21 Tips For Starting The 1000 Calorie Diet

woman with big clock

As the name suggests, the 1000 calorie diet limits the daily calorie intake to 1000 calories. The diet hangs on the premise that eating fewer calories than you burn promotes weight loss.

When you drastically limit your calorie intake, you have to make sure that your body receives all the nutrients that it needs to function properly otherwise you will slow down your metabolism and all your hard work will have been for nothing. Since a 1000 calorie meal plan is a very low-calorie program, use it for short periods to jump-start weight loss. It is not a good model for long-term eating.

Here are 21 steps that will help you get through the 1000 calorie diet plan:

1. The Basics

If you want to shed a few pounds fast, the 1000 calorie diet plan is definitely one of the most effective programs out there. Although you will see results in only two weeks, this is also the longest time you should limit your calorie intake to 1000 calories. Engaging in this program for a longer period may put your metabolism in jeopardy and seriously harm your health.

The good thing about this diet is that you can eat anything you want, up to 1000 calories a day. Also, the menus are easy to prepare and you will spend less money on food.

However, the weight loss may not be permanent if you continue eating like before the diet. Another drawback is that you will be energy-deprived and feel fatigue because you are consuming less calories than your body needs to function. If you do not carefully choose your foods, there is a possibility that you will not meet the nutritional requirements of your body.

A pair of female feet standing on a bathroom scale with red appl

2. Your Daily Calorie Requirements

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), women should never consume less than 1200 calories a day unless under strict medical supervision.

However, if you want to lose weight fast for an important event, you can restrict your calorie intake to re-balance your digestive system and speed up weight loss. One thousand calories a day may eliminate certain essential nutrients from your diet and leave you low on energy. Your body won’t get the fuel it needs to sustain intense daily activities, including exercise.

Another consideration is your metabolism, which might slow down in response to limited calories. Instead of burning fat, your body will rely on your muscle mass to provide your daily energy needs. While engaged in this program you need to eat all the essential five food groups: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, dairy and fruits and vegetables. Basically, there are no restrictions in food as long as you count the calories.

Female buttocks with a measurement tape

3. How Much Pounds Will You Lose?

While this is an important question, the first thing you need to ask yourself is if you can survive with such small amounts of food. Although it may seem easy, your body will crave more food and you won’t be in the highest of spirits.

However, once you have decided that this is the perfect diet plan for you, you should know that it really works. The 1000 calorie a day program enables you to lose at least two pounds per week which is a great weight loss start. Of course, the weight loss depends on a number of factors.

For instance, the usual amount of calories for a woman is 1800 but if you are active, the numbers go higher. If you are just a bit active, you will need around 2000 calories to have the right weight. It is also important to stress that the ideal amount of weight to discard per week is two pounds. It may seem little but don’t push yourself too hard because anything more than two pounds a week may lead to health problems.

Woman choosing food

4. For How Long?

When you see the results in no time, it’s easy to believe that this is the perfect weight loss program for you and that you should eat only 1000 calories a day until you have reached your goal. Needless to say that this is the worst thing you can do for your metabolism and health. This diet plan should only be used for a short period of time and it is not recommended for more than two consecutive weeks.

When eating only 1000 calories a day, it is not possible to meet the nutritional requirements of your body. Using this diet plan for a long period of time will only bring complications to your health.

In fact, the 1000 calorie a day plan should always be supervised by your doctor. The truth is, this diet is only recommended for people whose weight is damaging their health, but it can be a good weight loss boost. Just remember: no more than two weeks.

Girl with fruit

5. 1000 Calorie Meal Plan

The recommended 1000 calorie a day meal plan has to provide for your nutritional needs during weight loss. An all-inclusive, nutritional meal plan includes 1 cup of fruits, 1 cup of vegetables, 3 ounces of proteins, 3 ounces of grains, and 2 cups of dairy.

Limit your protein sources to seafood, eggs, poultry, soy products, and lean meats. You still need fats – around 3 teaspoonful of oil. In the real world, those dietary recommendations translate to a banana sandwich with a glass of orange juice for breakfast, and scrambled egg on a slice of whole wheat toast for lunch.

Dinner could comprise of chicken breast with a slice of avocado and vegetables on the side for dinner. Low-calorie snacks include a handful of nuts, one cup of sliced fruit, or two cups of air-popped popcorn with no added butter. When it comes to drinks, you can opt for substantial liquid, water and zero calorie beverages.

