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What Happened When I Followed a 1000 Calorie Diet…

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The 1000 Calorie Diet – Good, Bad or Indifferent?

In life there are all kinds of accepted ‘truths’ which are factually incorrect. Fitness and nutrition is full of them… ‘don’t eat carbs after 6’, ‘don’t arch your back when deadlifting’, ‘stretch before exercise’ etc etc. Most of these ‘rules’ turn out not to be true when put to the test, but they still persist in many quarters.

There’s another one recently that I wanted to test in nutrition, which was ‘don’t under-eat or you’ll lose your muscle’. I wanted to eat a 1000 calorie diet to see what the effects would be.

This one is particularly interesting to me, for a number of reasons…

  1. It contradicts a lot of the research around fasting.
  2. All diets are a form of under-eating, so is it really that bad?
  3. Who has proved the rule?

The thing is, single gram of fat contains 9 calories. If a person was carrying 20kg of fat tissue (which lots of people are), then they have 180,000 calories of potential stored energy in the form of fat tissue.

If a man burned 3000 calories per day, theoretically he could live for 60 days on his stored fat reserves alone!

There was a case in the 1960’s where a man fasted for 382 days. That’s correct – he lived for over a year without food, under medical supervision. You can read the study here.

Using this as a starting point, we know that fasting is absolutely fine. Many people use intermittent fasting anyway, going anywhere between 8 hours and 1.5 days at a time without eating. That’s their daily routine, not a special weight loss approach.

Using those examples as a base for comparison, 1000 calories per day is positively gluttonous.

Low Calories In Sport

It’s been well-known in weight-class sports for a long time that an athlete who has to reach a weight category can survive and perform on low calories. One of the common approaches is to increase micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) intake dramatically to offset any likely issues stemming from low general calorie intake.

It works, but it’s certainly not a long-term strategy for an athlete, maintaining extreme low calories with a very high training load.

1000 calorie diet, nitric oxide, breakfast is the most important meal of the day

Now, with this in mind I got in touch with a friend of mine, Jordan. He is a sports performance nutritionist for a HUGE (I won’t say which one) nutrition company. He’s my go-to source of nutrition info when I have a question. Before I made my mind up if I was going to experiment with low calories, I thought I’d run it by him.

Anyway, this is what happened in our recent convo…

So, there we go. A clinical nutritionist who works with professional athletes says it’s OK.

Good start.

Next up, I’d have to decide the approach I’d take. Of course the obvious thing is you just eat less, but that’s a little too simplistic. If I’m going to eat little but still perform well, I can’t rely on just filling my pie-hole with garbage. I had to be a little more tactical.

I usually eat around 3000 calories per day, so my thinking was to make the experiment a 1000 calorie diet for 5 days. Long enough to see an effect, short enough that the end of the diet was in sight. In reality 5 days doesn’t take a huge amount of discipline, so I opted for that.

I decided to start with accepted good practice, which dictates that if you are going to eat very low calories, it’s a good idea to over-compensate with high micronutrient intake. I always take a multivitamin anyway, but in this case I decided to go for an extra powerful multivitamin.

Next up was the omega issue. I’m allergic to fish, so I can’t eat it. I do see the value in an omega supplement though, so I look this one….

Finally, I wanted to take a greens drink that doubled as two things… a breakfast drink and an extra dose of multivitamins and minerals. I like both Athletic Greens and Lean Greens, but opted for Lean Greens on account of price alone.

So that’s my vitamins and minerals sorted. You may argue it’s overkill and in reality, it probably was. Still, I saw it as insurance, following good practice and a case of better being safe than sorry. It worked too, as we’ll go into later in the article.

The 1000 Calorie Diet Strategy

I think it’s important to have a plan when you go into anything like this – it’s such a dramatic change in practice that it can be really, really difficult if you don’t have a strategy before you head into it.

I had to balance two main issues…

  1. Give myself enough energy to train and recover well.
  2. Eat only enough to hit close to 1000 calories, but try to avoid hunger.

I wasn’t counting my macros, but I was counting my calories. I did that using My Fitness Pal and by checking the labels on food.

Given it was only ever going to be a short-term experiment (5 days), I was happy to occasionally go with decent quality ready meal options such as soups etc, mostly because it took the work out of counting the calories for me. I’m a sucker for the convenience, so that won out in the end!

On a normal week I’ll train around 5 times and according to my heart rate monitor, I’ll burn anywhere between 500 and 1000 calories per workout, depending on the session. I was willing to accept that and still only eat 1000 calories, given part of the nature of this experiment was the extremity of it all.

I needed fuel to train and recover, so decided to base my meal strategy around my exercise – essentially splitting my food intake across two meals, a small one before training and the larger one afterwards. Physiologically and socially, this approached really worked for me during the experiment. Here’s why….

  1. I don’t really eat breakfast. I’ve never been a big breakfast fan, unless I’m on holiday and can relax into it. Usually I’m up early, we’ve got kids to feed/wash/dress/transport and I start work early. Breakfast is an afterthought in at least 80% of cases, which meant eating only two meals was easy. I was having a greens drink in the morning, so ‘breakfast’ was covered.
  2. I can’t train very well on a full stomach. I like to eat some food before training, but not a huge amount. Basically I want enough to get me through a workout and not much else. My training doesn’t really require it either.
  3. Immediately post-training, I’m usually not very hungry. I can leave eating a big meal for good while after exercise. I’ll usually have a small snack, but not sit down to a big meal for a good few hours afterwards.
  4. I like to eat something substantial in the evening, so saving more of my calories for the end of the day works for me. It’s also when Rach and I eat our biggest meal, so it made life socially easier.

My general meal guideline was that it needed to contain protein, but also had to be generally healthy because that gave me more volume of food per calorie, something that I later learnt to be key in the success of all of this.

What happened when I ate a 1000 calorie diet….

Day 1 on a 1000 Calorie Diet

The first day was easy – I was already fuelled from the day before, plus I hadn’t ‘endured’ a few days of low calories, so in reality it felt like a single day of eating only 1000 calories, which is exactly what it was.

Day 2 on a 1000 Calorie Diet

At this point I had to think a little more. I was hungrier, but it wasn’t too bad. I learnt that if you keep plenty of water handy, you can get away with a little more distance between meals.

Day 3 on a 1000 Calorie Diet

I wasn’t especially hungry, but I was giving my food choice a LOT more thought. It made my eating far more conscious. When I was picking my early meal it was based purely on volume – which choice would give me the largest volume of food for the lowest number of calories.

Day 4 on a 1000 Calorie Diet

This was when it started to get tougher. I play football on a Thursday, so knew I was going to need some energy. It was by now that I was missing the snacks I’d usually eat throughout the day and it took some serious willpower (despite me thinking it’s a myth) to not eat the snacks.

Day 5 on a 1000 Calorie Diet

The last day was easier again, probably because I’d found a way to make it (kind of) work for me. Also the fact that the end of the experiment was in sight made it psychologically easier too. My weight loss was quite apparent by this point.

The Results of the 1000 Calorie Diet Experiment

There are three ways to look at the results of a 1000 calorie diet…

  1. Weight loss effects
  2. Performance effects
  3. Behavioural effects

Each of them are valid in their own right and are relevant depending on the lens through which you assess the virtues of a nutritional plan.

I didn’t have a bias beforehand – I was simply doing it as an experiment to test accepted wisdom. Thanks to this, I feel like I can offered a balanced opinion on the three effects I experienced.

Weight loss on a 1000 calorie diet

I started the week weighing 94.5kg and I ended it weighing 90.7kg, so I dropped 3.8kg, or just over 8lbs in old money.

1000 calorie diet

It’s important to point out that this wouldn’t all have been fat, it would mostly be water weight. My motivation wasn’t weight loss, as I’ve said before. It’s an interesting outcome, but anyone using the approach to simply lose weight would probably be better off with a slower, more long-term approach which would see more fat lost.

Once I reverted to my normal eating, I regained some weight, but only around 1kg. With that in mind it’s probably appropriate to recommend this as a kick-start to weight loss, rather than a long term approach.

I’ve had a few people ask me how accurate my weight loss was, and I can tell them honestly it’s pretty bang on – I used these scales from Archon and have tested them with kettlebells and dumbbells that I know to be accurately weighed and they read the same figure…

Performance effects on a 1000 Calorie Diet

I expected there to be a dramatic effect on performance with the 1000 calorie diet and there was – to a degree.

Most of my training is quite explosive, with the vast majority of my training consisting of weight lifting and it’s variations. I do cardio in the form of football (which is very high intensity), but most of the training I do is quite glycolytic (anaerobic or ‘without oxygen’). Basically this means the effort is short, but very high intensity.

For this kind of training, I don’t need huge sugar/fuel reserves, so I noticed that as long as I had some fuel on board, I was fine.

It was much tougher playing football on the 1000 calorie diet as the fuel reserves required are much higher, so that was a real slog! I coped, but I knew that it really wouldn’t be a good idea for someone who trains using long duration cardio such as running or cycling.

Behavioural effects of a 1000 Calorie Diet

This is perhaps the most interesting area to me lately. Following on from my recent no sugar experiment, I’ve become more interested in the behavioural choices we make around food, because essentially it’s just a series of decisions we make each time we come to eat.

When following the 1000 calorie diet, I was forced into making different choices. Anyone who is familiar with macronutrients will be aware that when dieting, it is still important to maintain a high protein intake, especially if you are active. With this in mind, I had to ensure my food options were (relatively) high in protein yet low in calories. This isn’t easy.

Next up was a volume issue – I had to ensure that I was eating enough to feel as though I actually had something in my stomach. There are tricks to this, such as making sure you drink plenty of water so you stay full etc, but it’s still something you have to consider.

Flavour is key too. If you are already eating low calorie, you have to have a least some enjoyment from your food, so I found myself opting for things that at least tasted good! It opened me to a few new options I’d never have really considered before, such as vegetarian curry snack packs – they averaged around 200 calories but contained a lot more food than the meat versions, ticking the volume box!

Uses for a 1000 calorie diet

My initial thoughts are that it’s idea for anyone looking to kick start weight loss. Most people wouldn’t cope on it for the long term, but as a short term fix it certainly has its uses. I dropped over 8lbs in 5 days using it.

I also think it’s a great behaviour change tool. If you respond well to strict rules around your diet, sticking to 1000 calories is a simple but easy enough one to follow. You don’t have to count macros or follow meal timing rules, you just eat 1000 calories and try to keep your protein high. A high protein intake is important, whether you go for whole food sources, bars, shakes or even BCAA drinks.

Who shouldn’t follow a 1000 calorie diet

If you are a competing athlete with a high training volume, then the 1000 calorie diet isn’t for you. It’s basically impossible to maintain a high training volume on such a low intake of energy.

Cardio bunnies would also struggle. By nature of their exercise, anyone who is running, cycling or swimming multiple times per week would really struggle with the 1000 calorie diet.

1000 calorie diet, swimrun nutrition strategy

Manipulating the 1000 calorie diet for the long term

I have given this some thought and think manipulating a 1000 calorie diet for long term use is both possible and practical for anyone looking to lose weight or body fat.

The diet would look like a modified 5:2, with the daily base line calories being 1000, from high protein sources. On training days, calories would be spiked relative to the activity and the rate of weight loss, but would revert to the 1000 calories on non-training days.

The diet would have to be individually tailored, but I think that approach would work. I can’t think of a reason it wouldn’t, but I’ll spend more time on my thinking/experimenting around the topic before I use it as a tool or suggestion for personal training clients.

Training and a 1000 calorie diet

When you’re trying to sustain yourself on a 1000 calorie diet, you can still train but the type of training that you do needs to fall in line. If you’re expecting to run marathons or cycle for 50 miles on such small amounts of food, you’re going to find it impossible.

If you go for lower intensity weight training, like light weight leg pressing, chest pressing etc, you’ll cope easily even on the low calories.

What you need to do instead is focus on short, sharp bursts of effort. Weight lifting, weight training and some HIIT protocols will work. The kind of workouts I was doing on my 1000 calorie diet are the ones in my HIIT eBook.

1000 calorie diet

I did some of these workouts on 4 of the 5 days I was eating the 1000 calorie diet and found them to be tough, but I could cope. It’s because the nature of the workouts are that they are short, but intense – perfect for when you’re only eating 1000 calories per day!

The 1000 calorie diet, final thoughts

The first conclusion to draw regarding the 1000 calorie diet is that yes, it’s totally possible to live on 1000 calories. There are performance issues, but if you have weight/body fat to lose, it’s very much an approach that can work for you.

I safeguarded by dramatically increasing my micronutrient (vitamin and minerals) intake, so I felt great doing it.

A lot of our behaviour around food is purely habitual, so forcing a dramatic change in your behaviour around food makes you really think about the choices you make.

As a long term dietary approach, it’d need some manipulation in order for it to be a suitable long term option, but I honestly think with a level of self-control and discipline, it’s something that could work for most people. As long you ramped-up calories around activity, it’s a diet that would prove very effective for many.

UPDATE! In Feb 2020 I did a 3 Day Fast – it’s part of the ongoing experimentation in my nutrition. It was a really interesting experiment and I learned so much and experienced things I’d heard about first-hand. I blogged about it here. Take a look, because I’ve no doubt you’ll learn a few things.

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214 thoughts on “What Happened When I Followed a 1000 Calorie Diet…”

  1. Hello,

    Many thanks for posting this informative article. I’ve a lot of weight to lose (~30 lbs), and plan to follow the advice in the article to do it.

    Plan to skip breakfast and eat calories over 2 meals, fuelling workouts.

    Will see how it goes!

    Cheers, Stewart

  2. No problem, Stewart!

    Glad the article has been informative for you. It certainly helped me to lose some extra weight, plus it re-framed how I looked at food.

    If you need any help give me a shout!


  3. Hi there!

    Looking to do this post Xmas and new year for a way to get back on the healthy eating track! And also have a holiday in 3 weeks. Won’t lose the amount I need to but I think it will help lift me!

    My main problem is sugar addiction though. How would you recommend getting through it when I feel weak from not eating the sugar?
    I’m also on low impact exercise due to a problem with my neck and symptoms in my right arm with mild weakness (it’s slowly getting better!)


  4. Hi Deb!

    Good luck with it – I’m sure you’ll do well.

    What you need to think of with the sugar addiction is how you can reframe the ‘addiction’ in your mind. Have you read my post on when I went without sugar for 28 days?

