Everything You Need to Know About The 1000 Calorie Diet Plan

The modern age and processed food have bestowed us with a lot of easy means to plan our meals. But it has also led to a rise in weight gain and obesity which, in turn, are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.

Once considered a problem only in high-income groups, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income groups, mostly in urban settings. Most of us are now in a constant search for the right solution, the ideal diet that will help us reduce weight easily.

From the Vegan Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Keto Diet, and the 1000 Calorie Diet, to the Very Low-Calorie Diet, there are unlimited diet plans endorsed by celebrities and by those who have used such diets successfully to lose their unwanted pounds.

More than science, a lot of myths are associated with these diets and people experiment with them without knowing the right method. What worked for one person may not work for another person due to a variety of reasons. It is advisable to seek the advice of your doctor and your nutritionist before starting any form of diet.

Here our focus is on a very-low-calorie diet, namely the 1000-Calorie Diet’ which is believed to offer quick weight loss. Let’s take a look at whether this is a healthy and effective way to lose weight. What’s harmful and what are the myths surrounding it, as well as, the practical diet plans you can follow to achieve this goal.

First let’s start with what exactly is a low-calorie diet, how that varies from a very-low-calorie diet and where exactly the 1000-calorie diet plan stands in terms of a healthy diet plan.

What’s a Healthy Low-Calorie Diet?

low calorie food

A low-calorie diet is a diet in which the calorie intake is restricted to 1,200 to 1,600 calories per day for men, and 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day for women. This type of diet usually includes foods which are made especially rich in micronutrients that have enough minerals and vitamins to meet the daily requirement. These foods include special shakes, nutrition bars, or soups that replace normal meals. Very low-calorie diets can help a person achieve a weight loss of up to 3 to 5 pounds per week.

For weight loss, most people should consider a low-calorie diet rather than a very low-calorie diet. Less extreme diets are easier to follow, they don’t interrupt normal daily activities, and are less risky if you’re over 50 or have other health problems. In addition, gallstones and other negative effects have been reported in people who go on very-low-calorie diets.

What is a Very Low-Calorie Diet?

In the 1970s, the Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD) was developed for patients with a BMI of 30 or more. They usually needed to lose weight instantly for surgery or in preparation for fertility treatments. The diet plan with a total calorie count of under 800 calories a day is generally considered as a very-low-calorie diet. 

Patients with BMI 27-30 were not recommended this diet unless they had major health issues such as diabetes or heart problems. Such diets are never prescribed to children or teenagers.

Very Low-Calorie Dies are neither considered appropriate for old people nor for pregnant/lactating mothers. Guidance from your doctor is compulsory if attempting such very-low-calorie diets because they can guide you on what’s suitable or harmful to you based on your medical history.

What’s The 1000 Calorie Diet Plan?

A 1000 calorie diet is a plan where the calorie intake for the day is reduced to 1000 calories. The opinion amongst nutritionists is varied related to this diet. As it borders between Low-calorie Diet (LCD) and Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD), it is pertinent to recognize the side effects associated with these two diets and chose to follow a 1000 calorie program in the right manner.

It is frequent and smaller meals, the inclusion of very-low-calorie food, very less carbohydrate and fat and no sugar. It is usually recommended to small frame women who aren’t very active or interested in physical training for fitness.

A 1000 calorie diet decreases the consumption of food and is beneficial in weight reduction. A drastic reduction in calorie intake results in weight loss without or very limited physical activity. In a 1000 calorie diet, you are allowed to consume more complex carbohydrates which produce fewer calories and at a slow pace. Lean meat and lots of fluid are recommended. It is a short term approach though and is effective in reducing the body weight at an average of 8 percent. 

How Does The 1000 Calorie Diet Plan Work?

A 1000 calorie diet produces a rapid weight loss at the beginning of the weight loss program. A patient who is obese can expect to lose around 3-5 pounds in the first few weeks. The average loss in body weight for a 12-week diet program will be close to 40-44 pounds. 

In around 3-6 months, the person undergoing this diet will be able to lose 15 to 25 percent of their initial weight if they slowly make the transition to a healthy lifestyle from 1000 calorie intake with an exercise program and healthy lifestyle to a proper calorie-controlled diet plan.

