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Nutrition » Diets » 1000 Calorie Meal Plan: An Effective Slimming Tool Or A Health Hazard?

1000 Calorie Meal Plan: An Effective Slimming Tool Or A Health Hazard?

what does a 1000 calorie meal plan look like

1000 Calorie Meal Plan for Weight Loss 

Those who are not new to the weight loss world know that the basics of a successful and effective slimming include regular exercise and a healthy diet, which allows you to burn more calories than you consume (1). As the 1000 calorie meal plan is based on the principle of reduced caloric intake, it can be quite effective in helping you shed pounds. According to dietitians, an adult person requires approximately 2500 calories (for men) and 2000 calories (for women) a day (2).

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You can calculate how many calories you require personally, to get more accurate information and improve the calorie counting process. Experts state that the most sustainable plan is to lose 1-2 pounds (around 0.5-1 kg) a week. This pace is considered the healthiest, as a quicker one may lead to different health problems, including malnutrition, gallstones, feeling tired, and others (4). 1 pound (around 0.5 kg) is about 3500 calories (5), so if you stick to a 1000 calorie meal plan, and your normal needs are 2000-2500 calories per day, you may burn as much as 7000-10 500 calories per week, thus losing from 2 to 3 pounds (1-1.5kg) a week.

So, is losing weight using a 1000 calorie meal plan healthy? What are its benefits and downsides? And what does a 1000 calorie meal plan look like?

The Basics of a 1000 Calorie Meal Plan

As mentioned before, one of the main rules of the 1000 calorie meal plan is to consume only 1000 calories a day. Such a dieting approach is quite restrictive and may lead to a relatively rapid weight loss, which is usually not recommended by the specialists. As for most people, this number of calories is too little to obtain enough nutrients, and you should not follow the 1000 calorie meal plan for more than a week. Dieters should avoid highly vigorous physical activity during the dieting period. You may need to consume multivitamins and mineral supplements while on this diet. You also should consult with your doctor before starting to take any supplements or making any changes in your nutritional habits. Highly restrictive or low calorie diets normally require close supervision by a doctor to ensure that you are safe.

1000 calorie vegetarian meal plan
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What to Eat and What to Avoid?

This diet is low in calories and requires careful meal planning. You should make sure that you consume enough essential nutrients to reach the desired goal in the healthiest way possible. It is recommended to consume low-calorie foods that are rich in proteins and fiber, as they will help you keep the hunger pangs at bay, and vitamin and mineral-rich foods to prevent nutrient deficiency. Your meals should include a lot of fruits (oranges, kiwi, pears, cantaloupes, and berries), vegetables (spinach, celery, zucchini, broccoli, artichokes, cabbage, cucumber, bell pepper, etc.), low-fat dairy products, and others. Consuming a wide variety of these foods is also key, as they are each rich in different nutrients that the body needs and therefore complement one another.

You should keep away from various fats and oils, such as butter, cheese, cream cheese, ghee, nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond), oils (coconut, groundnut, walnut, palm, avocado), animal fat oil, and others. Dried fruits are also not recommended. The 1000 calorie meal plan bans even certain fruits, vegetables, and legumes, including avocado, mango, litchi, custard apple, potato, corn, lima beans, and soybeans. You should also avoid such protein-rich foods as beef, pork, lamb, and tofu. As this diet strictly limits the number of consumed calories you should keep all sugary drinks, such as soda, store juices, energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, and others at bay.

1000 calorie diet meal plan
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1000 Calorie Diet Meal Plan

Here is a sample of a 3-day 1000 calorie diet meal plan:

Day 1

  • Breakfast: a cup of oatmeal with half of an apple and a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a cup of unsweetened coffee
  • Lunch: one scrambled egg and a slice of low-fat cheddar cheese on whole-wheat toast 
  • Snack: 15 almonds
  • Dinner: half of a cooked chicken breast, a big portion of vegetable salad (lettuce, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, lemon juice), and a cup of unsweetened herbal tea