Glasses with fresh vegetable juices in the garden. Detox diet

6. 1000 Calorie Meal Plan Strategy

Significantly reducing your daily calorie intake requires commitment and painful attention to sneaky sources of extra calories. One way to stay on track is to spread out your calories into four or five bite-size meals of around 200 calories throughout the day.

This strategy reduces cravings and provides a steady supply of energy. Don’t cut out entire groups of food, like all carbs or fats, as your body needs all nutrients to stay healthy. Also, don’t exercise too much while your calorie intake is reduced.

Since you will probably feel fatigue at all times, you will be more prone to injuries during exercise. As you wean off the diet, make sure to do so gradually and incorporate exercise as you increase your calorie consumption. Most people regain the weight plus extra when they return to normal eating, but you can avoid weight gain if you balance a healthy diet with regular exercise.

Doctor's advice: don't eat bad food

7. How Effective Are Low Kcal Diets?

As we have already mentioned, the 1000 calorie a day diet is very effective, for a short period of time. However, they aren’t more effective than other diets in the long run. If you are looking to shed a few pounds for a special occasion, this diet will do the trick.

Additionally, if you have a BMI over 30, you will discard between 3 to 5 pounds per week which may improve your weight-related health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Since this diet is not recommended for a longer period of time, you need to change your lifestyle and eating habits once you go off the diet. This diet is good because it will boost your self-esteem and motivate you to continue eating healthy and exercising in the future.

Fitness Assessment

8. Are Low Kcal Diets Safe?

First of all, low calorie diets are not good programs for everyone. Before starting the 1000 calorie a day diet plan talk to your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you. If your BMI is over 30, chances are this diet is pretty safe for you. However, you still need to be under medical supervision when committing to very low-calorie diets.

On the other hand, if you have a lower BMI, the 1000 calorie a day diet may not be the perfect choice for you. As a rule, very low-calorie diets are reserved for people who have weight-related medical conditions and are supervised by their doctor.

This diet is in no way recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and teenagers. People over 50 should also avoid it if they are taking meds for other medical problems.

Overweight man avoid junkfood in 2015

9. What Are the Side Effects Of The 1000 Calorie A Day Diet?

Some of the minor side effects of the 1000 calorie a day diet include fatigue, constipation, nausea and diarrhea. These problems normally improve a few days after completing the program. The most common serious side effect of very low-calorie diets are gallstones but they usually occur during rapid weight loss.

You should always be cautious when starting very low-calorie diets because they can harm your immune system and create health problems such as anemia.

If you continue eating 1000 calories a day for more than two weeks, you may experience irregular periods, irritability, hair loss, dry skin, anxiety and depression. In order to ensure that your weight loss goes as smoothly as possible, always consult your doctor and eat healthy foods. You should be aware that you will not have enough energy without the right amount of carbs and the lack of vitamins may suppress your immune system.

Paper bag full of groceries with weighing scale

10. What Are the Other Drawbacks of Very Low-Calorie Diets?

The biggest problem with very low-calorie diets is that you will likely regain all the weight back when you return to your old eating habits. The 1000 calorie diet is not sustainable for long periods of time because your body will crave for food, you will feel deprived and skipping meals usually results in overeating.

In addition to feeling hungry all the time and craving certain foods you will probably also feel irritable, stressed and fatigued.

Consequently, you may perform poorer at work, or start bickering with your loved ones. In order to survive the 1000 calorie diet, talk to your physician to make sure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs. If you stick to the healthiest possible 1000 calorie a day diet plan, chances are you won’t feel desperate during the program. Also, once you finish the diet, don’t eat everything in sight. Instead, opt for a healthy diet and combine it with physical activity for the best results.


11. Can You Eat The Foods You Like?

The 1000 calorie a day diet program doesn’t have to be boring and repetitive since it is not restrictive in the kinds of foods that are allowed. Do some research on the calorie content per serving of your favorite foods and make a diet plan that you will actually stick to.

You can eat literally any food, but you should steer clear from processed and fast foods that are full of bad fats. Avoid eating sweets. However, don’t get us wrong. You should eat carbs and fats in moderation and in healthier variants such as non-fat or low fat.

The wisest thing you can do is prepare meal plans in advance and mix things up a bit. Don’t eat the same foods over and over again. Instead, make meal plans that consist of healthy foods that you enjoy eating. Finally, you have to count all the calories you consume during the day.

diet Plan.

