The 1000 kcal diet is a low-calorie diet. As the name suggests, this type of diet is based on limiting the calorie intake to 1000 kcal – about 50% of the daily calorie requirement of a physically active adult. Some people use the 1000 kcal diet to quickly lose weight. The diet often includes special foods such as cocktails, bars or soups that replace meals and ensure an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals. Very low-calorie diets can help you achieve weight loss of 1 to 3 kilograms per week.
Calorie reduction and its additional effects
The obvious reason for reducing calories on a 1000 kcal diet is to help you lose weight. However, there are very interesting data from animal studies that show that there are additional effects related to calorie reduction. As stated in the Molecular Aspects of Medicine in June 2011, studies show that animals undergoing calorie restriction periods, including primates, have:
- Longer life.
- A higher level of physical activity.
- Lower cancer rates.
- Less age-related degeneration of the brain
- Improved reproductive functions.
It should be remembered that animal studies and observations included regular calorie restriction periods followed by a healthy diet. In other words, the bodies of animals had time to adapt healthily to slightly lower calorie intake over a long period of time. 
Why is the 1000 kcal diet worth trying?
A study published in June 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine provided insight into what happens to people when they reduce calories. The study covered people who were not obese because weight loss in obese people is often used to reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and coronary artery disease, and to improve their quality of life.
Researchers in this study followed 218 participants for two years. The average age was 38 years, at the time of registration participants could have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of up to 28 but not less than 22. The groups were randomly selected to continue on a normal diet or to participate in a 1000 kcal diet.
Registered dieticians monitored participants’ weekly food logs to determine the total number of calories. All participants were encouraged to exercise for at least five days a week for 30 minutes a day.
This is what was established. First, and not surprisingly, people in the group where they ate less calories lost more weight. On average they lost 7.6 kg compared to those in the second group who lost 0.4 kg. Even more interesting was the impact of calorie restriction on quality of life. Those who reduced their calories reported a better mood and less daily stress, and better overall health throughout the study period.
1000 kcal a day. Too little or enough?
It seems logical that if the problem is excess weight, you would like to eat as little as possible to speed up your weight loss. Usually the rule is that people need at least 1200 calories per day to stay healthy. People who have a busy exercise routine or do a lot of daily activities need more calories. Therefore, it is unlikely that a 1000 kcal diet without the supervision of a doctor should be used for a long time.
Sometimes obese people go on a very low-calorie diet for a short period of time to achieve a certain weight loss goal, but then switch to a diet with more calories to achieve and maintain the desired weight. Such a diet should be supervised by a doctor or nutritionist so that it is nutritionally balanced.
The 1000 calorie diet – for whom
The 1000 kcal diet can be used by overweight people. It is worth remembering that weight loss is a key lifestyle choice to improve general health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, premature joint disease, high blood pressure and cancer.
But reducing the risk of these diseases is only part of the potential benefit of reducing calories. Many other factors can improve your life skills and daily functioning. If you are in the normal weight range, new research also suggests the potential benefit of calorie restriction if done carefully – unless your BMI drops below 22.
When you begin to feel the improvement in your quality of life, sleep and other benefits, they will help positively strengthen your goals and make the 1000 kcal diet a daily habit. And when you feel better, become more active and maintain a healthy diet, you will have the added benefit of improving your heart and muscles.
Basic principles of the 1000 kcal diet
- Consult a doctor or qualified dietician before starting a low-calorie diet. This will help you make sure that a low-calorie diet is right for you and avoid unwanted health complications. Ask your doctor if you have to worry about high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
- calculate activity levels and energy requirements (calories). The key to losing weight on a 1000 kcal diet is to burn more calories every day than you take.
- calculate your calorie intake. This is relatively easy when you eat packed food because you can simply read the label. When you cook your own meals, estimating calories can be more complicated. You can use a sheet with the calculated calorie content of your meals.
