Today you and I are going to cover if a 1000 calorie diet is safe and effective for weight loss.
We are going to go over the pros, the cons, and by the end of this article you will know whether you should move forward with a 1000 calorie diet or not.
My only ask of you is to read each point as they come up so you can make an educated decision for yourself by the time you get done reading this.
I want you to leave here knowing without a doubt what you are going to do moving forward so you can start seeing the results you want.
Deal? Perfect, let’s jump in then.
Does a 1000 Calorie Diet Work?
Let’s first define what we mean by “work”.
Most people determine if a diet “works” or not by the amount of pounds they are able to lose on said diet.
Which, I understand the thinking behind this, but we will dive a bit deeper on this shortly.
Therefore by those standards would a 1000 calorie diet work for weight loss? It sure as heck would.
Why would it work? Because the only thing you need in order for you to lose weight is to be in a calorie deficit .
This simply just means you are eating less calories than your body burns in order to lose weight.
If you are doing that, you will be losing weight. By the way, this is the only way you are going to lose weight no matter what diet you do.
A calorie deficit is not a “diet”. A calorie deficit is an energy balance equation and it is the point of every single diet out there.
No matter if it’s a 1000 calorie diet, keto diet, fasting diet. They are all just different methods of getting you into a calorie deficit.
It is that simple, not easy, but simple.
So, if we just established that a 1000 calorie diet “works”, what else is there to be said?
Well because we said it works by the definition of what most people use as working. Let me tell you about what my definition of a diet working is and there may be a slight variance in the answer.
A Diet That “Works”
After coaching clients with their weight loss both in person and online for over 4 years now, I have a different definition of whether a diet “works” or not than what most people have.
You see, I have had literally thousands of people I have trained. From all different age groups, all different parts of the world, male or female.
If there is one thing I have taken from these experiences that I see more common than anything else it is this.
The hard part is not losing the weight, the hard part is keeping it off forever.
Most people can lose some weight. You may lose 20lbs in 2 months doing keto, you may cut out all sugar for 3 weeks and drop 9 lbs.
But what happens 6 months after you start doing keto? Or what happens the 5th week of you trying to do no sugar?
You more than likely gain some, if not all, if not MORE of the weight back that you initially lost.
You see, anyone can lose weight. Hell you reading this right now probably have done something pretty damn similar to what I just mentioned above.
To me, if you lost weight just to gain it back again, that diet did not “work”.
What I define as a diet “working” is if you are able to not only lose the weight, but keep it off forever.
Whenever I take on a new coaching client, my thought process is not “how can I get them to lose the most amount of weight in the shortest amount of time possible?!”.
It is “how can we not only lose the weight, but do so in a sustainable manner that allows them to keep the weight off forever”.
I don’t know about you, but I have 0 interest in my clients losing weight just so they can gain it right back 4 months later.
What in the hell is the point of that? Why would you do that to yourself? That is beyond not only physically exhausting but more so mentally exhausting.
So, What Do You Do To Make Sure The Weight Stays Off Forever?
If you want to lose weight and keep it off forever, then what you do in order to lose the weight needs to be something you can sustain for the rest of your life.
Whatever you do to lose the weight is going to be the same thing you will have to do in order to maintain the weight you lose.
Now I don’t mean the exact calorie number or food consumption because there is a difference between being in a calorie deficit, a calorie maintenance, or a calorie surplus.
A calorie deficit means you are eating less calories than your body burns, causing you to lose weight.
A calorie maintenance you are eating around the same calories as your body burns, causing you to maintain your weight.
Finally a calorie surplus means you are eating more calories than your body burns, causing you to gain weight.
Therefore you cannot be in a calorie deficit forever or you would literally dwindle down to nothing and probably die.
What I mean when I say the same way you will lose the weight is the same way you will keep the weight off comes down to the habits you implement in order to lose the weight.
Let’s dive a bit deeper here, shall we?
1000 Calorie Diet : Will It “Work”?
Now that we have our new definition of what makes a diet work, let’s talk about if a 1000 calorie diet will pass or fail this test.
When looking at if this is something that may be sustainable or not let’s look at what you would have to do in order to eat 1000 calories a day.
