If you have successfully reached your ideal weight, you can now follow 2000 calorie menus to maintain your weight. A daily diet of 2000 calories will meet the dietary needs of an active, adult woman.
Weight Maintenance Diet
With normal everyday activities and a reasonable amount of activity, 2000 calories will easily satisfy your dietary needs without the risk of weight gain. This calorie goal is a common next step in following a calorie restricted diet after you've lost your unwanted weight and are ready to maintain the weight loss. The important thing to remember with 2000 calorie menus is that to maintain your weight you must also maintain your current activity levels. Moreover, you will need to compensate for your slowing metabolism as you age. For some people, 2000 calories is more than you need as your grow older. In those cases, your maintenance diet may become a pitfall to weight gain.
Setting Up Your Menus
In the beginning, you may want to maintain a food journal to determine what 2000 calories means with your current diet. The areas you will want to pay special attention to are fat additions and beverages. The rules do not change just because you have reached your ideal weight. You still must not consume more than you burn off in a day.
Adding fat to your cooking is an easy way to rack up the calories. Rather than using oils, use cooking sprays whenever possible to save the 100-plus calories in each tablespoon of oil. In this way, you can stay on track with your dietary goals. Likewise, if you drink soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, make sure and subtract these calories from your daily menu to stay within your calorie limit.
Healthy choices should always be the foundation of any diet whether you are restricted to 1200 calories or 2000 calories. Opt for the low fat protein source when possible. Your diet will also include plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to give you the proper nutritional balance of vitamins and minerals.
2000 Calorie Menus
Your menu includes three meals with three snacks. Eating throughout the day will stabilize your blood sugar levels, while keeping you feeling full and satisfied. Doing so will help you avoid the dietary pitfalls such as emotional eating or late night snacks.
- Veggie omelet with ½ cup mushrooms, onions, broccoli sautéed in 1 tsp. of olive oil, topped with 1 ounce of shredded, low-fat cheddar
- 1 slice of 100 percent whole wheat bread, toasted
- 1 tbs. of preserves
- 6 ounces of low-fat, fruit yogurt
- Ham sandwich with 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 slice of low-fat Swiss cheese, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 2 Romaine lettuce leaves, 3 oz. of deli ham
- 1 ounce of multigrain chips, low-fat
- 1 medium orange
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 tbs. peanut butter
- 3 ounce boneless chicken breast stuffed with 1 ounce of bread stuffing pre-mix
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 pat of butter
- 1 cup of baby spinach, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered, sautéed in 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 small, whole wheat dinner roll
- 1 low-fat, frozen yogurt sandwich
The menu includes a great deal of variety and bright colors from the vegetable additions to make eating both a visual and flavorful experience. Meals are easy to prepare with plenty of fresh ingredients. You will find it easy to get the nutrition you need.
The menu also gives you some added flexibility within this template. You can substitute other low-fat protein options such as beef tenderloin or broiled fish for the dinner menu. Likewise, you can use any deli meat in place of ham as long as it is low-fat and preferably, low sodium.
When you plan 2000 calorie menus, you are planning for the continued success of your healthy eating and lifestyle. Within this framework, you have plenty of choices to keep your menus interesting and to include for seasonal fruits and vegetables.