1000 Calorie Diets, Are They Safe and Sustainable?



1000 calorie diets are a popular way of losing weight, most probably because it’s a nice round number, but the real question is, is a 1000 calorie per day diet safe and sustainable?

From a weight loss perspective, the maximum healthy level of weight loss is thought to be around 2 pounds per week. Given that a pound of body fat is equal to around 3,500 calories to lose 2 pounds per week a person would need to have a calorie deficit of 1,000 calories per day.

Working backwards, assuming the average daily requirement is around 2,000 calories per day (estimates are 1,900 for woman and 2,550 for men) then a diet of 1,000 calories per day would be about right for those whose requirements are in the middle of this range at 2,000 calories per day.

There are however other considerations other than merely losing weight too quickly. In the first instance, restricting one’s calorie intake also restricts the opportunity to consume vital nutrients.

If starting a 1000 calorie a day diet then be sure to eat a balanced diet which includes all the basic food groups, you may also wish to consider taking a vitamin supplement for the duration.

In addition, any restrictive dieting can result in dehydration, as such be sure to drink lots of pure water for the duration of the diet.

Strenuous exercise is also a no-no for any one on a 1000 calorie based diet as the body will simply not have enough energy to sustain the extra activity.

As such, a 1000 calorie diet represent a way of losing weight which is probably on the margins of safety if nutrition is considered carefully and one maintains a good fluid intake. However, in the long term a 1000 calorie a day diet is not a long term solution and should only be used to get rid of those initial pounds.