Depending on activity level, men 40 and above should consume between 2,200 to 3,000 calories per day. However, if you’re planning to get in shape, it’s a good idea to follow a 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss. With a set meal plan, you’re able to approach weight loss in a more efficient and methodical manner.
It also removes the guesswork when it comes to nutrition information as well as choosing low-calorie dishes that can satiate and energise the body. So, if you’re ready to start your journey to better health, check out this 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss sample meal plan.
HAVE YOUR WHOLE DAY PLANNED WITH THIS 2,000-CALORIE DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS
1. BREAKFAST: SAVOURY OATS WITH FRIED EGG
Though often overlooked, breakfast is an important part of a 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss. Eating in the morning can jumpstart your metabolism and lessen your tendency to overeat later in the day.
Generally, breakfast meals should be about 300 to 500 calories with enough protein or fibre to keep you satiated. For day 1, you can try this savoury oats with fried egg recipe. It’s 452 calories per serving with 27 grams of protein, 51 grams of carbs and 16 grams of fat.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
- 1/8 cup fresh spinach
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stir in oats. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, while stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix oats with Parmesan cheese.
- Heat 1/2 tsp olive oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the egg to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until egg whites are opaque and yolk is slightly runny.
- Heat remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add bell pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in spinach, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until spinach starts to wilt.
- Transfer oats to a serving bowl. Place vegetables on top, followed by the fried egg. Serve.
2. SNACK: CARROT AND TURKEY ROLL-UPS
You’ll start to feel mild hunger pangs by mid-morning. This is the perfect time for a healthy snack that can add more protein to your body. You can devote about 100 calories to your mid-morning snack.
To start your 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss, try this recipe for carrot and turkey roll-ups. Each serving is just 20 calories with 2 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. You can have at least five servings of this simple snack and that’ll be enough to tide you over until lunchtime.
- 1 slice low-sodium turkey breast
- 1 stick carrot
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- Spread mustard on one side of the turkey breast slice.
- Place the carrot stick in the middle and wrap the turkey slice around it. Serve. You can prepare more servings as needed.
3. LUNCH: ROAST CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATOES
When following a 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss, you can devote about 650 calories for lunch. Of course, you can go lower — just make sure that your meal has enough protein or fibre to keep you full and satiated.
In our sample meal plan, we’ve included this roast chicken and sweet potatoes recipe. It has 408 calories per serving with 34 grams of carbs, 27 grams of protein and 17 grams of fat. Add a healthy leafy green salad of about 100 calories to make this a truly satisfying dish for lunch.
- 680g bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp whole-grain mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius. Place large baking sheet in the lower third portion of the oven.
- Combine thyme, mustard, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken to the bowl and evenly coat with the mixture.
- In a separate bowl, combine sweet potatoes, onion, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven. Spread the vegetables across the sheet, and then put the chicken on top.
- Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through. Stir the vegetables once after the first 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a platter and serve.
4. SNACK: PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE
Similar to your mid-morning snack, you can devote approximately 100 calories to your afternoon snack. As part of this sample meal plan for a 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss, we have a pumpkin pie smoothie recipe that has 112 calories per serving with 17.3 grams of carbs, 8.3 grams of protein and 1.2 grams of fat. Based on its nutritional profile, this pumpkin pie smoothie is also a great snack to consume before your daily workout session.
- 75g vanilla Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup ice
- 1/4 tsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Place Greek yoghurt, pumpkin puree, almond milk, ice, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the mixture has a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Transfer to a glass and serve.
5. DINNER: SPICY SALMON AND LENTILS
We’ve now reached the final part of this sample meal plan for a 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss. Similar to lunch, you can allocate about 650 calories to your dinner meal. On some days, it might make sense to go much lower. However, you’ll want to take advantage of this calorie allowance if you’ve just come from an intense workout session.
In our sample meal plan, we’ve included a recipe for spicy salmon and lentils. It has 600 calories per serving with 20 grams of carbs, 46 grams of protein, 4 grams of fibre and 38 grams of fat.
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 2 (175g) wild-caught salmon fillets
- 1 (410g) can green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp curry paste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a large, shallow pan over medium heat. Add curry paste. Fry and stir until it’s aromatic and sizzling.
- Add lentils and 1/4 cup water to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Let mixture simmer.
- Place salmon, with the skin side up, on top of the lentils and then cover the pan. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until flesh easily flakes with a fork. Remove salmon from heat.
- Stir in spinach and 1/3 of the lemon vinaigrette dressing. Cook until spinach is wilted.
- Transfer lentils and spinach to serving plates. Place salmon on top. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette. Serve.
When dieting, it’s important to treat yourself from time to time. If you don’t deprive yourself too much, you’re less likely to stray from a 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss. So, for times when you don’t reach 2,000 calories after dinner, you can spend the extra calories on a bonus sweet treat. Generally, a healthy 100-calorie dessert is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without causing too much damage to your weight loss diet.
With the sample I’ve provided, you’ll be able to come up with a more comprehensive meal plan for a 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss. Apart from ensuring that you follow the calorie allowances per meal, you must also choose your meals wisely. So, now that you have a deeper understanding of what goes into a meal plan, it’s time to start your 2,000-calorie diet for weight loss.