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 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...

The picture actually is 1500 calories - the smoothie + yogurt/berries/(cereal?) mix is about 300 claories or so. If you think that all that food in the picture is worth 300 clories, you have a big problem on your hands.


12/16/2011 - 4:38pm

the picture above is 300 calories not 1500!


12/12/2011 - 7:17pm

Unless you are actually weighing your food and preparing it all your self you have no idea how much food you are eatting


08/10/2010 - 9:32am

I agree with "calories count'. I am just behind you...have lost 12 pounds in about 8 weeks, I weighed 168, now down to 156..need to lose another 20...and yes, though it's a bit slow, the body responds much better than with a crash diet that has you gain all the weight back in about 1 week!! I also am swimming 2 times a week (only for about 20-25 minutes) and walking for 30 minutes...I feel so much better, I know this is well worth the time!


07/28/2010 - 10:50am

I like the photos of the food to show an example of what a 1500 calorie day could look like. Some folks need a bit of help thinking up some meals, and this looks to be a well-balanced daily menu with a good assortment of items from the various food groups. However, I'm with other writers who suggest the weight times 12 to show calories to maintain weight is low. That would require me at 140 to need to drop below 1200 calories a day just to lose a pound a week, and losing 1.5 pounds or more would be out of the question with other factors not considered.

Of course, there certainly are those other factors, such as age, quality of foods consumed (junk food versus healthy), one's exercise program and daily activity's certanly not a one-size-fits-all mathematical equation! I've heard the figure of 15 times one's weight as an estimate. But as another comment mentioned, that would be quite a high daily caloric intake for an extremely overweight person hoping to shed pounds.

One thought to consider: a healthy, well-planned eating plan of 1200 calories can be more nutritionally- satisfying than a 2,000+ calorie one comprised mostly of unwise choices (consider that one popular fast food "value meal" contains 1400 calories).

Ann (


07/27/2010 - 7:41pm

Who came up with body weightx12 to maintain rule? Anyone following those guidelines would do serious, irreversible damage to their body eating that little.Even if they were bedridden! I'm a very, very small person I maintain on double the amount suggested here.


07/03/2010 - 11:03pm

This isn't even remotely accurate for me. I weigh about 250 pounds (down from 320 initially), which gives me 3000 calories. To lose 1 pound a week I should be eating 2500 and to lose 2 pounds a week I should be eating 2000? I don't think so. I burn at least 1800 calories a week at the gym and I gain weight when I eat more than 1700 calories a day. I wish I could lose weight with 2000 calories a day, lol.

- Josie


07/02/2010 - 2:47am

If some would read the article thoroughly - they advise not to go BELOW 1200 calories a day. read people!


06/30/2010 - 10:53am

Everyone CAN definitely follow th eexrcise portion of this... moderated active activity is a 1/2 hour power walk. My mom does that. or swimming. Both are low impact, easy on the joints


06/23/2010 - 9:52am

Sweetie, if you're running 35 miles a day, this article was not meant for you! It's meant for people who have issues maintaining or losing weight. Don't ake things so literally, it's not all about you.


06/22/2010 - 11:38pm

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