2000 Calorie Meal Plan For Weight Loss

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While planning your diet, it is important to understand what the plan has in store for you. A well-planned 2000 calories meal plan for weight loss should include all nutrients including proteins, carbohydrates fats and fibers. I’ve tried many of the meal plans out there and the easiest way to describe this is that it’s the best one I’ve come across. It has been used by thousands of people and it works.

2,000-Calorie Meal Plan to Lose Weight This Summer

Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil

Fire up the grill and say hello to summer with this healthy diet meal plan. In this 2,000-calorie weight-loss meal plan, we focused on easy, healthy recipes that highlight all the delicious produce summer has to offer, so you can enjoy homemade dinners without spending a ton of time cooking. The warmer weather brings tons of fruits and vegetables that are bursting with flavor so they don’t require a lot of prep work to make them taste delicious. Although the summer days are longer, they are often busier as we fill them with vacations, BBQs and trips to the beach. Following a weight-loss meal plan doesn’t need to feel like another thing on your to-do list during this fun-filled season. To keep it simple, we included no-cook breakfast options, easy meal-prep ideas for lunch, and quick dinners-most of which are on the table (or the patio!) in 30 minutes or less. Plus, we use the grill to cook many of the meals, which saves on dishes so you can spend less time cleaning up and more time outside.

2,000 calories is a healthy level to start off at if you’re just beginning your weight-loss journey. You don’t want to go too low in calories too quickly. It’s better to start at a calorie level closer to what you’re currently eating and slowly taper down, so you become more comfortable with fewer calories over time. Plus, this weight-loss meal plan is high in protein and fiber to keep you full while helping you lose weight in a healthy way (1 to 2 pounds per week).

Day 1

Vegetarian Niçoise Salad

Eating enough fiber is the key to staying full. If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure to include plenty of fiber-filled foods, such as legumes, vegetables, whole grains and fruits, to reduce cravings and stay satisfied. In addition to keeping us full, research shows that fiber helps keep us healthy by reducing the risk of diabetes and some cancers.

Breakfast (451 calories)

* 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie

* 1 slice whole-wheat toast drizzled with 2 tsp. olive oil and seasoned with a pinch of salt.

A.M. Snack (211 calories)

  • 1 small peach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp.Maple Granola

Lunch (486 calories)

* 1 serving Vegetarian Niçoise Salad

* 1 (2-inch) chunk whole-wheat baguette

P.M. Snack (62 calories)

* 1 cup blackberries

Dinner (613 calories)

  • 1 servingGrilled Blackened Shrimp Tacos
  • 1 servingPineapple & Avocado Salad
  • 1 serving tortilla chips (about 7)

Evening Snack (160 calories)

* 2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Daily Totals: 1,984 calories, 74 g protein, 245 g carbohydrates, 44 g fiber, 87 g fat, 2,048 mg sodium

Day 2

Sausage, Mushroom & Pesto Grilled Pizza

Say goodbye to the notion that you can’t enjoy pizza while you’re trying to lose weight. Grilling homemade pizza provides the flavorful crust that we love from our favorite wood-fired pizza joints without the extra sodium and calories that come with the restaurant version. Served with a low-calorie chopped salad, this is the perfect summer dinner.

Breakfast (410 calories)

* 1 serving Tropical Overnight Oats topped with 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds

* 1 medium orange

A.M. Snack (315 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (481 calories)

* 1 serving Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

* 4 sliced dried mango

P.M. Snack (212 calories)

  • 1/3 cup hummus
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into sticks

Dinner (583 calories)

* 1 serving Sausage, Mushroom & Pesto Grilled Pizza

Easy Chopped Veggie Salad

  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

Mix cucumber and tomato together with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Daily Totals: 2,000 calories, 74 g protein, 220 g carbohydrates, 36 g fiber, 99 g fat, 2,121 mg sodium

Day 3

Lemon-Pepper Linguine with Squash

Tonight’s healthy vegetarian dinner highlights two of summer’s most popular vegetables-summer squash and zucchini. The lemony sauce provides a bright flavor that feels light and refreshing. If you’re thinking of going vegetarian more often, try one of our healthy vegetarian meal plans.

Breakfast (400 calories)

  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 medium peach, chopped
  • 1/4 cupMaple Granola

Top yogurt with peach and granola.