12. A Healthy Plan

First of all, don’t pick the starvation variations of the 1000 calorie a day program. You can eat healthy and still get all the nutrients that your body needs despite the very low-calorie intake. Before you start eating only 1000 calories a day, ask your doctor for meal plan recommendations.

A healthy diet plan has to be balanced – you need to consume nutrients that come from all five groups from the food pyramid. Also, proper food preparation or cooking will do wonders for your diet.

If you want to start the healthiest variation, choose the vegetarian meal plan. Vegetables and fruits are low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes and potatoes can supply your body with the needed carbs and the fat-free protein can come from beans. Vegetable oils will provide your body with fats and you can substitute dairy by consuming leafy vegetables that are rich in calcium. Finally, you will receive vitamins and minerals from fruits.


13. Pay Great Attention to Nutrition

There are a lot of types of this diet and the most common types are the 1000 calorie low carbohydrate meals, the 1000 calorie low fat meals and the 1000 calorie high protein diet. Forget about all of these! The 1000 calorie carbohydrate meals diet lacks the carbs that will energize you, the 1000 calorie low fat meals eliminates all fats, including the healthy omega-3 and omega-6, and the 1000 calorie high protein diet is high in protein and lacks other nutrients.

Eating only 1000 calories a day will surely make you lose pounds but you may harm your health. Therefore, eat all the nutrients and pay great attention to nutrition. There is simply no room for sneaky calories such as added sugars, sugary drinks, processed foods and alcohol. Count your carbs wisely and stay healthy.

Attractive Woman Holding a Bathroom Scale

14. Don’t Cheat

In all weight loss programs, the recommended number of meals per day is five which means that apart from breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can eat two snacks. The snacks should be consumed in mid-morning and mid-afternoon and they usually include nuts and fruits.

Each snack shouldn’t have more than 50 calories. When you do the math, your three main meals will have 900 calories, 300 calories per meal.

Although you need to count the daily calories, you can rearrange them as you like. However, it is very important that you don’t cheat. Don’t make excuses and don’t eat anything that was not planned. After all, this diet should last for only two weeks and you are the one who wants to lose those pounds fast. It may not be easy but do your best to stay disciplined and focused and all the effort will pay out.

3D Pyramide Food

15. Stay Away From The Fad Diet Plan

Even though you desperately want to lose a couple of pounds, don’t ever do anything that will jeopardize your health. Some people opt for the fat 1000 calorie a day diet plan, temporarily lose a few pounds and end up with a bunch of health problems.

It is crucial that you stay away from fad 1000 diet programs and stick to a healthy program. The fad 1000 calorie a day diet consists of only one or two foods from the food pyramid.

That means that your body would lack the required nutrients from the other three or four food groups. The probable side effects of a low nutrient diet are not something you would want to deal with. All the nutrients from the pyramid need to be consumed on a daily basis, even if you are on a very low-calorie diet.

Healthy fitness salad

16. Sample 1000 Calorie A Day Diet Meals

Although this diet is pretty drastic, it is possible to eat healthy and tasty foods. Since every single calorie’s nutritional value counts, make sure to make the most of your meals.

Sample meals might include a ½ cup serving of oatmeal with almond milk for breakfast, a green salad with 3 oz. of chicken breast for lunch and a 1-cup serving of whole grain pasta with marinara sauce for dinner, according to Livestrong website. Snacks can include fresh fruits and vegetables or a ½ oz. serving of nuts. Drinks include water, black tea and coffee without sugar.

Another sample meal from Weightlossresources website might include 2 small slices of wholemeal bread and a small banana, 200ml glass of orange juice for breakfast, 1 wholemeal roll (45g) filled with 70g tuna and 10g reduced calorie mayonnaise, mixed salad of 50g lettuce, 50g red or yellow sweet peppers and 10g spring onions for lunch and 70g roast chicken breast without skin, 80g mashed potatoes with 30ml semi-skimmed milk, 60g steamed or boiled broccoli, 50g boiled carrots and 100ml gravy made from granules for dinner. As far as snacks go, they recommend 100g pot of low fat fruit yogurt in the morning, and 28g of lower fat crisps in the afternoon.

