The 1000 Calorie Diet: The Secret To Rapid Weight Loss Or Complete BS?

1000 calorie diet

Hey you!

Yes you, reading this article.

I know what you’re thinking…

1000 calories per day.

“Man if I just went on a 1000 calorie diet, I would lose weight so fucking fast.”

“I could lose like 50 pounds in 6 weeks if I just ate 1000 calories per day.”

Oh but my friend, I hate to burst your bubble.

A lot of people like the idea of 1000 calories a day.

It’s a nice round number and it’s associated with rapid fat loss.

Problem is, it doesn’t always work in the way most people intend it to.

The#1 problem with a 1000 calorie diet

Does eating 1000 calories per day work?

Yes, if you’ve spent your whole life eating 3000+ calories per day, then dropping to 1000 calories per day is going to result in weight loss.

Nothing mind blowing there.

And let’s put aside issues like muscle loss and not getting enough nutrients.

The #1 problem with doing a 1000 calorie per day diet, above all else, is adherence.

In other words, people can’t stick with this shit long term.

90% of people who do 1000 calorie diets are in the “I want to lose weight as fast as possible” mindset.

This means they don’t give a fuck about anything else but bringing the scale down.

But deep down these people know that they’re just looking for a magic bullet solution to fix their shitty habits.

Eating 1000 calories a day will likely help you lose weight, but it’s damn near impossible to maintain.

Focus on fixing your habits. Focus on finding a sustainable way to create a calorie deficit.

But no wants to hear that.

That advice is just way too logical 🙂

Who should eat 1000 calories a day?

While I’m not a huge fan of telling people to eat 1000 calories a day, there are a few groups of people who would benefit from doing it.

Group 1: Short people weight loss

Group 2: People with 30+ pounds to lose

Group 3: People who want to eat a lot on the weekend and still lose weight

And this isn’t just mindlessly following a 1000 calorie diet. It’s eating 1000 calories per day in context of your goals and lifestyle.

Group 1: Shorter people who don’t weigh a lot

short people calories

Who should use this: People on the shorter side and weigh 120 pounds and below.

I ain’t hating on short people.

But truth is, shorter people just can’t eat as much, especially if they aren’t active.

Reality is, if you’re 5’1” and weigh 110 pounds, then yes, you’ll likely need to eat as little as 1000 calories if you want to lose weight.

That’s just the truth.

But if you’re on the shorter side, you need to first ask yourself: Do I even need to lose weight?

Using the same example, if you are 5’1” and weigh 105 pounds, is losing weight really the right move?

Everyone I encounter who wants to lose weight at this height and weight range just wants to “look better” (vague as fuck, I know).

But looking better doesn’t always equal losing weight.

In a lot of these cases, these people would do better focusing on getting stronger and building muscle.

Building more muscle will also let you eat more food.

The big issue here is that these people have spent all of their lives obsessed with the scale.

So when I tell them to pay less attention to the scale, start lifting heavy weights, and eat more, they tell me to fuck off.

(Okay, they don’t tell me to fuck off, but they don’t listen to me).

If your goal is to “look better,” then explore the possibility that maybe losing weight isn’t the answer and maybe you just need to build muscle and strength. 2

Group 2: People with 30+ pounds to lose

1000 calorie a day meal

Who should use this: People with 30+ pounds to lose

With Group 2, we have people with a lot for weight to lose (30+ pounds).

The more you weigh, the longer you can stay on a 1000 calorie per day diet without any crazy negative effects.

Your body can survive longer because you have more body fat to fuel it.

So someone with 30+ pounds to lose can likely stay on a 1000 calorie diet for a few weeks without negative effects.

But I’m not going to recommend that since a few weeks is just too unrealistic.

Here’s my protocol for people with a lot of weight to lose and want to try a 1000 calorie diet:

If you have 30+ pounds to lose, you can eat 1000 calories per day for a week.

After the week, transition to a more sustainable diet – one where your daily calorie intake is about 10-12x your bodyweight in pounds.

Very simple.

Don’t fuck this up.

Knowing people, they will fuck it up.

But man, just follow the tip I just gave.

It’s 2 steps:

Step 1: Eat 1000 calories for a week.
Step 2: After the one week, set your daily calorie intake to daily calorie intake to 10-12x your bodyweight in pounds.

I swear to fucking shit, if someone leaves a comment asking me if they can do this for more than a week, I will punch a goldfish.

Think of the 1000 calorie week as a “jumpstart” to your weight loss.

You could probably do it longer, but most people just can’t maintain such a large deficit.

This is not a crash diet.

