Health

Can You Lose Weight on 1500 Calories Per Day?

green apple with measuring tape on table in kitchen

Do you feel like you have tried every diet and are now ready to try counting calories? Maybe you heard that 1500 calories were a good number to lose weight at? This article answers the question, “Can you lose weight on 1500 calories per day?”

Now, the simple answer is – Yes. You can absolutely lose weight on 1500 calories per day. In fact, you can lose weight on more calories than this.

However, more things need to be taken into account to say whether or not you WILL lose weight on 1500 calories per day. For example, do you, specifically, burn more than 1500 calories throughout the day? Unfortunately, you won’t start shedding pounds if you don’t burn at least 1500. But there are a few ways you can burn those calories down!

It would be best to consider whether this is a healthy way to lose weight. Most people should only try to lose up to 2 pounds per week. This works to about 1,000 calories less than you need to maintain weight daily.

For example: if you require 2800 calories to maintain your current weight, you should consume at least 1800 calories daily.

However, suppose you are eating 1500 calories and not losing weight. In that case, you need to be looking for ways to increase your calorie expenditure each day, not looking for ways to lower your calories.

Minimum Calories Per Day

With any diet, you should consider a few things. Is it healthy? Is it maintainable? Will it work with my current lifestyle? You should reconsider that diet if it does not meet these criteria.

What I want to address here is whether or not a 1500-calorie-per-day diet is healthy. The other two questions only you can answer!

Generally, women should consume at least 1,200 calories per day to stay healthy, and men should consume 1,400. However, you need more if you work out regularly or have an active job or lifestyle. If you fail to consume enough calories, you will be hurting your body in addition to losing weight.

How many calories should you consume at minimum - WebMD Graphic
Chart from WebMD

Is eating 1500 calories a day too much? Probably not. It’s unlikely that you will gain weight at this low of a caloric intake if that is your concern. If you do gain weight, consider looking at how many calories you burn throughout the day, see if you are tracking properly, or talk to a doctor.

“The big picture is to consume enough calories with a balance of nutrients and engage in physical activity for good health management to achieve one’s weight goals. Consuming less than 1,200 calories per day may make it difficult to meet vitamin and mineral needs via food,” says nutrition therapist Andrea Spivack, MA, RD, LDN, with Penn Behavioral Health at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

So, is it healthy eating 1500 calories per day? In general, 1500 calories is enough to stay healthy for most people.

How Many Calories Should I Eat in a Day to Lose Weight?

This is a better question than “Can you lose weight on 1500 calories per day?” It is far healthier to learn how many calories you should eat rather than picking an arbitrary number goal. Now, I could give you all the formulas to figure this out yourself, but below is a tool that will figure it out for you!

Calorie Calculator

Rather than picking an arbitrary number, how about you figure out exactly how many calories you need to hit your goal? This calorie calculator will give you the number you should be trying to hit.

Now, if your number is too low (you can’t imagine eating that little, or it is less than a healthy amount), there is another way. Burning calories can get you in just as deep of a deficit as eating less food can!

I would highly recommend picking up a workout routine that works with your lifestyle and burns some extra calories, so you don’t end up having to starve yourself to hit your goals. Plus, working out comes with loads of other benefits.

Are You Eating 1500 Calories a Day and Not Losing Weight?

If you have been consistently eating this many calories every day and you are not losing weight there are really only two reasons. Either you are eating more than you think or you aren’t burning enough calories throughout the day. Here is why:

Eating More Than You Think

Don’t worry, over 60% of people track their calories inaccurately. It is actually pretty much unavoidable. But there are a couple major factors that will pump your calories way up:

  • Not counting sauces, dips, and drinks
  • Eating over 1500 calories on one or more days weekly – bringing your average daily intake up
  • Not accurately weighing and measuring food

This isn’t the only possible culprit, but in some way or another, it’s likely you are consuming more than you think. However, there is another possible option!

Burning Less Than You Need to

Depending on your age, daily activity level, weight, and health your daily caloric expenditure could be drastically different from what you think it is. If that is the case then you can start to see results by increasing your calorie burn each day!

