‘Is 1500 calories enough for me to lose weight?’ ‘Is 1500 calories enough for me to maintain my weight or will I gain weight?’ If you have started delving into the world of calorie counting, either for weight loss, gain or maintenance, the answer to the question ‘how many calories do you need per day’ is one that can give you sleepless nights as various websites give various answers to this.
In this article we are going to look further into the 1500 calories meal plan and see if it is a proper meal plan for weight loss or if it works better for maintenance. We shall also be helping you determine calories needed to lose weight, calories needed to maintain weight, how to monitor your food energy intake to lose weight, and so much more. If this sounds like something you are curious about, keep reading to find out more!
What Is A 1500-Calorie Diet?
A 1500 calorie meal plan is an eating plan that restricts your daily caloric intake to 1500 a day. Whether on a keto, paleo, vegan or vegetarian diet, the goal at the end of the day is to make sure that the amount of food and drinks you consume do not exceed the 1500 cals limit. For some people such an eating plan would be to lose or gain weight, while for others who are at a healthy weight, they would use such a meal plan to maintain their current weight status/goal.
Read More: Calorie Dense Foods To Be On The Lookout For
How Many Calories Are Needed To Lose Weight?
If you are wondering ‘is 1500 calories enough to lose weight?’ the answer is not as straightforward as you may think. For some this intake could work to help them lose weight while others may find themselves piling on the pounds, while another portion may end up not noticing any changes on the scale.
Before determining how much calorie intake to lose weight, or gain or maintain it, you need to remember that daily food energy needs are determined by several factors which are namely:
- Current weight
- Level of daily physical activity
- Overall health
Due to these factors, the general rule is that your best calorie intake to lose weight is one that has been reduced by 500 to 1000 calories a day. Such an eating plan is said to help you lose 1 to 2 pounds a weight. Remember that when cutting calories to lose weight, it is best to start small than be tempted to go all in.
Is 1500 Calories Enough For A Woman Per Day?
Yes and no. As stated above, a person’s daily food energy intake is dependent on multiple factors and even with these factors aside it would also depend on her goals. What does the particular woman want to do? Does she desire to gain, lose or maintain her weight?
According to WebMD, adult women, from the age of 18 to 50 years old generally require anywhere between 1800 to 2400 cals a day to maintain their weight – depending on how active they are. Older sedentary women above the age of 50 require a food energy intake of least 1600 a day.
In this specific case, the answer to ‘is 1500 calories enough?’ would be a no.
On the other hand, Harvard Medical School states that a woman looking to shed some extra kilograms can limit her food energy intake to no less than 1200 cals a day, showing that 1500 cals a day can be enough for some women who are intending to lose weight.
Is Eating 1500 Calories A Day Enough To Lose Weight?
If you are wondering ‘is 1500 calories enough to lose weight?’, the answer depends on how many calories you are consuming now at your current weight. If you are currently maintaining your weight and your current diet involves you consuming more than this amount per day, maybe by 500 or more cals, then a 1500 calories meal plan would be enough to help you shed off any extra pounds (1). To determine if this is the best option for you, you can either count your macros or use a reputable calorie counting app like the BetterMe Calorie Counter to gauge where you lie and what changes you can make to your diet.
If you wish to free yourself from all the extra pounds that have been weighting you down for way too long, start using the BetterMe app and overhaul your entire life!
Is 1500 Calories A Day Enough When Pregnant?
This will depend on what your doctor suggests, however, according to MedlinePlus, 1500 cals per day for a pregnant woman might be too little. According to the website, most normal weight expectant mothers require:
- About 1,800 cals per day in the first trimester
- Approximately 2,200 cals per day in the second trimester
- About 2,400 cals per day in the third trimester
On the other hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that generally, in the first trimester a woman does not require any extra cals in her diet. In the second and third trimester, an overweight woman is only required to add 200 and 400 extra cals to her diet, respectively (3).
Why Pregnant Women Are Not Encouraged To Count Calories?
Because pregnant women are in a very delicate position in their lives, calorie counting is often not encouraged. While being aware of your eating habits is important for a pregnant woman, many often do this without any professional help and they often end up undereating and over-exercising. Undereating and over-exercising while expectant can lead to multiple health risks to the mother and, especially to the unborn child.
The mother is at a higher risk of bone and muscle loss, various nutritional deficiencies, and anemia, not to mention fatigue and weakness due to lack of enough food energy. On the other hand, she puts her baby at a risk of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), a condition in which the baby doesn’t grow normally and has a low birth weight.
Smaller babies may end up having to spend time at the hospital due to issues with troubled breathing and feeding, low Apgar score. These babies also have a higher mortality rate, are at a higher risk of obesity later in life and can even be born with intellectual and brain development issues.
With that being said, it is important to note that all hope is not lost. If you are an overweight and expectant woman wondering if limiting your food energy intake is safe for you and your unborn child then the answer is yes, but only under a doctor’s supervision. Overweight, underweight, and normal weight mothers all have different weight gain recommendations during pregnancy. One 2018 study revealed that overweight pregnant women under medical supervision can safely reduce their food energy to help restrict extra weight gain during this time (2).
Is 1500 Calories Enough Calories To Maintain Weight?
Yes, it is but not for everybody. As previously stated, we are not all built the same and every individual has their own recommended food energy intake. The same way that a bodybuilder cannot maintain his weight while eating like a 5’3 moderately active woman, and vice versa, is the same way that not everyone can maintain their weight on 1500 calories. You can determine your ideal maintenance by using a reputable app.
Is 1500 Calories Enough For A Man When Working Out?
The average amount of food energy that a man needs to consume while losing weight differs from person to person. While some say that the number should not go below 1500, others say that it should be anywhere between 1600 (sedentary man) to 1800 (active) cals a day. This only goes to show that while a sedentary man can lose weight on a 1500 calorie meal plan, an active man who works out may find it hard.
Why is this so? According to bicycling.com, people who exercise need to not only account for the food energy used by their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) for bodily functions such as breathing, digesting, pumping blood and blinking, but they also have to take into account calories needed while working out.
When you workout vigorously and for long periods of time, you burn a lot more calories than someone who works out for 30 minutes a day or even someone who doesn’t exercise at all and for you to recover your energy levels, you have to eat more than these two people and thus a 1500 calorie meal plan may end up being too little for you.
Points To Remember
Remember that exercising a lot and not fueling up with food will not lead to more weight loss. Instead, it will most likely lead to starvation mode and you will be too tired and weak which will affect your performance at the gym, can lead to muscle loss, lowered immunity, depression, and more undesired side effects.
To determine the best calorie intake for you to consume when working out, we suggest using a reputable calorie counter to not only log in your food, but to also log in your workouts. The app will take the workout into consideration and give you an healthy food energy intake that will allow you to eat well, workout, and still lose weight.
The Bottom Line
So, is 1500 calories enough for your day to day? The simplest answer to this is that it depends as it differs from person to person. While some people can easily survive and maintain their weight on a 1500 cals meal plan other people may find that it’s too low for them while others could find themselves gaining weight. An important fact to remember is that we are all different and what works for your friend, partner, or siblings may not be the best for you.
Supplement your diet with some exercise to double your results. Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
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. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Low-calorie diets and sustained weight loss (2001, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Overweight pregnant women can safely cut calories, restrict weight gain (2018, sciencedaily.com)
- TRACKING YOUR WEIGHT For Women Who Begin Pregnancy with Obesity (n.d., cdc.gov)