2,000-Calorie Keto Diet Meal Plan

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

Imge of 2,000-Calorie Keto Diet Meal Plan



More people are starting to follow a low-carb lifestyle. Whether your ideal caloric intake is 2,000 kcal for weight loss, maintenance, or gain, this article helps you have a more structured approach. You find a complete guide for you to have success for a 2,000-calorie keto plan.

In this article, we will explore everything related to a ketogenic 2,000-calorie plan. What is it? Pros and cons of following this type of plan. How to start? Foods to eat and to avoid. Once you know the basics, you can see the theory in action with a sample one-day meal plan and shopping list.


What is a 2,000-calorie keto diet plan?

A 2,000 kcal keto diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat eating plan containing 2,000 calories each day. The calories you need depend on your age, weight, height, how much you exercise, and goals.

On average, a man needs around 2,500-2,800 kcal per day just to maintain their weight. On the other hand, a woman might need 1,800-2,000 kcal to maintain their weight.

If you are a man trying to lose some weight, this type of eating plan might help you accomplish that. However, if you are a woman trying to gain muscle mass, having more calories helps muscle development.

This program follows the macronutrient percentage of a traditional keto plan, which is: 5-10% carbs, 20% protein, and 70-80% fat.

Not all people should follow this way of eating. If you are a woman trying to lose some weight, this plan is not for you. Additionally, pregnant and lactating women and people with type 1 diabetes should not follow a ketogenic lifestyle. Whatever your personal situation is, be sure to consult with your doctor before changing your diet.


Benefits of a keto 2,000-calorie diet

There are several benefits of following this ketogenic plan. The most beneficial aspect for men is weight loss. On the other hand, women might experience weight gain if you pair this plan with muscle training.

Remember that any weight loss strategy should not be very sudden or aggressive. It’s better for your body to transition slowly. Even with a reduction of as little as 5-10% of your body weight, you can see and feel great benefits. Here is a list of some of the advantages that may come from following a ketogenic lifestyle.

  • Reduced cravings
  • Improved glucose levels
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Reduction in joint pains


Drawbacks of a keto plan with 2,000 calories a day

There are several drawbacks of following a 2,000 kcal meal plan. For some people, if you don’t calculate your calories correctly, it could mean that you have more calories than your body needs. This, in the end, could lead to weight gain instead of weight loss.

When you start this lifestyle, make sure to calculate your calories according to your personal situation and determine your goals, whether weight gain or weight loss.

Another drawback of following this type of meal plan is that if your main focus is actually to gain weight and you are used to not overeating, getting up to 2,000 calories can be overwhelming. Fats tend to have a lot of satiety, which means that your hunger drops when starting this plan. For someone that needs to reach 2,000 kcal, this might not be such an advantage.

Other cons are the same ones to be aware of with any keto diet, like having the keto flu, not being a sustainable way of life for some people, and increased risk of certain conditions like gallstones.


How to start the 2,000-calorie keto diet plan

Before starting, you need to check with your health provider to know if you are suitable for following a low-carb diet of this kind. If they confirm you are good to go, you can follow the next steps to begin.

  1. Calculate your caloric intake. Once you determine if you want to gain or lose weight, you can check if following this 2,000-calorie plan is the one for you.
  2. Calculate the macros. When you have determined that you follow a 2,000 kcal program, you need to calculate your daily macros based on the percentages above. Here is how many grams of each macronutrient you need daily.
    • Carbs: 25-50 g
    • Protein: 100 g
    • Fat: 155-178 g
  3. Make a weekly menu. Now that you have how many grams per day you need, you’ve got to translate that into actual meals! Create a weekly menu to help you plan.




Foods to eat on a ketogenic 2,000-calorie plan

It is essential to know which foods we can include and which ones to avoid. In the beginning, it might feel overwhelming, but knowing the fundamentals makes it easier later on.

There are certain foods that are best to avoid following a low-carb program. These are high in calories and mainly high in carbs. This means that they might affect your ketosis state by increasing your total carb intake. Plan to avoid the following foods:

  • Cakes, pastries, bread, and cookies
  • Sugars, syrups, honey, and agave
  • Candy and ice cream

There are some carbs sources that you can include as long as you measure the portion size and subtract it from your total carb intake. In small portions, you can have legumes (beans, quinoa, edamame, lentils, and chickpeas), some whole grains (quinoa, oats), and even certain starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, beets).

Now let’s talk about fats. They are going to be your primary energy source in keto. Add them in large quantities to be able to reach 2,000 calories per day. Try to focus on vegetable fats instead of animal fats since they are healthier. You can include any of the sources below:

  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Olive oil or avocado oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Almond milk or coconut milk
  • Nut butter
  • Butter or ghee
  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese

The other important macronutrient is protein. It helps you keep your muscle mass and provides satiety. Include any of the following options.

  • Chicken
  • Fish and seafood
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Cheese

Finally, make sure to add lots of veggies to your diet. They provide nutrients, and most importantly, they provide fiber. They help you have healthy bowel movements, and they provide satiety as well. Add any veggie of choice mushrooms, celery, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini. Nothing is off-limits as long as you include them in your daily carb count.


Shopping list for a 2,000-calorie keto diet

It is time to go grocery shopping to stock up your pantry and fridge! Here is a list of the foods you might want to include the next time you go for groceries.