Research has shown that the long term results of the 1000 calorie diet significantly vary. Even though regaining the weight is common, a balanced combination of diet, exercise and behavior therapy along with following up treatment can prevent this successfully. It has been seen that these people were able to maintain a 5 percent weight loss even after two years.

How Much Weight Loss Is Expected on a 1000 Calorie Diet Plan?

For 2 lbs of weight loss per week, a 1000 calorie deficit in the intake of food is required. 

Weight loss at a higher rate than 2 lbs is not recommended unless done under the proper supervision of a doctor. The potential side effects of this kind of rapid weight loss are gallstone, fatigue, and nausea.

How Long Can You Follow A 1000 Calorie Diet Plan?

A 1000 calorie diet can be sustained for 12-15 weeks under proper guidance. We should carefully decrease our calorie intake, initially reducing it by 500 calories from your recommended calorie. 

This is done in accordance with your physical activity and body structure. It should then be slowly brought to 1000 calorie intake and maintained appropriately with the right choice of food.

Are There Any Benefits in Following 1000 Calorie Diet Plan?

A 1000 calorie diet if done appropriately and with guidance has several benefits. Normally a drastic reduction in calorie intake is suggested to people who are searching for a solution for their overweight problem, so such people tend to find that this improves their quality of life. 

  1. It helps lose fat that in turn reduces the risk of life-threatening heart diseases. It does burn calories swiftly and helps lower cholesterol levels. 
  2. To be more active physically or have a long life,  to deal with diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea or coronary artery diseases. 
  3. Inclusion of fiber-rich fruit, vegetable, and grains ensure a feeling of fullness and prevents overeating. It promotes healthy eating as well and leads to a rapid weight loss.
  4. As the weight starts reducing, less age-related degeneration of the brain occurs. 
  5. It has also been observed to have improved reproductive performance and have lowered the rate of diseases like cancer. 
  6. As people proceed with this diet, studies have shown that the subject group has reported better moods and less daily tension and better overall health. 
  7. The sleep quality and duration increases as well.

But please do keep in mind that these regular periods of calorie restriction should be followed by a healthy diet so that the body has time to recuperate and adjust.

What Are the Risks Associated With 1000 Calorie Diet Plan?

For weight loss to occur, a calorie deficit is essential. It means eating fewer calories than is burned by the body. It is said that one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories and cutting out 500-1000 calories a day would, in theory, lead to one or two pounds of loss in weight per week. But weight loss is not so simple. 

Too much reduction in calorie intake will make your body burn lean muscle which is fat-free mass rather than just the fat. This loss of fat-free mass is among the major drawbacks of this diet. So even though this diet will show a reduction of weight on the weighing scale it won’t reflect in the mirror.

The other major risk factor of a 1000 calorie diet is malnutrition, slow metabolism, and sluggishness because of the lack of variety of food. severe reduction in calories tricks the body to think that it’s in famine condition, and as a result, your metabolism drops. With the drop, weight reduction slows down and can hit a plateau.

What Foods Can We Eat on A 1000 Calorie Diet?

When you are planning your diet, you have to carefully create a healthy menu that will give the required result. For the right balance and maintaining good health, you should critically inspect the calorie density of every food that you eat and choose wisely.

The 1000 calorie diet plan should include foods that are rich in water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin-B, fiber, and proteins. The insoluble fibers present in wheat bran are particularly good. By incorporating low-fat milk and green leafy vegetables you can meet your daily calcium requirement. 

Fruits like strawberries, kiwi, oranges, cantaloupes, pears and different berries like raspberry, blueberry, etc that offer low calories can be incorporated in salads.  Green vegetables like spinach, zucchini, broccoli, artichokes, celery which is packed with vitamins and minerals and have prebiotic fibers that improve gut health are very important to be included in this kind of diet. 

Foods with nearly zero calories should be included in the diet as frequently as possible. They are asparagus, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, apples, arugula, beet, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chard, fennel, grapefruits, kale, jicama, lemon, white mushrooms, papaya, radishes, rutabaga, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, etc. High water content vegetables like cucumber, celery, and peppers are very good choices as they are low in calories. 

