The most popular article on this website (which now contains over 500 but the way – wow), is this one on when I followed a 1000 calorie diet. I did it as an experiment, but quickly learned that it can be a fantastic and sustainable way to lose weight.
The beauty of the 1000 calorie diet approach is in the simplicity – you can eat what you like, but don’t exceed 1000 calories per day. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose (more than 20lbs), it could be approach to you. Nothing complicated, nothing difficult, just a 1000 calories per day food target.
In this article, I did a quick interview with one of my personal training clients, Amy. She has followed the 1000 calorie diet method and has lost 23lbs in 10 weeks, even allowing the occasional slip in her eating!
I like stories like this, because it shows what real people, with real jobs, real lives, real stresses etc can achieve when they make their health their priority. Like everyone else, Amy has a full time job and all of the stresses that go with it.
Here’s how she has found following a 1000 calorie diet…
You’ve used the 1000 calorie diet method to lose over 22lbs so far – how have you found it?
To begin with I did find it a little difficult as my body was used to a high calorie intake, however I found that making sure I drink plenty of water helped especially in that first few days – it helps with any headaches. Once the first few days passed I have really enjoyed it. I have found that I have a greater appreciation for the food I eat and I’ve even been trying new things.
Give us a typical days eating (the sort of meals you’d eat when working)
Usually when working I have an early start so I would have a drinkable yoghurt first thing, I have been buying the Aldi cholesterol drinks as they start from 39 calories per drink, I would then have a protein shake or some fruit a little later on.
For lunch I would have a low calorie wrap filled with salad and meat with carrot batons, cucumber sticks and baby corn (I’m loving eating this raw and it’s very low in calorie), i’ve been eating a small satsumas with lunch and sometimes I’ll treat myself to a low calorie packet of crisps.
I’m a big fan of batch cooking so I will sometimes make and weigh out portions of food that I may be able to take for my lunch instead of a wrap. For my dinner I have loved experimenting, I have really enjoyed making a chicken curry stir fry with lots of vegetables and wholewheat noodles, low calorie wrap pizzas, keema curry in lettuce boats or chicken with a spice crumb and salad.
If I am ever stuck for time I will sometimes have a supermarket low calorie ready meal, I have found that most supermarkets have a great frozen range that are under £2 a portion, I would usually have one of these and salad.
Why has the 1000 calorie diet worked when other diets haven’t?
I think it has worked as I am more aware of what I am eating and the calories I am consuming – I have been using My Fitness Pal to track all of my food.
It’s so easy to scan the barcodes or input the calories if I have batch cooked. I have previously tried other well known eating plans and there are so many foods that are unlimited that you think you are doing well by eating them, however you are actually overeating or on some plans you are restricted on portions and foods that you can eat.
With this method I am responsible for myself if I want a high calorie treat then I reduce the calories for other meals. I also allow myself a cheat meal every Sunday when I have weighed myself so nothing is off limits.
What advice would you give somebody interested in following the same 1000 calorie diet plan?
For anyone that is interested in doing this I would say first of all invest in a good set of kitchen scales, I have found with this method I am using mine multiple times a day to weigh out my food.
Secondly make sure you use the scales, don’t just guess when it comes to your portions as there can be a big difference in calories for a weighed out portion compared to a guessed portion.
Plan well and always make sure your fridge is well stocked – there is nothing worse than getting home from work to find an empty fridge you’ll go searching the cupboards and won’t make the best of choices.
I would also say don’t be hard on yourself, it’s a big change for your body to reduce your calories so don’t be hard on yourself if you do go over your 1000 calories on a day just make sure that you draw a line under it and get back to it the next day.
Finally, I would say listen to your body, I have learnt that if I am craving a food rather than saying it is off limits I weigh out a portion that is within my calories and enjoy it, otherwise you are more likely to fall off track and binge on it.
Beyond just the health and weight loss benefits, what has it done to your mindset and attitude to life?
This method has helped in many ways, I have a lot more energy so it has made not only my day to day life easier but I am able to push myself further when exercising.
I am a lot happier and people have noticed. I am enjoying life a lot more and I have a few found confidence – I am enjoying going clothes shopping again, going out seeing friends and family and I feel like I have started to get my life back.
I never realised how much my weight was holding me back until I started following the 1000 calorie diet method.
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