    Have a read and see what you think. I’ve had a lot of people tell me it has helped them a lot when it comes to their sugar problem…


  5. I skip breakfast & feel super energized during my workout. Eating beforehand doesn’t work for me.

  6. That’s interesting, Kimberly. A lot of people report that. Personally I think I’m better off with a little food on board before I train, but not too much. Saying that, I know people who train on an empty stomach all of the time!

  7. I’ve been told b y many people that dropping under 1200 calories is bad for health but I did a 1000 calorie diet as well. For me this diet was long is term (4 months if that’s long term) and I will say with the right balance it worked for me. I counted my macros and ate my vitamins and in the end lost 53 lbs in the time span. Most of which were fat and some water. I do not recommend this diet without at least some exercise because I muscle mass is easily lost, I’m not saying do a full on work out 4-5 days a week more like go for a walk and do some yoga. You cannot be a couch potato! Personally I went to the gym to lift weights/do upper body workouts once a week and did half an hour walk in the afternoons 2-3 days a week. It’s nice to see that someone else agrees that it’s not as dangerous as people think.

  8. Hi Taylor!

    I wouldn’t listen to what those people say and go with your own experimentation. If you feel good when eating lower calories and it’s working for you (as it sounds like it is doing), then stick with it. I think occasional re-feed days where you eat more calories will be a good idea too.

    It’s certainly not dangerous, as long as it’s done for the right reasons!

    Well done!


  9. I have been on a 1000 calorie diet for 2 weeks and will continue to be on it for about 9 weeks longer. I started at 6 feet 5 inches 310 pounds. Wide athletic frame (I played lineman in college at a D1 school).

    My workout consist of light weight lifting 3 times per week with an interval 30 minute walk/jog prior

    My diet and intake is the same food every day.

    Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt – 70 Cal
    Medium Banana – 105 cal
    1 1/2 hard boiled egg whites – 24 cal

    Canned tuna: 110 cal
    Mayo: 90 cal
    1/8cup of diced celery: 2 cal

    3.75 oz grilled chicken: 171 cal
    1 cup of white rice seasoned with lime and cilantro: 242 cal
    1.5 cups of broccoli florets : 30 cal

    Two snacks throughout the day:
    2 fiber one 90 cal brownies
    (Maybe an extra egg white if I’m up late to curb hunger at 16 caps)

    Total: 1,040 calories

    The biggest key to keeping this diet is WATER WATER WATER. NO SUGAR DRINKS EVEN IF DIET. ONLY WATER. Also if you’re going to cheat don’t do it. You have to commit to this diet in order to maintain it lot a long a long period. The other key, PORTION CONTROL. Prep for 2 weeks at a time and sit there and measure and weigh every piece of this meal.

    I’m not sure of my weight loss as of yet because I refuse to step on the scale until I hit my goal of 9 weeks. But I can tell you it does feel so much better living and eating this clean.

  10. Well done Cameron! Sounds like you’re doing really well!

    I’d love to hear how much weight you’ve lost when you do step on the scales again – my guess is it’ll be a lot!


  11. Hey Steve! So nice to read on actual people. This plan is speaking to me. I have to lose weight and have about eight months to do so. Basically planning on the 5:2 or maybe 6:1 and the one being a cheat day. I have been feeding off of fast-foods for a while now and need to shed all this laziness away NOW.

    Thanks so much on including the importance of multivitamins, I am also working ordering and becoming healthy.

  12. Good luck, Joan!

    If you have 8 months there’s plenty of time to make a significant difference to your weight!

    Are you thinking of going with 1000 calories as a plan? It’s something I coped with (even with a pretty intense exercise regime), but you do need off days to cope with it.

    As long as you stick to your plan, stay strong you’ll be fine!

    If you need any help, just ask!


  13. I like this diet, personally I find it better than 5:2 as you do similar each day. For me that day to day consistency is easier to maintain.
    My approach for the 1000 is kind of standardised too …
    Brekky = cereal bar 200 cals
    Lunch = salad with chicken or tuna 400 cals
    Dinner = M&S ready meal “fuller for longer” 400 cals
    Pretty easy to do and defo not hungry.
    If it’s a training day I look to add calories to roughly match the burn.

  14. I unintendedly changed my eating behaviour 2 weeks ago into a ~1000kcal diet and wanted to thank you for this article. Was a bit scared when I did the math today. Felt no disadvantages at all, not hungry etc.. Just a pretty fast weight loss (1,80m / 102kg to 96kg in 2 weeks) without any cardio/lifting sports.

    A friend of mine showed me how much vegetables, rice and chicken you can eat compared to a bag of chips – so I started cooking for myself, stopped eating sweets and chips, changed to diet coke when i feel the need for something sweet (getting more and more rare). I eat the same amount of food but only take in ~30% of the calories.

    Right now it’s mostly just throwing everything into a big frying pan with some olive oil while cooking some rice and it works great for me. Trying out new vegetables is a great experience since I am not a picky eater. I don’t know if this is a worldwide thing but here in Germany we have Uncle Ben’s rice that is microwaveable, works like a charm, so you can cook in under 5 minutes with only veggies and 10 minutes with some chicken/meat.

  15. Hey Martin! Thanks for your lovely words about my article – glad it in some way has helped you!

    Great to hear about your rapid weight loss. If you’re feeling healthy and not hungry then it shows it’s an approach that’s working for you.

    Yes, we have Uncle Ben’s rice here too. They do a lot of great flavours, plus it’s so quick and easy. It’s a tip I think a lot of my readers would like to know, so thanks for sharing it!

    Congratulations again on your weight loss and new healthy lifestyle!


  16. I am so relieved that someone finally says 1000 calories are ok to lose weight. I kept the 1200 years ago and it worked fine but i was trying to see now if 1000 calories are better. Need to lose some weight fast as is giving me the boost to continue working out etc…i mean fast results to not be descuraged. Thanks again , loved your article.

  17. Hi! Thanks for your article, it’s very informative.

    I am a woman with 35 extra kilos. I started a 1000 calorie diet 4 days ago. Today, I noticed that I lose 1.5 kg, but I gained 1.1 fat% and lost 0.8% in muscles.

    I must admit that I did not workout. I was very sedentary.

    I appreciate very much your advice.

  18. Hi

    Thank you for the article. I’m a female 5’8 with around 20kg extra weight on me.
    I have a sugar and flour addiction and even though I want to lose weight more than anything, I have this fear of going on a low-calorie diet and exercising. I fear to feel fatigued or go hungry. But it just shows how much I’m afraid of letting go of food.
    But now that I’ve read this article and other peoples’ experiences, I feel so much better for trying 1000-1200 calorie diet and hitting a gym 3-4 times per week also.

  19. Hey man, great post. Glad you added the “after” part, when some weight comes back. People generally are scaring each other with low calorie diets, that you are going to get all the weight back, it’s true, to some extent, you’ll get probably 5 out of 15kgs (generally it’s the 1/3) and if you eat below maintenance, the amount will be fewer. Eating that amount of calories it’s way better than waiting months for some results. Kickstart is the keyword, great post once again!

  20. Hi Monika

    I can understand your issues – I work with a lot of people who have issues around food. You’ve made the important first step though, which is make a plan.

    Once you’ve psychologically decided to shift the weight, you’ll do it. The whole process begins with the mind, so remember to keep your focus on what you’re doing any why you’re doing it!

    Good luck on your journey.


  21. Glad you liked the post Manuel!

    I think it’s important to show people a ‘real’ version of events and not the edited one. Yes, you’ll gain a little weight, but nothing like people report or imagine. This 1000 calorie diet is a perfect way to kickstart your weight loss I’ve found.


  22. I gained massive weight after a 3 year crisis in my personal life. Went from 110kg to 170kg (yes, that’s KG). Because I was sitting 7 days a week for pretty much 3 years straight, barely moving around and eating shit because of bad mood and exhaustion.

    Before that I was very active and worked out very regular.

    Now that this crisis was averted, successfully I might add 🙂
    I’ve been eating between 1,500 – 2,000 calories per day, started by walking fast on a treadmill for an hour every day. Always increasing intensity and speed, and also started body weight exercises again. I’m losing 2-3Kg per week now for the past 3 months and I feel wonderful. Full of energy, better mood. I can see myself being back to my original weight in a couple of months, and back to my fitness level from before in about a year if I keep going at it and always increase intensity.

    I think most of the stuff you hear in gyms about eating isn’t true.

    Eat healthy low fat meals with plenty of veggies and good protein (fish, chicken, egg whites etc), count calories burned and calorie intake and then even with a big big deficit you will be fine.

    I don’t even see sagging skin or anything. Sure won’t be an underwear model with perfect skin, but it won’t hang either 🙂

    Remember, you can always bounce back even if life puts you down, hard.

  23. Marc, that’s brilliant – well done for turning your life around like that! It’s so impressive!

    Would you like to be interviewed for an article on this website in future?

    Keep it up!


  24. I lost 8 stone with in a year. I was 20 stone and got down to 12. I had between 800 and 1000 calories a day and cut out starchy carbs in most meals not all. No gym just walking in the fresh air!! I was a greedy sod during pregnancy and now he’s 2 and Ive put 4 stone back on I’m now back in that mind set. To get the 4 stone back off. This method works for me. I have to be strict. If not I don’t stick to it!

  25. Stacey, that’s AMAZING! Seriously well done – 8 stone is a huge amount of weight to lose and is absolutely life-changing!

    Yes, you’ve gained some weight but you know what to do. You’ve done it before and you can do it again. Good luck!


  26. Hello !! I’m 5’10 , 186 lbs and currently around 13 percent body fat , for the last couple of weeks I have been eating around maintenance just to give my body a break , I have been dieting for close to 15 weeks now and dropped around 13 pounds. I go to the gym 7 days a week , although I only lift weights 5 of them. I want to do this 1000 calories a day diet for at least 6 days to see if I can drop 6 pounds and get to around 12 or 11 body fat percentage. I’m planning on eating around 120 g of protein per day which I know it’s not enough and I’ll probably lose 1 or 2 pounds of muscle but I’m fine with that. Could you give me your thoughts on this ? Thanks , appreciate it !!

  27. Hi Roberto

    I think it’s OK, but you’ll probably need to look at your training levels – 7 days per week may not be a good idea when you double up with the lower calories. Keep your weight training going – it’s really important to maintain as much muscle as you can, otherwise the muscle will drop really quickly. If you train too often you’ll end up really hungry and that makes this approach much more difficult.

    Perhaps look at adding a post-workout whey protein shake (mixed with water, not milk to keep calories down), make sure you’re getting plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet too.

    If you can cope with the short term hunger, you’ll do really well on it!


  28. I’ve been on this diet for a week now, I do light exercise almost every day of the week but nothing crazy. I’ve realized I can stick to this without cheating. How long do you think it’ll be before I see some results on my lower back and love handles? I am 5’11 162 pounds.

  29. Hi Jason!

    You should see results quickly – certainly you’ll notice weight loss within the first week. If you can increase your exercise intensity slightly and include some weight training, it won’t take long at all.

    It’s important you keep the calories low. Stick with it and you’ll see the results!


  30. Hi!,

    A very interesting diet and I agree that it can work. I’ve been dieting on my own for 6 months and have lost 1 stone 11 pounds on between 1,200and 1,300 calories a day and using a exercise bike for 20 mins 3 times a week. I just need to lose 5 pounds to reach my target weight.

  31. Hey!

    So I’ve been eating around 1000 calories a day for the last three weeks. (Started before reading this article). I’ve only lost about 3 pounds. I run everyday and I am definitely measuring everything correctly. Even over estimating it sometimes. I really just don’t understand how you lost so much so quick.

  32. Hi Dan!

    Well there’s a couple of things to consider….

    1. I have a high BMI (around 3000 calories), so by eating 1000 and training most days, I was in reality in about 2500 calories of deficit per day.
    2. I track my training data, so I know how many calories I burn per session.

    Try these and see how you get on!


  33. Im 25 years old , 5.6′ height, and currently at 203 lbs. i have been hitting gym for 2 weeks now with 3 hours weight training and cardio. Hoping to get to the 180s range in 60 days. I am gonna try the 1000 calorie diet hoping that would show results pretty quickly.

  34. Hi Alex! If you keep that routine up you’ll certainly drop weight very quickly. If I may make a suggestion – cut your training time down, but increase your intensity of exercise. Focus on quality, not quantity.


  35. Hi there,
    In the last 1,5/ 2 years I put on some 12-15kgs. Lost my mum to cancer and that dragged me into a depressive state. Stopped sports and didnt care about what I ate.
    I feel now is time to claim my life and body back and I started dieting and execrcising more. For the last 10 days I have been counting religiously my calories and going to the gym 3 x a week plus doing hot yoga 2 times and some home yoga. I lost 2.5kgs.
    My question is: I am on a average 800 calories / day. I feel good, dont feel im starving.
    However, I started reading that Im putting my body in starvation mode and it is not healthy. So today Im considering upping it to 1000calories.
    You said it is ok 1000 calories / day, but you are a man. As women need less calories will I be under a huge risk if I stay on 800/day?
    Im 1.70 / started at 75kgs and Im now at 72.5. My goal is 62kgs.
    Than you.

  36. Hi Mary

    Sorry to hear about your mum, but I’m glad you’ve reached a point where you can start to think about yourself again now.

    With regards to the 800/1000 calorie debate, I’m not a huge believer of the starvation mode theory, but I think an occasional ‘re-feed’ where you up your calories to 1500-1800 for a day or two every three weeks is a good idea.

    If you don’t feel hungry and are seeing good progress, go with it. As long as you’re healthy and your body is doing what it should, I’d go ahead as you are.

    Any questions, just give me a shout.


  37. Ive lost 17 kg eating 1200 calories for a year… but now my weightloss is slowing down ( im 156 cm and weight now 56 kg ) so im thinking of doing the 1000 calories for a few weeks, like 2-3 weeks to test it out. Is it safe? will I gain weight when I start eating 1200 calories again? 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story!!

  38. Hi Celina!

    Well done on your weight loss – that’s fantastic progress!

    The 1000 calories is certainly safe, but you already sound lean – are you sure you need to lose more weight? I’d suggest you do 2-3 days of higher calories to give your body a break, then you could try the 1000 calories for 10 days, see how you feel and what the results are and then decide whether or not to carry on.


  39. I accidentally started a low-calorie diet in May and have kept caloric intake to under 1,000 per day (typically at 875) for two months. I feel great, do light cardio and weights, and have dropped weight rapidly (~20lbs). I look better than I ever imagined I would ever again. I’m wondering how long I can sustain this. I’m terrified to gain the weight back!

