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...

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 have been on 1100 per day for a few days and my weight loss has been slightly higher than that. The person who had very little weight to lose ie 6-7lbs would lose on 1200 calories, but more slowly, they would be fine on 1000 for one week and then continuing with 1200 until they have lost the weight. The people who are heavier will lose weight much more quickly, but it is appropriate for them to do so as they can get the nutrients they need from 1200- 1500 calories. Most diet plans allow for a quick start and take into account that heavier people burn more calories .it is why weightwatchers recalculate peoples points as they lose weight.
Many people do not realise how much they are eating as they do not weigh their food and they underestimate how big their helpings are; especially things like spreads and salad dressings.
Obviously you also need to consider other factors such as age , activity level and how much you want to lose.


10/14/2015 - 1:46pm

Um, this cannot be right unless you fall within a particular weight zone. I'm 5'3, 127 lbs. I need to lose about 4-7 lbs to be comfortable (and still healthy) but according to this formula I would only eat 1024 calories/day to lose 1 lb a week and 524 calories/day to lose 2 lbs a week. Since 1200 calories is the lowest healthiest amount one should consume I can't follow this formula. Conversely, were I obese (say 300 lbs), according to this formula I'd be A-OK consuming 2600-3100 calories per day.

This formula is effective if you are around 165-185 lbs but if not, I urge you to simply ramp up your vegetable intake, only consume lean meats, be careful with empty carbs (i.e. sweet, alcohol), and see a personal trainer who can get you on a fitness plan that you are comfortable with. I promise you, less than a year ago I was 152 lbs with a BMI of 32 and I dropped 25 lbs in a year simply by doing these things so you can too.


08/13/2015 - 11:08am

I had thyroid cancer, so now i am have hypothyroidism and they just balanced my meds to where I feel good and have energy. However during that time I PACKED on the pounds. unfortunatly I am considered morbidly Obese. I currently weight 348 pounds! :( However, I have never struggled with will power when i feel good, which I do...and I never really ate more than 2000 calories before my cancer. I recently returned to about a 2000 calorie diet, though considering my age, weight, and height I am losing about 8 pounds a week. I anticipate it falling off, though Is this ok? Just considering my size.


01/12/2015 - 9:38pm

The weight loss goal one should be aiming for will depend on their BMI. Height should be considered too. If you are 5'4 and weighs 120lbs you are just on the normal weight. All you have to do is maintain that. If there are fats in some areas, do some tone up exercises to solve that. Yes, common sense should be applied here.


12/26/2014 - 6:26pm

I'm 17 years old and I'm 6,3 and 240lbs.

My Meals Consist of.

Lean Pocket - 180cal
Lentil Soup - 260cal
Noodles /w plain pasta sauce - 390cal
Trail Mix - 350cal

1250 Calories with I walk around 15k steps and I work as a metal fabricator.

Losing weight quickly and I feel great.


10/27/2014 - 8:31pm

I went from 195 to 175 in less than three months, eating once a day. I pack 1500 cal in one single meal, eat about 4pm. No hunger pangs,no starving, eating well,lots of water. Stop complaining. It works if you set your mind for it to work. No excuses.


09/28/2014 - 10:35am

I weigh 120 Ibs. How in the world am I suposed to eat 1440kcal when normally I eat about 1800kcal a day?!


07/27/2014 - 10:04pm

I find a 1,500 calorie diet to be satisfying but not OVERLY indulgent. 3 meals and 2-3 snacks spaced evenly throughout the day.

Unfortunately, the less you weigh, the harder it is to lose weight. To lose a pound a week, I'd have to eat 1,200 calories a day (1,084 actually). I currently weigh between 129-133. If you can lose weight on a 1,500-2,000 calorie diet, lucky you!


07/19/2014 - 7:37pm

"Um no. Just no. According to your formula I should be eating 2960 calories a day. If I did that I'd be GAINING weight not losing it."

Um, yes! If you are 247 lbs then you have been eating at least 2960 calories a day. Eat less than that and you will lose weight. My weight is pretty steady around 175, and lo and behold I eat about 2100 calories a day.


06/01/2014 - 5:35pm

There is common sense that needs to be applied here. Unless you eat exactly the same thing every single day, it's unlikely that you're consuming the same amount of calories - particularly if you aren't weighing/measuring your food. Likewise, unless your movements are exactly the same every day, the calories burned through movement likely fluctuates. Some people need a guideline - which this provides, but the reality is eat less - move more. Period. Play around with it. 10 years ago, I lost 50 lbs following Atkins, I tried it to lose more 5 years ago and didn't lose a lb. I reduced my calories and lost 30 more lbs - as you age and change your habits, your calorie requirements change all the time and the quality of the calories makes a difference. make some simple substitutions every day and reduce the liquid calories and move a little more, go for a walk after lunch in addition to whatever other exercise. After a few weeks if it doesn't make a difference, you need to make a few more small changes until you find the right mix. Also... keep in mind that there are unrealistic images of what someone should look like and the weights you are trying to achieve might be too low for your specific body - no calculation is going to change that..


05/01/2014 - 12:07pm

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