Two thousand calories is the magic number that represents the recommended daily energy intake for average individuals. While you could theoretically hit your 2,000 calorie goal by eating nothing more than bread or ice cream, it would be foolish to think this would have the same nutritional benefits as 2,000 calories of lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Considering that, calories become secondary to actual food choices. Fortunately, we are here to help you make the right food choices when structuring your 2,000 calorie diet.
While we could recommend a meal plan for someone totalling roughly 2,000 calories, we understand that everyone has different tastes and preferences in food. To that end, instead of offering up a set-in-stone meal plan, we have seven basic rules that you should follow when working towards your goals. These seven habits were invented by Canadian nutritionist Dr. John Berardi. Dr. Berardi has worked with clients ranging from professional athletes to ordinary housewives, but they all are instructed to follow these seven habits for maximum dietary results.
- Consume small meals every 2 to 3 hours, for a total of 5 to 8 meals a day.
- Consume lean protein with every meal--eggs, fish, meat or chicken.
- Consume fruit and veggies with every meal.
- Only consume carbs from fruit or veggies.
- Consume at least 25% of your daily calories from fat, including animal fats, natural fats (like coconuts and avocados) and oils (olive, fish and flax).
- Drink no calorie-containing beverages--stick to just water and green tea if possible.
- Consume no liquid meals.
Strictly following these seven habits when structuring your diet will take you to your physique goals faster than almost any other approach.
A sample 2,000 calorie diet for someone following the seven habits might be:
Meal 1: Three or four scrambled eggs with diced tomato and a piece of fresh fruit. Meal 2: A piece of grilled chicken and pineapple with a side salad lightly drizzled in olive oil. Meal 3: Salmon with another salad and a few capsules of fish oil. Meal 4: Steak fried in coconut oil with an avocado and spinach. Meal 5: Snack of two or three hard boiled eggs with an apple and some broccoli before bed.
Of course, this sample menu will not suit everyone's tastes. Feel free to mix and match as you like, so long as you stick firmly to the seven habits.