First starting off, 1000 calories a day is next to nothing. A simple meal at a restaurant usually averages about 1000 calories. The average American dinner can be anywhere between 5-800 calories.
Hell, just snacking throughout the day alone can have some peoples calorie totals rise up to 5-800 as well.
If you have never truly counted your calories before, I would strongly recommend doing so for at least 30 days to get an accurate intake of just how many calories you are eating.
If you want to learn exactly how to track calories step by step, you can head here to my free YouTube video covering just that.
So now knowing that 1000 calories is also less than what a 2 year old baby needs to eat, what will you have to do in order to eat 1000 calories a day.
Well, for starters you are going to have to eat next to no food.
You will probably have to cut out snacks.
Your meals will pretty much be compiled of plain chicken and tilapia with some broccoli on the side.
Going out to eat with your friends and family will be a thing of the past as we mentioned above the average restaurant meal averages around 1000 calories.
Therefore it is going to be incredibly challenging to still go out to eat and stick to your diet.
On top of you are likely going to have to cut out all of your favorite foods completely, like cookies, donuts, burgers, your spouses favorite pasta dish, etc.
There will be just no way you are able to eat those foods on such a low calorie limit each day. They will take up too many calories and you won’t have room for them.
This will lead you down a path of restriction, which we will touch on here in a second.
Just to name a few things, that is what your life would look like on a 1000 calorie diet.
Do You Think That Is Something You Can Maintain Forever?
Again it is not so much about the exact calorie number, it is the fact that to get to that calorie number the habits you are going to have to take up for incredibly unsustainable.
Cutting out all of your favorite foods, never eating out, eating such few calories throughout the day.
The methods you will be using to eat 1000 calories a day will be unsustainable, therefore whatever results you do see eating 1000 calories a day will be unsustainable as well.
Meaning you will eventually just gain the weight right back, which does not pass the test of whether a 1000 calorie diet will work or not.
Now, not only does it not work, it also brings on other various physical and mental health concerns, which we will touch on now.
1000 Calorie Diet : Binge Eating Disorders
Whenever a binge eating disorder is brought up I do not take it lightly.
I have helped numerous of my online coaching clients overcome their struggles with binge eating so I have seen first hand how much it can take a toll on someones life.
As well as I wrote an entire article on how to stop binge eating at night, you can check that out HERE after reading this article if you want.
I am bringing this up because I take this very seriously. As I told you, the amount of people who come to me on a daily basis with a very disordered relationship with food is nothing short of downright sad and depressing.
It hurts me to see people whole heartedly afraid of eating carbs because they think they are going to gain weight.
Or barely eating throughout the day and binging at night because they were told to go on a 1000 calorie diet.
The fact of the matter is it is bullsh*t and anyone who is promoting eating this kind of way needs to be removed from the fitness space.
What happens when you try to eat such low calories is what we touched on earlier.
You are going to have to over restrict not only your calories, but also your foods.
The result will be you end up not having cookies because they are “bad”, or completely cutting out carbs because you think you can’t have them on your diet.
This is the single most common thing that leads to binge eating disorders is this concept of over restricting foods.
Whether it be from overall calories or certain food groups, the over restrict — binge cycle is one that so many people struggle with.
Having seen the toll it takes on people and having worked people out of that cycle, I simply will not stand for supporting or promoting any type of diet that could induce that.
Again if you want a bit more information on binge eating and if you struggle with it, you can check out my article HERE that I think can help you a ton.
Therefore when it comes to a 1000 calorie diet, I would say it does not pass the test yet again due to its correlation with inducing binge eating disorders.
Physical Health Complications
Funny how we are just now getting to the physical health side of things when it comes to a 1000 calorie diet.
I mentioned earlier that 1000 calories a day is less than what a 2 year old baby needs to survive and I meant it,
Our bodies run off calories, it is our source of energy and fuel.
You know how the plants have the sun or your car has gas, we have calories.
If your car doesn’t have any gas, or it is constantly always 3 miles til empty, it’s not going to run too well.
If plants don’t have the sun, well, you know what happens then.
