Can You Live on 2,000 Calories A Day? We Made a 5-Day Meal Plan

These meals are delicious, low carb, high protein and will keep you full all day, too!

January is the Christmas for the gym industry, and for good reason. Fresh from the yuletide festivities, everybody is racing to lose the happy holiday pooch. Most people see the new year as the perfect time to finally get fit, eat right, and live healthy.

 

The first step to a healthier you is food—the only way to really change your body is to change the way you eat. You could work out all you want but if you don’t have a solid nutrition plan, you won’t get the results. Exercise is only a stimulant that changes your body depending on your food.

 

It’s easy to get lost in the world of meal prep, so here’s a good place to start. This 2,000-calorie per day meal plan covers four meals and two snacks per day for 5 days of the week.

 

It is important to note that how many calories your body actually needs depends on your age, gender, weight, and level of physical activity. 2,000 calories is frequently stated as the caloric benchmark for the average adult. We made sure that this meal plan consists of healthful, filling choices that help you reach your nutritional needs and stay full throughout the day. We also took into consideration the distribution of calories per meal and per food group.

 

This particular meal plan is based on a moderately low carb and high protein diet with an approximate ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. This puts the carb intake at just 10% below the recommended 50% for adults.

 

With so many nutritious and flavorful recipes, you would be surprised how easy it is to develop healthy eating habits. Give this meal plan a chance and kick-start a healthy 2018!

 

MONDAY

 


Breakfast: Ham and Egg Breakfast Cups

Calorie count: 330 

These bite-sized breakfast treats are packed with protein to start your day right!

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Power up with a tasty breakfast of ham and eggs!

 

 


Mid-morning snack: Easy Peanut Butter, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, and 1/2 cup grapes

Calorie count: 211 

Peanut butter is packed with healthy fats that keep you satisfied longer. Look for peanut butter that's low in sodium and sugar, or make your own. 

 

 

 

Lunch: Healthy Chicken Barbecue (4 ounces), 1/2 cup brown rice, 3 cups spinach or mixed greens, and 4 slices avocado

Calorie count: 378

Skip the java rice and pair your chicken with brown rice and a side of mixed greens with avocado.

 

What comes after every bite of these sweet, juicy chicken fillets and spoonfuls of flavorful java rice? The biggest smiles of satisfaction you?ll ever see!

 

 


Mid-afternoon snack: Chicken and Quinoa Bowl

Calorie count: 410

With higher protein and fiber content, quinoa is a great alternative to rice that will keep you full longer.

 

This healthy chicken recipe replaces rice, an Asian meal staple, with quinoa.

 

 


Dinner: Pili Nut-crusted Tilapia Fillet (5 ounces), 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup steamed mixed vegetables

Calorie count: 479

Nuts are a smart swap for breadcrumb or cracker crusts. This recipe uses our very own pili nut to add a satisfying crunch to a healthier fish fillet.

 

Indigenous to the Philippines, the pili nut has the highest magnesium content and has more vitamin E than any nut.

 

Additional/post-workout snacks: 

Greek yogurt (135g): 116 calories

1 small apple, sliced: 77 calories

 

Total Calorie Count: 2,001 calories

 

 

TUESDAY

 


Breakfast: Tofu Scramble with Sweet Potato Home Fries

Calorie count: 420

This egg-free dish highlights tofu as a breakfast star. Tofu is an excellent source of protein not only for vegans and vegetarians, but for everyone.

 

This tofu scramble is high in protein and a great egg-free dish to have in the morning when oatmeal just won't cut it.

 

 


Mid-morning snack: Coco-Papaya Chia Pudding (half recipe only)

Calorie count: 110.5 

 

Chia pudding is the easiest thing to whip up as a healthy snack. You can buy chia seeds at S&R Membership Shopping and most specialty health stores.

No time to cook breakfast? Prep this the night before.

 

 

Lunch: Steamed Chicken and Mushrooms (2 cups) and 1/2 cup brown rice

Calorie count: 384 

 

Steamed chicken, mushroom and asparagus in a banana leaf parcel make an incredibly healthy, delectable dish.

Filled with chicken, mushrooms, and asparagus, this steamed dish is flavorful and healthy to boot.

 

 


Mid-afternoon snack: Easy Grilled Chicken Satay (4 ounces), 3/4 cup Cucumber Salad, and 1/2 cup brown rice

Calorie count: 440.5

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Smoky grilled chicken with peanut sauce is a great way to reach your protein requirements and enjoy it, too! Try to limit your sauce to a tablespoon as it has calories as well. Pair the chicken with a low-calorie cucumber salad and packed with nutrients.

Don't forget the sweet peanut sauce!

Make a miso-sesame cucumber salad to go with your Asian mains!

 

 


Dinner: Baked Herbed Fish (5 ounces), 6 ounces sweet potato, 1 cup steamed mixed vegetables

Calorie count: 434 

 

Herbs and lemons bring out the flavor of any fish – which is a great choice for protein, especially if you're trying to lose weight.

Bring the subtle flavor of fish to life with herbs and lemons.

 

Additional/post-workout snacks: 

Protein shake: 130 calories

Banana: 90 calories 

 

Total Calorie Count: 2,009 calories

 

 

WEDNESDAY

 


Breakfast: Cinnamon Apple and Almond Quinoa (1/2 cup), 3 egg whites from 3 medium eggs, and 1 whole medium egg

Calorie count: 337 

 

This sweet twist on protein and fiber-rich quinoa will keep you energized all day! Add extra protein to your breakfast with four eggs (1 whole egg plus 3 egg whites) cooked any way you want.

Try this warm, comforting pudding!

