There are a lot of fad diets in the last few years. From intermittent fasting to keto diets, people can choose from a variety of diets to get that unwanted weight off. However, some of the most effective diets work because your body is on a caloric deficit. It means that your body burns more calories than what you’re eating.
Enter the 1500-calorie diet. Some individuals believe that this helped them lose weight while others feel sluggish when they are doing the 1500-calorie diet.
According to experts, reducing your calorie intake by 500 to 1000 calories every day will give you 1-2 pounds off per week. Given this number, is the 1500 calorie intake healthy? On most occasions, yes, it can be considered safe. Men can lose weight safely by consuming 1500-1800 calories per day and 1200 to 1500 calories per day for women.
Not For Everyone
But let’s be real, the 1500 calorie diet isn’t for everyone. Active men, just to maintain their weight will need to consume 3,000 calories per day while women need to consume 2,400 calories per day to maintain their weight according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Let’s consider a 150-pound cyclist for example. A 150-pound male cyclist could burn 540 calories in just an hour of riding his bike at a speed of 12 miles per hour. On top of that, adults have a basal metabolic rate of close to, if not higher than 1500 calories per day.
What Happens When You Restrict Your Intake to Just 1500 Calories?
What happens when you start restricting the amount of calories that you take daily to just 1500 calories? For starters, the fewer calories you consume, the more likely that you will be able to lose weight. But of course, where does the weight loss come from?
There is a chance that it’s not just your body fat that you’re losing. There is also a chance that you will be losing muscle mass along the way. And since you are under-fueled, it is also possible that your body will find ways to save energy and it means increasing your body fat stores. This is also the reason why a highly restrictive diet isn’t an ideal long-term solution to weight loss.
What to Expect From a 1500 Calorie Diet?
First, you have to understand that an ideal 1500-calorie diet contains all the necessary foods. It means that every calorie counts. That also means you can say goodbye to simple sugars and starchy foods that contain extra calories.
A 1500-calorie diet usually contains high amounts of protein. Lean meat and chicken are among staple foods that you can expect from this type of diet. Also, expect a lot of low-calorie but nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and fruits.
Is 1500 Calorie Diet A Good Option to Lose Weight?
If you’re seriously considering losing weight, then this can be a good option for you. But of course, it doesn’t apply to everyone. It is best if you can talk to a nutritionist before you even try this type of diet.
Also, there is a study that proves intermittent fasting is just as good as a highly restrictive diet. Alternate fasting and feasting were discovered to be just as effective as doing a 1500-calorie diet.
How to Prepare for a 1500-Calorie Diet
In case you’re serious about doing a 1500-calorie diet, there are a few things that you will need to do. This isn’t exactly easy and healthy in the long run, which is why you’d want to do it only for a short period.
You also want to make sure that you are going to know the timing of your meals. If you are still incorporating workouts while you are on a restrictive diet, it might be a good idea to eat a chunk of your day’s worth of calories right after the workout. This can minimize or prevent the body from catabolizing your muscle mass.
Next, you also want to be drinking lots of water throughout the day. Consider drinking at least 2 liters of water to fight hunger pangs.
As for snacks in between meals, be sure that you’re going to prepare have high protein foods ready. Eggs and nuts are some of the best options that you can eat in between meals. This will help prevent hunger and contribute to maintaining your body’s muscle mass.
1500 Calorie Diet Isn’t For Me. What’s a Better Alternative?
Weight loss shouldn’t have a cookie-cutter approach. It means that weight loss isn’t just all about restricting the number of calories that a person would consume in a day. There are a variety of factors that you’d need to consider including your level of activity, age, gender, fitness level, stress, and many others. Instead of worrying too much about your calories, it is more important to be looking into your macronutrients and the quality of the food that you eat.
Are you meeting the protein requirements for your daily needs? Do you get enough vitamins and minerals from your diet?
Instead of being obsessed with calories, try to focus more on small changes such as cleaning your diet. Perhaps, you can cut refined sugar in your diet and stick with whole-grain carbohydrates. You’d be surprised how you will not only feel better but also lose weight in the process without depriving the body of food and nutrients.
Depending on who you ask, a 1500-calorie diet may or may not be enough for a person’s daily requirements. If you live a sedentary life, then this is something that you might want to consider. But for someone who lives an active life, 1500 calories per day can potentially do more harm than good. Also, you want to consult a nutritionist first before you cut a significant amount of calories.