Day 2

  • Breakfast: a cup of low-fat or non-fat yogurt with half of a cup of berries, and a cup of unsweetened green tea
  • Lunch: one wholemeal roll willed with half of a cup of tuna, and a cup of vegetable salad (lettuce, red sweet pepper, spring onions)
  • Snack: a cup of sliced fruits
  • Dinner: a half of a baked medium-sized fish, half of a cup of roasted sweet potatoes, a cup of steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and a cup of unsweetened herbal tea
1000 calorie diet meal plan 14 days
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Day 3

  • Breakfast: 2 boiled egg whites, a cup of vegetable mix (cucumber, lettuce, cherry tomatoes), and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Lunch: two cups of vegetable soup and a slice of whole-wheat bread
  • Snack: a cup of yogurt with nuts and berries
  • Dinner: a cup of chicken and rice stir-fry, half of a cup of peas, and a cup of unsweetened herbal tea

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Benefits of a 1000 Calorie Meal Plan

If followed properly, a 1000 calorie meal plan may offer you the following benefits:

1000 calorie meal plan for weight loss
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  • Effective at weight loss

If you need to shed pounds fast and don’t expect the long-term result, the 1000 calorie meal plan may help you with that. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this diet can help you lose 2-3 pounds (1-1.5 kg) a week, which is quite fast. It can also be quite effective for people who suffer from obesity, causing even bigger weight loss. But you should make sure to discuss your diet with a specialist before deciding to make any adjustments in it.

This diet emphasizes the consumption of vegetables and fruits that are rich in nutrients, including water and fiber, and are the inseparable part of healthy nutrition.

  • Quite affordable

The foods that are allowed by this dietary plan are accessible and affordable. You can find everything you need at any supermarket.

exercising
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Downsides of a 1000 Calorie Meal Plan

Despite being quite effective at helping you shed pounds, the 1000 calorie meal plan is not the best choice due to the following aspects:

  • Causes lack of nutrients

Low-calorie diets that allow less than 1,200 calories a day may lead to constant hunger, potentially leading to overeating (3). Another downside of such restrictions is the lack of certain vital nutrients that provide your body with energy. When followed for a longer period it causes nutrient deficiencies and dehydration, which leads to a lack of energy, hair loss, weaker nails, slower heart rate, and loss in muscle mass.

  • Slows metabolism

Based on the abovementioned, you should not expect the long-term results from this diet. The critical calorie restriction may slow down your metabolism. This in turn causes the rapid weight to regain after you return to your normal caloric intake.

  • Doesn’t support intense exercising

This nutrition plan is surely not for everyone. It may work quite well for women who have a small frame, as their bodies usually require fewer calories. For men and those whose routine involves vigorous exercise, this diet is not the best choice for you.

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Conclusion

A lot of people want to lose weight as fast as possible, sometimes resorting to different unhealthy methods, such as starvation, very-low-calorie diets, etc. However, a very rapid weight loss is not sustainable and may cause a lot of negative consequences. The 1000 calorie meal plan is quite restrictive, cutting your required daily caloric intake in two. You shouldn’t follow this diet for more than a week. It promises to help you slim down quite fast but may not be for everyone. Those who tend to regularly perform vigorous physical activity should steer clear of this nutrition plan. Men also should avoid it. If you are determined to start following this dietary plan, please consult your doctor first.

Do you know that your body needs some exercise in addition to a proper diet? Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020, mayoclinic.org)
  2. Cut down on your calories (2018, nhs.uk)
  3. Getting past a weight-loss plateau (2020, mayoclinic.org)
  4. Should you lose weight fast? (2019, nhs.uk)
  5. Why do doctors recommend a slow rate of weight loss? What’s wrong with fast weight loss? (2020, mayoclinic.org)
Nikki Midland

Nikki Midland

Kristen Fleming

Kristen Fleming

I am a U.S. educated and trained Registered Dietitian (MS, RD, CNSC) with clinical and international development experience. I have experience conducting systematic reviews and evaluating the scientific literature both as a graduate student and later to inform my own evidence-based practice as an RD. I am currently based in Lusaka, Zambia after my Peace Corps service was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and looking for some meaningful work to do as I figure out next steps. This would be my first freelance project, but I am a diligent worker and quite used to independent and self-motivated work.

Kristen Fleming, MS, RD, CNSC

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