2400 Calorie, Female Diet Break Meal Plan

This is week four of the weight loss meal plans for females series. This meal plan is designed to be a diet break meal plan. Simply put, this meal plan is designed to provide an adult active female with enough calories to maintain her weight. More on this later. This meal plan provides 2400 calories, which is 1000 more calories than the previous three meal plans.

Similar to the previous three meal plans, this one provides about four meals daily with the addition of a pre-workout snack.

Why take a diet break?

First, I am going to say the research is limited in this area of diet breaks. However, in the MATADOR Study, individuals who switched back and forth between a calorie deficit and maintenance calories retained more lean muscle and lost more body fat compared to those who stayed on a calorie deficit for several weeks.

The strategy for this fat loss and weight loss plan is to do two—to three-week sprints during which we aggressively cut calories (about a 750-1000 calorie deficit), followed by one week of a diet break. During the diet break, we eat at maintenance, which is about 2300-2600 calories for her and 3000-3400 calories for him.

With this strategy, we hope to maximize fat loss, retain (hopefully build) muscle tissue, and, lastly, help manage the mental challenges that come with a calorie deficit. That way, we can stay hyper-focused on a calorie deficit for several weeks, knowing that we have a diet break coming up.

We will go through serval cycles (3-4), spending 2-3 weeks in a calorie deficit with one week of a diet break for the next 14-18 weeks.

Meal Plan Outline:

  • Meal 1: Strawberry Banana Smoothie 
  • Meal 2: Healthy Turkey Bacon McGriddle 
  • Meal 3: Ground Beef Chili
  • Meal 4: One of several protein options with prepped potatoes and vegetables.
  • Pre-workout nutrition: Cereal With Milk 
  • Before bed: Marshmallow Protein Ice Cream 

How To Meal Prep: 

The goal of meal prep is to make it easy and convenient to eat healthy foods and to help you stay on track with your long-term health and fitness goals.

Let’s quickly break down each meal and how I approached meal prep. For the smoothie, we just made a serving for each of us every morning and did not prepare anything. For meal two, the McGriddle, we bought frozen pre-made protein pancakes and pre-cooked turkey sausage; the only meal we prepped was the eggs. We used a crock pot for meal three and prepared the chili on Sunday. We batched, prepped the potatoes for meal four and dinner, and washed and chopped all the vegetables. That way, we all had to make the proteins and steam the vegetables each night.

Week Four Meal Plan:

Female Diet Break Meal Plan 2300 Calorie Meal Plan

Meal One: (634 Calories) 

Meal Two: (386 Calories) 

Healthy Turkey Bacon McGriddle

Meal Three: (509 Calories) 

  • One serving of the Ground Beef Chili recipe

Meal Four: (320 Calories) 

  • To make dinners simple yet offer some variety, we usually batch-prep the carbohydrates (potatoes) on Sunday, and then we usually have 2-3 different fresh or frozen options for vegetables we will cook the night of. This way can cook one of 3-4 protein options each week.
  • This week’s proteins: Salmon, tilapia, and chicken bugers on small whole grain buns.
  • Served with one serving (125 grams) of baked potatoes and one portion (75 g) of broccoli or asparagus
  • One portion of fish (salmon) with one serving (170 grams) of baked potatoes and one portion (75 g) of broccoli or asparagus. We started adding steamed spinach to our dinners as an easy way to get in more nutrients.

Before Bed: (238 Calories)

Marshmallow Lucky Charm's Protein Ice Cream

Pre-Workout: (210 Calories)

  • One hour before working out, we ate one serving of cereal (Reseese’s Puffs) with 1/2 cup of milk. 

Nutrition

Nutrition: 2351 calories, 171 grams of protein, 287 grams of carbohydrate, grams of fiber, 50 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat.

Summary

This 2400-calorie2,400-calorie meal plan and week-long diet break were a nice change of pace. After three weeks of instead aggressively cutting calories, we both noticed significantly less energy, more hunger, and suboptimal gym performance. This diet break gave us the energy to have better workouts and seems to have calmed the hunger hormones.

The diet break meal plan was easy to prep overall. All we had to do was make the chili, potatoes, and eggs ahead of time.

If you have any questions, comments, or thoughts, let me know in the comments below. I was considering starting an email challenge for this series. Let me know if you would be interested in that. You can join the email list here.

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Noah Quezada is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in Denver, Colorado. Over the course of more than a decade, he has gained extensive experience in helping clients manage their weight through in-person sessions. Noah is also the 2023 President of the Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.