Julie Whittington, RD

Healthy tips from a Registered Dietitian

Sample 2000 calorie meal plan

Looking for a healthy meal plan?  The first thing you need to understand is how much energy your body needs to function properly. 

Calories are units of energy.  When you read a food label, you can determine how many calories a certain food has per serving.  Calories are meant to be a positive thing – giving you the nutrients your body needs to function.  However, too often, they get a bad rap.  While it is a bad idea to count calories day to day and be very strict with your eating, it is important to understand that you need a certain amount of calories every day – eating more calories than your estimated needs to maintain your current weight can cause weight gain, while eating less calories than your current estimated needs can cause weight loss.  Depending on whether you want to maintain, gain or lose weight, an appropriate meal plan is out there for you.  A registered dietitian can help you to personalize your own plan.

Here is an idea of a sample 2000 calorie meal plan for one or two days this week.  A 2000 calorie meal plan would be appropriate for many adolescent females, small stature young adult women, middle and older aged women, young boys, adolescent lightly active boys, sedentary older men and also some individuals trying to lose weight.  Do not let these guidelines be your only guidance for your meal plan.  Many things affect your calorie level, including age, gender, height, physical activity level, pregnancy and illnesses.

Sample Meal Plan:

Breakfast:  1.5 cups Special K/Nature’s Path Flax Plus/Kashi Heart to Heart cereal, ¾ -1 cup milk or yogurt, medium banana or 1 cup berries, water (black coffee and unsweetened tea have no calories – watch the caffeine!)

Snack: 4-6 oz light or unsweetened regular yogurt and either 2 tbsp dried fruit or granola; alternately, a piece of string cheese and ½ serving of whole grain crackers

Lunch: Subway 6” sub (“6 grams of fat or less” selection with Italian, wheat or honey oat bread and lots of vegetables), optional: add 2 triangles of provolone or cheddar cheese, 1 tbsp light mayo (ask for it on the side or you might get too much!), optional side of yogurt/Baked Lays/raisins/apple slices, water

Snack: Whole grain granola bar such as Kashi chewy or Nature Valley; alternately, an apple or orange with 6 almonds

Dinner: 4oz grilled salmon/tuna/other fish (marinated in your favorite marinade), ¾ – 1 cup brown rice (such as the Success Rice microwaveable single serve cups), 1 cup steamed vegetables, 1 cup mixed greens salad with 1 tbsp light vinaigrette

Snack/Dessert: ½ cup homemade lowfat pudding with ½ cup fruit; alternately, you could select 1 homemade dessert item such as a brownie or cookie

Using the meal plan above, you can create your own meal and snack ideas, following similar serving sizes.  For instance, maybe you prefer pasta to rice.  Or, perhaps you are a vegetarian and would prefer selecting tofu or beans instead of fish at dinner.  No matter what your taste preferences, try to select whole, natural foods whenever possible, as opposed to refined or highly processed foods.  The best meal plan for you should be realistic, convenient and healthy!



6 comments on “Sample 2000 calorie meal plan

  1. Stephanie
    March 20, 2009

    Wow what a great article. And if anyone is looking for some healthy “>meal plans This is one of my favorite health & fitness sites. It even lets you track food, workouts, and calories!

  2. Jimmy
    April 13, 2009


    My Doc gave me a food list for people with blood type A. I think the purpose is to stay away from some types of foods to regulate my digestive system. Some of the items mentioned on this list include those that I cannot not eat. I am confused. Should I eat some of these meals listed on this page, avoid them all together, or replace them with something else? thanks

    • juliewhittingtonrd
      April 20, 2009

      The blood type diet is a fad diet, as far as I am concerned. There is not enough clinical research to convince me of the benefits of following a certain diet based on your blood type. However, more research needs to be done in case there is a true link.
      Everyone should have an individualized meal plan based on medical history, etc. So, your doctor may be recommending a diet that promotes the foods he’d like you to include. If you are sensitive to a certain food, usually I recommend to avoid it. However, you may be able to tolerate the food once your GI tract gets better regulated.
      I’d recommend setting up an appointment with a dietitian to develop a personal eating plan for you.
      Take care and thanks for reading!

    October 15, 2010


  4. Rocky
    July 6, 2013

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