  40. Thanks for posting this!! I accidentally started a low-calorie diet in May and have kept caloric intake to under 1,000 per day (typically at 875) for two months. I feel great, do light cardio and weights, and have dropped weight rapidly (~20lbs). I look better than I ever imagined I would ever again. I’m wondering how long I can sustain this. I’m terrified to gain the weight back!

  41. Hi Jess!

    Well done on the weight loss!

    You won’t re-gain the weight if you’re careful. Once you’ve reached a target weight/physique, gradually increase your calorie intake to a point where your weight stabilises. That’ll be pretty easy to do and may even feel really quite indulgent, especially if you’ve been on low calories for a while!


  42. I have put on nearly 5 stone since I was in real good shape around 3 years ago but let myself down and stopping training. I have been doing this for a few weeks and I’ve lost a total of 15kg so far! I’ve had the odd week we’re I didn’t follow it but other than that I feel great! I train 4-6 times a week (weights) and also been trying a hour walk a day. If I was to follow this plan 5:2 would you say there’s a chance I could be losing a lot of muscle?

  43. Hi Andrew

    As long as you’re still weight training, muscle loss wouldn’t really be much of an issue. You’d lose a small amount, but really not anything to worry about. You’d still be losing fat as long as you kept your protein intake high and were strength training hard and with a high enough intensity.

    Well done on the weight loss by the way!


  44. i am 5″2 inch in height and weight is nearly 70 kg .. is it good for follow 800 cal diet.. is it safe . i heard 800 cal diet makes some effects like hairfall and weakness. i can maintain 800 but is it safe or not .

  45. Hi there

    It’s certainly safe, but I’d make sure you increase the amount of vitamins and minerals you take in. Perhaps take a really good multivitamin supplement and a fish oil.

    Also, make sure your calories come from good sources, not junk food.


  46. What do you do if you can’t lose much/any weight on 1000 calories even with a low dose diet pill from my doctor. I can’t exercise right now because I have some muscle disease and the need to make sure my muscle aren’t deteriorating before I can start again. I have started walking a mile a day 3-4 times a week just because after 20 years of exercise and diet to keep off the 90lbs I lost I can’t sit and di nothing. I’ve gain 35lbs back since thet told me so stop exercising and I really need to lose it but it doesn’t come off. I need something to try I can’t lower calories any more. Susan

  47. Hi Susan

    To be honest your case sounds more complicated than most, so I’d refer yourself to your doctor. I wouldn’t be comfortable making suggestions to someone with a pre-existing condition that I know nothing about.

    Good luck – I’m sure you’ll find a solution.


  48. I’m currently on a diet. I slightly upped the calories averaging 1250 cals a day. I can see that for me living on 1000 a day would cause tiredness issues.

  49. Whatever works for you, Simon. Eating 1250 will still see you losing weight, so keep going with it and you’ll definitely see changes!


  50. Thanks for a really use full site Steve & great to see other people doing this.

    1000 Calories a day while exercising.
    I started 27th July & my Starting weight was 213lb Male 6ft in my late 40s
    Planning your meals & making sure you don’t get too hungry in the first few days helps you get into the swing of things. I do train (insanity workout) first thing in the morning, but at a steady rate so not to burn out. Some walks & the odd little jog chucked in. I get 7-8 hours sleep a night & drink plenty of water.

    I weighed in at 205lb (5 Aug) today & generally feel pretty good. I guess I’ve lost a little water so looking for a more gentle reduction in weight now.

    I rarely feel hungry in the day & try and keep my diet as balanced with a couple of protein shakes & vitamins . Meals include veg, salads, tuna, chicken (the usual good stuff). I’m feeling fuller quicker & think about food less by the day.

    This diet works in that it makes you more aware of what you do consume in the day, you see results quickly which helps to keep you motivated and is a great starter for people who want to start today making a difference to themselves.

    My workouts do suffer, but in time I’ll slowly increase the daily intake of calories to suit what I need but still keeping in a deficit, so will still lose weight but over a longer period.

    I’m going to re-evaluate this Saturday to see if anything needs changing.

    Keep you posted.

    Peter B

  51. I find this article very interesting as I did this with research of my own much coming from the Mayo Clinic. I didn’t go straight to 1,000 calories a day but over a period of time. I started in December of 2018 and as of August 2019 have lost 76lbs from 310lbs to 234lbs. I’m a male aged 36 and 6’4” tall. On the weekends now I do bump up as I’ve taken up running, I run with a friend/ training partner running around 5 miles a day Saturdays and Sundays at a pace of 10 minute miles. I’ve only been running for about a month now but it’s been great! I have noticed on the weekends my weight goes up about 1 to 2lbs but I think that’s due to higher water intake. I normally consume about 50 to 60 fluid ounces of water a day except on the weekends when I almost double that amount of water to stay hydrated. I also use MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun to track everything.

  52. Hi Peter!

    That’s a fantastic, inspirational story. It shows exactly what you can achieve when you put your mind to it in a sensible, rather than drastic way.

    The food you are eating is high quality, your exercise approach is well-balanced and appropriate for you goals and you’re starting to see the results.

    It’s a lifestyle change rather than a quick-fix and it’s working for you. Well done!


  53. Hi Marty!

    That’s great to hear – I’m glad you enjoyed the article and I’m even more happy that you’ve used the approach to lose so much weight. What an achievement!

    Running is a huge calorie burner, so you’re doing the right thing by adding more calories when you go for a run.

    The weekend weight gain is almost certainly water, plus the few extra calories probably adding to glycogen stores.

    Do you have a target weight?


  54. 1000 Calories a day while exercising.
    Mon 12th August. Day 17. Current Weight: 201lb. Total loss. 12lbs.

    Thanks Steve for your kind words, that’s really appreciated.

    Holidays are coming. I’m off to Cuba in 16 days, so if all goes well I’ll be popping into Matalan to buy some smaller Bermuda shorts.

    My wife & I have a pretty good daily routine now which makes life so much easier to keep under the 1000 calories.
    We buy fruit & veg which is high in fibre & meats that are lean, which does include sausages, burgers, but mainly chicken & fish.
    I’m still exercising in one form or another every day. The majority of days is a light run (20 mins) and Insanity Workout, but I had a day off from that and went for the hour walk into work and back to help my body recover.

    My wife has lost a pound more than myself. However, she looks after our 1 year old son in the day, so is always on the go. She is really happy with her results and says that fatigue doesn’t affect her as much now. Mind you we are getting an extra hour sleep each night.

    A couple of extra items I’ve bought to help was some digital kitchen scales to help weigh portion sizes & new scales for weighing us, but also records the results to our phones.

    I’ve also kept a log (Spreadsheet) of meals, exercise, weight etc from day one to help me keep track, but also to help keep me motivated of where I started from.

  55. Peter, you’ve really got this approach nailed! Congratulations on the results too – shows what can be done when you put your mind to it! The exercise is sensible and the food quality is great – that’s going to be really important going forward.

    I bet you can’t wait to go on holiday! Are you planning to relax the diet a little whilst away?


  56. Hi
    I did almost this (1500kcal/d) for 10d and it worked quite well. Dropped from 75kg to 72,5. I noticed the same thing as you; i was more tired when training in gym. Atleast for the last few days. I felt great doing it though. I also noticed that it took me almost a week to recover from this and getting my basic gym routine back on.

  57. That’s interesting, Sam. Maybe once every 5 days or so you could do a re-feed day where you up your calories again?

    Also, did you make sure you were taking a lot of extra vitamins and minerals?


  58. 1000 Calories a day while exercising.
    Day 27 Current Weight: 198.6lb. Total loss. > 14lbs (1 stone)

    Not much weight loss in the last 10 ten days but I’ve achieved over a stone (14lb) in a month, despite having 3 days off the diet to visit relatives for my wife & kid’s birthday. Interesting though, I still couldn’t eat a large meal & didn’t have the usual cravings.

    At work people have noticed my weight loss & have been asking questions. The shear horror on their faces that I’m sticking to a 1000 calories a day. I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about, the first few days are the hardest but it does become the norm. I guess it depends on how much you want to become lighter & fitter.

    We have a wide variety of food in the fridge, but those baby biscuits do look good. Temptation hasn’t got the better of me yet. This is probably because there are alternatives available & I am eating regularly throughout the day.

    6 days to go till Cuba.
    Good question Steve about the holiday regime, & tbh I’ve been thinking about that every day.
    It is an all inclusive resort with a gym & a pool, and because i’ve been jogging daily it’ll be easy to take my trainers & still do the same there. We can’t drink too much as we have our little boy to look after, but calorie control will be more difficult with not knowing what is in many of the dishes.
    I’m thinking that if I keep my meal sizes down, avoid high carb foods, cocktails & deserts while having a daily jog & weight training. It won’t be too bad.

    This diet has trained me in so many ways, it has changed my attitude towards food, I’m fuller quicker, I feel lighter, fitter & people have noticed. Not a bad start in less than a month.

    I’m going to carry on till I go away next week. I’ll record the end results & post them up.

    Cape Verde in November so an action plan is needed.

    Thanks for your support Steve.

  59. That’s fantastic progress, Peter! A stone gone is no joke – that’s a solid amount of weight lost.

    The cravings will get easier and in time they’ll go away. If you’re struggling with the cravings, what I’d suggest is splitting your calories over two meals of 500 and treat it like an intermittent fast – there are two reasons for this…

    1. It’s binary. You’re either in a fast, or eating. It’s easier for some people to mentally shut off cravings if they’re fasting.
    2. A 500 calorie meal is more satisfying than say, a 300 calorie meal. It’s more like you’re eating actual food.

    If you’ve got a gym on site, use it. Just go hard on the weights and keep the calories under control with the lower carbs and you should be fine.

    I’m enjoying hearing about your progress!


  60. Steve,

    This is a great article.

    Im 42y f 5’9 203lbs , I’ve gained 30lbs in 3 years and a healthy weight and goal for me is 165lb.
    Ive just been diagnosed with hereditary type 2 pre diabetes. My mother all her brothers n sisters and my grandfather has/had it.
    It scares the hell out of me.

    Ive been on a 1000 calorie diet for 6 days, taking brisk 1.5 mile walks everyday and 10 min of squats every other day. 550g protein, 300g carb and 300g fat in 6 days
    Why have i not lost anything please help? I would have thought id be down at least 3lbs
    I have not lost anything.

  61. Hi Jen – I think you may have made a mistake. If you are following the macros you’ve laid out, you’re actually eating 6100 calories…

    550g of protein = 2200 calories
    300g of carbs = 1200 calories
    300g of fat = 2700 calories

    If this is the case you’ll definitely struggle to lose weight – you’ll gain if anything.

    A split of 80g carbs (320 calories), 120g protein (480 calories) and 25g fat (225 calories) would be a better staring point.

    In your case I’d look to keep the carbs well below 100g per day because of the pre-diabetes. You’ll DEFINITELY make a difference to your weight if you follow that diet and keep up with your exercise.

    Let me know how you get on!


  62. That’s OK!

    Well, stick with the macros I’ve suggested, keep up with your exercise and then report back to me in a few days. I’d expect within 4 days you’ll see the scales start to move!


  63. This was a really interesting article and comment thread. I am 54 years old, 6’2″, and was tipping it at 104kg, pretty close to my peak weight. Have an event in October where I have to wear a suit, and I didn’t want to buy a new one. Haven’t had to wear one in 10 years. So I thought what the hell.

    I cut out all my alcohol, which was probably too much anyway. And then just started cutting portions. Started a rigorous elliptical workout every day for 30 minutes. Light weights for 10 minutes after that as I cool down. I figure I burn about 2,900 kcal/day. Did some research and saw a pound of fat is 3,500 kcals. Figured, how hard can this be (for a guy who has never dieted a day in his life).

    I’ve never much liked sugar. I have milk with every dinner, because I like it (dropped from 2% to 1%….I just don’t enjoy skim). I don’t usually eat breakfast anyway, so that was an easy one to just wipe out entirely. I am a heavy coffee drinker before 10am, when I start my exercising. Don’t really have much appetite until noon or so, when I eat something between 100 and 200 calories, usually a bite of meat from the night before and a small piece of cheese. I try to eat an orange every day, and might have it then, or a few hours later.

    At dinner, I eat a meal with my wife, and we eat the same thing we always did. Except I’ll eat one piece of BBQ chicken, for example, instead of 3 or 4. Two ribs instead of one. I eat a lot of peas. My wife always makes a starch, but I typically have half a serving or so.

    I don’t even count the calories until the end of the day, which is easy because I eat so few things. My target was 1,000 calories, but after my first three days, it’s been 850, 965, 740. I quit alcohol on Sept 11, started cutting back food without measuring about a week ago, but those are my first three days measuring. I don’t know why, but I’m really not hungry. I’ve never really felt hungry. I usually eat because it’s time to eat or because I love the taste of food. So this hasn’t been difficult at all. I don’t supplement with any vitamins. Everything I eat is pretty solid, so I figure I’ll be alright.

    I built a spreadsheet budget. I weigh myself every day at the same time. I take my BP every day. It gets to where you enjoy the obsession. I track a targeted 1,000 calorie intake, adjust my estimated burn as a function of exercise and weight (so the burn drops as I get lighter). I modeled estimated weight versus actual, from a few days ago until October 19. I should be at 94.3kg, which will easily get me into the suit, with kg to spare, I think.

    My BP was high, 159/90, and I didn’t want to go on meds. That was the primary reason for cutting the alcohol to begin with. Now, after eating less, exercising, and cutting alcohol, it’s 110/70. I feel better than I’ve felt in 20 years, I swear to god.

    At dinner tonight, some family members were telling me I shouldn’t be cutting breakfast. Or that it was dangerous to go below 1,200 calories. And a bunch of other bits of advice. And I sincerely doubted it’s based in much rigorous research. Came home, turned on my google machine and found your blog. So it made me feel a little better about not doing something dangerous.

    For me, the bottom line is, surely if I was hurting myself I would start to feel worse, right? I mean, how bad can it be if I feel this good. As soon as my target date hits, I’ll take it back up to 1,500 calories or so, maybe get down another 5 kg. I don’t have any desire to get below 90kg, even though they say that might be a little high for my height. But that’s really my fighting weight.

    I also hear people say you shouldn’t measure yourself every day. But I love the obsession. I project losing about 225g/day. And keep a daily error rate and cumulative error rate. I’m anxious to see the final results. So far, the hardest part of the change has been converting pounds to grams!