 


Mid-morning snack: Easy Peanut Butter, 1 whole slice of whole wheat bread, and 1/2 grapefruit 

Calorie count: 210

 

Peanut butter just makes everything better. Grapefruit is rich in vitamin C, potassium and lycopene which all contribute to health.

 


Lunch: Blackened Chicken with Avocado Cream Sauce, 1 cup Stir-Fried Broccoli, and 1/2 cup brown rice

Calorie count: 592.5 

 

The creamy avocado sauce adds both flavor and nutrients to this chicken dish. Broccoli is a mainstay in bodybuilder's diets. It's rich in fiber and vitamins C and K.

Healthy meals don't have to be boring!

This easy vegetable stir-fry is the perfect healthy side dish for any meaty main!

 

 


Mid-afternoon snack: Roasted Chicken Salad (2 servings)

Calorie count: 280

 

Hefty servings of roast chicken make this salad a great, filling meal on its own.

Make your salad more hefty with roasted chicken.

 


Dinner: Steamed Fish with Ginger and Cilantro, 1 cup mixed steamed vegetables, and 1/2 cup brown rice

Calorie count: 351

 

This light, refreshing dish is the perfect recovery meal to end the day. Pair with brown rice and steamed vegetables for healthy carbs and fiber.

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Turn to this dish on busy weeknights.

 

Additional/post-workout snacks: 

Protein shake (1 scoop protein powder + 8 ounces water): 130 calories

1 small banana, lakatan variety: 90 calories 

 

Total Calorie Count: 1,990.5 calories

 

THURSDAY

 

Breakfast: Baked Eggs

Calorie count: 330

 

This recipe is an exciting way to prepare the usual eggs for breakfast, when scrambled or sunny side up just won't cut it.

Don't forget to serve with crusty bread!

 


Mid-morning snack: Greek yogurt (135g) and 3/4 cup strawberries

Calorie count: 151

 

Keep your snack simple: sweet strawberries on top of cold Greek yogurt. 

 

Lunch: Baked Oregano Chicken, 3 cups spinach or mixed greens, and 3 to 4 slices avocado

Calorie count: 306 calories

 

Fragrant baked chicken with a side of white kidney beans are an excellent protein-rich meal. Serve with a side salad and avocado.

This healthy, protein-rich dish will satisfy your family's tummies!

 

Mid-afternoon snack: Healthy Chicken Barbecue (4 ounces), 1/2 cup brown rice, and 1 cup broccoli

Calorie count: 392 

 

This tasty, healthy dish makes a return to our weekly menu. This time, pair it with steamed broccoli! 

What comes after every bite of these sweet, juicy chicken fillets and spoonfuls of flavorful java rice? The biggest smiles of satisfaction you?ll ever see!

 

 

Dinner: Cajun Fish, 1/3 cup brown rice, 1 cup steamed mixed vegetables

Calorie count: 620

 

This spiced fish fillet topped with tangy tropical fruit salsa is a healthy dish you can add to your meal rotation.

Here's a fresh new way to serve cream dory, plus it's healthy, too!

 

Additional/post-workout snacks: 

Protein shake (1 scoop protein powder + 8 ounces water): 130 calories

1 small apple: 77 calories 

 

Total Calorie Count: 2,006 calories

 

FRIDAY

 


Breakfast: Spinach and Kesong Puti Frittata and 1 slice whole wheat bread

Calorie count: 303

 

This protein and vitamin-rich treat will give you something to look forward to in the morning! Kesong puti gives a creamy touch to nutritious spinach and eggs.

This breakfast dish is packed with good-for-you spinach, mushrooms, and eggs.

 

 


Mid-morning snack: Greek yogurt (135g) and 1/2 cup strawberries

Calorie count: 140

 

Keep your snack simple: sweet strawberries on top of cold Greek yogurt. 

 

 

 


Lunch: Rice Cooker Hainanese Chicken (4 ounces), 1/2 cup brown rice, and Zucchini and Eggplant with Miso

Calorie count: 381

 

While chicken breast is king for protein, thighs are great too. This recipe gives you a creative, healthy way to prepare Hainanese chicken in your trusty rice cooker.

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This is one of the easiest dishes you can make in your rice cooker!

This wholesome dish makes for the perfect side dish to chicken teriyaki or beef teppanyaki.

 

Mid-afternoon snack: Chicken Mushroom Salpicao (4 ounces), 1/2 cup brown rice, and 1 cup steamed mixed vegetables

Calorie count: 552

 

This go-to pulutan actually makes a hearty, healthy dish! Chicken breast and mushroom make a light alternative to the usual steak salpicao.

Hello, hearty lunch! Prep a steaming bowl of tasty garlic rice and you're all set.

 

 


Dinner: Baked Fish Fillet (5 ounces), 1/2 cup brown rice, and 1 cup stir-fried broccoli

Calorie count: 427.5

 

This delightful baked fish fillet dish topped with olive tapenade is a great addition to your dinner menu. Olive contains antioxidants and healthy fats which make this dish even more nutritious.

This fish recipe can also be steamed or broiled.

 

Additional/post-workout snacks: 

Protein shake (1 scoop protein powder + 8 ounces water): 130 calories

1 orange: 69 calories 

 

Total Calorie Count: 2,002.5 calories

 

*Above macros were calculated using mobile application My Fitness Pal. Protein intake may be based on one's current weight (average adult: 1 gram protein for every kilogram of body weight), and may be increased depending on one's physical activity level. 

 

*Percentages for macros may vary according to individual needs and preferences, and it is best to consult a registered nutritionist-dietician, especially for people with special needs and conditions (i.e. athletes, diabetics, teens, etc.).

 

*Alexandra Dayrit, CPT is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer currently overseeing operations at UFC Gym Philippines. She curated this menu in collaboration with Maria Cristina Marasigan, who is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian and licensed teacher. 

 

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