This Is What a 2000-Calorie Plan Looks Like

Find out what to eat by using this handy guide.

This Is What a 2000-Calorie Plan Looks Like

If you want to lose a few pounds or simply improve your wellness habits, determining how many calories to eat per meal can be really helpful. This 2000-calorie meal plan serves as a general guidepost to help get you started. With the help of registered dietitian Megan Casper, M.S., RDN, owner of Nourished Bite Nutrition, you can choose from two different options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. As always, consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss plan to make sure it suits your needs. Once you get the hang of making these meals, you can start mixing and matching different ingredients to keep things fresh and find your favorite combinations. By eating well-balanced meals full of protein, fiber, and healthy fat, you will stay satisfied longer and give your body the nutrients it needs.

More: This Is What an 1800-Calorie Plan Looks Like


Breakfast

Start your day off with a hearty but healthy breakfast between 500-550 calories. Recent studies have shown that having a filling breakfast can stave off hunger later, which can help you maintain and lose weight. French toast doesn’t have to weigh you down - try it with whole wheat bread topped with a cup of berries, both of which are filled with gut-friendly fiber. Serve with a side of yogurt or go ahead and drizzle on a bit of maple syrup. If you need a filling but satisfying breakfast fast, scramble up some eggs with kale and top with shredded cheese and salsa for a breakfast burrito you can munch on during your commute.

More: 20 Breakfasts You Can Make in 5 Minutes or Less

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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