This is not a quick fix or hack.

It’s a jumpstart.

Some people lose up to 15 pounds in a single week.

But remember that the majority will be water weight which is is good to lose as well.

Once you transition to a more sustainable and realistic diet like I said in Step 2, your weight loss will taper off eventually into the realm of 1-2 pounds per week.

Group 3: People who want to eat a lot on the weekend and still lose weight

1000 calories a day diet

Who should use this: People who want to eat a crap ton of food on the weekend and still lose weight.

This is is exactly what I recommend you to do if you know you’re going to go out on the weekend and drown in an orgy of beer, burgers, and fries.

Here’s the 3-step process to pulling this off:

Step 1: 1-2 days out of the week, eat just 1000 calories. I recommend eating just one meal during this day to make the meal more filling. You can do 2-3 meals but then each meal becomes tiny as balls. Also make this day a high protein, low carb, low fat day. That means 90% of your calories should be pure protein. I recommend a lot of lean meat and veggies.

Step 2: On the day you know you’re going to be eating a lot, enjoy yourself. Don’t be stupid and binge but there’s no need to count calories. Still make sure to get plenty of protein.

Step 3: On all other days of the week, follow a more conventional diet where your daily calorie intake is around 10-12x your bodyweight in pounds.

By inserting one or two 1000 calorie days during the week, you’ve effectively created a “buffer” for you to enjoy yourself on the weekend and still lose weight.

When it comes to weight loss, your overall weekly calories matter more than your exact daily calorie intake.

You can eat in a surplus on one day, but as long as you course correct that somewhere else during the week, you’ll usually be fine.

Note: If you’re going to try any of the 3 approaches and need a solid workout routine, I recommend Superhero X12.

106 thoughts on “The 1000 Calorie Diet: The Secret To Rapid Weight Loss Or Complete BS?”

  1. It’s very easy to stick to 1000 calories a day if you eat only one meal a day and stick to natural foods and keep it low in fat

    Baked potatoes are as filling as fuck and you can have 500g of them for 400 calories

    You can have 500g of broccoli and Cauliflour for a measly 100 calories

    And you could add to all that a grilled 450g striploin steak for another 500 calories

    I defy anyone to not be stuffed after eating all of that . Most people couldn’t finish it .

    Another tip . It’s to keep exercise volume low . No cardio is required since the deficit is so big . Just 3×45 minutes weight training sessions is enough

    • maybe short term, but long term it’s gonna lead to a host of problems (muscle loss, poor performance in gym, lack of nutrients, lack of options when going out to eat)..

      • Agreed, Keith. Not to mention when your hair falls out and your nails become brittle; then when you get sick because your body can’t support immune response, your doctor can officially tell you that you’re fucking stupid for only eating 1000 calories a day like a 9 year old little girl and to stop being a dumbass and eat proper nutrition.

        Love your articles, thanks for the content!

        • Hi out there! First of all I like the honesty and the language. I broke my neck and back from a fall and for 3 years, I was given lots of steroids via pills & injections. I weighed at the time of my fall 97 lbs Since I couldn’t walk I was in bed rest pretty much the entire time. I am also a diabetic that didn’t help my process of healing. My problem is I have always eaten 1000 calories or less a day. When I asked the docs when can I start to exercise I was told I couldn’t anymore I am extremely limited to movement. Can someone recommend how to get this weight off of ME! It’s not vanity it’s not me. I don’t like being told that I will look like this for the rest of my life! Is there a solution to this? Any one I am also on a lot of medication and I also had the stimulator placed in my spinal cord. I have a pace maker on my bladder and lots of metal so I have to include that as weight duh! Thanks out There!

  2. Great read and well put article! The formula never changes: lift weights, eat more healthier foods, stay within your weight range in calories, rest, repeat.

  3. so a bit confused , I fall into the 5’2″ category and weigh 130 lb. You say I should eat 1000 cal but at the same time you say that is not sustainable.So how do I make it sustainable? I already workout 5x week weights and or cardio about 45 min to 60 min/day. I am 63 and a woman have always been active but managed to gain weight because I had been sick and was put on prednisone 5 years ago. Ever since then the weight won’t budge. I eat high protein low carb low fat diet. I have tried keto without results other than water loss and increasing my LDL. I also hate eating keto.
    What do you suggest?

    • I said you might consider eating 1000 cals but only if you weigh less than 120 pounds.

      You weigh 130 so you’ll likely eat around 1300-1500 calories per day to lose weight. Also I’m unaware of the side effects of your drug so be sure to consult a doctor before taking any of this advice.