A.M. Snack (141 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 10 almonds

Lunch (481 calories)

* 1 serving Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

* 4 sliced dried mango

P.M. Snack (278 calories)

  • 1/3 cup hummus
  • 1 serving tortilla chips (about 7)

Dinner (500 calories)

* 1 serving Lemon-Pepper Linguine with Squash

* 2 cups Massaged Kale Salad

Dessert (213 calories)

* 1 serving Berry-Lemon Ice Pops

* 2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Evening Snack (160 calories)

* 2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Daily Totals: 2,013 calories, 82 g protein, 233 g carbohydrates, 37 g fiber, 92 g fat, 1,826 mg sodium

Day 4

Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil

There is nothing like a fresh summer tomato, which is why we feature this healthy vegetable in tonight’s dinner. Look for local tomatoes to maximize flavor-they’re picked at peak freshness and don’t have to travel far to get to your dinner table. Your neighborhood farmers’ market may have more interesting heirloom varietals than what you can typically find at the grocery store.

Breakfast (410 calories)

* 1 serving Tropical Overnight Oats topped with 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds

* 1 medium orange

A.M. Snack (237 calories)

* 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt

* 3 Tbsp. Maple Granola

Top yogurt with granola.

Lunch (481 calories)

* 1 serving Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

* 4 sliced dried mango

P.M. Snack (126 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 8 almonds

Dinner (598 calories)

* 1 serving Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil served over 1/2 cup Basic Quinoa

* 1 serving Tomato, Cucumber & White-Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Evening Snack (160 calories)

* 2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Daily Totals: 2,011 calories, 105 g protein, 209 g carbohydrates, 40 g fiber, 89 g fat, 1,511 mg sodium

Day 5

Southwest Flank Steak with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Lunch is often the meal that can make or break weight-loss efforts. Taking the time to meal-prep several days of healthy lunches that are filling and satisfying makes it easier to limit those break-room sweets and eat healthy with a busy schedule.

Breakfast (451 calories)

* 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie

* 1 slice whole-wheat toast drizzled with 2 tsp. olive oil and seasoned with a pinch of salt.

A.M. Snack (305 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (412 calories)

* 1 serving Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

* 1 medium orange

P.M. Snack (101 calories)

* 1 cup sliced cucumber drizzled with 2 tsp. each olive oil & lime juice and seasoned with a pinch of salt & pepper

Dinner (657 calories)

* 1 serving Southwest Flank Steak with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa over 3/4 cup Easy Brown Rice

* 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad

Dessert (53 calories)

* 1 serving Berry-Lemon Ice Pops

Daily Totals: 1,980 calories, 91 g protein, 197 g carbohydrates, 38 g fiber, 96 g fat, 1,593 mg sodium

Day 6

grilled chicken thigh with fresh corn salad on a plate

Plain Greek yogurt gets natural sweetness from juicy summer peaches, so you won’t miss all the added sugars in sweetened yogurts. Easy Maple Granola provides a satisfying crunch in this healthy summer breakfast. If you prefer a store-bought granola, look for one that has no more than 6 grams of sugar and 130 calories per 1/4-cup serving.

Breakfast (400 calories)

  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 medium peach, chopped
  • 1/4 cupMaple Granola

A.M. Snack (141 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 10 almonds

Lunch (486 calories)

* 1 serving Vegetarian Niçoise Salad

* 1 (2-inch) chunk whole-wheat baguette

P.M. Snack (263 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (718 calories)

* 1 serving Grilled Chicken Thighs with Summer Corn Salad

* 1 serving Pesto Pasta Salad

Daily Totals: 2,008 calories, 89 g protein, 209 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 95 g fat, 2,138 mg sodium

Day 7

Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

Popsicles are the perfect summer dessert-light, refreshing and healthy. We love the Berry-Lemon Ice Pops because they take advantage of fresh seasonal berries. If you want to mix it up, try more of our Healthy Popsicle Recipes. Popsicle molds are handy, but not required. If you don’t have them, paper cups do the trick.

Breakfast (451 calories)

* 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie

* 1 slice whole-wheat toast drizzled with 2 tsp. olive oil and seasoned with a pinch of salt.

