If you want to lose weight, there’s no way around it – you’re going to have to reduce your daily calorie intake. But this isn’t enough. You have to ensure you fill your diet with healthy foods.
How much does your diet contribute to weight loss? While it’s said that making alterations to your diet is the most important thing to do to lose weight, a mix of a healthy diet and exercise is the best way to lose weight – and keep it off.
You might be tempted to start a 1,500 calorie diet to lose a bit of weight. But what’s it all about? Let’s explore everything you need to know about this eating plan and how to avoid some common dieting mistakes while on it.
How Many Calories Do You Need?
The number of calories that you need to consume daily will depend on various factors, such as your age, level of physical activity, and metabolism.
Generally, though, the recommended daily calories is 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men.
How To Reduce Your Calories To Lose Weight
If you want to lose some weight, you will have to create a calorie deficit. This means you’ll have to reduce how many calories you consume and also exercise more.
However, cutting down your calories can be problematic because you have to ensure you are still getting enough calories to fill your body with the nutrients it requires to be healthy.
If you restrict your calories too much, this can cause unpleasant side effects and make you lack the energy you need. Fad diets usually recommend that you reduce your calories to between 1,000 and 1,200, but this is too little.
Over time, it will be more difficult to maintain this diet and starving could cause you to binge eat or eat unhealthy foods. It’s, therefore, better to make healthier choices.
What To Know About A 1,500-Calorie Meal Plan
Many people who follow a 1,500-calorie meal plan will lose weight. However, before you start you should figure out how many calories you need to eat daily to remain at your current weight.
To do this, simply multiply your weight in pounds by 12. This will give you an indication of how many calories you should cut from your diet. To lose one pound every week, eliminate 500 calories per day.
If you want to lose two pounds per week, eliminate 1,000 calories per day. For healthy weight loss, don’t lose more than two pounds of weight per week.
1,500-Calorie Meal Plan: Pros And Cons
- This diet is accessible and quite easy to use on a daily basis, without you having to buy special foods or use dietary supplements.
- A 1,500-calorie diet can be healthy, provided that you fill your eating plan with fiber-rich, nutrient-rich foods that keep you healthy and satisfied.
- You can achieve fast weight-loss results on this low-calorie diet. If you reduce your calories by 500 per day, this can cause you to lose one pound of weight per week.
- A low-calorie diet isn’t suitable for everyone. For example, if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or an athlete, this diet will be too restrictive for you.
- It can be challenging to maintain a low-calorie diet in the long term, which is why you have to be responsible with your food choices and ensure that you’re eating enough food to feel satisfied and get enough nutrition.
Food You Should Eat On A 1,500-Calorie Diet
Some foods you should include in your diet include the following healthy choices.
- Non-starchy veggies: These include kale, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms. They help to reduce your calories while giving you healthy nutrients.
- Fruits: Low-sugar fruits such as berries are high in fiber and natural sugars to give you a burst of energy without the additional, unhealthy, sugars.
- Plant-based proteins: You should replace fatty meats with healthier plant-based proteins, such as tofu, whole-grain rice, legumes, and beans. Make sure you combine different protein foods to get complete proteins in your diet.
- Whole grains: These are healthier for you than refined foods, so add oats, farro, millet, brown rice, and barley to your regular eating plan.
- Healthy fats: These are good for your heart and they’re a good substitute for unhealthy fats, such as trans fats. Add avocado oil, olive oil, and unsweetened coconut oil to your diet.
- Low-fat dairy: Dairy gives you important nutrients such as protein, B12, and calcium, but make sure you choose low-fat or no-fat dairy options to reduce your calorie intake.
- Low-calorie beverages: If you regularly reach for sweetened drinks throughout the day, this can easily increase your calorie intake. Choose water, sparkling water, green tea, herbal teas, and water and tea. When enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, be mindful of how much milk and sugar you’re adding to them.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
You should try to reduce your intake of unhealthy foods that can make you put on weight or prevent weight loss.
That said, you can still enjoy some sugary or salty foods – the key is to ensure you stay within healthy guidelines. Here are some rules to follow:
- Reduce your salt intake to less than 2,300mg per day. This will prevent you from being at risk of health conditions like high blood pressure. Salt is also bad for weight gain because it makes your body preserve water, which makes you gain weight.
- Reduce your saturated fats to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. Saturated fat increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which puts you at greater risk for stroke and heart disease. Consuming too much fat in your diet increases your daily calorie intake, which causes you to put on weight.
