese, milk, yogurt, soy milk, etc.
Oils – Oils are the best source of healthy unsaturated fats, and you can consume up to 27 grams of oils per day such as plant-based oils, nuts or seeds, olives and nut butter.
Sample 2000 Calorie Diet Menu
We have provided 5 sample 2000 calorie diet menus which consist of 6 meals – 3 main meals and 3 small snacks. The intermediate foods consist of healthy snacks to eat at night that helps prevent food cravings. You can alternate between the meals and snacks and add other healthy foods to the meal plans. Improvisations are always welcome.
Sample Meal Plan 1
- Breakfast – Omelette made of 7 egg whites and 1 whole egg + 1/2 cup of uncooked oats
- Mid-Morning – 1 Slice of wheat bread+1 tablespoon of peanut butter+10 berries
- Lunch – 4 ounces of chicken + 3/4th cup cooked brown rice + 3 cups of mixed vegetables
- Evening – 4 ounces of chicken + 6 ounces of sweet potato + 1 cup broccoli + 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Dinner – 5 ounces of any white fish + 1/3rd cup cooked brown rice + 1 cup of mixed steamed vegetables
- Post Workout Food – Protein shake + 1 small apple
Sample Meal Plan 2
- Breakfast – 1.5 cups of Raisin bran Cereal + 1.5 cups of non-fat milk
- Mid-Morning – 1 Cup of Red or green grapes
- Lunch- 1 Skinless chicken breast + 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice
- Mid-noon Snack – 1 cup of berries
- Evening Snack – 1 banana + 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- Dinner – 2 whole grain bread slices + 1 roasted chicken breast
Sample Meal Plan 3
- Breakfast – 1 cup of cooked oatmeal + 2/3 ounce of almonds + 1/2 cup of raisins + 1 cup of low-fat milk
- Mid-Morning – 1 cup low fat yogurt + 1 apple
- Lunch – 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast + 2 cups of spinach + 2 slices of whole grain bread
- Afternoon Snack – 1 ounce of mixed nuts
- Evening – 1 cup of orange juice
- inner – 1 cup of tofu cooked with 1 teaspoon of oil + 1 cup cooked brown rice + 1.5 cups of steamed broccoli
Sample Meal Plan 4
- Breakfast – 1 scoop of whey protein + 200gms of full-fat yogurt
- Mid-Morning – 1 banana + handful of almonds
- Lunch – 1 chicken breast roasted + 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice + mixed pepper seasoning
- Mid Noon Snack – handful of peanuts
- Dinner – 1 Fish fillet cooked + 100 gms of steamed broccoli + 1/2 sweet potato + 2 teaspoons of olive oil for seasoning
- Night – 1.5 scoops of whey protein + a handful of berries + 2 tablespoons of double cream
Sample Meal Plan 5
- Breakfast – 1 Cup of cooked oatmeal + 2 teaspoons of light cream cheese + 1.5 cups of cantaloupe + 1 cup of skimmed milk
- Mid-Morning – a handful of dried fruits and nuts
- Lunch – 3 ounces roasted lamb + 1 ounce baked potatoes + a plate of sauteed vegetables
- Afternoon Snack – 1 fat-free granola bar + 1 cup of skimmed milk
- Evening – A cup of fruits and yogurt
- Dinner – Chicken and vegetable salad with olive oil dressing + 1 glass of lemonade + 1 cup of custard
Tips for Following the 2000 Calorie Diet Plan
Following a few simple tips while on the diet can helps you go a long way in achieving your ideal body weight and maintaining it without much difficulty.
Include more proteins in your diet – Protein is the building block of the body that helps in the growth of lean muscle mass, so it is important to include lean protein in each and every meal. Some of the best options of lean protein are chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, etc.
Make vegetables the base of your meal – The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables to lose weight are well known. Combine proteins with vegetables in your meals whenever you get the opportunity. This can be done by throwing in some spinach and bell peppers in your omelette or adding some broccoli and mushrooms to the chicken.
Eat carbohydrates just around the training time – Carbohydrates are the ultimate source of energy that help you push through an intense session of workout and, therefore, it is best to eat carbs right before the training sessions. Make sure to eat a fist full at each meal and 2 fists full after your training session.
Drink plenty of water – We don’t really need to emphasise this point any further, but drinking water throughout the day and during training helps in staying hydrated and energized so that you can give your 100% during the workout sessions. Aim to drink 500 ml of water 1 hour before you start exercising, 500 ml during the workout sessions and 500 ml after the training session. Total water intake throughout the day should be 2 to 3 liters.
Eat more of healthy fats – Most of us have a common misconception about fats and, therefore, we tend to exclude it completely from out diet. But the amazing benefits of olive oil for body are well known and healthy unprocessed fats such as olive oil, butter, cream, nuts and avocado are actually beneficial for our health and help in weight loss. So make sure to add a teaspoon of healthy fat to all your meals.
Take in some caffeine – Most health conscious people try to stay away from tea and coffee because of the disadvantages of coffee along with added sugar, milk and cream that add unnecessary calories to the body. But tea and coffee contain the essential ingredient caffeine, which helps in providing energy and keeps the metabolism of the body moving. So having 1 to 2 cups of tea or coffee without sugar of milk can actually be beneficial for weight loss.
Keep track of your weight – Check your weight in the morning on the day you start the 2000 calorie diet plan and again check it after 2 weeks. If you have lost any weight then keep going with the diet and if you have not lost any weight then reduce some of the foods from the diet.
Cut out calories from carbs and fat – If your weight has been constant for 2 weeks and you have noticed no weight loss then you can cut out some calories from the carbohydrate and fat food groups, but the protein intake should remain constant throughout the diet. Reduce only 5 to 10% of total calories so that you can have sustainable results. Cutting out too many calories at a time will make you tired and hungry, and you will give up the diet.
Some Healthy Food Substitutes
With modern low-fat, non-fat and low-calorie options, you don’t really need to sacrifice any food from your diet, all you need to do it choose the healthier, low-calorie option and include it in your daily diet.
- Try low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream
- Try skim milk instead of whole milk
- Try reduced fat cheese instead of regular cheese
- Try a fruit smother or sorbet instead of rich desserts
- Try sugar-free gelatin instead of pudding
- Try baked potatoes instead of potato chips
- Try reduced fat margarine instead of butter
- Try wheat or whole grain bagels instead of donuts
Some Essential Foods to Stock in your Pantry
While following the 2000 calorie diet plan, you will need to purge your pantry, remove unhealthy foods and stock it up with a few healthy foods and make sure that you never run out of them. All these foods range from the suggested food groups – fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and oils.
- Lean Turkey
- White Fish
- Whole wheat or multigrain bread
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy Vegetables
- Peanut butter
- Extra virgin olive oil
So, now that you have a complete idea of how to plan your 2000 calorie diet chart and what foods to include in it, get going and combine it with daily workouts to lose fat to achieve the perfect figure you always desired.