    Anyway, thanks again. It was nice to find someone who isn’t to worried about a bunch of rules and old wives tales.

  64. Hi Jon – what a fantastic and detailed contribution! I’m delighted you’re enjoying the method and have lost weight from it.

    As you say, it’s important to challenge dogma. Dr Google will always tell you that you should stick to the tried and tested, but that approach doesn’t work for everyone eh?!

    Keep at it!


  65. Thanks for this article. I have been eating around 900-1000 calories a day and running 2.5 miles daily for 2 weeks now. My goal is to lose around 30 pounds overall, but that will be over a few months. I am doing 900-1000 calories/day until the end of October and I am not weighing myself until then. I know I have lost weight so far because I can tell in the mirror and with how I feel. I would like to be down about 18-20 pounds after 6 weeks of doing this, then bumping up to 1500-1800 calories a day with continued exercise to lose the last 10-12 over time. So I guess I am using the 1000 calorie diet to kickstart weight loss. I really have not felt hungry, which surprised me, but it’s making me think about food more because I am having to plan ahead!

  66. Great start, Tyler!

    The 1000 calorie diet very much is a platform to start from – it’s certainly not a lifestyle to live by for a very long time (unless you have a huge amount of weight to lose!)

    It’s a great way to trigger significant early weight loss, then you can manipulate your calories up and down from that point onwards. If you’re running 2.5 miles every day, you may well need more like the 1800 calories you’ve suggested.

    I’m interested in hearing how much weight you’ve lost when you come to weigh yourself next!


  67. Hi my names Matt im 16 and im on my 2nd week of my 1,000 calorie diet, and so far im doing pretty good i’ve been staying away from junk food and sugary drinks. I will admit that it was hard at first but now its starting to get a lot easier. Ive gotten away from eating out but whenever me and my dad do eat out Ill get a salad with freshly grilled chicken with no cheese nor dressing. Ive gotten myself onto what I guess you could call a meal scheldul, to where ill eat breakfast at 6:30am ( Most of the time I skip breakfast) and Ill eat lunch at 1:20pm due to school lunch timing, and i’ll eat dinner at 6:30pm. And in between eat meal If I get hungry instead of snacking all the time ill drink water to fill me up. on average i’ll eat about 1,500 calories a week most of the time I don’t even eat over 500 calories a day, I do work out and play sports which im sure helps with my weight loss. I checked my weight 2 weeks ago and I was 242lbs im 5′ 10″ btw. But anyways I was afraid to check my weight yesterday, while being in fear of not losing any weight. But i got on the scale and my weight was 230lbs even I was suprised to have lost that much weight in 2 weeks. I was planning to do this for another 3 1/2 months. But I did want to make sure the losing 12 in 2 weeks is healthy I think it is but I just wanted to make sure. Ill make sure to keep posting updates with how this works out.

  68. Hi Matt!

    First of all, congratulations on the weight loss and finding an approach that works for you. The first step is the hardest one and I’m glad you’ve taken it.

    If I were you I’d do a daily weigh-in, just to see how things are going. If you’re at a point where you are feeling to hungry, or your school work is suffering, increase your calories (from healthy foods). Don’t starve yourself – the point here is we use 1000 calories as a kick start – if your case I’d use it to get the first 30lbs or so off.

    Sounds like it’s working so far!

    Keep us posted!


  69. I am 15 years old, about 5’4 ft, and weigh around 125. I somehow have a decent amount of excess fat and almost nonexistent muscle tone. I have a decent amount of fat that I’d hope to lose, but would I be losing more muscle mass than fat mass if I consumed only 1000 calories a day? And is there any way to lose as little muscle as possible while losing most of my excess fat? Thank you!

  70. Stumbled across your article as I’ve started intermittent fasting 18:6 and realised my calorie intake had dropped significantly during the first few days of doing it.
    Like many other people, I thought too low a calorie diet would on fact cause weight gain due to starvation mode. Your article and other people’s comments have been a great help. So thanks.
    I’m pretty sure with my fat reserves I’ll be OK for weeks.

  71. Hi Ally!

    Yes, there’s a lot of myths around starvation mode etc. I’d suggest that if you exercise well and throw in the occasional re-feed then you will be absolutely fine. The re-feed depends on you, your goals and how you are feeling, but a higher calorie day every 7-10 days should be fine.

    Good luck!


  72. Hi Thomas

    My first bit of advice would be to start weight training – aim for the highest volume you can and consume slightly more than the 1000 calories – aim for 1400 or so. You need to build the muscle first, then train consistently to keep it there.

    This article German Volume Training Workouts would be perfect for you to start with. It’ll be tough, but it’ll build some serious muscle for you if you did it right.

    Any questions, just ask!


  73. I posted on Sept 26. I came within 1kg of my target, and fit just fine into my suit on Oct 19. The forecasting model was far more accurate than I ever imagined it would be. I quit counting calories rigorously (though I did count every single calorie for 26 days, and averaged 1,005 per day…..also determined that I spent $0.007 (USD) per calorie, for what it’s worth). I’m above 1,000 a day now. I really don’t know how much, but I’d guess something around 1,700 or so. I just don’t gorge myself and don’t eat any garbage food or sugar.

    Nothing bad happened. Nothing at all. My metabolism didn’t change (except as expected by being lighter and older). I wasn’t tired all the time, or anything like that. I’ll lose another 5kg or so and call it a day, at the upper range of health weight distribution. Want to lose weight in a hurry, and just set the stage for some stability? I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this approach.

  74. Hi Jon!

    I’m so proud of what you’ve achieved there – at first when I wrote this article I thought I’d get slammed for it, but anyone who reads these comments will realise that a lot of what they ‘know’ about nutrition is wrong. You CAN thrive on low calories and it’s a great way to lose weight and improve your health, as you’ve shown!

    Well done, I’m proud of your achievements and I’m really glad to have helped in some way. Maybe I’ll write a book and give you a shout out!


  75. I was once on a 1100kCal/day diet that lasted 3 months. I lost 10 kilograms (62 to 52), but unfortunatelly also lost my period, so I left it and gained a few kilos back and now I am on 55, doing 5:2 with 5 normal days eating everything and 2 days on 800-1000 calories (I used to do 500 calories, but I felt too bad). It works great for maintaining low weight and I am still able to lift weights and exercise 4-5 times a week.

  76. Hi Steve! Great article!!

    Last summer, over the span of 4 months, I averaged eating 900 calories a day – every single day.. (I was meticulously logging everything I ate in the lose it app). I lost only 6 lbs! :(::: I was so discouraged, I gave up after that. For background, I am 46 and my BMI is currently 22, so I’m not exactly overweight… but until I was about 38 years old, my BMI was 18 and I ate whatever I wanted and never gained an ounce- even after two children! I currently weigh what I did at 9 months pregnant and I feel huge and sluggish.

    ANYWAY, I am now 6 lbs heavier than my starting weight so I decided to go back on the 900-1000 calorie a day diet.. but now I started using an elliptical and staying active in hopes I lose faster! It sounds to me from your article that I do need to be moving as well, so thanks for that! Do you have any other advice for me? Thanks so much! Renee

  77. Hi Renee!

    Thanks for the compliments – glad you like the article.

    Now, in terms of advice I think it’s really important that you make sure you take in lots of good quality food – fruit and vegetables should make up the majority of your diet, but ensure you get protein every day from lean meat, fish and eggs. Keep a track of your calories and meal timings to see what works for you.

    With regards to the exercise, don’t go crazy. Be active, but don’t overdo it. If you feel yourself getting faint or sluggish, stop. Do what you need to do and no more. I’d also throw in some resistance training such as squats, push ups, inverted rows etc. Resistance training will be the most important exercise you do here.

    Hope this helps – if you need any more, get in touch!


  78. Hi Adela!

    Glad to hear you have found a happy balance with the approach. If you used to go as low as 500 it’s no surprise you suffered from amenorrhea. It can happen with sudden weight loss. Increasing your calories was a good move.

    It sounds as though 800-1000 is working for you, but remember if you suffer any ill-effects to increase your calories again.


  79. Update time I meant to do this a few days ago but forgot, but anyways on with the story. so Its been almost a month, i checked a couple of days ago and Im now down to 215 lbs. just a reminder I started on October 9th at 242 lbs. In my opinion that’s a lot of weight for me. My weight loss has slowed down only a little bit but as most people expect your not gonna lose weight forever, but back to the main reason i’m here. i’ve realized that in this almost month I’ve only been drinking water. I’ve been recently been staying under 500 calories a day. I did go a straight week without eating, every time i got hungry I would just drink water. (would not recommend), like yeah it worked but it ain’t no fun trust me. but everything seems to be working out so far, when I wake up in the morning i’m not as tired as I was, This saturday will mark the end of my first month of this diet. As I said the first time ill keep ya’ll updated. Just a little side “joke” I had a little bit a milk for the first time in a while and it was sweet lol. I was surprised. Its been fun so far and I hope it’ll continue to be.

  80. Wow, Matt! That’s a huge amount of weight to lose, but then you are at a very low calorie restriction.The totally fasted days are a bit crazy, especially if they’re maintained with an active and busy life, so just be careful on those.

    Glad it’s working for you so far. How else are you feeling? Mentally and physically better as well?


  81. Hi Steve!
    I currently weigh 57kg. I just started the 1000cal diet since Friday and I plan on going to the gym around 2-3 times a week, doing weights and abs workout for at least 1hr each time. I have also been consuming around 100g of protein per day. Do you think I will be losing more muscles than fats this way?

    P.s. my weight on Friday was 58.8kg, which means I have lost Ard 2kg since Friday!

  82. Hi Em!

    I think you should be able to cope on 100g of protein, but you could afford to up it a little more – try around 125g or so. You don’t want to underfeed protein at all.

    Well done on the weight loss! Make sure you keep weight training and taking in plenty of good quality nutrients too!


  83. Hi! I am an active female 5’7 144 (ish) for reference. I had my 2nd baby around a year ago and was active and ate well throughout so I lost the weight almost instantly ( cant complain there). I used that momentum ( after I was finished breastfeeding ) to continue to lose weight. I started weight watches and was losing well on an average of 1200- 1400 calories and though it took me 4 or 5 months I pushed through a personal plateau and lost almost 16 pounds. My body fought the last 5 and it went back up from my low of 137-138 to my now 144 and wont go back down for the life of me. I do hiit cardio a couple days a week, steady cardio about 2 times for 60 minutes and lift weights ( decently heavy) 4 or 5 days for at least 20-30 minutes. I keep going back and fourth on if I should raise my calories back up to try to get my metabolism going again and stay there for a few weeks and then drop ( but I’m afraid to gain back what I worked so hard to lose) or if I should lower now to a vlcd for a few weeks and then slowly add back in? I’m toying with 800-1000 a day ( with adequate protein ( around 100 protein and 80 carbs) and then one day at 2000. my body seems to have reset its set point from 150 something pounds to 140 something which is great, but id lose to lose the last 10 pounds and be able to maintain ( 132-134) by slowly increasing to my maintenance, which should be 2000-2100 though it seems so far away and unattainable given I cant lose on 1500…Thanks so much!!

  84. Hi Emily!

    Well done on the weight loss so far – now I’ll try to help you with the rest!

    I’m wondering what the quality of your diet looks like – is it vegetable heavy? Are you getting enough water and fibre?

    Start here – go to 2000 calories for one week. Drink a LOT of water 3 litres per day and make sure you eat a lot of protein, vegetables and quality carbs (think rice and potatoes over pasta and bread).

    Continue with your exercise, 4-5 days per week. Mix cardio and weights.

    After a week of 2000 calories, drop to 1000 and add in a multivitamin and high dose fish oil. Depending on where you live (if it’s sunny or not), take a daily liquid vitamin D capsule.

    Eat some carbs 75g per day, 120g protein and make up the rest of the calories with fat. Keep exercising.

    See how you go with that!


  85. Thank you so much for your quick reply! I was (am) going nuts over here. After losing the 16 decently easy by tweaking a few hundred calories I was so confused to gain back 5 to 7 so easy and now it wont budge going back to the 1200-1300 calories. I guess that’s becasue i was coming off of eating more for awhile. There’s so much conflicting info with, ” eat more, eat less, move more ( I cant 2 a day in the gym very often anymore with 2 kids, there are some days I can work out and then later go on a walk/run but not in the winter) I have been sick the last few days and was tempted to use that momentum to continue to roll with the low cal, but upping to the 2000 a day for a week sounds more tempting around Thanksgiving, lol. I need to be ok with that mentally I know I need to give myself a break on that, but 2000 sounds amazing and terrifying at the same time. Even with the amount I exercise, I’m afraid I’ll gain. I know if I do it’ll mainly be water but still.

    I don’t take a fish oil but I take cla daily, I take a vit D but it is not liquid, is that better?

    I probably should take a day or two off in the gym. Some weeks I have a full day off, but some I go on an 45 to 60 min walk with my daughter. I probably need to use a couple days for yoga or less strenuous exercise.

    75g per day, 120g protein sounds doable. is that net carbs? I do quest bars daily, and those have a decent amount of carbs but a lot of fiber. I eat quest bars ( 1 a day but some days I grab another if I’m on the go, a fruit or 2 a day, 100 cal protein shakes after I work out, 0% no sugar added greek yogurt, sometimes healthy choice power bowls with added veggies for dinner ( I need to cut down on salt I know , I love it) or I eat chicken with veggies for dinner, low carb bread, low carb wraps, enlightened ice cream for desert, almonds, avocado, and peanut butter ( measured because I can go overboard on the pb if I dont, I use Pb2 as well) wine or alc is weekends only. Right now I typically do an even split of carbs protein and fat, but lately I’ve been trying to do 40% carbs, 30% protein and fat. Before I got sick last week I was doing anywhere from 1200-1600 calories per day and I sometimes give myself Sunday as a refeed where I may be over 2,000 cals but thats not every week. I do have some of the wine and such on the weekends. I was losing steady on around 1200-1450 with the occasional high day but like I said, 5 pounds snuck back on ( probably from too many lil grabs here and there of the kids stuff but I still log that) but im trying to be more conscious now and nuffin. I started weighing daily to take the pressure off of that ” one day” because I seem to fluctuate so much with lady time and other factors. Im not upset at my weight, its not a bad weight for me, but id love to lose the last 10 ( to give myself more of a fluffer when I gain a few from pms/treat days) and then slowly increase cals to maintain. I don’t want to have to eat 1500 or less calories forever to maintain. if I need to raise it up slowly to maintain for a month or two and then drop back down to a reasonable # to lose, I will. just seems to take so long. I guess because its vanity weight and not really, ” extra weight.”

