2000 Calories a Day The Healthy Way

Today, a healthful diet such as one low in calories or low in fat no longer means dull, tasteless eating. Nor does it mean complicated meal planning. Technology today, in the highly competitive food market, has resulted in the development of top quality, satisfying products. Nearly every food on the market, from milk to chocolate, has a healthful, tasty substitute. Those substitutions include low-fat, no-fat, sugar-free, and low-calorie versions. And, the new food labeling requirements make finding these products a snap.

Daily modifications of your diet can be simple, using lower fat and lower calorie foods and beverages, as well as changing cooking methods. It's as easy as exchanging 2 percent milk for whole milk in your breakfast cereal, drinking a diet soda in place of a sugared soda at lunch, or enjoying steamed or boiled vegetables instead of fried or creamed vegetables at dinner. These simple substitutions help bring meals in line with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Healthful changes in your daily routine are certain to become weekly preferences, then monthly, and before long . . . Listed below are menu suggestions that are easily adapted into your current diet and are sure to give you food for thought when planning your next meal.

These delicious meal plans were created by dietitians who won the Calorie Control Council's Healthy Menu Contest. They average 2,000 calories a day* and are low in total fat and saturated fat. As you'll soon see, 2,000 calories never tasted so good -- and are so good for you!

* Because caloric content can vary based on a variety of factors (e.g., product brand, cut of meat), the estimate of 2,000 calories a day will vary.

2000 Calories a Day The Healthy Way: Day 1 


Egg’n Muffin

(1 egg, 1/2 ounce ham, 1 slice low-fat cheese, 1 English muffin, 1 tsp. reduced-fat margarine)

Orange Juice (1 cup)


Fruit Yogurt (1 cup) & Bran Mix (1 T.)

Water with Lime Twist (1 cup)


Tropical Chicken Salad

(1.5 ounce chicken breast, 1/8 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1.5 ounces pineapple, 1 teaspoon reduced-calorie mayonnaise, orange peel, 1/4 cup grapes, 1/8 cup waterchestnuts, chives, 1/8 cup tangerines, 1 cup spinach, 1 tsp. almonds)

Three Bean Salad

(1/3 cup each green beans, yellow beans and kidney beans; onion, vinegar, sugar substitute)

Reduced-Fat Wheat Crackers (4 crackers)

Baked Apple (1/2 large)

Iced Tea with Lemon (1 cup)


Fat-Free Fig Bars (2 bars)

Skim Milk (1 cup)


Garlic Chicken

(5 ounces cooked chicken breast, 1/4 cup light wheat bread crumbs, 1/8 cup skim milk, 1/4 garlic clove, 1 tsp. tabasco, lemon juice)

Wild Rice (1 cup)

Zucchini/Summer Squash Medley (1 cup)

Light Pound Cake

(1 serving, topped with strawberries (1/4 cup) and whipped topping (2 T.))

Diet Soda (12 ounces)


1929 calories

250 grams carbohydrate

140 grams protein

41 grams fat

12 grams saturated fat

Day Two Day Three Day Four Day Five Day Six Day Seven
Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven

Why 2,000 Calories?

Some Healthy Substitutions

Download 7 Day Plan (PDF)

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