Before we discuss the kind of food you need to eat to consume 2,500 calories in a day, we need to understand what kind of people require 2,500 calories in a day.
2,500 calories in a day are too much for most women. Even pregnant women require 2,400 calories, and that too in their last trimester. Very active women may require 2,500 calories, but that is rare. Women require a maximum of 2000 calories, which varies according to their age and the kind of lifestyle they lead.
It is mostly men who require an average of 2500 calories a day. Men in the age group of 21-25, leading a sedentary lifestyle need 2,500 calories. Even men in the age group of 26 to 40 who lead a sedentary to moderately active lifestyle require these many calories. Moderately active to active men in the age group of 41 to 65 years also require 2,500 calories.
A 2,500-calorie diet is appropriate for less active men who want to lose weight, but men who are more active and want to gain muscle mass will need a higher number of calories. On average, 2,500 calories are enough for most men to maintain their weight.
Most people don’t realize that when they are counting calories and watching what they eat, what actually matters are the kind of calories you consume.
Calories can be broken into carbohydrates, protein or fats. The ratio of these in a 2,500-calorie diet depends on whether your aim is to lose weight, gain weight or to gain muscle mass.
According to dietary guidelines, adult men should get 10 to 35% of their calories from protein, 45 to 65% from carbohydrates and 25 to 35% from fats. However individual calorie needs vary according to each person’s requirement.
It is best to consult a dietician or nutritionist to figure out your nutrition requirements and the best way to consume them. Generally 40:40:20 is a good ratio to consume carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Carbohydrates are a necessary part of any diet. What matters is how you consume them. A cake or burger is a carbohydrate, but it is devoid of any nutritional value. Out of 2,500 calories, 8.5 ounces should be from grains.
You need to choose whole grains such as whole wheat and brown rice. Instead of refined flour choose multigrain bread. Sweet potatoes are another healthy source of carbohydrates.
If you are consuming a 2,500 calorie diet, then the protein requirement is approximately 6.5 ounces. Healthy sources of protein include seafood, lean meats, chicken, beans and lentils, tofu and cottage cheese, eggs, soy products, nuts, and nut butters.
Fiber is an extremely important part of any diet plan, for the healthy functioning of the body. In a 2,500 calorie meal plan, you will need at least 2 cups of fruits and 3 cups of vegetables per day. Home-made fruit juices, dried fruits, fresh fruits, green, leafy vegetables are essential in any diet plan.
Dairy and fats are equally necessary part of a 2,500 calorie meal plan. Choose low-fat dairy foods such as yogurt, milk, cottage cheese etc. Since these have a smaller amount of saturated fats.
Fats are a necessary component of any diet. While consuming 2,500 calories daily, you can have 7 teaspoons of fats. Choosing healthy fats is better decision in place of saturated and trans-fats. You can select any plant-based oil, 1/3 ounces of nuts, avocados, salmon, 1.5 teaspoons of nut butters etc.
Even though you are consuming a 2,500 calorie diet, it is important to remember that refined sugars, refined and processed flours and fried foods are unhealthy.