    Thanks so much! I love reading about all of this, and I’m intrigued to hear how people who have lose a lower amount of weight ( say 10-20) have kept it off in the long run once they increase to maintance. Thanks!

  86. Thank you for doing the work and giving us an honest breakdown of the impact this diet had for you.
    I started doing keto in October with a weekly cheat meal. Nothing crazy just a dinner out with friends and being mindful of the rest of the days calories. I lost little to no weight. My job and lifestyle is pretty sedentary, but I’m trying to do better.
    Last week I adjusted my diet to eating only from noon to 8pm, and I kept the keto style diet. I drink a large coffee in the morning, and I’m good till lunch. I feel good and I’ve even thrown in 45 mins of cardio 3 days a week and some daily body weight exercises. When I started tracking my calories after the change I realized I’m around 900 a day.
    Again I feel great. I’m down 3lbs in 2 weeks, but all the negativity towards low calories had me concerned.
    I’m curious about re-feed days with the holidays approaching. Is it beneficial to eat less calories around a holiday meal to maintain a calorie deficit for the week? Thanks again!

  87. It’s easy to understand why you’d be feeling anxious about the weight gain, but I’d only urge you to try to relax about it – think about health and performance first, then vanity.

    Regarding the liquid capsules for Vit D, I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest it’s better, it’s just I trust supplements in a liquid capsule more as I feel it’ll be absorbed more effectively (there’s no breakdown of a solid structure, if that makes any sense?!)

    With anything from a nutrition standpoint, use the advice as a guideline and cycle the calories up or down based on how you look, feel and perform. It certainly sounds as though your body could do with a break though, so reduce the exercise down (maybe take 2 whole days rest per week) and up the calories to the 2000 we suggested. It’ll upregulate a few digestive hormones and help you recover a little.

    Enjoy the extra food!


  88. Hi Melody!

    With regards to Keto, if you’re doing it to lose weight it’ll only be as effective as the calorie consumption – you always need a deficit.

    To keep your calories in a deficit around the holidays you just need to be a little smart – perhaps skip breakfast or increase your energy expenditure via exercise, which will allow you to consume a few more!

    If your lifestyle is pretty sedentary, I’d really urge you to try to move more. Even if that’s as simple as a basic circuit at home, just get yourself moving a little – it’ll help your health no end!


  89. Thanks! I think I will give that a try if I’m not seeing any real progress in the next week, enjoy a little break around Thanksgiving raise up the calories, try not t freak out about the scale ( or not weigh at all) because i know the carbs will be a lot of water. And try to get back to it. I’ll add in a day or 2 of complete rest days and on those days eat the lower (1000) cals and on my active says add in a couple hundred of healthy carbs and good fat. No point in driving myself crazy for a few vanity pounds, I agree. I just don’t want to undo 5 months worth of work, its so easy to do. My body has a set point of about 10 pounds higher than I am now, and it fights me to get back there. I toy with the idea of just weighing once a month and slowing increasing calories to see where my body settles to be a happy weight I don’t have to fight to stay at. The goal is to be able to do that around 135, but I’m not sure it will happen. But I not ready to make this my maintain…yet. . I think I could easily maintain 5-10 pounds higher than I am now, but its not a number or look I like. I guess its sanity vs vanity. I need a good balance 😉 Thanks for all of the advice!

  90. Hello,
    Thanks for this great website and weight loss motivation.
    I’m 44 years old, and started serious exercising with a personal trainer 4 months ago. When I started I was 119 kg, and now I’m down to 111 kg.
    I now want to speed the weight loss process up a bit, so I decided yesterday to start a 1000 calorie diet.
    My first day stats was as follows:
    Carbs: 128 grams, Protein: 51 grams, Fat: 17 grams.
    Also, My BMR is 2005 and my height is 180 cm.
    I also did weight training for 30 minutes and some jogging on the treadmill yesterday for 20 minutes.
    I felt fine all day and slept well.
    Tip: I felt a bit hungry at night after my meal, so I ate a few slices of lemon and the hunger went.
    I plan on continuing this plan for the next few weeks and hopefully see some good results.
    Question: Are my macronutrients enough to maintain this plan ?

  91. Hi there!

    Congratulations on the weight loss – that’s a good, solid start!

    You could afford more protein in that, so I’d probably go for around 75g of protein if you’re doing that much exercise. Make sure you take a good quality multivitamin as well.


  92. Thanks Steve for your kind feedback…
    Why must I take Multivitamins ?
    Also, what brand of Multivitamins do you recommend ?

  93. It just provides an insurance policy really – makes sure you take in plenty of vitamins, minerals and nutrients and avoids any deficiencies.

    Most brands are pretty good – MyProtein are decent and are pretty cheap!


  94. Thank you Steve…
    Wishing you and your family happiness and prosperity.

  95. Hi Steve
    I have been reading extensively on very low calorie diets and came across your very informative article about your self experiment with the 1000 calorie plan, and was very encouraged. I’m a female and have 25 kg to lose and have gained so many centimeters over my bust since menopause. I’ve been wondering if I could lose a significant number of those along with the kilograms or will it be difficult? I never had a big bust before, it came with the weight gain and menopause I guess.

  96. Hi Hanaa!

    Breast tissue is largely fat, so by losing the weight you’ll almost certainly reduce the size of your bust, yes. I don’t think it will be particularly difficult and if you have 25kg to lose, there’s a good chance you’ll see results very, very quickly!

    If you need any help remember to give me a shout!


  97. Whats up peoples im baaack lmao. thought I might start this off with a little joke but hey. It’s been three months now on this 1,000 calorie diet and things are working out great. I’ve lost 50lbs, I feel more alive, believe it or not I’m now looking better than ever. Ive still got 30 lbs to go but hey the journeys been great. I do wanna thank you greatly for the knowledge that you gave to us.

  98. Hi Matt!

    That’s absolutely no problem at all – I’m so glad you’ve done this well on the diet! You’re getting the exact results I wanted people to achieve and I’m really proud of what you’re doing! 50lbs is a FANTASTIC result! Those extra 30lbs won’t take long, especially now you know what do and have fallen into a great routine!

    Well done!


  99. Hi, I’m jumping in to the party a little late but its never to late to lose some weight. I gained 10 pounds after me and my boyfriend broke up from emotional eating. I’m wanting to get back in to my groove with dropping back down to my original weight of 150 and even getting down to my goal weight of 140 so I can feel better in my skin and also preform better in soccer. I’ll keep you update with results and side effects. 🙂

    Also do you recommend weighing in daily or weekly?

  100. Hi Madi!

    It’s never too late – it’s only too late if you NEVER join!

    I’d suggest you weigh in weekly, daily is too sensitive to natural weight fluctuations. Weekly will let you spot trends and make progress.

    Keep us updated and good luck with your soccer. I’m a MASSIVE Liverpool fan and we’re doing brilliantly!


  101. Hi all,

    Long story short, nice and interesting article. Here is my own experience with a longterm 1000 calorie diet, some of you might find some of it useful.

    A few years ago I experienced a shitty couple of years. A female friend od’ed and died, dad had a stroke, and my son attempted suicide. Nedless to say, I became depressed and gained a lot of weight over the course of a year. I became antisosial and spent every second of my free time at home in front of the computer. Oh, and I ate tons of junkfood as a mean of comfort. End result being I put on 60 kg. It took me another year to snap out of it, but when I finally did – after gaining motivation and after what I would describe as thorough research online – I decided to go on a low carb mediterranean diet which also excluded rice and potatos. Almost no carbs. No Coke Zero or other sugary drinks. (Almost) no alcohol. And so on.

    The second thing I did was to attempt a 1000 calorie diet. Doctors, gurus, people over at and other online communities all told me I was crazy, that such a diet was unhealthy and something I even could die from. But I felt I had no choice. I was unhappy and realized I was slowly throwing my life away. So I went through with it.

    Short info about me, I’ve always been active. I work a lot. I play a lot of soccer. I like to go on hikes. But during what I would describe as my dark years, I did nothing other than stay at home and stare at a screen whenever I wasn’t working. I’m 172 cm tall. I literally doubled in size, going from 75 kg to 135 kg. That was something I just couldn’t cope with anymore. That and someone was kind to me. That’s where I found my motivation to regain control of my life.

    The first thing I did was to take a powerful multivitamin every day. Then I went on a low carb diet, mostly consisting of fish and vegetables. That was my weekend snack or twice a week snack. For the most part I ate three meals of oatmeal every day. Two eggs in the morning would sometimes do the trick. Small varitions like that, but mostly oatmeal. One cup of oatmeal, two cups of water. No sugar, berries, butter, dried fruit or sweeteners of any kind. Just oatmeal. One cup of oatmeal and two cups of water equals 2 portions and 300 kcal, 3 times a day it equals 900 kcal. I went with double portions because I had become used to eating a lot. Later on I would eat 6 regular portions instead throughout the day, meaning half a cup of oatmeal and 1 cup of water. Still a total of 900 kcal during the course of a day – which left room for a banana or two or some other type of fruit or snack.

    Oh, and I drank water. Lots of water. Water does make you feel full, so drinking a glass before or after every meal (or both) helps you feel full and satisfied. That’s also why I went with oatmeal as my main food source. It’s rich on fibre which takes longer to digest and makes you feel full. It’s good for your digestive health and regular bowel movements, improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and so on.

    I stuck to my selfmade, low carb oatmeal diet for 90 days. Or 3 months in total. I ended up losing 10 kg every month, 30 kilos in total. The first two weeks were the worst. After that, your stomach becomes used to eating less, meaning you eat less. I don’t believe a single multivitamin was enough to cover all my needs, even a powerful one, meaning I often felt weak from time to time. But as with less food, your body adjusts, and after a few weeks it of feeling weak here and there it wasn’t a problem anymore once I got used to the diet. If anything, treat it as low blood sugar and have a snack, it won’t mess up the diet long term, yet it will ensure you make it through the day.

    I went from 135 kg to 100 kg sticking to the diet. I did it with no excercise other than soocer once or twice a week. I tried to be as active as possible at work. With time, I started to walk everywhere whenever I could. Yet the main reason I lost all that weight was because of the diet. You eat less than you burn, you lose weight. It’s as simple as that.

    What happened after those 3 months of weight loss is that I became satisfied with the result, having lost all that weight in such little amount of time. I was also sick of eating oatmeal. So I took a sabatical year from losing weight. The main reason I did this tho was because I didn’t want to destroy my body. Your body needs time to recuperate and adjust to such a crazy and sudden amount of weight loss. If not you end up with a destroyed body full of weight loss scars, also known as stretch marks. So I went back to eating normal for the remainder of the year. I began my diet in January of 2018 and spent April to December eating and living a normal life. Can I point out I was sick and tired of eating oatmeal? lol

    Come January 2019 and I did the same thing again. Rinse and repeat. But this time I also bought a couple of adjustable dumbbells to build up my muscle tissue. It took me 4-5 months this time, because the less weight, the harder it is to lose it. Yet behold, I lost another 30 kg and come summer of 2019 I was back to being my old self at 75 kg. And I have stayed my old self ever since. Today I’m 39 years old and I weight 75 kg. I never put on a single kilo of all the weight that I lost, neither during my initial diet or during the second and final diet. I could maybe gain a kilo or two here and then whenever food cravings got the best of me (which happens to everybody) but I would quickly lose it again. Motivation and determination is everything. There is nothing wrong with an calorie rich snack every now and then, just eat less of something else. Balance is key. Was it a hard thing to carry out? Intially, sure. But it was easier than say, quit smoking.

    Healthwise I’m doing well. In fact, I’ve never been better. I love how I proved the naysayers and all those so-called experts and health gurus wrong. I don’t even have a single stretch mark on my body thanks to the sabbatical year which I took to allow my body to adjust to all the weight lost. Well, maybe a small stretch mark here and there, but nothing visible unless you examine my body up close. Like real close.

    I could go on and say a lot of things about my new daily routine and how happy I am, but I feel that’s individual and different for everybody, so I’ll leave it at saying that the 1000 calorie diet works, both short and longterm. Could I have done things better and optimized the diet in better ways? I’m 100% sure I could. Yet, I did what worked for me. I just wanted to lose weight and regain control of my life. I know it can be tough to find the motivation to go on a diet, but there are far more difficult issues you’ll have to overcome in life. Going on a 1000 calorie diet won’t kill you. I had never heard of the man that fasted for 382 days, but if that’s possible, so is a 1000 calorie diet.

    I do recommend consulting with a doctor before you go on the diet if you suffer from a heart disease or anything major that could affect your health in a negative way combined with the diet. But for most people it’s totally fine. I truly believe this with all my heart. Drink a lot of water. Weigh in daily so you can keep track of your overall weight loss. Treat it as a friendly gesture/competition and something that is needed to do. I’m very competetive and had fun with it. Every day I would lose some weight and set new goals.

    Well, that’s about it. I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten stuff, but I’ll try to do my best to answer questions if I can and if the e-mail notification thing work.

    I’ve never shared this with anybody, certainly not online. Hope some of you find it useful.

  102. Wow, Christopher – where do I begin?

    First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your terrible period previously. That sounds awful and I can understand why you sought comfort in anything that would make you feel better. I’m also glad that you snapped out of it.

    I’m not surprised you were sick of eating oatmeal all of the time! It takes a huge amount of discipline to do what you did and for as long as you did it.

    There will always be naysayers out there with an approach like it. As I say at the start of the article, I asked a professional nutritionist for his thoughts on it before I carried on with my 1000 calorie diet. I don’t recommend it as a permanent way to live, but every now and then I think it’s a fantastic way to boost our health and lose some weight.

    I’m glad life is back on the up for you and that your health is great again!

    Thanks for sharing your story.


  103. Hi Steve, I have never in my life gone on a diet and would try out this 1000 calorie diet plan I am 12st in weight and 21 years old with type 1 diabetes and was just wondering whether it was alright for a diabetic to.go on a diet plan ?
    Thank you Steve

  104. Thanks for this and exactly what I’m looking for. I’m mainly on a low carb diet at the moment that consists mainly of chicken, steak, fruit and veg. I plan to have porridge oats for breakfast along with meat and veg in the evening. This would be below the required 1000 calories. However, I was having a cheat day with beer and pizza and wondered how this would effect things? I also like to use the cross trainer of an evening and will be interesting to see how I preform under this diet.

