If you’re serious about burning fat and building muscle, you need to make sure you’re eating right. An important part of that process is monitoring your caloric intake.
Different people need different programs, but for many, a 2500-calorie diet makes sense: According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, adult men need 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day, depending on how old they are and their level of physical activity.
To figure out how to eat 2500 calories a day, we’ve enlisted EatThisMuch.com’s meal plan generator to give us an idea of what to expect.
What does 2500 calories look like when you can eat three meals of anything?
Breakfast (793 calories):
- One egg, cheese and tuna omelet
Lunch (853.9 calories):
- Two servings of a peach protein smoothie
- One ounce of almonds
Dinner (807.2 calories calories):
- One serving of a black-bean quesadilla
- Two servings of yogurt with radishes and dill
What does 2500 calories look like when you eat a three-meal vegetarian diet?
Breakfast (840.5 calories):
- One serving of two-ingredient protein pancakes
- Two servings of quick and easy home fries
Lunch (846.4 calories):
- Two servings of Greek yogurt delight
Dinner (802.4 calories):
- Two servings of bean sprouts with tofu
- One serving of croutons
At first blush, a few things stick out about these plans. They’re all healthy and balanced, for one, as consuming three satisfying meals becomes hard when one is abnormally high in calories.
And save for a healthy smoothie, none of these plans include drinks. Drinking water has a lot of benefits, and sodas can wreak havoc on your body—even the diet ones.
When reading the above plans, you may have also thought about how hard it would be to eat just three times a day. So if you’re someone who likes to eat frequently, here’s how your day can be broken down.
What does 2500 calories look like when you can eat five meals a day?
Meal No. 1 (520.2 calories):
- Oatmeal with apple and banana
- One slice of whole wheat toast
Meal No. 2 (456.5 calories):
- Mango strawberry arugula salad
Meal No. 3 (571.8 calories):
- One turkey sandwich
- One serving of peanut butter and celery
Meal No. 4 (435.7 calories):
- Yogurt with almonds and blueberries
Meal No. 5 (522.7 calories):
- Two servings of scallion-crusted salmon
- Two cups of brussel sprouts
What does 2500 calories look like when you eat five vegetarian meals a day?
Meal No. 1 (528.5 calories):
- Egg whites on one slice of toast
- One ounce of granola
Meal No. 2 (422.6 calories):
- Strawberry Protein Smoothie
Meal No. 3 (466.3 calories):
- Veggie and hummus sandwich
Meal No. 4 (442.7 calories):
- Southwestern salad
Meal No. 5 (581 calories):
- Vegan potato tacos
- Cauliflower and tahini
Continue Your Research
Now that you know how to eat 2500 calories a day, you’re ready to go grocery shopping and build the diet regimen needed to get in shape.