Health consciousness is sweeping through global populations with individuals hitting the gym, trying out punishing routines, while others opt for dietary changes. It is important to start any fat/weight loss program with a simple understanding of the fact, that overnight loss of weight is a myth. What is unmistakably true is that weight/fat loss or weight control through diet is actually possible. Achieving desired outcomes from weight loss/control programs such as a 2000 calorie meal plan is a proven biological process that will succeed when you co-ordinate various activities and routines.
Steer clear of tall claims to avoid disappointment, identify a proven diet plan and stick to it, for best results. Here’s a look at evidence-based science to prove that weight control programs are intrinsically linked to dieting and routines. Multiple accounts of individuals successfully shedding weight and fat through bariatric surgery have emerged from all over the world. However, what is most important in all of these statistical revelations is that the patients were asked to follow a particular diet. Weight loss through dieting is scientifically supported, but the problem is the misinformation that rules the digital world. Digital media empowers any individual to claim expertise despite having none. Consequently, various slick promos and visually appealing content influence gullible people into trying out diet plans that have no scientific basis. As a result, individuals end up disappointed and return to pre-diet routines. So let’s take a proper look at the scientific basis for dieting, and the impact of a 2000 calorie meal plan.
A caloric deficit, its role in weight loss or gain and how a 2000 calorie meal plan can make a change
To begin with, let’s highlight the pivotal nature of caloric deficit – the success or failure of your weight control program hinges on the caloric deficit achieved. Effectively, this means that you should shift your immediate goals towards achieving a caloric deficit.
So what exactly is the caloric deficit?
Your body gets its calories from dietary intake, your body spends calories performing routines/ additional activities, and the result is either a surplus of calories or a deficit of calories. Now, if you have a calorie surplus, you will gain weight, while if you have a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. Pretty simple, right?. Well, the overall process is pretty simple, but the challenge is in the details.
Three ways in which your body spends calories daily
- Your body spends calories performing routine actions, even while at rest. For instance, involuntary actions such as breathing and circulation of blood consume calories. This is popularly known as REE or Resting Energy Expenditure.
- Whenever you carry out physical activities, calories are consumed. The harder and more intense the activity the higher the number of calories consumed. This explains the reason why athletes and individuals in extreme sporting activities are fit and lean.
- Finally, you have the thermic effect of food. This refers to the number of calories spent by your body for metabolic actions, digestion, and absorbing food, etc. This is where calculations of Basic Metabolic Rate are used to work out the amount of energy consumed.
The formula to work out the requirements, the expenditure and the desired deficit are sometimes very complex and confusing. So let’s take a simple practical look at how this needs to be done through a simple 2000 calorie meal plan, without making it sound extremely complex and challenging.
Set goals of shedding fat over a period of time
One pound of fat equals 3500 calories. So, if you plan to shed a pound of fat over a period of two weeks, then you should be targeting a calorie deficit of 250 per day. Sounds simple, right? Well, there is a catch here. Too much of a daily calorie deficit is not the healthiest weight control program, and this includes the 2000 calorie meal plan. Ideally, you should not be reducing your calorie intake by more than 12.5% (or around that) per day. In other words, if your daily intake is somewhere around 2000 calories, then you can easily go for a cut of 250 calories. But if your intake is lesser, then you will end up with a higher calorie deficit, which is unhealthy. Similarly, if your intake is said, 3500 calories per day, you should be targeting a deficit of around 400. This way, you will achieve your goal of reducing fat within a period of time.
Now that we have got the basics behind us, it is time to take a look at the protein, fat and carb intake that needs to be a part of your 2000 calorie meal plan for a healthy weight control program.
Ideal intake of proteins, fat, and carbs per day
Before we look at the ideal daily intake of protein, fat, and carbs, here is a little table that will help you understand the contribution of nutrients towards your daily calorie input.
|1 gram of protein||4 calories|
|1 gram of fat||9 calories|
|1 gram of carbs||4 calories|
So, every gram of protein, fat or carbs that you take will contribute differently to your daily calorie intake. So how do you actually work out the right balance in your 2000 calorie meal plan? Well, here’s the thumb rule that you should be following.
|Protein||1 gram for every kilo of body weight|
|Fat||20 or 25% of daily calorie input|
|Carbs||Should fill in the remaining of the calorie input after working out the input from proteins and fat|
Your 2000 calorie meal plan should ideally be around this little table. Stick to this and your goal of a calorie deficit and you can see results. Remember, that your fat intake should exclusively consist of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Avoid food that contains trans fat, while the intake of food with saturated fat needs to be controlled tightly. The carbs intake should fill in the gap between the desired calorie intake and total calories that you get from protein+fat.