  105. Hi Eddie

    The cheat day shouldn’t hurt you at all. It’ll slow down weight loss a small amount, but if it helps to keep you sticking to the diet, then I’d say go ahead. The cross trainer is also a good idea – if you can throw some weight training in to it as well, that would be even better!

    Let me know how you get on!


  106. Hi there Shaheen!

    Diet plans are generally fine, but I’d get a full check up from your doctor. I can’t give you medical advice over the internet, so speak to your doctor first.

    Hope this helps!


  107. Love your article! I’m not overweight at all. I’m a fit college student who wants to lean out a bit before my spring break trip middle of march. I’ve been eating 900-1000 calories the past three days and have already lost a few pounds. How long do you think it’s okay to eat like this? Or should I only try for five days just to kickstart my “leaning out”? Thank you!!

  108. Thanks Rachel!

    The first answer is to see how you are – if you feel good whilst eating 900-1000 calories, go ahead until you reach a point when you’re happy with your weight, then slowly re-introduce higher calories (balanced with exercise of course). I also suggest you re-introduce calories from protein ideally.

    It depends how much weight you want to lose, but 5 days sounds like a good start. From there, re-assess based on how you look and feel!

    Hope this helps.


  109. Steve,

    This article has given me hope! I am 30 M 6’0″ recently discovered that I am at my highest weight of about 296lbs. Wasn’t very happy when I found out. I figured my maintenance calories to be about 3000 a day, and I figured the deficit to 1000 plus a daily walk on my lunch would be a huge help in cutting down my weight. I have 2 boys a 4 yr old and a 3 month old. I want to get back to a comfortable weight where I can run around and play more like I used to. Ive never been a skinny guy but never been this big either. I could definitely use some help with getting everything calculated just to make sure I’m on the right path kind of thing. My initial thought is to do the 1000 deficit mon-friday since I work 40 hours a week and on the weekend be a little more loose with the calories, not crazy loose, just a little more room for “fun” if you will. I also have a family trip coming up the second week of April so that gives me approximately 8 weeks to lose as much as possible as my first check point to see how my progress is. I take the Rainbow Light Men’s ONE vitamin daily. I like structure so if I can create a daily “meal plan” like user “Cameron” Posted in January 2019 that would be great. Any additional tips or thoughts would be greatly appreciated although your article is full of tons of AMAZING Info!!! THANKS!

  110. Hi Manny!

    Great to read that you’re inspired by the article – you sound like the kind of guy who will DEFINITELY do well on this approach!

    In terms of meal plans, my suggestion is that you try to make sure you’re getting some protein in every day – whether that’s meat, eggs, fish it doesn’t matter, just make sure you take some in.

    Alongside that, I’d make sure you take in a lot of water and do a little weight training too, just to maintain muscle mass. It’ll certainly help!

    A guy of your starting weight could quite easily drop over 20lbs in 8 weeks, so give it a go and you won’t look back!


  111. Hello
    I m girl from India
    I m 17
    I am doing this for 2 months
    Aaannndddd guess what I got a much toned figure
    I m very happy with the results

  112. Hey Steve,
    I’m 16 and I recently started intermittent fasting where I eat 1000-1500 calories from 11 AM to 5 PM. My main focus is weight loss. As of right now I weigh 209 pounds. And I am 5’9″. Taking all of this into account. Would you be able to tell if I am going to be losing muscle mass with my fat? To add to that, I do train 6 days a week. Mostly HIIT and sometimes just bodyweight workouts. Over the last 6 months, I have lost 50 pounds and accumulated around 146 pounds of muscle mass in my body altogether. I would love to keep my muscle mass and lose my fat. Obviously that would be a perfect scenario. I do expect to lose some muscle mass, just how much I don’t know. You seem to have pretty good knowledge that’s why I am reaching out.

    Thanks In Advance!

  113. This graph is just not right. You can’t gain weight if you are eating 1000 calories a day. Just not possible. I am on a similar diet, but whole foods plant-based. I am eating a lot and it is kind of hard even getting to the 1000 calories sometimes. To get close to it or to go over a bit, I have to add more brown rice, beans, legumes, and tofu. The foods that you can eat are amazing and you don’t need to worry about overeating because usually, you eat less. You feel full way faster and the fiber helps a lot. Using the lose it app, I realized that I am eating about 50g of fiber a day. In 3/6/2020 is going to make 60 days that I am in this life change (diet) and I already lost 31lb. This is the first time, from all the diets that I started before, that every Friday when I go to the scale, I am 2 or 3lb lighter.

    Here is what I ate today.

    – 10 oz coffee with almond milk – 11 cal
    – Medium Banana – 105 cal
    – Green smoothie – 117 cal

    Salad with no oil. Just lemon juice as dressing. You get used to it very fast
    – 4 cups of romaine lettuce – 30 cal
    – 4 cups of green leaf lettuce – 32 cal
    – 1 Tomato – 32 cal
    – 4 pieces of hearts of palm – 24 cal
    – 1/2 cup of black beans – 114


    Another monter salad and sometimes I change the bean type and add quinoa.
    – 4 cups of romaine lettuce – 30 cal
    – 4 cups of green leaf lettuce – 32 cal
    – 1 Tomato – 32 cal
    – 4 pieces of hearts of palm – 24 cal
    – 1/2 cup of black beans – 114
    – 1/2 cup quinoa – 111 cal

    If my calculations are correct 808 cal so far.

    I am very full but I still need to eat about 200 calories.
    – Honey crisp apple – about 110 cal
    – 1/2 cup of grapes – 52 cal
    – 1/2 cup of raspberries – 32 cal

    I just can’t eat anymore.

    1002 calories total

  114. William, the graph is right. Of course it is – why would have I put a misleading graph up?

    You want to know how you can gain scale weight? You can drink water! Try this – weigh yourself, then drink a litre of water and weigh yourself again.

    Now you’ll understand why you shouldn’t say something without knowing all the facts.


  115. Hi Ibad!

    Well done – you’re doing really well! To lose 50lbs is no joke, so keep it up.

    You’re likely to lose a little muscle, but as long as you stay consistent with your protein and keep lifting weights (go for high volume, medium weight mostly, with a strength workout thrown in 2-3 times per fortnight) then you’ll maintain a lot of your muscle mass.

    Do you have a target weight?


  116. Hi Steve,

    Thank you very much for the interesting article, I appreciate your take on it. I’m currently on 1039 calories a day, 6 days in at the moment and I’ll be doing this for another 4 weeks. I currently have had no adverse effects or hunger issues, I drink a lot of water and I actually feel very alert and mentally sharp.

    I do heavy resistance training 4 days a week (after work around 5.30pm) which include squats, deadlifts, bench etc…, and run 6 miles a day 4 times a week (3 miles to work, 3 miles home from work).

    For anyone that is interested below is what I am eating all courtesy of the MyFitnessPal app,

    Porridge oats with semi skimmed milk – 306 calories
    Canned tuna in olive oil – 226 calories
    Banana – 103 calories

    Chicken breast 180g – 191 calories
    Green beans 80g – 28 calories
    Cauliflower 80g – 27 calories
    Broccoli 80g – 26 calories
    Carrotes 80g – 31 calories

    Snack (for after the gym)
    Apple – 95 calories

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to reply below. I’d be happy to help.

  117. Hi James – thanks for the positive feedback on the article!

    Your diet sounds like it’s perfect for this kind of approach, as does your exercise!

    How much weight have you lost so far?


  118. Hi guys,

    Loving all the advice. I am super excited to start this method for weight loss, could I please ask what would the ideal macro ratio be for a 1000 calorie diet per day?

    Thanks so much!


  119. Hi Kerri!

    The most important thing is to make sure you’re still getting protein in, so I’d suggest something along the lines of 140g protein, 90g carbs, 10g fat. Experiment to see what works for you, but that’s the kind of thing most people find works well.

    Let us know how you get on!


  120. Thanks for this experiment and article!
    I’ve just started a 1000 calorie diet with multivitamins and a high protein intake and most i find on google is bro-since like “you’ll screw up your resting metabolic rate for years if you undereat bro!” Or “You’ll lose your gainz bro!” I believe with a high protein intake combined with strength training i will atleast retain the muscle i have. This was very informative and unbiased, thank you.
    I think most nutritionists discourages very low calorie diets because most people cant stick to them, but im not most people. Nobody knows me! Ive steeled my mind and nothing can break it.

  121. Hello Steve,
    My 12 year old daughter has gained weight recently. She weighs 52kg and her height is 157 cm.
    Do you recommend giving her the 1000 calorie plan ?
    What macro nutrient would suitable for her age ?

    Thanks alot for your advice, and I have learned, and lost weight from this great blog.

  122. Hi there Abdulrahman

    It is fine for a young person, but keep a close eye on her. I’d increase the protein and good fat content – they’re more important for a growing person than carbs. Something like a 140g Protein, 70g Carbs and 20g fat.

    Start her with that and see how she looks, feels and functions. Test her weight weekly, not daily.

    Hope that helps!


  123. Good luck Pontus! You’ll do well – stick with it and see how you go. Even if you cycle it, one week on and one week off (repeated), you’ll make progress!


  124. Good afternoon!
    I’m glad I came across your article. Last year was a trying year for me. I gained weight from a combination of unhealthy choices. Basically trading my normal “yoga plus a walk” routine with a “Netflix and snack” routine. Not the best routine swap, and most of my healthy habits were abandoned because of stress at work/relationships/finance. I had a hard time not comforting myself with food.
    I have always been a vitamin girl though. I sell shaklee vitamins and supplements and they started a program that is so similar to this post! I did a 7 day cleanse… I thought I would die in the first 3 days. I am a massage therapist, believe it or not, that takes a good amount of strength and stamina to get through a day of work. The cleanse I did was strictly veggies and fruits. I made sure to keep as much water handy as possible. But I didn’t realize how much I relied on protein to get through a day of just work. All I could think of for about 4 days something like this “only 3 days till I get a piece of salmon” haha.
    I made it through the cleanse week and on day 7 I remember thinking I could completely live this way! I feel amazing! I am energized! I am not stressed and I have no cravings!
    Today is now 3 weeks after the cleanse. I have picked my yoga habit back up. Doing yoga and some Wright training about 5 days a week. It’s not much yet but it’s more than I did for all of 2019. I have been doing a protein shake in the morning and possibly at lunch if I am short on time. The dinner is healthy but it’s always tasty. You’re right that is key. And now I am down 11 pounds and counting!

    As great as that is I was still so worried that I wasn’t eating enough! I am averaging a little less than 1000 calories a day and though I haven’t been all that hungry, I was still worried. But luckily I came across your blog and you’ve helped reassure me. So thank you!!! And I must say the hardest part about this is that it’s a commitment. To really break bad habits you have to replace them with new ones and that’s difficult!

  125. Hi Emily!

    Congrats on the progress you’ve made (and I’m also glad your habits have changed too!)

    It’s not easy, especially when your previous behaviours are driven by stressful situations, but you seem to have come through them.

    Keep up the great work and let me know how you get on!


  126. Hi Steve
    I’m a 14 year old boy from Denmark, that is quite fit. U w´would say that i have 15% body fat, and you can see a “2-pack” popping out of my stomach. The problem is that i still dont have a sixpack. I saw this and thought that i was going to try it. I have been doing it for 2 days now. Not gonna lie, it has been a little tough but i have done it. I researched, and i just found out that your metabolism is going to drop, and you cannot develop a six pack, because your on too low calories, to build your abdominal muscles. I just wanna ask if you can develop a sixpack with this diet. Another question is, how long do you think it is going to take me? I am at 15-16 body fat, and i train 5 times a week. I train hiit, abs and weight-training. Hope you can answer the 2 of my questions!

  127. Hi Mohammed

    There’s a couple of points there….

    1. Your metabolism won’t drop. Don’t worry about that – anyway, a re-feed where you eat more calories once per week will help.
    2. How much muscle do you have to begin with? If you have a lot of muscle and are doing this to drop some fat it will work better. If you don’t have much muscle, work on building that first and then focus on dropping the body fat. It’ll be a more effective use of your time.

    As for how long it takes, that depends on a lot of things, including how hard you train, how much fat you have, how well you sleep etc.

    Hope that helps.


  128. Hi Abdul!

    I agree with the article – you can’t out-train a bad diet. What the article is saying is that if you want to lose weight, you can’t rely on exercise alone, you have to adjust your calorie intake too.

    That’s what the 1000 calorie diet is about, reducing your calorie intake to such a level that you lose weight quickly and healthily!


  129. Thanks Steve.
    Quick question: Is it OK if I distribute my bicep workouts throughout the day; one exercise 3 sets in the morning, another one in the afternoon, and one at night; all of them 3 sets.
    Or it is better if I do them all together ?

  130. It’s best if you do them all in one go, because the intensity of the exercise causes hormonal changes and neurological changes that improve muscle performance and increase muscle size. Even if you only do one set of bicep curls, make it a REALLY tough set. Quality over quantity in this case!

    Hope that helps.


  131. Thank you Steve for your valiable feedback.
    Also, I just bought one of your valuable workout programs.

    Many thanks and Regards,

  132. I really loved your article! I use to work out often in high school, but not anymore in college. I lost 30 lbs a few months ago, but I want to lose more weight over half of a year if possible. What I’m asking is, is it possible to use this for someone who is terrible with portion control, loves sweets, and is stuck doing nothing with the virus? Any advice would help!

  133. Hi Alice!

    The good news is it’s TOTALLY POSSIBLE!

    You have the perfect excuse to control your calories at the moment – the more you eat, the more trips to buy food you have to make! Stick to the 1000 calories per day and you’ll drop weight and preserve food for longer!

    As well, with less to do all day you’ll be able to count the calories accurately!

    Let me know how you get on.


  134. Hi Steve,
    thank you for your blog post and for writing in the discussion here. I’ve begun the 1000 kcal diet today! I am on day four of smaller portions, and I just found your blog post – great timing. Indeed, now with the plague, I like the idea of going through my food supply at a slower rate. I’ve got about 25 kg of my own fat to feed of so that will help. I’d very much like to go from 80kg to 55kg. I was at 78,3 this morning, so it has begun. I will keep you updated of the progress. Thanks again! Let’s stay safe and far away from virus droplets if possible.