A.M. Snack (305 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (461 calories)

  • 1 servingVeggie & Hummus Sandwich
  • 1 medium peach
  • 10 almonds

P.M. Snack (141 calories)

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup hummus

Dinner (431 calories)

* 1 serving Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Radish Salsa

* 1 serving Greek Tortellini Salad

Dessert (213 calories)

* 1 serving Berry-Lemon Ice Pops

* 2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Daily Totals: 2,002 calories, 80 g protein, 227 g carbohydrates, 45 g fiber, 92 g fat, 1,879 mg sodium

7-Day Diet Meal Plan to Lose Weight: 2,000 Calories

Zucchini-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Tahini-Ranch Sauce

Lose weight, eat well and feel great with this easy weight loss diet plan. This simple 2,000-calorie meal plan is specially tailored to help you feel energized and satisfied, so you can lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week. Featuring the best foods for weight loss, the high protein, high fiber foods in this plan will help with weight loss by keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

If you’re just starting off with weight loss, this 2,000-calorie level is a great place to start. Once you get comfortable with this calorie level, you can slowly cut your calories down (say, a hundred calories at a time) to get closer to that 2-pound weight loss per week. The calorie totals are listed next to each meal so you can easily swap things in and out as you see fit. Couple this healthy meal plan with daily exercise and you’re on track to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, the healthy way!

How to Meal Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make a batch of the Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups to have for breakfast on Days 1 through 3. Freeze any leftovers.
  2. Meal prep a batch of the Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  3. Hard boil 4 eggs to have for snacks on Days 2, 4, 5 and 6.

Day 1

6859259.jpg

Breakfast (421 calories)

  • 2 servings Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 2 clementines

A.M. Snack (286 calories)

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (440 calories)

  • 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich
  • 1 oz. Cheddar cheese

P.M. Snack (260 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 20 roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (592 calories)

  • 1 serving Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls with 1 cup cooked brown rice

Daily Totals: 1,998 calories, 94 g protein, 251 g carbohydrate, 44 g fiber, 79 g fat, 1,547 mg sodium

Day 2

Zucchini-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Tahini-Ranch Sauce

Breakfast (421 calories)

  • 2 servings Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 2 clementines

A.M. Snack (249 calories)

  • 1 1/2 oz. Cheddar cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch (439 calories)

  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls
  • 1 medium apple

P.M. Snack (259 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 20 roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (618 calories)

  • 1 serving Zucchini-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Tahini-Ranch Sauce
  • 2 servings Oven Sweet-Potato Fries

Daily Totals: 1,987 calories, 65 g protein, 263 g carbohydrate, 46 g fiber, 84 g fat, 2,395 mg sodium

Day 3

easy salmon cakes with dressing

Breakfast (421 calories)

  • 2 servings Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 2 clementines

A.M. Snack (269 calories)

  • 20 roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1 oz. Cheddar cheese

Lunch (439 calories)

  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls
  • 1 medium apple

P.M. Snack (296 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (550 calories)

  • 1 serving Easy Salmon Cakes over 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 (4-inch) piece whole-wheat baguette

Daily Totals: 1,976 calories, 88 g protein, 245 g carbohydrate, 43 g fiber, 83 g fat, 2,189 mg sodium

Day 4

Chicken & Cucumber Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Breakfast (393 calories)

  • 1 serving Muesli with Raspberries
  • 1 medium banana

A.M. Snack (249 calories)

  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1.5 oz. Cheddar cheese

Lunch (344 calories)

  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls

P.M. Snack (305 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (521 calories)

  • 1 serving Chicken & Cucumber Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Evening Snack (188 calories)

  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate

Daily Totals: 2,000 calories, 87 g protein, 227 g carbohydrate, 52 g fiber, 92 g fat, 1,563 mg sodium

Day 5

Mediterranean Ravioli

Breakfast (382 calories)

  • 1 serving Muesli with Raspberries
  • 1 medium apple

A.M. Snack (249 calories)

  • 1 1/2 oz. Cheddar cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch (460 calories)

  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls
  • 15 roasted unsalted almonds

P.M. Snack (315 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (617 calories)

  • 1 serving Mediterranean Ravioli with Artichokes & Olives
  • 2 cups mixed greens topped with 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Daily Totals: 2,024 calories, 72 g protein, 231 g carbohydrate, 53 g fiber, 100 g fat, 1,981 mg sodium

Day 6

6349105.jpg

Breakfast (393 calories)

  • 1 serving Muesli with Raspberries
  • 1 medium banana

A.M. Snack (305 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (549 calories)

  • 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich
  • 2 clementines
  • 20 roasted unsalted almonds

P.M. Snack (192 calories)

  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 oz. Cheddar cheese

Dinner (585 calories)

