A 2000 calorie diet plan is one of the healthiest diet plans to follow if you are not ready to compromise on any of the following two options – keeping your body/physique in top shape and eating healthy. The U.S. FDA uses the 2000 calorie count in daily diets as a point-of-reference for nutrient rich calorific intake and it can be a very satisfying option for dieters who want to lose weight alright, but lose it slowly and steadily without allowing the nutrient meter to take a dip in any of their meals.
- Consuming a 2000 calories a day offers your body the nutrition necessary to function optimally.
- As a consequence, the body’s immunity strength remains best and diseases that are related to portliness, like cardiac diseases, gallbladder malfunctions, joint pains and sleep apneas are all eliminated successfully.
- Fatigue and hunger, a side-effect of VLCDs and LCDs are kept at bay.
- Metabolic rate remains active and healthy.
The only disadvantage that a 2000 calorie diet can lead to is that, dieters without having to cut down stringently on their calorie intake and having 2000 calories to munch upon, often end up indulging in calorie/fat dense food choices and desserts, ultimately leading to weight gain rather than loss. On the same note, when they try to compromise such eating by consuming extra low-cal foods, they end up compromising on nutrition.
So yes, if you are keen to follow a 2000 calorie diet plan, you have to chalk out a strategy and not deviate from that for eating well-balanced meals.
The best strategy
Planning out 5 small meals over the day is the best way to embark on a 2000 calorie diet. 500 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch/dinner each and 300 calories for snacking can be an ideal way to lay out this food platter.
Also, you should:
- Eat as per fixed meal timings
- Make a food plan and stick to that
- Follow the USDA’s Food Pyramid to supply the right amount of grains, veggies, protein and fruits into your food platter
Your 2000 calorie meal plan
1 cup of oatmeal (cooked) with 1 cup of skimmed milk, topped with raisins (2 tbsp); 1 orange; 2 egg white omelette; 1 cup coffee (8 oz.) with no-fat milk (1 oz.) and 2 tsp. sugar approximates 500 calories.
Alternatively, you can also go for 2 slices of whole-wheat bread layered with 1 tbsp margarine; 2 egg white omelettes; 1 cup of mixed fruit (red grapes, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples) and a slice of ‘American Cheese’. This meal would also give you 500 calories. You can cut 50 calories from any of the options and include a cup of coffee (8 oz.) with no-fat milk (1oz.) and 2 tsp. sugar.
¾ cup of lean protein stir-fry (turkey, skinless chicken strips or tofu) paired with a cup of (whole grain) brown rice and 1 portion of fruit salad would make up for 500 calories. Add to that ½ cup of low-fat frozen yoghurt for 100 calories more and you have a well-planned 600 calorie lunch spread out for you.
You can also mix 1 portion of pasta (whole-wheat) with veggie/meat/sweet chili sauce and throw in a baby spinach salad with grilled chicken breast alongwith to make up 500 calories. For dessert, a small portion of Blueberry sorbet can be a good idea to reach the 600 calorie mark.
A ginger-chicken stew (201 calories) with 1 small cup of brown rice (109 calories), 1 serving of broccoli potato mash(100 calories) and 1 banana popsicle (90 calories) can add upto 500 calories. A cup of cappuccino containing 100 calories can be enjoyed later in the evening.
Alternatively, a juicy steak made of ground lean beef and topped with caramelized onions can give you 306 calories. Add to it a portion of roasted asparagus (77 calories), 1/2 cup of roasted (red) potatoes (97 calories) and 1/2 cup of tropical fruit salad with low-fat yoghurt (120 calories) to make it 600 calories in total.
300 calorie worth snack can still be added to this from nuts, fruits, low-fat cheese strips, salt-free crackers and occasionally, a glass of red wine.
If eating out, some options that contain low-moderate calories are:
- Veggie/Chicken burger from Burger King
- KFC’s crispy chicken salad meals
- Subway’s 6” Turkey sandwich
Making your own 2000 calorie diet plan
For a 2000 calorie diet plan you are at liberty to choose from a wide range of food. Therefore making your own diet recipes that conform to this calorie count will not be a problem. Just make sure that 45-65% of your daily calories are sourced from carbohydrates (mostly complex carbs), 20-35% from fat and approximately 10-15% from proteins.
Furthermore, read food labels for calorie contents and choose mono/poly unsaturated fats rather than Trans/saturated fats in your food selections.