- keep a diary. Reducing calories requires daily dedication and planning, and a good way to do this is to keep a daily diary. Your diet will be more successful if you control your daily calorie intake.
- eat healthy, nutritious food. It is important to eat nutritious, full foods during a low-calorie diet. Include vegetables in your diet. Vegetables are low in fat, often high in protein and very low in calories. Some vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, celery and cauliflower, actually burn more calories when your body digests them than they contain in the first place.
- reduce the amount of unhealthy saturated and trans fats consumed. Unhealthy fats are found in bread, oily meat and fried foods. Only 20-35% of the daily calorie intake should come from fats. It is important to remember that fats are still an important part of the diet and should not be completely eliminated.
- although it is good to eat dairy products and drink milk on a low-calorie diet, try to find low-fat dairy products.
- eat whole meal products and fruit. Complex carbohydrates will provide plenty of nutrients and energy, give you a feeling of satiety between meals and have a low-fat content. Plan for carbohydrates to make up 45-65% of your diet. Complex carbohydrates often blend well in the soup.
- supplement your diet with proteins. Instead of eating fatty red meat, eat low-fat foods like poultry and fish. Protein provides a lot of energy during the day. 10-35% of your daily calorie intake should come from protein. Leguminous plants such as beans and lentils are also an excellent source of protein.
1000 kcal diet – opinions
When browsing the Internet, you will come across an unimaginably large number of different opinions on the diet of thousand calories. Mostly their evaluation is subjective and depends on the side of contact with the topic of 1000 kcal diet. People whose priority was to lose a few extra pounds usually express themselves in superlatives and describe the entire course of the treatment. On the other hand, nutrition specialists usually do not deny the position of people who cared about losing weight, but in terms of content they try to discourage other interested ones with a view to health.
Websites, blogs, thematic forums are public places where everyone can make their subjective observations. It is not recommended to base your dietary decisions on messages from this information channel. The best decision before starting to implement a 1000 kcal diet is a medical or dietary consultation. However, below we have included some important and different statements about the 1000 kcal diet found in the Internet.
The opinion has been translated: “The weight loss process is inextricably linked to the reduction of energy intake. Radical reduction of supplied calories will certainly not be without an echo in our body. Unfortunately, for the average person (whose need is defined at the level of 2000kcal/day), the 1000 kcal diet is too drastic an approach to the subject of weight loss. Yes, the effect of weight loss can be satisfactory and fast, unfortunately, with many adverse factors. Vitamin and mineral deficiency are one of them. Such a large reduction in calories is also a forced change in the meals you eat to make them as efficient as possible. This can have a significant impact on your well-being.”
– Ernesto H. Food specialist from Spain in response to an e-mail.
The opinions of people who have used this method of weight loss
Despite all the legend, different opinions of doctors and specialists, the 1000 kcal diet is still a highly popular weight loss treatment. Significant reduction of calories delivered to our body usually translates into quickly noticeable effects, which is confirmed by entries on various thematic websites. Below are some of them:
“My therapy for all life’s failures was eating junk food. Even the best form that I achieved was able to chasm in a few moments after a few dozen days of unhealthy eating at night. When worries about work, love failure or financial problems disappear, the excess weight remains. One day I came across your article about the 1000 kcal diet. I wasn’t optimistic about such a radical change of my habits… My friend advised me to have a short trial period. I did. I tried it for a week first. I lost 2.5 kilos, then continued the second week. The total weight loss is just over 4 kilos. Personally, I am satisfied, because for my modest 52 kilos it is quite a difference. However, I can’t imagine a longer period than 2 weeks of this diet.”
– wrote Mrs. Alice from Bydgoszcz
“I am a long-distance truck driver. My work is very exhausting and there is not always time for sports. 1000 kcal diet is a very popular way to lose weight. Due to my little physical activity, I could afford it several times. The most important aspect of the use and impressive effects of the 1000 kcal diet is the right choice of meals. The requirements for such a treatment are certainly systematic and persevering even in a short period of time. My weekly reduction is enough once in a while. It builds character and loses weight. My one-time record for this treatment is -5.3 kg. The right choice of carbohydrates reduces the feeling of sluggishness and exhaustion.”
