What a 2,000 Calorie Diet Plan Really Looks Like

healthy meal with rukola turkey grill tomatoes and avocado

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: Calories count when it comes to weight loss—but that generic advice may leave you wondering “How many calories do I need to lose weight?

That answer varies, depending on your age, weight, sex, and activity level, but a really great starting point is to learn how to follow a 2,000-calorie diet plan. The FDA uses a 2,000-calorie diet to determine nutritional values on food packages.

healthy meal with rukola turkey, tomatoes and avocado

Once you are able to understand how much food is in a 2,000-calorie diet plan, you will have an easier time adjusting your calorie intake, depending on your needs and goals.

How to Read Labels and Count Calories

The nutritional labels on packaged foods is a primary resource in learning about the calorie content of your food. You’ll need to make note of both the portion size and the number of calories per portion. The portion size may be an amount (“23 almonds”), or it may be given by volume (1/4 cup) or weight (28g).

Some portions might be much smaller than the amount you’d expect. That is because some foods pack more calories than others, meaning they are more calorie-dense, even if they appear small on your plate. That’s why it’s important to accurately measure your portions based on the nutrition facts label. Measuring cups, spoons, and a food scale can help you get started.

Once you know how many calories are in your food, you can determine how much to eat at each meal. If you eat three times per day, you can have roughly 700 calories at each meal—but, realistically, you won’t have the same calorie content in every meal, and you’ll likely to save some calories for light snacks in between meals.

You can write down your calories in a journal or track them with an calorie calculator app on your smartphone. Don’t forget about calories in beverages, either, as calories from milk, juice, coffee, soda and other drinks quickly add up!

Macronutrients Matter

If you’re following a 2,000 calorie diet plan for weight loss, you will want to pick foods that leave you feeling satisfied. After all, you could eat 2,000 calories worth of cookies and soda in a single sitting and be hungry for the rest of the day.

lemon pepper chicken with rice

This is why it’s also important to check the macronutrients on your food labels. You’ll want to focus on foods that are higher in protein. Fat can help you feel full, too, but it does contain more calories. When it comes to foods that have more carbohydrate content, look for foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar – such wheat bread.

You can improve your dietary habits by working with our team of medical weight loss experts. Whether you’re interested in weight loss surgery or non-surgical alternatives, the team at 1st Choice Weight Loss can help. If you’re ready to take the first step on your weight loss journey, request an appointment today.

Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, posts, or videos. All patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

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