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2000 Calorie Diet: 100 Grams Protein, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Under $10 Per Day

When it comes to diet the amount of misinformation on the internet is staggering. The best diet is a low carb, balanced diet based on natural foods with lots of meat, vegetables and nuts. The diet here is cheap, nutritious, minimalist, maintains muscle and will give you lots of good clean energy.

The optimum diet for you means modifying or removing anything you’re allergic to. For me dairy is a major allergen, gluten is no problem, but coconut milk, a fodmap and staple of a paleo diet destroys my gut. It’s really important to test for allergies and not follow any diet blindly, including this one.

This is primarily an eat to live diet, with enough goodies to make it sustainable (nuts and sauces), food should not be where you get your comfort from but primarily where you get your nutrition from. 2000 calories is maintenance for a 170 lb. man living a sedentary lifestyle, use this calculator  to determine your daily caloric maintenance.

For guys under 170 lbs, cutting calories or who do lots of cardio adjust accordingly. For guys bulking or who weigh more than 170 lbs. adjust accordingly. As far as preparation goes, the best way to prepare is cook everything on one day and store it in tupperware in the fridge for the rest of the week. Then just reheat it in the stove or microwave in a pinch and add sauce.

Now I know this doesn’t look like a lot of fun, and it’s not but looking good and having great energy feels better than any food tastes. Even though this is technically a diet you have to look at it as a lifestyle or a lifetime commitment or you’ll never be able to maintain your results.

Now I won’t try and pretend that I follow this diet 100% of the time, I look at it as more of a base. When I’m bulking I’ll add a cheat meal on myworkout days. When I’m eating for maintenance and I want a junk meal, I’ll skip the chicken dinner and go eat some junk food.

I’m pretty good on a cut but sometimes when I’m doing maintenance or especially when I’m bulking I will eat a junk meal for dinner for weeks at a time. Eating healthy is a lifetime battle. The one thing I do is eat the right amount of calories and always make sure I get 70 to 120 grams of protein a day. Here’s the diet:

RLD Diet

Greens Shake/Juice/Vegetables
  • 1 scoop of greens shake is equivalent to 6 to 8 servings of vegetables, it’s a more efficient and cheaper way for getting your vegetable intake for the day, I’ll take a shot of this in the morning
  • Here is a cheap, quality greens shake that will get you 2 months worth of servings, I take it in the morning
  • Vegetables have almost no calories or carbs so you can eat as many as you want, I don’t eat a ton because they are a pain in the ass to prepare
  • Generally I rely on my greens shake but sometimes I run a whole stalk of Kale through a Hamilton Beach Wide Mouth Juicer which gives me about a 1/4 cup of juice which I down in one shot
  • I don’t really do full juices because they are a pain to prepare but Mike from Danger And Play has a great juicing site  if you’re looking to get into juicing
Water
  • 8 glasses per day
  • Water is very important for keeping your energy and mood up, also important to keep your body loose, too little water and I start to feel stiff
Diet
  • The diet consists of 3 staples, medium grain white rice for carbs, chicken for protein and nuts for fat
  • For preparation I like to cook everything on Sunday and store in 14 tupperware containters for the week
  • I will butterfly 2 chicken breasts, add salt and pepper and put on the foreman grill for about 10 minutes on the low setting
  • For rice I will put the 2 kg bag in a large pot, cover with water almost to the top of the pot, add a teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil, and then let simmer for about 30 minutes, the excess water is key as it will make the rice soft and tasty, careful not to let the rice at the bottom of the pot burn
  • You can also use a rice cooker which is even easier
  • Cashews, split evenly into each container
Per Week
  • Grilled Chicken/ Five 2-packs chicken breast/4400 calories/460 grams protein/$49
  • Cashews/400 Gram Bag/2212 cals/72 grams protein/$6
  • White Medium Grain Rice/2kg Bag/7200 calories/147 grams protein/$5
  • 2 Bottles Sauce/350 calories/$7
  • Total Per Week: 14162 calories/679 grams protein/$63.25
  • Total Per Day: 2023 calories/103 grams protein/$9.03
Lunch
  • 1 Chicken breast: 440 calories, 50 grams protein, 
  • Cashews (Estimate): 263 calories, 50 grams, 10 grams protein
  • White Medium Grain Rice (Estimate):  500 calories, 142 grams 3/4 cup raw, 9 grams protein
  • Sauce: 50 calories
  • Total: 1253 calories, 69 grams protein
Dinner
  • 1/2 Chicken breast 220 cals, 25 grams protein, 
  • White Medium Grain Rice (Estimate):  500 calories, 142 grams 3/4 cup raw, 9 grams protein
  • Sauce: 50 calories
  • Total: 770 calories, 34 grams protein
Protein
  • I know some of you guys will be thinking protein requirements are low here but as you can see from the studies below, protein requirements max out at 120 grams per day, at 170 lbs. you’re good at 100 grams, if you’re over 200 pounds aim for 120 grams per day
  • However you can still add as much protein as you want, just put more chicken breast in each meal
  • Walberg et al. in 1988 found that .73 grams/pound was sufficient for nitrogen balance
  • Tarnopolsky et al. in 1988 found 0.55g/Lb sufficient for bodybuilders
  • Lemon et al. in 1992 found recommended 0.75g/Lb
  • Tarnopolsky et al. in 1992 found that 0.64g/Lb and 1.10g/Lb were not significantly different
  • 120 grams per day of protein is the most you need, the lemon study specifically was done on bodybuilders
  • It’s not the protein that makes them jacked, it’s the juice
Notes
  • White rice is higher on the glycemic index than brown rice but it tastes better, if a diet isn’t sustainable its useless (if you love brown rice though go ahead and substitute)
  • Lean chicken breast is about the healthiest meat you can buy, if you want to spend a bit more than go for the organic
  • As far as nuts goes you can replace the cashews with peanuts, just make sure you don’t have allergies to either, nuts are high in omega 6 but you should balance that out by taking omega 3s daily
  • The Diet is 2 meals per day as you should be fasting through the morning for energy, check out the article here
  • To add more calories just add or remove the staples in equal proportions
  • The whole key is in the sauces, I’ve tried using organic sauce but have found it difficult to find pure organic variety
  • I feel here that the important idea is sustainability so having a sauce you enjoy is key, I use a lot of Thai, Barbeque and Szechuan sauces