"well I'm 29 and weigh 250 lbs, I gain weight weekly so I probably have a 3000+calorie diet. The hardest part for me will be changing and planning my food. cutting my diet to 1500 is going to be murder "
More from EatingWell 500-Calorie Dinners
EatingWell's 500-Calorie Dinners
EatingWell's 500-Calorie Dinner Challenge
6 Secrets to Losing Weight
500-Calorie Dinners: 30-Minute Dinners
500-Calorie Dinners: Chicken
500-Calorie Dinners: Fish
500-Calorie Dinners: Vegetarian
500-Calorie Dinners: Beef
500-Calorie Dinners: Sandwiches
500-Calorie Dinners: Salads
500-Calorie Dinners: Soups
500-Calorie Dinners: Pork & Lamb
More Diet Tips & Recipes
Download a FREE 5-Day 1,500-Calorie Meal Plan & Shopping List
Weight-Loss Diet Meal Plan
Breakfasts That Fight Fat
7 Foods That Do the Weight-Loss Work for You
Bad Foods You Should Be Eating
Quick Low-Calorie Dinner Recipes
$3 Diet Dinners
Quick Light Lunches
3 Weight-Loss Myths Debunked
3 Antidotes to Overeating
EatingWell Diet Challenge
Most people will lose weight on a daily diet of 1,500 calories, which is the total calorie count for all the food pictured above. If you want to be even more precise about cutting calories, this simple calculation will give you a daily calorie goal that can help you lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Calculate your calorie goal
YOUR CURRENT WEIGHT X 12 = calories needed to maintain your weight
To lose 1 pound/week: Cut 500 calories/day
To lose 2 pounds/week: Cut 1,000 calories/day
Note: For healthy weight loss, we don't advise losing more than two pounds per week. If you calculate a daily calorie goal that's less than 1,200, set your calorie goal at 1,200 calories. Below that, it's hard to meet your nutrient needs—or feel satisfied enough to stick with a plan.
To create your own 1,500-calorie day, browse the breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner recipes below.
For breakfast, choose one of these 300- to 350-calorie breakfast options.
Aim to make lunch 325 to 400 calories. Try some of these options.
Add in a couple of healthy snacks. How about some of these options...
For questions about the daily calorie calculation: This formula is used in many clinical weight loss trials—and, it's true—it assumes that the person using the equation is sedentary. If you're an active person and you're finding that your result (say 1200 calories) is too low, bump it up gradually to one that feels satisfying to you. The point is NOT to starve yourself. Most people will lose weight on a 1500 calorie diet, some on an even higher caloric level. The best gauge for whether you're at the right level is how satisfied you feel (you shouldn't be hungry all day!) and whether you're losing weight. If you're losing weight on 1800 a day and you feel great, stick with that. The calculation is just a suggested starting point.
—Nicci Micco, M.S., Deputy Editor of Nutrition