A Diet That Can Help You Reach Your Body Goals
Do you want to have a perfect body? And what body do you consider perfect? A couple of decades ago, the beauty standards were all about thinness and skinny figures. But those times have passed, and nowadays, society drools over fit and healthy. Such a change in perception of beauty is a good thing since the idolization of skin-and-bones thinness has fueled numerous insecurities in people, resulting in them trying out extreme dieting. Luckily, in our day and age, more and more people are trying to become fitter and improve their health by adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise and a healthy diet. One of such diets, a 2000-calorie meal plan bodybuilding, which promises to help you lose fat and build lean muscle. So, if your goal is a healthy and strong body, then read on to find out more about a 2000-calorie diet plan for men and women.
What Is A Bodybuilder Meal Plan?
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear ‘bodybuilder meal plan’? If it is a diet that bodybuilders follow when growing their muscle mass, then you are not wrong. But did you know that there are different weight gain meal plans? A classic muscle-building meal plan usually consists of two phases: bulking and cutting. To reach that superhero look, bodybuilders first stick to a bulking phase, which provides them with a great caloric surplus, ensuring muscle gain, which is then followed by a cutting phase, during which bodybuilders reduce their caloric intake, thus burning fat while preserving lean mass (3, 5).
During the first phase, bodybuilders are expected to regularly lift weights to grow as much muscle mass as possible. They should also consume a great caloric surplus, which varies depending on their parameters. Some of the meal plans that were designed for a bulking phase include a 3200-calorie meal plan, a 4000-calorie diet, or even a 5000-calorie diet.
The cutting phase also requires regular workouts, but unlike the bulking phase, cuts down your caloric intake. The number of calories that you are allowed to eat during this phase also depends on various factors, such as your weight, age, sex, body composition, and others. So, a 2000-calorie meal plan bodybuilding can be the perfect option for a cutting phase for you.
What Foods To Eat On A 2000-Calorie Meal Plan Bodybuilding?
No matter the goal, you should always prioritize your health and safety. Luckily, a 2000-calorie meal plan bodybuilding is a balanced nutritional plan that can provide you with all the necessary nutrients, while helping you lose fat and preserve your muscle mass. Here are the foods that you should eat when following a 2000-calorie meal plan bodybuilding:
Protein is an essential component that ensures the proper functioning of your body. It is present in all your organs, tissues, muscles, bones, skin, and hair (2). And it is extremely important when it comes to muscle growth and maintenance. That is why all bodybuilding diets offer you plenty of protein. So, make sure that your meals include the following foods:
One of the richest animal sources of protein are eggs. They are not only filled to the brim with that muscle-building essential but also contain a great variety of other vital nutrients, including healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals (6). They also are one of the main sources of protein in a vegetarian diet.
Lean meats, poultry, and fish
Lean meats, poultry, and fish are packed with protein, providing for proper muscle growth and repair. Make sure that your menu is not short of chicken breast, salmon, cod, shrimp, sirloin steak, pork tenderloin, ground beef, venison and others, when you follow a 2000 calorie meal plan bodybuilding.
Another great animal source of protein, dairy, can also offer you a great plethora of other vital nutrients, including such vitamins and minerals as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin D, and others (8). So, eat yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat milk, and cheese to your heart’s content.
Beans and legumes
An indispensable part of a vegan diet, beans and legumes are two of the richest plant-based sources of protein. They can also offer you a great variety of micronutrients and fiber. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, make sure to include plenty of kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, and lentils into your menu.
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This dietary component is a must-eat if you want to successfully get rid of fat that’s been accumulating in your ‘trouble areas’ over the years. It can prolong your feeling of fullness, thus adding to weight loss. Some great sources of fiber include:
Whole grains are among the best sources of complex carbs. Besides that, they are filled with vital micronutrients. You can be sure to include whole-wheat bread, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice into your diet.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an inseparable part of any healthy diet. They are filled to the brim with fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are relatively low in calories, which makes them a perfect weight loss diet option. There also are some fruits and vegetables that are relatively rich in protein.
Like other vital nutrients, healthy fats are crucial for the proper functioning of your body. Besides fatty fish, make sure to include the following healthy fat-rich foods into your diet:
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are like small nutrient bombs. They are filled with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and minerals. You can use them as topping or ingredient to your meals or have them as a snack.
Seed and vegetable oils
Although some people believe that oils are the weight loss antagonist, not all oils are bad for you. Olive, avocado, and flaxseed oils are a great source of healthy fats and should be included in your meals.
What Foods To Avoid On A 2000-Calorie Meal Plan For Bodybuilding?
Sometimes it is more important to know which foods to avoid than which ones to eat. Since overconsumption of unhealthy foods can be the main cause of such serious diseases as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, it is crucial to limit them in your diet. Here are the foods that you should cut back on when following a 2000-calorie meal plan for bodybuilding:
Sugary foods and drinks
It is general knowledge that eating too many foods with added sugars is bad for your health. Sweets, sugary drinks such as sodas, energy drinks, and store juices are filled with empty calories, providing you with little to no essential nutrients. That is why it is recommended that you reduce your consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and if possible, ban added sugars completely.