  135. That’s fantastic progress – keep going with it!

    I’m staying safe thanks, making sure we stay socially distant from people and sticking to the guidelines!

    Looking forward to hearing about your progress…


  136. Okay, I didn’t read ALL the comments, but I didn’t see any mention of ‘autophagy’. Really, regardless of how many calories or what you eat, having a 16hrs+ fasting window will make all the difference.
    I have a diabetic friend who was ‘eating healthily’, breakfast and dinner only. I got him to switch to lunch and dinner, and bang, his insulin was under control within 3 months.

  137. Thanks for posting this! I’ve lost 11 lbs in about 2 weeks following a similar calorie count and exercising 1-2 times per day with one rest day. Im 5’6, I started at 189lbs and would like to be around 140/145. Once goal weight is reached, I want to enter a fitness competition and compete in the bikini division. My question is do you think losing weight so quickly (along with SOME muscle) will make it more challenging to do a prep?

  138. Hi there!

    First of all, well done – that’s fantastic that you’ve started the diet!

    Secondly, I don’t think it’ll be too big a challenge to do content prep, as long as you keep hold of as much of your muscle as you can whilst you diet. You’ll do this with good quality weight training and consuming protein.

    The most important element of prep is getting lean – you can build the muscle later, but you want to start from quite a lean base if you can!


  139. Thanks, Steve. I’m still a little unclear on the macros I should be hitting for optimal performance, nutrition and results. I need energy to workout – what do you recommend?

  140. I always suggest that you need to balance out protein and carbs really, with fats coming via the protein (meat, fish, eggs). In your case with the workouts I’d go something like 100g protein (supplemented with BCAA drinks or whey), 100g carbs and 20g fat.

    Hope that helps!


  141. Thanks again. It’s really odd though because I checked my weight this week and I’m actually up almost 5lbs. Exercised everyday this week (sometimes 2x/ day) and are no more that 1200 calories with the exception of one day where I went up to 1600. ???

  142. I will, and thank you for getting back to me! And I am going to continue to try this plan. It is hard for me to lose weight since I have PCOS. Also, I was wondering your thoughts on certain exercises I should do and how often?

  143. That will be one of three things…

    1. Your scales are/were wrong.
    2. You’ve actually consumed more calories than you thought.
    3. You’re holding on to water.

    There’s no physical way you could gain 5lbs if you’ve eaten 1200-1600 calories per day and have exercised!


  144. Hello there!
    Week 1: I’ve dropped a bit of weight, from 78,3 to 75,2 kg. I threw dry fasting in the mix to speed up the weight reduction. I’ll update you next week.

    April 14th, 1 026 kcal, morning weight 78,3 kg
    protein 60 g (24E%)
    fat 81 g (70E%)
    carbohydrates 16 g (6E%)

    April 15th, 1 000 kcal, morning weight 77,8 kg
    protein 71 g (29E%)
    fat 58 g (51E%)
    carbohydrates 47 g (19E%)

    April 16th, 1 001 kcal, morning weight 77,2 kg
    protein 71 g (29E%)
    fat 56 g (49E%)
    carbohydrates 55 g (22E%)

    April 17th, dry fasting, morning weight 76,9 kg

    April 18th, 1013 kcal, morning weight 76,0 kg
    protein 54 g (22 E%)
    fat 61 g (54 E%)
    carbohydrates 57 g (23 E%)

    April 19th, dry fasting, morning weight 76,8 kg

    April 20th, 1000 kcal, morning weight 75,2 kg
    protein 59 g
    fat 62 g
    carbohydrates 48 g

  145. Just came here to say I love your article And how you respond to each of the comments, it’s really nice… Anyways, I knew 1000 calories a day wasn’t a big deal and totally doable when you take into account how much much fat (aka energy) you’ve got built up… My question is should it bother me if I don’t lose alot, like at least 3 lbs, every week or if that shows a problem because mathematically there’s no way I couldn’t if I’m doing things right? Case being I’m 5’5 176.4… Was 181.2, lost 5.5 in the first week (yay) but only .2 this week, talk about a bummer. I was thinking may be because I’ve ate like 2 oz of cheese a day… I hope that’s not the reason but I’ve been working out 5-6 days a week burning at least 400 calories in each session. I know the scale isn’t the end all be all but I also know I shouldn’t be 176 so it HAS to go down.. anyways thanks in advance 🙂

  146. Hi Bianca!

    I respond to all the comments, because in a world where everything is ‘automated’ I want my readers to know that this is a real website, run by a real person!

    I also want to help in any way I can!

    With regards to your question, no you won’t necessarily lose weight at the same rate each week – it’ll fluctuate. What we’re looking for is a trend and as long as that trend goes down over time, we’re happy! So, say you started at 181.2, your pattern may go something like… 181.2, 176.4, 177.1, 174.4, 176, 175.9, 174.8, 174, 172… see what I mean?

    I suggest you weigh yourself every week, but look at the data every month – then you should see a reduction!

    Hope that helps you!


  147. I was an athlete growing up but I injured my back in my mid 20’s, then got diagnosed with a pretty severe autoimmune disease when I turned 33, and had a total hip replacement done when I was 36. I’m 6’1″, 38 years old now, and for the last 5 years my weight would fluctuate because of the autoimmune disease anywhere between 120lbs and 220lbs. A year and a half ago I was in the ICU, they thought I needed a heart valve repair, and I was pretty sure that I would spend the rest of my life on disability and I was taking 40+ pills a day. I decided I had to do everything possible at that point to turn it around and slowly but surely over the last 18 months I have. When they finally stabilized me and I got clearance to start lifting I landed at about 220lbs which was fine with me because I knew I’d need some fat to build muscle mass.

    I track everything I eat, heart rate, blood pressure, water intake, exercise, steps etc etc. As I have plenty of health issues going on I talked everything over with multiple doctor’s and laid out my plan with them and started aggressively working out the last 6 months under their permission and guidance. I no longer need heart surgery and they said they don’t even notice anything wrong with my heart and that it seems pretty strong. I’ve gone down from 40+ pills a day to 4 pills a day and the autoimmune disease has completely stabilized. I hadn’t really lost any weight but I’m definitely much more cut and defined now and everybody that hasn’t seen me in awhile always remarks on how much larger my arms are in particular.

    I’m at a point now where I know if I can shed a couple pounds around the midsection that I’ll get my 6 pack abs back. I’d read that the lowest calorie count you could possibly do to get all your necessary macronutrients in was about 800 calories a day and so I kind of decided that I would aim for a calorie budget of 7,000-8,400 calories a week since I know that I burn roughly 3,000(21,000/week) calories a day (sometimes more sometimes less but it probably averages around 3,000). I laid my diet out like this: 4 days a week I aim for 1,000 calories a day and that’s the days that I’m usually in the gym. When I’m in the gym I move pretty quickly and efficiently and try to pack everything into an hour workout. 2 days a week I eat 500 calories and fast all day using those 500 calories on dinner, so a one meal a day fast. Since there is a reduced calorie count on these days I usually use those days as a rest day. That leaves me with 2,000 calories for a cheat day and I usually also try to do 30-60 minutes of cardio on a recumbent bike that day. Those 5 days that I’m eating 1000-2000 calories I do a 16:8 intermittent fast and usually start at 10am and getting my last meal in before 6pm. I’m vegetarian (almost borderline vegan) so I do use a protein powder to maintain my muscle.

    I had started before reading your article and kind of stumbled upon it searching the internet out of curiosity if anybody has done something similar even though my doctor’s had already signed off on it. I’m into the second week now and haven’t weighed myself yet but the first week I dropped 10lbs which was kind of unexpected. I have noticed the same thing as you though that it really has made me more cognizant of what I’m spending my calories on. For instance, normally I would drink my protein powder with milk or soy milk but that drains an additional 80-120 calories out of my budget, adds mostly fat and a miniscule amount of protein and in and of itself isn’t too filling. So now I opt to drink the protein powder with water and use those 80-120 calories for something more substantial.

    I kind of thought I would have to do this for a month or two but depending on how this week goes I might cut back or stop after 3 weeks. I really don’t feel like I’m starving most of the time though and if anything I’ve noticed a boost in my energy and haven’t noticed any reduction in muscle mass or strength but have seen my stomach flatten out more and sides slimming down. Surprisingly, my blood pressure has also improved while doing this and I just had blood work done and they are talking about reducing my medication for my autoimmune disease because I’m overcorrected now to a point that it’s actually making me hyperthyroid and lowering my metabolism.

    Sorry to write such a long response, but wanted to share my experience and enjoyed reading yours.

  148. I’m a 5’6” female who is 170 lbs and I gained it so fast I didn’t even notice. I want to get down to 130-140 which would be healthy as I am overweight.
    I have a workout plan I follow and I want to get a kickstart weight loss to motivate me to keep the healthy lifestyle. I’m hoping this works for me as I have a tendency to binge foods after not having anything with lots of bread or chocolate for a little bit.
    I think I will be successful with this plan since I’m not doing much with my day so I have no reason to go out and eat with my friends during these times so it will be easier for me to accomplish my target. I am starting this week and hope to achieve the same weight I was before my lifestyle changes.
    I am only worried about if I’ll be successful because I normally don’t feel full even after a big meal, so I feel I’ll be especially hungry. I do love water though, so I hope that will help.
    Loved the article, it’s refreshing coming from a real person with real experiences rather than what everyone else says.


  149. Hi Noah!

    Sounds like you’ve been put through the mill – more importantly though I’m glad you’re back on the mend. It has been a long road but he sounds of things.

    With regards to the diet, it’s incredibly effective and it is supposed to be STRATEGIC. It’s used for fast, effective weight loss. Nobody is suggesting it’s a lifestyle forever, it’s an approach we use to get our weight down in a healthy way. We’ve got around 200 responses on this blog post, which shows how many people have successfully used the diet to lose weight!

    I’ve written an eBook on the subject and it is coming out VERY soon!


  150. Hi Ali!

    The hunger is something that can derail you, but that’s the same with any diet. Keep in mind what you’re doing and WHY. If your why is big enough, you can stick with it.

    As you say, drink your water to fill your stomach and also keep yourself busy. Hunger is transient, so it’ll come and go in waves – it’s not an ever-present.


  151. Week two update – I drank more water. I’ll keep going and check back in with you next week.
    21.4 76,0 kg, 0 kcal
    22.4 75,4 kg, 1000 kcal
    23.4 75,8 kg, 0 kcal
    24.4 76,7 kg, 1000 kcal
    25.4 76,6 kg, 0 kcal
    26.4 75,7 kg, 1000 kcal
    27.4 76,3 kg, 0 kcal

  152. Week 3 update:
    I spaced out the 1000 kcal meals. Instead of eating one day and fasting the next, I’m having a 500 kcal breakfast every day, and tea with lemon throughout the day. My weight was 74,8 kg on day 7 of week 3. I’ll catch up with you at the end of week 4.

  153. Week four update!
    I’ve been doing more and more work in the garden, and my apetite has grown. I’ve come across “going all in”, and I am now interested in getting more meat and fat on my bones. I’m eating to hunger, and I am getting things done, more so than earlier. I love it! 🙂

  154. Hi,
    I want to thank you for sharing your experience. I’m doing this already for a couple weeks. It really helps me to loose fat. I do 3x HIIT and 2x strength training.


  155. Hi Steve!
    Thanks for asking. That’s the first week done of going All In. No more thinking about food all day, no counting of calories, no waiting for the next time I’m allowed to have a little bit of food. Hunger -> I eat until I’m full. It’s been very peaceful so far.

  156. I don’t know if weight loss is happening – I’m not using the scales any longer!
    I would think that weight gain is happening, because I’m eating to apetite. I don’t mind it as long as I feel great and have loads of energy throughout my day.

  157. So, this is amazing, and I am happy that it works for you. However, I do share my cautions. All my life, I had been extra small, extra skinny — even after my children, I was able to lose weight quickly — going down to a range of 95 to 120 (on a bad day). I am 5 foot even.

    I eat extra healthy. I do love occasional candy – but, I don’t often binge (for me that would be one package) and when I do, I almost always seem to actually lose weight in the days to follow (there’s a study on this which is pretty interesting).

    For the last few years, I have been STRUGGLING. I am currently 174 — just coming down from 180 after FORCING myself to eat more calorie rich items. I eat when hungry and don’t eat a lot of calories — in fact, most of the time, calorie counters won’t save my daily intake, because it is somewhere around 700 to 800. That’s it — I couldn’t even fathom the 1200-1500 diet, let alone one that serves around 3000!

    By the way, I am pretty active. In fact, at one point, I was 150ish — walking and riding bike 14+ miles daily (while pulling a 40 lb child behind me)! In between, I dance, pace, clean, etc.

    I found that I undereat too much and this causes me to hold weight in my body. Most people say that I look pregnant — ALWAYS — and, my face is starting to get chubby-looking. I don’t currently have any health issues and am a new-found vegetarian. In the past, I have had issues not eating enough salt. I do have anemia and neuralgia (triggered by certain histamine-rich foods, such as nuts, green peppers, apples and bananas).

    Please take my story to heart. And, be careful when practicing the 1000 calorie diet 🙂 But most of all, good luck!

  158. Hi. I M 40 Year old female. I have been eating 1000 or less every day for 2 weeks. I drink a lot of water and have stopped drinking alcohol. I am 5 foot 6, and when I started on June 1st I was 143 pounds. This was a shock for me! I had stopped working out and let my food and drink choices go badly. I weighed myself and was down 4 pounds in a little over a week. My question is, even when I weighed 135 last summer I always have a flabby tummy. I really want to look toned and trim, but even when I exercise it doesn’t happen. Could this be from alcohol? If I continue on the 1000 a day, drink lots of water, and continue eating only fresh homemade foods, will I be able to feel toned? I walk and do exercise classes (online) 4+ times a week. I have never cut alcohol out so I am thinking that if I do I may see the results I am seeking?!

  159. Hi Nools

    If you do as you say, you’ll certainly see some improvements. Use the diet strategically, so do it until you’ve reached your target and then re-introduce your calories. Keeping calories low and exercising will always see you lose fat!


  160. Hi Jessica

    It sounds as if you’ve had a few medical issues in the past, so of course everyone should exercise caution when they approach a new diet. Test it, see how you feel and make adaptions based on what you feel.

    I hope you’ve managed to make the health improvements you seek!


