If you’re considering going on a 1,000 calorie a day meal plan, you’ve found the right page. This is a big decision, and you want to make sure you’re doing it right – so read every word of this post before you make up your mind.
Many sites will be quick to say this diet isn’t right for anybody, and to simply not do it. In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Whether this diet is feasible for you is going to depend on your individual situation. For some people, it can be an effective way to lose weight and get into shape. For others, it could be a death sentence waiting to happen.
Doctors have been known to place patients on intense diets consisting of only 1000 calories, purely for weight loss purposes – so it can’t be wrong for everyone. In fact, speaking of doctors, it would be a great idea to talk to your doctor about your plans before you begin this diet. Trained medical supervision during this process can help make sure you don’t push yourself into an unhealthy state.
Let’s dig in a little deeper and try to understand why this works for some people and not for others.
When 1,000 Calories a Day Could be Okay.
There are a few situations where this diet makes sense:
The first is if you are an unusually small figured person, such as a female less than 5 feet tall, who just doesn’t need as many calories as the rest of us. Check out a TDEE calculator to determine how many calories you burn in a day. If it’s, say, less than 1500 calories per day – you might be able to pull this meal plan off.
The second situation that makes sense is if you’re looking for an aggressive, short term diet in order to lose the most weight possible before a looming deadline. Harm can be greatly reduced if you’re only on this diet for a week or less. After all, if people can fast on only water or juice for a week straight, then you’re already taking a less harmful approach by ensuring you still get a thousand calories of real food during that time. But, if you’re thinking of doing this for more than a week or so, you’d be better advised to take a more sensible approach.
What’s the Harm, Anyway?
So, let’s assume you don’t fall into one of the two categories I just mentioned, and you’re wanting to start this diet anyway. Here are some of the negatives if you choose to continue:
– Your body will be in “starvation mode”. You’ll lose weight, true, but in this state of famine the body is designed to start viewing your fat stores as long term energy reserves that it may have to tap in order to stay alive. This is the opposite of improving your metabolism – your body is going to pull out every trick in the book to hold on to fat for as long as possible, which is probably the opposite of what you’re wanting.
– The signs of malnutrition begin to set in after a while. A diet of 1,000 calories just can’t provide all of the micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. This can manifest as any one of a host of medical issues, some which can be very serious and difficult to diagnose.
– You will look worse, feel worse, and function at a reduced capacity. It can be very awkward to answer people who are wondering why you suddenly look sick all the time, don’t have the energy to do things you used to do, or seem out of it all the time. Remember, when you trick your body into thinking you’re starving, it will hold on to your precious fat – even if that means there’s less available energy for your brain and muscles to use.
While following a very low calorie diet, it’s important to do everything you can to minimize needless damage. A key part of this is supplementing for possible lost nutrients. A daily multivitamin, consumed with your largest meal of the day, is a must.
Another thing to consider is that your 1,000 calorie meal plan probably won’t supply all of the healthy fats your brain and organs need to function properly. Because of this, you should consider taking a dose of fish oil each day, as instructed on the label. Fatty acids like these have a tendency to oxidize before they can be absorbed, so it’s a good idea to take a potent antioxidant such as vitamin C at the same time.
I hope this has at least give you something to think about. You’ve only got one body – it’s a good idea to take care of it. If you want to lose weight as fast as possible, why not eat at a calorie deficit that still keeps your body wanting to lose fat? You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, and you simply have a much better time during your weight loss journey.
Best of luck achieving your goals!