  • Fats
    • Avocado
    • Olive oil
    • Olives
    • Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios
    • Almond or peanut butter
    • Coconut milk
    • Coconut oil
    • Butter or ghee
  • Vegetables
    • Artichoke
    • Eggplant
    • Cauliflower
    • Zucchini
    • Mushrooms
    • Celery
    • Cucumber
    • Onions
    • Red bell peppers
    • Carrots
    • Tomato
    • Leafy greens
  • Protein
    • Eggs
    • Cheese
    • Chicken
    • Beef
    • Pork
    • Tilapia
    • Salmon
    • Tuna
    • Shrimp
    • Plain Greek yogurt
    • Tofu or tempeh
  • Fruits
    • Berries: blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry
    • Small amounts of apple, pear, and peaches
  • Extra treats / other items
    • Almond milk
    • Stevia or monk fruit
    • Sugar-free soda
    • Keto ice cream
    • Keto granola or cereal


Sample meal plan for a 2,000-calorie keto diet

Are you having a hard time building a menu for your 2,000 kcal keto plan? Here is a one-day example of how you can distribute the calories and macros during the day.

  • Breakfast: Eggs with bacon and sauteed mushrooms
  • Morning snack: Plain Greek yogurt with almonds and strawberries
  • Lunch: Zucchini boats
  • Evening snack: Lemon fat bombs
  • Dinner: Spicy lemon shrimp with cauliflower mash and asparagus

Calories: 1,959 | Macros: 50.6 g net carbs – 116 g protein – 147.8 g fat

BREAKFAST Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Eggs with bacon and sauteed mushrooms Eggs 3 units 215 1.1 18.9 14.2
  Olive oil 1 tablespoon 120 0 0 13.6
  Bacon 2 slices 63 0.2 5.2 4.6
  Mushrooms 100 g 30 7.6 3.4 0.4
  Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
432 9.9 g 27.7 g 32.8 g            
MORNING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Plain Greek yogurt with almonds and strawberries Plain Greek yogurt 7 oz 146 7.9 19.9 3.8
  Almonds 2 oz 328 5.2 12 28.1
  Strawberries 1/2 cup halves 25 4.4 0.5 0.2
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
499 17.5 g 32.4 g 32.1 g            
LUNCH Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Zucchini boats Zucchini 1 medium 33 4.1 2.4 0.6
  Olive oil 1/2 tablespoon 60 0 0 10.2
  Cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup 14 1.6 0.4 0
  Ground beef 4 oz 137 0 24.9 3.4
  Garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon 5 1 0.2 0
  Onion powder 1/2 teaspoon 4 0.8 0.1 0
   Mushrooms 50 g 15 3.8 1.7 0.2
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
268 11.3 g 29.7 g 14.4 g            
EVENING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Lemon fat bombs Cream cheese 2 oz 198 3.2 3.6 19.6
  Butter 1 tablespoon 102 0 0.1 11.5
  Stevia 1 package (1 g) 0 0 0 0
  Lemon juice 1 tablespoon 3 1 0 0
  Lemon zest 1 teaspoon 1 0.1 0 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
304 4.3 g 3.7 g 31.1 g            
DINNER Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Spicy lemon shrimp with cauliflower mash and asparagus Shrimp 3 oz 72 0 17.1 0.4
  Butter 2 tablespoon 204 0 0.2 23
  Lemon juice 1 tablespoon 3 1 0 0
  Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
  Chili pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon 0 0 0 0
  Cauliflower 1 cup 26 3.2 2 0.2
  Olive oil 1 tablespoon 120 0 0 13.6
  Asparagus 1 cup 27 2.4 3 0.2
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
456 7.6 g 22.5 g 37.4 g            
DAILY TOTALS   1,959 cal 50.6 g net carbs 116 g protein 147.8 g fat




FAQ for a ketogenic diet with 2,000 calories per day

There might be some questions left regarding keto plans with 2,000 daily calories. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions, with answers!

Fats are very energy-dense. This means that you get a lot of calories in a small volume. If you are trying to reach 2,000 kcal and find it difficult, make sure to add several fat sources throughout the day. 

Here is a list of ways you can include healthy fats in your ketogenic meals:

  • Cook your eggs or vegetables with olive oil.
  • Add some avocado on the side.
  • Add olive oil and nuts to your salads.
  • Have some almond butter with fruits or veggies.
  • Make a shake. Add some protein powder, nut butter, and low-carb fruit for extra energy.

For you to gain muscle, you need to do two basic things: training that stimulates your muscles and eating a high caloric diet. But what counts as high-calorie is different for each person.

If your daily caloric intake is around 1,800 kcal, increasing your calories up to 2,000 kcal and working out can help you gain muscle. However, if you have a higher caloric intake and drop down to 2,000 kcal, you will not gain muscle but lose fat instead.

It depends on your hunger levels.

For example, suppose you are a woman increasing your calories up to 2,000 kcal. In that case, you might find it easier to have 5-6 meals per day.

On the other hand, if you are cutting down your calorie intake, you might find it better to do less frequent but bigger meals.

If you have a caloric deficit, meaning that you eat fewer calories than your body needs, then yes, you can lose weight.

For example, if you have a caloric need of 2,500 kcal for you to maintain weight, dropping your calories down to 2,000 will help you shed extra pounds.

If it is more calories than your body needs, then yes, you will likely gain weight.

If you have a caloric need of 1,500 kcal per day to maintain your weight, increasing your calories up to 2,000 can make you gain fat mass.

You need around 20% of protein on a ketogenic diet. This means that for 2,000 kcal, you need to have about 100 g of protein per day.

Add some plain Greek yogurt, eggs, chicken, meat, seafood, or cheese to reach this intake.


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