What Foods Should We Avoid on A 1000 Calorie Diet?

Oils that are packed with very high calories like coconut oil, palm oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, and lard should be totally restricted. Almond butter, cheese, cream cheese, ghee, cashew butter, peanut butter should be avoided. 

Dry fruits like dried currants, figs, apricots, cranberries, dates and prunes should be totally excluded from the diet and preference should be given to their fresher versions.

Seeds and nuts are very high in fats. In some cases, they have up to 85 percent fat. Just a handful of walnut or macadamia nut can set your diet back by 500 calories. Almond, pistachios, walnut, cashew, pecan, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, and hazelnuts are packed with beneficial fat but can’t be included in a 1000 calorie diet.

What Can We Learn From the Common Mistakes in Following a 1000 Calorie Diet Plan?

The most common mistake people do when they are on a very low-calorie diet like the 1000 calorie diet is not having any physical activity. 

  • If you don’t do any exercise then your weight loss will include more of a muscle mass loss that in turn will decrease your metabolic rate. Exercise helps in reducing the amount of lean mass that the body loses and boosts fat loss. 
  • But we should also prevent ourselves from over-exercising as it may have a bad effect instead of good. 
  • Make sure not to get lured by processed and low-fat diet food. Instead choose a combination of healthy, nutritious high fiber food. 
  • Do not overestimate the number of calories you burn during a workout. Under those circumstances, you end up eating more. 
  • The other big mistake people make when opting for a 1000 calorie diet is they tend to eat less protein. Protein intake is shown to be very important in weight loss. It can reduce appetite by increasing the feeling of fullness, decrease calorie intake and protect muscle mass. 
  • Eating too often can stop your weight loss effort. 
  • You should not have any unrealistic expectations that may lead to frustration and noncontinuity of this diet. 
  • Make sure that your diet has your choicest food which is healthy and fiber-rich. 
  • Even though people cut on their sweetened beverage drink like carbonated drinks or so, drinking fruit juice instead is also not a good choice as it’s loaded with sugar. 
  • Try eating whole foods like whole grains and beans rather than their refined form.
  • Read the food labels carefully before opening packets.

Can You Suggest Some 1000-Calories/Day Diet Plans?

Sample Diet 1 – (1060 Calories)

Early Morning

Warm water and apple cider vinegar ( 0 calories )                

Breakfast (332 calories)

  • Oatmeal – ½ cup
  • Skimmed  milk- 1 cup
  • A pinch of cinnamon powder
  • Apple- 1 

Mid Morning (150 calories)

Low-fat yogurt- 100 grams

Fruit ( orange or kiwi or grapefruit or  guava or any other low-calorie fruit) – ½  bowl

Lunch (281 calories)

Avocado chicken salad with low fat Italian or vinaigrette dressing.

  • Iceberg lettuce – 1 cup
  • Cherry tomatoes – 3
  • red/green bell pepper – ½ cup
  • Red onion – ½ 
  • Avocado – ½ 
  • Chicken breast without the skin – 50 grams

Evening Snack (2 calories)

Black tea 


Black coffee

Dinner (295 calories)

Clear chicken soup

Whole wheat bread

Sample Diet 2 – (997 Calories)

Early Morning

Warm lemon water with honey  (10 calories )


Banana berry smoothie  ( 268 calories )

  • Low-fat milk- 1 cup
  • Honey-1 tsp
  • Fresh strawberries or blueberries-½ cup
  • Ground flaxseed- ½ tbsp
  • Small banana-1

Mid Morning

Whole wheat cracker- 2  (36 calories)

Lunch (255 calories)

Grilled pink salmon-1

Sauteed spinach-  1 cup

Bulgar wheat- ½ cup cooked

Evening (122 calories)

Green tea- 1 cup

Popcorn- 1 serving


 Tofu shirataki noodles with leek, garlic, savoy cabbage, and red onions and chicken ( 300 calories)