- Reduce your sugar intake to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. If you want to have a sweet treat, make sure you don’t consume too much. Sugar causes weight gain because it’s high in calories but doesn’t offer much in terms of nutrition. Basically, it’s empty calories.
Example Of A 1,500-Calorie Meal Plan
If you’re not sure how to go about approaching meals on a 1,500-calorie diet plan, here’s an example.
Breakfast (389 calories)
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread – 70 calories
- ½ cup shredded wheat cereal – 104 calories
- ½ cup milk – 102 calories
- ¾ cup orange juice – 78 calories
- 1 cup coffee – 5 calories (just make sure you don’t add sugar or milk)
- ½ whole fruit – 30 calories
Lunch (366 calories)
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread – 139 calories
- 2 ounces of lean roast beef – 60 calories
- 1 slice low-fat, low-sodium cheese – 46 calories
- 2 teaspoons low-calorie mayo – 30 calories
- 1 medium apple – 80 calories
- 1 lettuce leaf – 1 calorie
- 3 slices tomato – 10 calories
Dinner (625 calories)
- 3 ounces salmon cooked with vegetable oil – 215 calories
- ¾ medium baked potato with margarine – 134 calories
- ½ cup carrots with margarine – 52 calories
- ½ cup green beans with margarine – 52 calories
- ½ cup ice milk – 92 calories
- 1 medium white dinner bread roll – 80 calories
This eating plan adds up to 1,380 calories, so you can make some changes to get to 1,500 calories.
You can also make changes to this eating plan by reducing how many calories you eat at every meal so that you have calories for healthy snacks throughout the day.
This will prevent you from getting hungry and reaching for unhealthy foods.
Is A 1,500-Calorie Diet Healthy?
As long as you fill your diet with a variety of healthy foods so that you get all the nutrients your body requires, you can stay on a 1,500-calorie diet plan without any potential health dangers.
That said, it’s worth noting that while this amount of calories can be healthy for some people, it might be too restrictive for others.
If you need more than 1,500 calories, you could experience side effects such as nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, and tiredness.
Therefore, you should increase your calories depending on your specific needs – but again, just make sure that the foods you’re adding to your diet are healthy so that your weight-loss efforts don’t backfire.
Can You Stay On A 1,500-Calorie Diet Forever?
While this type of diet is useful for helping you to lose weight, if you follow it in the long term it can actually slow down your metabolism.
If this happens, it’s best to increase your calories once you’ve reached your goal weight and continue exercising to keep it off.
Signs You’re Not Eating Enough
Since eating much fewer calories than your body requires can lead you to experience unpleasant side effects, you should look out for signs that you’re consuming too little food:
- You’re thinking about food all the time. If you’re always planning your meals, counting calories, or thinking about what your next meal will be, you could be becoming obsessed with food. This can lead to unhealthy thought patterns around food. If you’re thinking of food all the time, that could also be a sign that you’re not getting enough to feel satisfied.
- You’re feeling cranky. Is “hangry” a term that you feel applies to you? This could be because you’re going for long periods of time without eating anything, and this lowers your blood sugar. This can also affect your concentration and levels of patience.
- You’re battling to sleep. Your diet can affect how well or poorly you sleep. In one study, dieting for four weeks caused women to experience more difficulty falling asleep and their calorie-restricting diet also decreased the amount of time they got to experience deep sleep.
- You’re not regular. If you’re experiencing constipation, this could be a sign that your body’s not getting enough calories and it’s causing your digestive tract to move food slower through your system. Or, you might not be eating enough fiber-rich foods because you’re restricting your diet too much.
- Your weight is increasing. If you’ve been exercising and sticking to a low-calorie diet but the scale is still showing you the same number, you shouldn’t restrict your calorie intake even more. This will make your metabolism slow down as your body holds onto the calories you’re consuming. You should try to eat a few more snacks throughout the day to give your body the macronutrients – fat, carbs, and protein – that it requires. When your body gets the fuel it needs, this will help you to reach the weight you want.
Should you keep a food diary?
A food diary in which you record all the foods you’re eating and their calorie counts can help you to ensure you’re really consuming 1,500 calories per day.
What foods fight sugar cravings?
If you battle with sugar cravings, you should reach for foods such as fruit that’s naturally sweet, chia seeds that are full of fiber to make you feel full, and yogurt that’s satisfying because it’s rich in protein.
If you want to lose weight, you should reduce how many calories you’re consuming. But severely restricting your calorie intake can backfire.
In this article, we’ve explored what you need to know about the 1,500-calorie meal plan and how to ensure you shed the pounds safely without any negative side effects.