If you want to stay healthy and reach your body goals, you will have to keep away from alcohol. It is relatively rich in calories and, like sugary drinks, offers you almost no vital nutrients. Besides that, research shows that drinking alcohol after your training can interfere with your body’s recovery (1), and proper muscle growth.
Saturated and trans fats
As you know, there are two types of fats: healthy and unhealthy. Unsaturated fats, such as poly- and monounsaturated fats belong to the first type, while saturated and trans fats belong to unhealthy fats. Consumption of unhealthy fats can increase the level of bad LDL cholesterol, which adds to the risk of such health issues as obesity and cardiovascular diseases. That is why you should reduce your intake of saturated to less than 10% of your overall caloric intake, eliminate artificial trans fats completely, and replace them with healthy ones (13).
Healthy 2000-Calorie Meal Plan Bodybuilding Sample
Knowing what to eat and what to avoid when following a 2000-calorie meal plan bodybuilding is great but having a meal plan simple to base your own plan on is even better. Luckily, you can find one below.
- Breakfast: 2 whole eggs, 1 cup egg whites, 1 cup oats, 1 cup blueberries, 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Calories: 595, carbs: 75g, fats: 15g, protein: 40g
- Lunch: 6 oz chicken breast, 1 cup chopped steamed broccoli, 1 cup long-grain brown rice
- Calories: 419, carbs: 45g, fats: 6.5g, protein: 45g
- Snack: 1 scoop whey protein, 1/3 cup raw almonds
- Calories: 337, carbs: 11g, fats: 19g, protein: 30g
- Dinner: 6 oz steak, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 pat butter, 15 asparagus spears, 1 cup sliced carrots, 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Calories: 676, carbs: 46g, fats: 28g, protein: 60g
- Total calories: 2025, carbs: 177g, fats: 68.5g, protein: 175g
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How Healthy Is A 2000-Calorie Meal Plan?
As was mentioned before, a 2000-calorie meal plan bodybuilding is a balanced and overall healthy diet. Let’s take a closer look at how it works and how it can affect your body. As you know, weight management comes down to counting calories. If you want to slim down, you need to decrease your caloric intake and increase your levels of physical activity, so that you would burn more energy than you get from food (4, 10). In such a way, your body runs out of calories from the food and uses stored fat as an energy source, which leads to weight loss. And it works both ways, so if your goal is to gain weight, you should consume more calories than you burn. However, always make sure that the food that you eat provides you with vital nutrients and will not increase the risk of various chronic diseases.
What About Calories?
Now, back to calories. Different components have different caloric values. So 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, just like 1 gram of carbs, but 1 gram of fat contains as many as 9 calories (7). 1 pound (0.45kg) of fat equals approximately 3500 calories (12). The recommended, healthy weight loss pace that will help you successfully reach your goal while ensuring that you will not harm your body is 1-2 pounds (0.45-1kg) a week (9).
Therefore your daily caloric deficit should be around 500-1000 calories. Now, an individual daily caloric requirement varies depending on such factors as age, sex, weight, height, body composition, activity level, and others, but an average adult man requires 2,500 calories a day to maintain weight, while for an average adult woman this number is 2,000 calories (11). These numbers show that a 2000-calorie meal plan bodybuilding can offer you a healthy weight loss pace, or weight maintenance.
Based on all the above presented information, you can make a conclusion that a 2000 calorie meal plan bodybuilding is a healthy diet that can provide you with balanced meals filled with all the essential nutrients, and that can help you safely burn fat while preserving gained muscle mass, which makes it a great cutting diet option.
The Bottom Line
People dream of having a muscular body. A lot of them are working out to reach their goal. But what some may not know is that on a bodybuilding journey, nutrition is as important as exercise. Those who are not new to bodybuilding know that there are two phases to bodybuilding: bulking and cutting. During the bulking phase you pack on muscles exercising intensely and increasing caloric intake, and during the second phase, you maintain your muscle mass and burn fat through a caloric deficit.
A 2000-calorie meal plan bodybuilding is a perfect option for the cutting phase, since it is well-balanced, provides you with plenty of proteins, which are necessary for your gained muscles, and creates a caloric deficit that can help you gradually burn fat. It encourages a healthy lifestyle, offering your lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and grains. It bans such unhealthy foods as deep-fried and sugary foods, and alcohol, which only provide you with empty calories, at the same time harming your body. This diet is overall healthy and can be followed even if your goal is to simply maintain your weight safely. However, remember, that before starting to follow any new nutritional plan, it is important that you consult a healthcare professional.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
Reviewed by: Kristen Fleming
- Alcohol Ingestion Impairs Maximal Post-Exercise Rates of Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following a Single Bout of Concurrent Training (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Benefits of Protein (2020, webmd.com)
- Bodybuilding Meal Plan: What to Eat, What to Avoid (2018, healthline.com)
- Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Diets for the Cutting Phase (n.d., livestrong.com)
- Everything you need to know about eggs (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How many calories are in one gram of fat, carbohydrate, or protein? (n.d., nal.usda.gov)
- Is dairy good or bad for your health? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Losing Weight (2020, cdc.gov)
- Weight-loss basics (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- What should my daily intake of calories be? (nhs.uk)
- What to know about calories and body fat (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What’s an easy way to see how much fat I eat each day? (2019, mayoclinic.org)