Is an 1800 Calorie Diet Too Restrictive?

A low-calorie diet is one in which the total daily caloric intake is limited to less than 1,500 calories. This is accomplished by consuming fewer calories and/or meal portions. The main goal of such diets is to reduce calorie intake while maintaining nutrient intake and avoiding major physical changes in the body.

The amount of calories required to lose weight is determined by your size, age, gender, and level of activity. For those who are moderately active or burn more than 2,000 calories per day, a 1,800-calorie diet meal plan is the correct weight amount. Eighteen hundred calories are sufficient to prevent hunger and provide adequate nutrition.

The Weight Loss Formula

The weight-loss formula is simple: consume fewer calories than you expend. However, the methods for doing so can differ. In reality, there is no single best way to lose weight; what works for one person may not work for another. Live Science conducted a months-long search for the most up-to-date information on weight loss to bring you the scoop. We reached out to nearly a dozen experts who have studied weight loss and reviewed the most well-regarded weight loss studies to date.

Basics of Weight Loss

Weight loss occurs when you have a calorie deficit, which means you must burn more calories than you consume. To help you with your diet, you can calculate how many calories you need to eat daily to lose weight. This deficit must equal about 500 calories per day to lose one pound per week. To lose one pound per week, you must burn at least 2,300 calories per day if you consume 1,800 calories per day. Weight loss will be slower if you burn fewer calories but still consume more than 1,800. Weight loss is accelerated when you burn more calories per day while eating 1,800 calories.

The Meal Schedule

A 1,800-calorie diet could be divided into three meals of 500 calories each and two 150-calorie snacks. Alternatively, the 1,800 calories could be divided into five or six smaller meals, each of which would contain 300 to 360 calories. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2005 found that sticking to a consistent, regular meal pattern was associated with a lower overall calorie intake, higher post-meal metabolism, and lower cholesterol levels. These positive results were not seen in women who ate three to nine times at irregular intervals.

Food Categories

Instead of processed or fast foods, a 1,800-calorie diet for weight loss should include high-quality foods derived from whole foods. Lean protein sources include shrimp, tuna, skinless white meat poultry, extra-lean beef, and egg whites. Fresh or flash-frozen vegetables with high fiber and water content provide few calories while providing a wealth of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Whole grains also contain fiber, which can keep a dieter fuller for longer than fast-digesting, nutrient-deficient refined carbohydrates like white bread and sugary cereal. Low-fat dairy is high in calcium and may help with weight loss, according to a study published in October 2009 by Curtin University in Australia, which found that dieters who consumed five servings of low-fat dairy per day lost more weight after 12 weeks than those who consumed only three.

Fat Consumption

Diet, Losing Weight, Scales

Fats are an important macronutrient that should account for 20 to 35 percent of a 1,800-calorie diet plan or 360 to 630 calories. According to registered dietitian Joanne Larsen of Ask the Dietitian, fat takes longer to digest, making you feel more satisfied and less hungry between meals. Fat is also involved in a number of vital bodily functions, including vitamin absorption and hormone production. Instead of the saturated or trans-fat found in meat, full-fat dairy, and commercially prepared foods, look for healthy fats in nuts, plant oils, avocados, and fatty fish.

Weight Loss Objective

Obese people who lose just 3 to 5% of their body weight see improvements in their health. According to the 2013 guidelines, losing 5% of body weight results in a 3-mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure and a 2-mmHg drop in diastolic blood pressure. Because losing even more weight has been linked to better health, the guidelines recommend that people set a goal of losing 5 to 10% of their body weight in six months.

Most experts interviewed by Live Science recommended losing 0.5 to 2 pounds to achieve this goal. once a week This usually entails a daily calorie reduction of 250 to 1,000 calories.

This translates to about 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day for women. It equates to about 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day for men.


Each meal should include a protein source, a healthy carbohydrate, and a small amount of unsaturated fat. 1/3 cup dry oatmeal cooked with 1 cup low-fat milk, 12 cups fresh blueberries, and 12-ounce toasted almonds, with four scrambled egg whites sprinkled with 1/8 cup low-fat mozzarella on the side, is an example of a 500-calorie breakfast. A 500-calorie lunch consists of 3 ounces of deli turkey on a whole-wheat English muffin with a slice of avocado, 2 tablespoons of hummus, red pepper strips, and baby carrots, and a whole apple with 12 cups of yogurt. 4 ounces of grilled salmon, a medium baked sweet potato, and a cup of steamed broccoli for dinner. Cottage cheese, low-fat milk, or kefir, along with extra fresh vegetables and fruit, can help round out your nutrient profile at snacks.

Symptoms of Not Enough Calories

1. You are finding it difficult to stick to your diet plan.

Extremely low-calorie diets are difficult to maintain, which can jeopardize your long-term success. Both boredom and hunger can sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

2. Your weight loss has slowed. 

Over the course of six months, a study of 48 overweight people compared the results of a calorie restriction diet, diet and exercise, and a normal diet, and discovered that many of those eating the lower amount of calories had slower metabolisms. Furthermore, weight loss is slowed as a result of this.