  • Tofu shirataki spaghetti or noodles- 1 serving which is 8 oz or 226 gram
  • Leek- ½
  • Garlic- 1 clove
  • Savoy cabbage-¼ cup cooked
  • Red onions- 25 gram
  • Bell pepper-25 grams
  • Chicken without skin-100 grams
  • Vegetable oil-1 tsp

Sample Diet 3 – (1063 Calories)

Breakfast (373 calories)

Whole wheat bread-2

Egg white-2

Sauteed asparagus-4

Small banana-1 

Mid Morning ( 100 calories)

Fruit bowl ( kiwi, apple, blueberry, guava) – 1 cup


Tuna salad (200 calories)

  • Tuna
  • Lettuce
  • Cherry tomato
  • Red onion
  • Low-calorie dressing

Evening (75 calories)

Green tea with two Marie biscuit

Dinner (315 calories)

Lettuce taco with yogurt sauce 2 wraps

Can Diabetics Lose Weight With the 1000 Calorie Diet Plan?

A 1000 calorie diet is used as a fast form of weight loss, where your intention is to lose a few pounds quickly. It can also help you in paving the way for a long term weight loss program.

For people who are obese non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and have failed in most diets, the use of this low-calorie diet has provided an alternative approach to the treatment of uncomplicated obesity. 

Recent studies have indicated that low-calorie diet therapy if done under medical supervision can be beneficial in diabetic patients. It increases insulin action in the liver, reduces hepatic glucose intake, improves glycaemic control. It has also shown to reduce hypertension and hyperlipidemia thereby reducing complications related to diabetes.

As the diet emphasizes on consumption of fruits and vegetables which are high in fiber and water, it provides a feeling of fullness and prevents us from unnecessary eating. It enables us to shed those extra pounds and gives us confidence.

Is a 1000 Calorie Diet Plan Sustainable?

A 1000 calorie diet is a short term weight loss solution and should be followed for a limited time. 

You will need to do the transition to a maintenance plan that includes lifestyle change, healthy eating, and exercise. Normally a 12-week diet program is safely recommended.

Can You Exercise During A 1000 Calorie Diet Program?

Calories provide us with energy for digestion, proper brain function, breathing and maintenance of body tissues and organs. Calories also supply our body with the required energy that is needed for maintaining body functions. The least calorie that is needed by the body is 1200-1800 depending on the body structure. 

When you start on a 1000 calorie diet, you are not giving the body enough for the basics. Exercising on top of that may reduce your calorie drastically forcing your body to go in starvation mode. The metabolic slowdown may make you feel tired and sluggish. As our brain consumes most of the calories, fewer calories can make you irritable and affect your concentration.

Exercise should never be neglected when the main aim is to lose weight. However, when doing a 1000 calorie diet plan, there is no need for a meticulous exercise plan. A balanced approach to food and exercise will work better for you. A slow walk of 30 minutes will be good enough for you during that period. Vigorous training should be restricted.

The Final Note

Of the numerous available diets that are practiced for weight loss, the 1000 calorie diet is one with its due share of benefits and risks.  A 1000 calorie diet involves planning your calorie intake which shouldn’t exceed 1000 calories a day. That means a complete modification of your diet, with the inclusion of nearly zero-calorie and very low-calorie food with a high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. 

It also involves a fair share of macronutrient inclusion which will balance the deficiency of vitamins and minerals caused by such a diet.  It also means a complete exclusion of high-calorie foods like nuts and seeds, oils, butter, cheese, refined and processed foods. It requires a well-planned routine and guidance from your doctor and nutritionist.  

A 1000 calorie diet if done properly can help you reduce your weight up to 3-5 pounds a week. However, it should be borne in mind that these kinds of low-calorie diets are fraught with risks as well. Gallstone and severe stomach disorders have been reported. 

Old people, pregnant ladies, lactating mothers, small kids and people with digestive problems should never engage in this diet program. In the end, you must consider the fact that a 1000 calorie diet may kick start your weight loss but only a healthy lifestyle with balanced food,  regular exercise, an adequate amount of rest and activity will be the probable solution that will continue for a lifetime.