– Christopher stated his experiences
If you have your own experience with the 1000 calories diet and would like to share it with other users, write to us: email@example.com. Our portal is probably the largest source of information collected on the 1000 kcal diet. Your contribution will certainly influence the development of our service and providing the best possible, verified information.
1000 kcal diet simple meal plan
Each diet written with numbers must be divided into selected meals. In the case of a 1000 calorie diet, the meals should be a minimum of four. However, in order to maintain a systematic supply of the necessary energy resources, below we will provide a simple version of the menu divided into 5 meals. Of course, 1000 kcal can be consumed in different ways. An example of the fastest highly undesirable consumption can be one sandwich in a fast food bar with fries aside. Proper understanding of the 1000 kcal diet also means selecting the right proportions of nutrients. On average, a simple 1000 calories diet should contain 150 grams of carbohydrates, 70 grams of protein and only 20 grams of fats.
How to plan calories and select the right products? Here is one of the most popular examples:
– 250 kcal
- Second meal
– 100 kcal
– 350 kcal
– 100 kcal
– 100 kcal
Breakfast: 1 slice of whole meal bread, 2 slices of yellow cheese, 1 small tomato, coffee or tea without sugar
Second lunch: 1 pack of low-fat fruit yoghurt
Lunch: Boil and strain the wholegrain pasta (200g), fry 2 slices of sliced ham in a pan and add 2 eggs, add the pasta and mix everything together.
Snack: 2 mandarins, tea
Dinner: Greek salad: 200g low-fat feta cheese, 1-2 small onions, 4 lettuce leaves, half pepper, 1 tomato, garlic and basil – combine everything together and sprinkle with ½ lemon juice at the end.
Summary – expected effects of the 1000 calories diet
As you can see, despite the high calorie deficit, the food does not have to be tedious. This is just one of many proposed meal plans for weight loss. The most important thing is to take responsibility and listen to your body properly. If you have a large calorie deficit, you must remember the right proportions of nutrients. Many people declare that the 1000 calorie diet is associated with a radical withdrawal from eating. Well, no! If you are going to decide on such a way of losing weight, you need to have properly balanced meals, which ultimately will not satisfy your body’s needs anyway.
Asking experts in the field of nutrition/weight loss for whom a diet of 1000 calories would be appropriate, the average answer is as follows: If you mean a woman, this is a person 79 years old, 1 meter tall and 55 centimeters high, weighing 45 kilograms, whose physical activity is moderate. Moderation can be compared to three walks a week. Therefore, if you are not in the designated age, weight and height range, consult your doctor or nutritionist before using this radical weight loss method.
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Frequently asked questions – 1000 kcal diet
A 1000 kcal diet, when can you expect the effects?
The effects of a low-calorie diet should be visible very quickly. Depending on your level of activity, you should lose up to five kilograms in a few weeks, or perhaps more. The effects of the 1000 calorie diet can be seen in the first week.
Is the 1000 kcal diet healthy?
It depends on how exactly it is followed, so medical supervision is recommended. Your doctor or nutritionist can help you make sure you get the right mix of nutrients and enough calories to keep you safe and healthy. There is a very small group of people for whom this diet is dedicated. Most of the cases associated with rapid weight loss and high calorie deficiency are associated with negative consequences for the user. Plan your 1000 kcal diet responsibly with the help of your doctor or dietitian.
What effects can I expect with a 1000 calorie diet after a month?
The 1000 kcal diet allows you to lose up to 7 kilograms in one session. A monthly period of such a high calorie deficit is not recommended in any period of a person's life. In case of excessive fattening, this diet will help slow down your metabolism and improve your overall condition.