      • Sorry I meant I use to weigh between 117-120lb but gained 10lb due to the meds . That was two years ago. Not on meds for two years now and weigh 130. Have not been able to get down to pre meds weight.. so what you are suggesting is I consume 1300-1500 calories to lose weight and then stay on 1000 once I get under 120lb. To maintain that weight or is staying at 1000k to continue to loose until I reach 105-110 where my recommend weight is . That would be having maintained my muscle mass but dropping my fat % to 12-15% where I would like to be.

        • assuming you’re not on meds and everything else is normal (no underlying diseases/illness), you can eat about 1300 to lose wieght now.

          Once you reach your goal weight, you can actually start eating more since you will then be trying to maintain your weight.

          Also if you haven’t already, I’d recommend some form of resistance training to build some muscle, otherwise you’ll always just be cutting calories more and more.

  4. I am not a healthy person. My mental health is atrocious and my body while surprisingly healthy has a lot of weight and my joints are not happy about it and I feel gross.
    I have 90+ pounds to lose. I started at 238 pounds or 104.5 kilos. I am 5’3” or 160 cm female and 27 years old. I’ve lost 20 in about 2 and a half months and am down to 208 or 93.8. Been doing 1000-1100 a day with a cheat day 1-2 times a month (which causes my weight loss to stall for a week or more so for 3 weeks there was no movement or even slight gain)
    I’ve spent 10 years trying every diet under the sun and exercise routine. Keto was great, but I had to get my gall bladder removed, and it’s expensive. I also lost 20 pounds in 6 months.
    This is the ONLY thing that works for me. I count by grams everything I eat. I found it’s decently easy to eat 2 meals a day and a sugar free dessert and a snack and stay where I need to be. And since I am so low, it’s okay if I go up to 1300 every once in a while. For me, it works. For others, especially with health concerns, I can understand the discouragement. But in my case, losing, and often is keeping me going.

    Anyone doing ANY diet should always talk to their doctor. You never know if there is a food you are allergic to or if certain diets can exacerbate conditions.

    My plan when I get to where I want to be around 120 pounds is to then go to maintenance dieting (1600-1800 with trial and error) and start gaining some nice muscle definition and go to maintenance again for that.

    It’s a lifestyle change.

    If anyone is curious on how I do this (Again TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR TO SEE IF THIS WILL WORK AND IS HEALTHY FOR YOU)
    Again again, for me, fast loss is what allows me to continue. Plenty of people can not stick with something like this. Just had to repeat that because I get that it is not for everyone, nor should it be.

    Breakfast: I eat around 12:00 usually a potato or two, a boiled egg and a fruit or maybe some yogurt
    Snack: Fruit or a very small portion of something a bit higher calorie like a typical cracker snack
    Dinner: Meat, potatoes, veggies. Chicken/pork/fish sometimes rice, but it’s higher so I get less of it and less filling salad/veggie wok
    Dessert: 100-130 grams of a no sugar ice cream generally made with erythritol/stevia and a small piece, usually 5-10 grams of a chocolate bar cut up and thrown in.
    (Dessert also helps me keep on track, I don’t feel as limited and it’s become a routine at night while watching a show with my partner.)

    Of course some days I cave in and get some candy or pizza, but I try to fit that in to the overall 1100 or up to 1300 unless it’s a full on cheat day.

    I measure everything I eat, except veggies and berries, like salad, peas and broccoli, raspberries, blackberries but not strawberries since they can add up. All fruits are measured including avocado and corn. In the country I am in, everything is done as a caloric measurement of per 100 grams. So I weight all the food I eat and have log it everyday along with any exercise activity I do.

    • My diet is similar to yours and yes – it’s the only diet that I CAN do long term. I’ve tried lots of other diets including all the low-carb / keto type diets, but can’t stick with them because I find restricting what you eat is way harder than restricting how much you eat. So, I’m eating only foods that I enjoy – just not as much of them as I used to. I was doing 1600 calories/day (I’m a 6’4″ 110kg bloke), but am now trying 1000/day eating just breakfast and lunch and fasting for the rest of the day. Doing this makes sleep SO much better. I think it’s because I had some GERD which is known to disturb sleep – so sleeping on an empty stomach means I wake up feeling refreshed for a change and am way more productive during the day. I probably won’t stay on 1000 calories/day for too long. This is really just to get back on track after a blow-out (the Wife bought chinese takeaway) and at my size I lose plenty on 1600/day, but it’s interesting how little hunger I feel on 1000/day. Hunger only lasts a short time – just ignore it and it goes away. Cravings are harder to ignore. Looking forward to hitting my goal weight of 85kg and being able to eat more freely – just keeping an eye on the scale so as not to put it back on.