So, let’s get down to the ideal 2000 calorie meal plan that will help you stick to your goals. You first need to identify the best sources of the different nutrients that your body needs.
- Proteins – Meat, Milk, Chicken, Fish, Eggs & Protein Supplements
- Fat – Olive Oil, Fish & Fish Oil Supplements, Nuts, Avocados
- Carbs – Brown Rice, Vegetables, Potatoes, Fruits, Beans, Whole Grains
Limit your diet plan to food from the above sources and you will find that you are making the right moves in your weight control program. If you are allegoric to any of the above food products, choose an alternative.
Avoid the following food products for a healthier start
Avoid consuming fried food, fast food, sodas, sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed carbs, and refined carbs. It would be a good idea to stay clear of these food products, and in case it is unavoidable for some reason, then your intake should be at the bare minimum and these food items should, at any point in time, never exceed 5% of your total calorie intake. Now that is going to be difficult to calculate, so the best option would be to stay away, at least till your goal is reached. When you are in the weight maintenance phase, you could be a bit more lenient, but remember the thumb rule – not more than 5% of total daily calorie intake from the above food products.
Let’s look at a sample 2000 calorie meal plan
Here are the ideal ingredients that you could use over a seven day period to make your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Use the suggested ingredients to make suitable dishes that will give you the desired nutrients while ensuring that your caloric deficit is achieved.
Breakfast ingredients in a 2000 calorie meal plan
|Day 1||2 eggs, 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup mushrooms, 1/4 cup broccoli, 1 cup of sautéed sweet potatoes, 1 tablespoon of olive oil|
|Day 2||1 slice whole-wheat bread, 2 eggs, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper, 1/2 medium avocado, 1/4 cup salsa|
|Day 3||Oatmeal with 1 cup of milk, blueberries, dates, sunflower seeds, almonds, green tea|
|Day 4||Avocado, 2 poached eggs, 1 teaspoon of ground sunflower seeds, 1 teaspoon of ground melon seeds, ½ cup ricotta cheese, salt and pepper|
|Day 5||1/2 cup Maple-Nut Granola, 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, blueberries|
|Day 6||1 cup all-bran cereal, 3/4 cup skim milk, 1 banana, dry-roasted almonds|
|Day 7||1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sliced strawberries|
Lunch ingredients in a 2000 calorie meal plan
|Day 1||1 whole-wheat pita, 5 ounces of canned tuna, chopped red onion and celery, 1/4 avocado, 1 tablespoon of crumbled feta cheese|
|Day 2||2 cups mixed greens, 3/4 cup veggies, 1 cup chickpeas, 2 Tbsp. Cheddar cheese
1 medium orange
|Day 3||3 corn tortillas, 3/4 cup canned black beans, 1/2 medium bell pepper, 3 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese, 3 Tbsp. salsa or pico de gallo|
|Day 4||Tofu, brown rice with bell peppers, onion, scallions, garlic, and ginger, coconut, cheddar cheese, cup of buttermilk|
|Day 5||2 Tomato-Cheddar Cheese Toasts, 2 cups mixed greens, 1/4 cup carrot
1/2 cup cucumber, 1 hard-boiled egg, dry-roasted almonds, 1 Tbsp. olive oil & balsamic vinegar
|Day 6||Tuna salad with lettuce, red cabbage, sweet corn, cucumber, tomato, olive oil, lime juice, mustard, honey, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 cup of buttermilk|
|Day 7||1 1/4 cups Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice, 3 cups mixed greens
3/4 cup sliced cucumber
Dinner ingredients in a 2000 calorie meal plan
|Day 1||5 ounces baked salmon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup (82 grams) of cooked rice, 1 cup roasted asparagus, 1 cup roasted eggplant|
|Day 2||Seared Salmon, Green Peppercorn Sauce, 1 cup steamed green beans, 1 baked potato, 2 tsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, pepper.|
|Day 3||3 corn tortillas, 1/2 cup canned black beans, 2 Tbsp. Cheddar cheese, 1/2 avocado, diced, 2 Tbsp. salsa|
|Day 4||Mixed vegetable curry, 2 flatbreads, ½ cup of pan-fried mushroom, half peach, half plum, half cup yogurt|
|Day 5||Lentil soup, medium-sized flatbreads, sauteed cauliflower, spinach, 1 cup low-fat frozen yogurt, dark chocolate|
|Day 6||1 serving Lemongrass Pork, Spaghetti Squash, 3/4 cup Mango, Fresh Lime, 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips|
|Day 7||Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls, 1 cup cooked brown rice|
Stick to this routine for a week, and modify the portioning as per your specific calorie needs. Remember the caloric deficit that you are targeting in your 2000 calorie meal plan and work out the portioning accordingly so as to meet the goals.