Here are easy some ways to do that:

  • Pick a daily physical activity to perform for at least 20 minutes
  • Get more of your total calories from lean proteins
  • Try to get at least 5 minutes of activity for every hour of sitting still

Although these are the two reasons you could be eating 1500 calories a day and not losing weight- there are healthier ways to get the body you want. Regular strength training will increase your daily caloric burn, even on days that you don’t work out. Additionally, eating a whole food based diet will increase your chances of achieving a long-term healthy weight even if you don’t track calories!

1500 Calorie Diet

At this point, if you are still paying attention, you probably want to know more about a 1500-calorie diet. That is what brought you here, after all.

It is extremely important, regardless of your health level, that your diet includes the necessary micro and macronutrients to keep your body healthy. For this reason, below is an exact meal plan for 1500 calories.

Diet Plan for 1500 Calories

This diet plan was created for Eating Well by Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD.

You may also like How To Calculate Macros to Lose Weight Fast

How to Meal Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make a batch of Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups to have for breakfast on Days 1 through 3. Freeze any leftovers.
  2. Meal prep a batch of Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  3. Hard boil 4 eggs to have for snacks on Days 2, 4, 5, and 6.
Day 1
is it healthy eating 1500 calories day - answered

Breakfast (387 calories)
A.M. Snack (190 calories)
  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
Lunch (325 calories)
P.M. Snack (105 calories)
  • 1 medium banana
Dinner (507 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,514 calories, 76 g protein, 215 g carbohydrate, 38 g fiber, 47 g fat, 1,355 mg sodium

Day 2
Zucchini-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Tahini-Ranch Sauce

Breakfast (387 calories)
A.M. Snack (192 calories)
  • 1 oz. Cheddar cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
Lunch (344 calories)
P.M. Snack (95 calories)
  • 1 medium apple
Dinner (495 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,513 calories, 53 g protein, 203 g carbohydrate, 36 g fiber, 61 g fat, 1,976 mg sodium

Day 3
easy salmon cakes with dressing

Breakfast (387 calories)
A.M. Snack (95 calories)
  • 1 medium apple
Lunch (344 calories)
P.M. Snack (201 calories)
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
Dinner (475 calories)
  • 1 serving Easy Salmon Cakes over 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 (2-inch) piece whole-wheat baguette

Daily Totals: 1,502 calories, 70 g protein, 212 g carbohydrate, 38 g fiber, 51 g fat, 1,851 mg sodium

Day 4
Chicken & Cucumber Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Breakfast (393 calories)
A.M. Snack (78 calories)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg sprinkled with a pinch each of salt and pepper
Lunch (344 calories)
P.M. Snack (188 calories)
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate
Dinner (521 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,523 calories, 70 g protein, 194 g carbohydrate, 46 g fiber, 61 g fat, 1,324 mg sodium

Day 5
Mediterranean Ravioli

Breakfast (287 calories)
A.M. Snack (192 calories)
  • 1 oz. Cheddar cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
Lunch (344 calories)
P.M. Snack (210 calories)
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
Dinner (454 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,488 calories, 59 g protein, 191 g carbohydrate, 43 g fiber, 62 g fat, 1,624 mg sodium

Day 6
is it healthy eating 1500 calories day - answered

Breakfast (393 calories)
A.M. Snack (200 calories)
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
Lunch (360 calories)
P.M. Snack (78 calories)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg sprinkled with a pinch each salt and pepper
Dinner (465 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,495 calories, 55 g protein, 220 g carbohydrate, 45 g fiber, 55 g fat, 1,616 mg sodium

Day 7
spinach-artichoke-dip-pasta

Breakfast (285 calories)
A.M. Snack (95 calories)
  • 1 medium apple
Lunch (345 calories)
P.M. Snack (220 calories)
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate
Dinner (556 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,501 calories, 56 g protein, 193 g carbohydrate, 41 g fiber, 63 g fat, 2,018 mg sodium

What Does 1500 Calories Look Like?

If you were to break down 1500 calories into 3 simple meals, this is what it would look like.

what does 1500 calories look like- can you lose weight on 1500 calories per day

You could also eat:

  • Meal 1- protein shake with milk and banana: 300 calories.
  • Meal 2- turkey, cheese, and bacon sub + chocolate: 750 calories.
  • Meal 3- 1 slice pizza + salad: 450 calories.

Can You Lose Weight on 1500 Calories per Day?

Yes you can. And most likely it is safe for you to do so. But is that the best way for you to lose the weight? Only you can decide.

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