MyPlate Diet Prep Course

On Monday my three-week stent of following USDA MyPlate Guidelines begins. I’ve taken my starting weight and measurements, and my super-duper-firefightin’ fiance was kind enough to take my blood pressure. I’ve found a game plan, and I survived my first grocery shopping trip. It feels like I’m getting ready to run a marathon…does starting a new diet always feel like this?

The MyPlate website recommends that someone of my gender/age/activity level follow a 2,000 calorie per day diet to maintain weight, so that I shall do. That is slightly over the 1700-1900 calories per day I calculated using a couple of more in-depth standardized calculations. You can use these calculations to figure out your estimated needs here or here. In theory, I could gain up to three pounds following this 2,000 calorie plan for three weeks if I don’t change my activity level. Time will tell!

MyPlate sets out the following guidelines for those on a 2,000-calorie diet:

My Food RecommendationsThey have also been kind enough to provide a 1-week 2,000 calorie meal plan (check it out on the Meal Plans page). I’m not particularly trying to reinvent the wheel here, so I am going to use it. First thing I noticed as I made my shopping list was that this meal plan was not exactly designed for a single person. Seriously…one whole wheat English muffin, one serving of quinoa, and three ounces of chicken all week? Not exactly using up a whole package of anything here. So I quickly decided on the single girl’s saving grace. It’s not chocolate, it’s not wine, it’s – are you listening? – BULK-BIN FOODS. I bought exactly as much flour, yeast, rigatoni, cereal, beans, and pancake mix as I needed and not an ounce more.

Groceries smallAll that? $38. Not bad, eh?