What Does a 1,500-Calorie Diet Look Like?

By Nicci Micco, EatingWell 500 Calorie Dinners (2010)

Create your own 1,500-calorie day with these delicious and satisfying meals to help you lose weight.

"I did a calculation based on my weight of 180lbs and the number of calories needed to maintain my weight was about correct. For a weight loss of 2lb per week it came out at just under 1200 calories and they suggest 1200 as a minimum. I...

Here's a few problems I have with most of these "diets" and many of these recipes:
1. I am ONE PERSON - most of these recipes are meant to make 4 servings. Was any thought put into perhaps placing these recipes in one of those "flexible databases" that downsizes the ingredients according to how many servings you tell it you need?

2. I am one BUSY person, and darned tired when I get home from working and running errands. Does anyone here SERIOUSLY have 40 minutes to spend just making the salmon in a full dinner from one of these menus?? I certainly don't! If it isn't doable in 10-15 minutes it ain't happenin'!
3. Most of these diet plans don't seem to acknowledge that many of us come from ethnic groups other than Caucasian. How about some recipes that include African-American, Hispanic and the various Asian cultures *from right here in America*??!


01/06/2010 - 12:06pm

I, too, am a busy person... but concessions must be made to allow time for my priorties, such as healthful eating and exercise.

One of the most common misconceptions about healthy living is that you have to have a lot of time. Really, all it takes is planning.

If you cut 10 minutes off your 20-minute shower, 20 minutes off your computer time, skip one of your 30-minute sitcoms, and get up 15 minutes earlier and go to bed 15 minutes later, that's a whole 1.5 hours a day that you could be using toward doing something beneficial for yourself.

I loved the lunch suggestions... particularly the Greek, Italian, and Thai. They sound delicious and easy. Thank you!


01/07/2010 - 8:42pm

I understand your complaints, here are a couple tips I use:

If you only want to make 1 serving of a 4 serving recipe, then divide the amount of each ingredient by 4!

Also, I usually cook 2 or 3 meals a week, usually on weekends, and eat leftovers for dinner all week long.


01/07/2010 - 10:29pm

12 x your current body weight?! where did that calculation come from?? there's no way I could eat that few calories, exercise and maintain my current weight.


01/08/2010 - 1:23am

Well, in regards to your first problem, why don't you take the extra portions of the meal and store it in the fridge for another day? If it makes 4 servings and you are only ONE person, you then have a good meal for, um... let's count 'em, 4 days??

Which then brings me to your next issue, scheduling in the cooking time. I don't know about you, but I work multiple jobs, go to school full time and am raising a family, yet I STILL manage to squeeze in time in the evening to make a decent and healthy meal for everyone. Why don't you spend a few more minutes when you come home, cooking and working around your kitchen instead of popping in a frozen pizza and plopping onto your couch for the night! But then again, if you followed the previous advice I gave and stored your food in the first place, then you wouldn't even be whining about such an issue.

The last one I'd agree with you on, but as far as I can tell from most of these recipes, they're fairly basic. Chicken, fish, veggies... when were these foods labeled solely as "Caucasian" cuisine?


01/08/2010 - 1:57am

The 12 x HAS to be a misprint!


01/11/2010 - 5:17pm

the current weight X 12 does NOT include exercise!


01/12/2010 - 12:43pm

Hi all! Great questions about the daily calorie calculation. This is a formula 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. Good luck! --Nicci Micco, M.S., Deputy Editor of Nutrition


01/12/2010 - 1:42pm

How could weight x 12 be right. If you weigh 140 pounds thats about 1700 calories a day. Are you telling me you can only have 700 calories a day if you want to lose 2 pounds a week?


01/13/2010 - 7:45pm

To quote the article: "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."

So, therefore, no you're not meant to eat only 700 calories a day to lose weight. That's not at all what they're recommending.


01/14/2010 - 11:57am

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