When you partake in eating such low calorie amounts there are serious health risk factors that come along with this.
Some of which are mentioned below.
Physical Health Complications With A 1000 Calorie Diet
- Low energy
- Extreme fatigue
- Extreme exhaustion
- Restless sleep
- Loss of period for women
- Micronutrient & Vitamin deficiencies
- Extreme cravings
- Loss of sex drive
- Lowered Metabolism
To name a few.
How do some of these examples happen?
When there is a loss of period in women or loss of sex drive in men or women, the body does not have adequate calories and dietary fats coming in there will be a massive hormonal imbalance.
Your metabolism will essentially shut down that side of the body since it is technically non essential for living and it will only complete the tasks it needs to live, resulting in loss of these two things.
On top of that your metabolism will lower for a few reasons.
Number one is because when you go into a calorie deficit your metabolism lowers regardless, but it can be mitigated.
This is done bynot going too low in calories, preserving lean muscle mass, and strength training.
If you cut your calories so low, your metabolism will slow down exponentially causing things like what we just mentioned above to happen, as well as losing lean muscle mass.
Losing lean muscle mass is not good because it will not only slow down your metabolism even further but also decrease your strength while increasing your risk of injury as you age.
I have a whole video discussing metabolism and what happens when you eat too little calories, you can check that out HERE if you want.
I could go on and on but I think the point has been made, going on a 1000 calorie diet is a serious health risk and should be avoided.
What To Do Instead Of A 1000 Calorie Diet
Now that we have established that a 1000 calorie diet is not the way you want to go about losing weight because it doesn’t “work” nor is it optimal for mental or physical health, what should you do instead?
Well don’t worry because do I have the thing for you.
I mentioned earlier that what you need to do in order to lose weight is to be in a calorie deficit.
You know you shouldn’t be eating 1000 calories a day but how many should you be eating?!
I got you covered.
I have an entirely free calorie calculator that you can head to in order to figure out how many calories a day you need to eat to lose weight.
Just plug your numbers in and it will be a simple way of knowing how many calories to eat.
You can head to my free calorie calculator HERE .
Beyond that, there a few things I want you to prioritize within those calories you are eating.
Protein is by far the most important nutrient when it comes to weight loss. It is also the most under consumed nutrient by those looking to lose weight.
If you want to to be successful in your weight loss journey, make protein your 2nd most important priority behind your calorie number.
If you want to now how much protein you should be eating, I will tell you in the calorie calculator above.
For some ideas of high protein foods, check out my YouTube video HERE going over my list of favorite high protein food.
Finally, if you want 5 of my best actionable tips to implementing more protein into your diet starting today, check out my article HERE .
Like I said protein is the second most important thing behind calories when it comes to weight loss, so treat it as such.
I am going to be short and sweet here.
Quite frankly, I don’t care if you like vegetables or not. I am sorry but I just don’t.
I don’t like paying taxes but I am a grown adult who has to pay taxes.
You are a grown adult, eat your vegetables.
There is a reason they are normally involved in any healthy eating routine.
They provide numerous health benefits, they fill you up for incredibly low calorie, and they should be a staple in your diet.
Start eating more of them today.
3 Meal 2 Snack Method
The 3 meal 2 snack method gives you an easy, simple way to set up your eating for the day.
Essentially what you will do is just what it says, eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.
Let’s say you wake up at 6am.
Breakfast is a 6:30am.
Your first snack is at 9:30am.
Lunch is at noon.
Second snack is at 3pm.
Dinner is at 6-7pm.
It works insanely well for myself and all of my online coaching clients and I know it can for you as well.
I go way more in depth on the 3 meal 2 snack method HERE if you want some extra guidance on it.
1000 Calorie Diet : Final Word
There you have it. As promised we covered everything you need to know about if a 1000 calorie diet was safe and effective or not.
As well as what you can do moving forward to ensure you see the results you are looking to see.
I hope this article helped you. If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to drop them below and or shoot me an email to email@example.com.
If you want to see if we may be a good fit in my online coaching program, you can head HERE To fill out my application form.
Other than that, just know I am always here to help.
Look to talk soon,