  161. Working from home has been great. I get 10 hours of sleep every night now, which really helps with keeping the calories to around 1000/day. I now eat breakfast around noon, so no lunch, and dinner before 7 so that also means I get a nice 16 hours fast. I too have found you have to think really hard about what you’re eating because you have to make every calorie count and get enough protein. I hope we get to work from home forever because I’m not looking forward to having to wake up earlier.

  162. Hi Brooke!

    I think the important thing here is the sleep – having so much sleep kills cravings for junk food, so it’s really helpful when it comes to dieting! It’s one of the reasons sleep is so important. Hunger is hormonally driven and sleep helps to regulate hormones.

    Maybe ask your boss if you can work from home forever?!


  163. I have tried this before with a great deal of success, but fell off of the band wagon during COVID. I am jumping back on and tripling my workout since my last go around, after gaining nearly 30 pounds in cheeseburger (mostly in the mid section). I was working out 3x a week for an hour a day. This time I am working out 6x a week for 1.5 hours per day.

  164. As someone diagnosed with an eating disorder, the way this article casually suggests a 1,000 calorie diet for anyone with fat to lose is so harmful. It is unrealistic to meet dietary guidelines on such a low calorie diet, and changing your behavior to manage with such small amounts of energy as you suggest (such as drinking lots of water to stretch out the time between meals) is particularly concerning. Anyone seeking healthy and sustainable weight loss should seek the help of a dietician, who would not recommend this diet save for the most extreme circumstances.

  165. With respect, Jack…

    If you bothered to read the article, you’ll see that it was run past a clinical nutritionist before I did it, making your claim inaccurate. You absolutely CAN meet all micronutrient requirements on low calories. Don’t confuse dietary guidelines with energy consumption.

    You’ve suffered with an eating disorder, but that doesn’t make you a clinical nutritionist, it makes you a patient. Learn the difference.

    I’m sorry you’ve suffered an eating disorder, but don’t assume everyone has or will by going on a low calorie diet for a SHORT period of time. It’s not ‘so harmful’ – it’s harmful for someone with an eating disorder, but the advice isn’t for them. That’s akin to saying “squats are harmful for people with a broken leg”. Of course they are, but the advice isn’t for them!

    Secondly, take a few moments to look at the overwhelming evidence on the benefits of fasting. If you’re concerned with 1000 calories per day, what do you think about the known and proven benefits (such as autophagy) people experience when they don’t eat anything at all?

    Take your blinkers off, understand that we don’t all have an eating disorder and realise that this isn’t disordered eating, it’s a successful intervention for a short period to help people address weight issues.

    Take a look at the nearly 200 comments on this post and then tell me it’s bad for everyone. I get emails every week telling me how effective this approach has been for people.

    Your ignorance is more dangerous than reducing calories for a short period of time.


  166. Hello,
    I used to run outdoors every day to lose weight. But eventually, my knees got injured due to the impact and I am planning to set up indoor exercise equipment in my house. What do you think if I try to follow your 1,000 calorie plan and exercise on an upright exercise bike would help me to lose some of my weight?

  167. Hi Steve,

    Well I have just stumble over this when I was on google looking for inspiration on the 1000 calories diet, I have in the passed have suffer with eating disorders but this diet gives me total control of what I eat I feel I’m in the driving seat

    I am 40 years old and 9 stone 4 and 5.3 but want to get down to 8.4 and have control over my eating again.
    I also would like to say I’m also Type 1 diabetic and suffer from hypoglycaemia low blood sugars but my bloods have never been better and my hypo are so much better instead of 3 a day I had my first one today in 4 days from when I started this I’m loving what you are doing such an inspiration and I’ll keep reading your post it gives me a good read when working from home on this pandemic

  168. Hi Emma

    That’s so good to hear – congratulations on the control of the blood sugar levels as well. It shows that a lot of the doom mongering about low calories is actually nonsense and we’re all different.

    You’re well on your way to your weight loss target, so keep going and you’ll get there soon enough!

    Are you training as well?


  169. Hey Steve, came along this website while researching into this diet. I’m a female (18 years old and 165cm) and looking for some dieting advice. I started a 1000 diet plan three weeks ago when I got my blood tests results and had low Vitamin D and High Cholesterol. I started at 110 kilos and am now currently 105 kilos however it has been quite a slow loss and was probably just water weight. Im looking to speed up results as I’d like to be at 70 kilos by June or even earlier if possible. My daily routine includes me waking up and taking one scoop of OxyShred (5cals) and then a 30min treadmill exercise on an incline of 15 and speed of 3. Taking a Vitamin D Pill, Going to school and then coming home and eating my first meal of chicken and vegetables or fish and vegetables (around 300cals) and then going to work (part time cashier job) and having a store bought green smoothie (150cals) while working and then afterwards either having a protein bar or a muesli bar (100-200cals) if I’m feeling hungry while studying later on. End of the day I have a cup of green tea and then I’m off to bed. Most days I barely reach 1000 calories however don’t feel hungry at all and have the energy to last through the whole day which consists of exercising, school, part time job and studying. However, I’m not losing the weight as fast as I anticipated and don’t really know what I’m doing wrong. Would really love some tips to safely accelerate the weight loss results!
    Thank you ?

  170. Hi Chanel!

    Congratulations on the weight loss so far!

    So, to answer your question about the rate of fat loss, I think at this point you need to be patient – losing 5kg in 3 weeks is a good, steady rate. That’s 11lbs in 3 weeks, or nearly 4lbs per week. That’s excellent, so keep it up.

    Your diet seems good to me, so certainly keep up what you’re doing.

    I’m a little concerned there doesn’t seem to be any weight training or resistance training in there, so maybe do a weights/kettlbell or bodyweight exercise circuit 2-3 times per week. You always want to preserve muscle mass.

    Hope that helps!


  171. Hey there!
    I found this information very helpful and due to your knowledge I wanted to get some feedback on this!
    I a female, 27, 5’2, 218 pounds. I was recently diagnosed with Hashimotos disease and insulin resistant PCOS. Because of this diagnosis my endocrinologist recommended I cut gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar from my diet and follow a keto protocol. Because I am trying to stay at 20 net grams a day, getting meals in while having to use replacements since I’ve eliminated those things from my diet has meant I’ve been at 900 to 1100 calories a day. I don’t feel like I’m starving or hungry eating at those levels, but then again I’ve also been told that for the time being I need to limit working out in general as it can cause flares in my diagnosis. I take prescription vit D weekly, and thyroid medication and metformin now daily as well.

    My question would be is this healthy long term for where I am at? Losing weight with both of those diseases can be impossible if not incredibly hard. Also are there any supplements or vitamins you can recommend for incorporating with the keto plan I’m adhering to. Just wanted to see if you had any advice on this!

  172. Hi Kate!

    First of all, I’m glad you’ve found a doctor who seems to be progressive with their approach, rather than relying straight on medication.

    I’m not surprised you’re not hungry on the ketogenic, despite the low calories – protein and fat are very satiating, so they’ll make you less hungry.

    There’s two questions you’ve asked really and here’s my response…

    1. Yes, it’d be perfectly healthy – you’re cutting out a lot of the unhealthy foods and limiting calories. I’d imagine you’ll lose significant amounts of weight as well, even though the diseases make it tougher. Weigh yourself weekly and see what a difference it’s making.
    2. In terms of supplements, I think that’s a question for your doctor because I don’t know enough detail about your case.

    Hope that helps, and the best of luck with your journey! Let me know how you get on!


  173. Hi there!

    High protein food is ideal, but it has to be very lean because otherwise the calories can mount up very quickly. You can get around this by drinking a protein shake.

    Best regards


  174. HI,

    Thank you for your article, it really gave me comfort in my fitness goals! I’m a 25 y/o woman, 5´3 and was at my biggest 182lbs on February 10th. I decided on Monday to start up a 1000 cal diet, and so I weighed myself, and as a previous soccer player I was not necessarily shocked by my results.

    3/09 I weighed 176 lbs. After following the strict diet of 1000 cal /day with focus on protein, minimal processed foods and drinking lots of water and a cup or two of coffee each day (black), I found myself with a deficit of 1000-1500 cal /day, and 2000 cal yesterday. I’ve been doing intense body weight training 4 days so far, and gone on two walks (each 1 h, with an average of 178 BPM) over the course of 5 days. I got excited and wanted to check on my scale, as I have one that is apparently pretty accurate (measures body percentage, water weight, bone mass etc.) And the weight told me I’ve lost 1.4 lbs this week, -0.3% BFP and only -0.2 lbs muscle mass (now I’m at 104) These numbers slightly confuse me, as I have been counting my Apple watch tracker (which underestimate calories burned when doing aerobics, so I might have underestimated total calories burned) and from the total deficit so far this week (6000 cal), I should have been about 4 lbs, yet I have only lost 1.4 lbs? I have not cheated a single time, which makes me confused of how slow my progress has been in the span of a little under a week compared to the weight loss I should be seeing. I feel slightly slimmer and tighter in my body, but the numbers say otherwise. I’m nervous I’m just experiencing some sort of placebo effect?

    Do you have any inputs on my case? Could there possibly be a delay in my body showing weight loss on the scale?

    Anything you think can help is greatly appreciated!

  175. Hi there! Fall of 2019 I was eating a low calorie diet of approximately 1000 calories a day. I was 45 and a woman, double whammy. I’ve always been active and fit until I had my kids, 3 in 3 years. I was tired, and working full time did not leave me much time for anything, so I was eating crap food. I’ve dieted off and on during this time, losing very little weight over the course of years, but ultimately, getting fatter every time! I did WW; didn’t lose anything, maybe 5 pounds. Ideal Protein, lost 25 pounds, but gained it back and more. Then it was the Keto, low-carb phase that lasted a LONG time, with very little weight loss. I mean, it HAD to work!! Nope! I was getting fluffier! During this time, I was also diagnosed as Type 2 and began injections in May 2019. Type 2 runs in my family and I was very careful about watching carbs and sugar since my Ideal Protein days when I was prediabetic. But things were going to hell; snoring, Type 2, tired, GERD was becoming a huge problem. I needed to do something! So, I told myself that’s it! I read the 800 calories diet and that was it. Everything cut out except veggies, fruit and some protein. I lost 30 pounds between September and December and felt AMAZING!! I also made sure to fast, so I skipped breakfast and my fast period was 7:00PM until 1:00PM the following day (that’s when my lunch was every day). Of all the diets where I actually lost weight, the only ones that worked were extremely low calorie diets. I’ve read about how they’re not safe, but come on, how can you feel that good and it be harming you? Makes no sense. Neither does the starvation mode myth. Anyway, I’m back on and aiming to lose another 20 pounds before the end of June!! Thanks for confirming what I already knew and experienced!

  176. That’s great to hear, Jill! Well done on your dramatic transformation.

    I’m always surprised when people criticise what they haven’t tried or researched. Still, as long as you kept the faith and it saw the process through, you won in the end eh?!

    Keep it up!


  177. Hi,
    I’m trying to help my mum (53) lose weight she’s 5’2″ and 200lbs. Due to a brittle spine and collapsing disks, she cant do exercise like running, weights or twisting/jolting motions, which makes weight loss difficult for her. She’s previously tried tablets, milkshakes and eating healthy food, but that didn’t work for her at the time.

    It looks like loads of people have had success following your advice, but I read that you said its best to pair the 1000kcal diet with exercise; would it still okay for her if she cant do the exercise?

    I’ve been sorting the meals for us recently so i know she’s only eaten 900-1000kcal over the past 3 days, but i dont want to continue it, if by her not doing the exercise it makes her worse off (…does that make sense). So i thought i’d double check with you 🙂
    She’s hoping to get to 154lbs so needing to lose 46lbs.

  178. It is not easy to obey 1k cal per day, and quit breakfast, anyway I think it should work, so I will ask my customers to start step by step as described in the article.

  179. Hi Abi

    I think in your Mum’s case it’s going to be important for her to seek medical advice regarding her back.

    As long as her condition is managed and she has good enough food quality (ensuring good quality vitamins and minerals are consumed), the low calories shouldn’t be an issue. Ensure she’s very well hydrated too – that’ll be important to help maintain the health of her spine and discs. Not coffee, tea or soft drinks – water.

    If she’s 5’2 and 200lbs then she really does need to address the weight, which will certainly help her back issues. There will be exercise she could do, even if it’s machine-based, anything that can improve her strength will be important.

    Hope that helps!


  180. Hi, I lost over 100 lbs 20 years ago by eating 1,000 calories a day. I stopped, after a year of this, as I got a job and was using a lot more energy. I have maintained my weight loss for 20 years but, in 2020, gained about 15 lbs and have been struggling to keep under 2,000 calories a day because that seems to be where my happy spot is to not feel hungry. My calories were hovering at about 1800 calories a day for years but went up in 2019 as a result of trying to go vegetarian with no guidance so always hungry.

    Even though I lost and maintained a loss of 100+ lbs, I’m still thick. I have Hashimoto’s and a deformed foot which keeps me from being able to do any high impact exercise, which I actually love, but results in severe pain, shin splints etc.

    I’m desperate to lose the weight I gained and some more and so I will be going back to 1,000 calories a day from tomorrow and will see what results I get after a month. I only stopped my 1k a day diet because a dietician told me it was great that I’d lost so much weight but I needed to up my calories to at least 1,500. I never regained my lost weight but I just quit losing.

    Just wanted to say that it does work for some. I never felt ‘bad’ on 1,000 and I hope to have the discipline it requires to go back to this level for the next 30 days so I can reassess.

    Thanks for the site and for not caving into dogma. The world would be a better place, especially in these times, if we weren’t all so hellbent on trying to make others conform so we feel better about ourselves. I’ll try to remember to update in 30 days!

  181. Hi Robert!

    Thank you for the kind words – and I’m sorry to hear about your health struggles. Hopefully they’re behind you now and you can get back to your best!


  182. Hmmmm i’m only lightly active (exercise 2-3 days a week with a sedentary-to-lightly active job). I’ve done well going from 295 down to what I am now and was at first thinking of 1000 kcal a day for just 2-3 months to drop this last 20-30 (i’m female @ 5’5″ and 168lbs) that’s refusing to budge. But now wondering if I should only temporarily reduce things to 1400 a day instead. I eat 1800-2000 kcal a day most days normally.

  183. Well it depends on the circumstances – if you’re only light exercising and you don’t need to fuel much training, you could give it a go. I think as long as you have plenty of fibre and protein in your diet, you’ll be absolutely fine.

    Take your supplements, eat lots of low-calorie, high volume foods (vegetables) and drink plenty of water. You’ll be great!


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