Fresh fruits milk shake on wood

17. What Should I Eat For Breakfast?

Some experts say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and we agree that it should be healthy and nutritious enough to give you the much-needed morning boost. Even though you are paying extra attention to the calorie intake, that doesn’t mean that you can’t prepare a delicious meal that contains a little more than 200 calories.

A good breakfast menu might include 1 whole wheat English muffin (120 kcal), 1 pat butter (36) and 1 cup of fruit (74). Opt for tea or coffee without sugar. If you crave sweets, a banana smoothie might just save the day. The ingredients are (blend together) 1/2 cup [8 oz.] plain, low-fat yogurt (77), 1 tsp honey (16), 1/2 banana (50), 1 cup fresh/frozen berries (97), 1 tbsp. flaxseeds (55), and 1/2 cup water.


18. What Should I Eat For Lunch?

Research has shown that almost one half of working Americans skip lunch on a regular basis and use their lunch time to do everything else instead of actually eating. This is something that cannot happen to you when you are on a very low-calorie diet. Firstly, your body is already running on low. A

Additionally, skipping lunch may result in overeating at some point during the evening. The meals we recommend are easy to make and don’t require a lot of skill or time.

For instance, you might eat one toasted wheat bread, scrambled egg, ½ ounce shredded low-fat cheese 2 slices wheat bread, 2 ounces lean meat, sliced tomatoes, onions, and olives.

Another option is to make a scrambled egg on toast. The ingredients include 1 large egg (72), 1 tbsp. fat-free milk (11), 1 slice whole wheat bread (70) and 1/2 oz. low-fat shredded cheddar cheese (25). You could also eat 1 large tossed salad with 2 tbsp. dressing (100), 1/2 cup of tuna w/.5 oz. lite mayo (135), 1 cup of low-fat wheat thin crackers (130) and 12 ounces of diet soft drink (0).


19. What Should I Eat For Dinner?

People who want to lose weight usually tend to skip dinner without realizing its importance. Since you aren’t going to eat anything for another 8 to 10 hours, your body needs the essential nutrients in order to continue functioning properly. And when you’re on the 1000 calorie a day diet, your body needs all the nutrients it can get. One of your dinners might include 2 ounces shredded chicken breast, 6 cherry tomatoes, a cup of shredded lettuce, a slice of onion and one tablespoon low fat dressing.

You can also eat one flour tortilla, ½ cup lettuce, 75 calories rice, and half cup beans. If you miss your old food and feel like you don’t have enough energy to continue, try making a hamburger.

The required ingredients are 4 oz. very lean ground beef (149), 1 tbsp. ketchup (15), 1 small grated carrot (21), 1/2 finely chopped onion (24), 1 egg white, beaten (72), 2 cups lettuce, shredded (10), 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced (8) and 1 tomato, sliced (16). Mix the ground beef, grated carrot, onion and ketchup together and form into patty. Dry-fry or barbecue, and serve with salad.

fruit and vegetables

20. Snacks

Since it’s important to have five meals a day, preparing the perfect snack is essential. Not only does a healthy snack prevent overeating, but it also keep blood sugar levels steady and provides nutrients. It would be best to have morning and afternoon snacks which contain no more than 200 calories.

Fruits or vegetables are recommended foods for morning snacks. You can eat a plum, a small apple, a small banana or a small cup of strawberries or melon. When it comes to afternoon snacks, you can choose between a small serving of almonds (22 almonds contain 168 calories!), walnuts or cashew.

Another great option is to make 2 cups of air popped popcorn which contain only 62 calories. As far as fluids are concerned, drink as much water as possible, and always choose zero calorie beverages or herbal teas.

Eating Healthy

21. What To Do Afterwards

Due to the fact that the 1000 calorie a day diet is only a temporary eating program, you need to make sure not to gain all that weight back. In order to maintain the after-diet weight, there are a few steps you need to follow. Continue eating five times a day, one meal every three hours. Choose all foods from the pyramid but avoid processed foods, fast foods, sweets and added sugar.

Also try to stay away from canned fruit juices and instead drink water, zero calorie beverages, herbal teas and coffee without sugar. When the 1000 calorie a day diet comes to an end, you should start exercising and leading a more active lifestyle.

Whether you just wanted to lose a few extra pounds or jumpstart your weight loss program with the 1000 calorie a day diet, you need to gradually change your bad eating habits and commit to a healthier diet in the long run.

Continue Reading

From Around The Web

Popular on Diet.st