  • 1 serving Curried Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup
  • 1 (4-in.) slice whole-wheat baguette

Daily Totals: 2,023 calories, 75 g protein, 264 g carbohydrate, 51 g fiber, 87 g fat, 1,980 mg sodium

Day 7

spinach-artichoke-dip-pasta

Breakfast (390 calories)

  • 1 serving “Egg in a Hole” Peppers with Avocado Salsa
  • 1 medium banana

A.M. Snack (249 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 20 roasted unsalted almonds

Lunch (345 calories)

  • 1 serving Curried Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup

P.M. Snack (70 calories)

  • 2 clementines

Dinner (719 calories)

  • 1 1/2 serving Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta
  • 2 cups mixed greens topped with 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Evening Snack (220 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate

Daily Totals: 1,993 calories, 66 g protein, 250 g carbohydrate, 51 g fiber, 91 g fat, 2,231 mg sodium

What to Know About a 2,000-Calorie Meal Plan

If you look at a nutrition label on the back of any packaged food, you’ll notice that all of the recommended daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. While a 2,000-calorie diet can meet the needs of a wide variety of people, the number of calories you need depends on things like your weight, age, activity level, and goals.   

Where Did the 2,000-Calorie Diet Come From?

Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 to give people more information about the nutrients in the foods they eat. The law also set up guidelines about what claims could be made by food manufacturers. To put that information into perspective and show how the nutrients fit into an overall diet, a standard reference was needed.

The 2,000-calorie diet is based on surveys done by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on how many calories people ate. Men said they ate an average of 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day, and women said they ate an average of 1,600 to 2,200 calories daily. Based on those numbers, a 2,000-calorie diet was settled on as a standard reference. 

Foods to Include in a 2,000-Calorie Meal Plan

Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods that give you vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other healthy compounds. Cut back on added sugar, saturated fats, and sodium. Here are examples of nutritious foods to fill up on:

Vegetables. Eat a wide variety of vegetables of all colors. In general, women should eat 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily, and men should eat 3 to 4 cups daily. Choose veggies like:

  • Dark greens, such as swiss chard and turnip greens
  • Red and orange vegetables, such as squash and beets
  • Beans, peas, and lentils
  • Starchy vegetables, such as corn and peas

Fruits. Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts. But aim to eat whole fruit, which is high in vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. Women need around 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit daily, while men need around 2 to 2 1/2 cups daily.

Grains. Include foods made from grains such as wheat, rice, oatmeal, and barley. At least half of your grains should come from whole grains, which have more fiber, iron, and B vitamins. Women should eat about 3 to 3 1/2 ounces daily, and men should eat about 3 1/5 to 5 ounces daily.

Dairy or alternatives. Focus on fat-free or low-fat versions of dairy products to get the calcium and nutrients you need. Women and men need about 3 cups of dairy or dairy alternatives daily, like:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Calcium-fortified plant-based milks, such as almond and soy
  • Tofu made with calcium sulfate

Protein foods. Women need 5 to 6 ounces of protein daily, while men need 6 to 7 ounces. Choose protein foods that are lean or low in fat. Many Americans eat enough meat, poultry, and eggs, but you should include more:

  • Seafood
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Soy

Oils. This group includes vegetable oils and the oils naturally found in foods, such as nuts and seafood.

Foods to Avoid in a 2,000-Calorie Meal Plan

If you focus on eating enough nutrient-dense foods, it won’t leave much room in your diet for snacks or meals that only offer empty calories or saturated fat. While you can eat those goodies in small amounts, you should generally cut back on foods with lots of:

  • Added sugars
  • Saturated fat
  • Sodium

How to Meal-Plan Using 2,000 Calories Daily

One way to plan a 2,000-calorie diet is to spread the calories throughout your meals and snacks. It might look like this:

  • 500 calories for breakfast
  • 500 calories for lunch
  • 600 calories for dinner
  • 400 calories for snacks

Another way is to plan your meals with an exchange system. A day’s menu might look like this:

Breakfast: 2 grains, 2 fruits, 1 dairy, 1 fat

Lunch: 2 grains, 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 3 proteins, 2 fats, 1 dairy

Dinner: 4 grains, 1 fruit, 5 vegetables, 4 proteins, 3 fats

Snacks: 1 grain, 1 dairy

Your doctor can help you come up with a meal plan that works for you based on your overall health, activity level, and weight goals.

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