  5. Hi keith, ive been doing intermittent fasting with 1000 cal. perday for the past 2 weeks. I started with 67 kg and within 10 days i lost 3kg. And my weight remained static at 64 kg for the past 5 days. I dont know whats wrong since ive been eating the same food, doing aerobic for the same period, fasting for even longer hours but my weight wont budge from 64 kg. Im a short asian girl so my healthy weight need to be within 46-60kg.
    Any suggestion keith

    • weight loss is never linear. You lost a lot the first week due to water weight most likely. Be consistent. Fasting does NOT make fat loss happen faster. What matters is overall cal intake by the end of the day. Dont rush the process.

  6. My problem with sharp caloric deficits like this is I end up binging the first chance I get and end up heavier than I did when I started the diet. I only do these kinds of deficits when I’m preparing for something like a pool party where I want to look lean as hell for a day

  7. I really really love you dude ! Especially your article on the metabolism myths. (I’m a nurse and I kind of know some stuff and finally, I hear someone else that doesn’t contradict what I say). You’re right about your stuff ! I am actually overweight right now (about 110kg). I started to eat one big meal a day and a few stuff when I feel hungry. I decided to aim for about 1800 calories max a day (the calculations for someone my height and 70kg of weight, which is my goal, with a sedentary lifestyle). I don’t cut to 1000 calories, because I feel it is too low for me, even if I am overweight, because I still do some training, and I need carbs to be able to perform well. I eat about 4000 calories twice a month (I know it sounds like a lot), but surprisingly, whenever I eat that much in a day, I do feel heavier and the scale actually shows a bigger number, but it quickly goes back to the same weight I was before, and even lower sometimes in the next 2 days. (I figured it’s because since I eat so much carbo on those days, I’m filling my muscles with glycogen and water, and not fat). I do Zumba 4 times a week. I don’t do it more often, because I figured that this was enough for me to sustain for a lifetime. And so far, I’ve lost about 6.2 kg in 2 months. I think it is a healthy rate. I never feel starved, hungry sometimes, but it is very easily manageable.
    But Yeah, You’re great !

  8. Great article man! I’m currently 28, 6’4 & 345 lbs. I’m used to a 4,000(est.) calorie a day intake. My goal is to lose between 80 and 100 lbs by this time next year. What kind of diet do you recommend?

    For the past 5 days, I’ve been having 3/4 cup of plain oatmeal for breakfast, an orange for an AM snack, fruit smoothie(straw berries, berries, raspberries, spinach & kale) for lunch, 10 baby carrots for an afternoon snack and a salad with 1/2 cup of pinto beans for dinner. So far I’ve lost 8 lbs of what i believe is water weight.

    • stay in a deficit, is what i recommend. You can stay on 1000 cals for a good amount of time since you have a significant amount of weight to lose without bad side effects but something like 2500-3000 cals per day is likely more sustainable in the long run.

      • Hi Keith,

        You don’t know me I have a problem and my doctors can’t seem to give me an honest answer. I gained a lot of weight due to lots of steroids due to surgries of a broken neck and back. I used to weigh 97 pounds then from everything I have been going through I put on an entire person. I wanted to ask if you can contact me to my email thanks.

  9. Hi Keith,

    I am a 58 yo 155 cm (5’1″) woman weighing 67 kg. I need to lose another 10 kilos to be a healthy (new) BMI. I pulled a tendon in my right foot before Christmas and could barely walk so that has ruled out exercise not to mention our unit is not air conditioned & it is a very humid summer here in Eastern Australia. On top of that, I am the carer for my disabled husband so I don’t like to leave him alone for great lengths of time.

    On the 5th Jan 19, I cut my calories from around 1200 p/d to under 800 but that was only for about 1.5 weeks. I have increased them back to around 1,000 p/day but sometimes I simply don’t feel hungry. I used to make a lot of Thai & Chinese stir-fries before Xmas but my husband tired of them and said he would like a “break” for a while. As it is very hot, most of our meals have a side of salad. He has plenty of veges in his (red cabbage, capsicums – known as bell peppers in the US – celery, onion, lettuce and tomato) but I can’t abide this mix as a salad.

    As I am not getting my usual intake of vitamins from the stir-fries, I have started taking a multi-vit. All other bases of my intake are covered – protein, carbs / fibre, low in saturated fats (avocado, olive oil etc).

    My plan is to to stay around 1,000 cals until I reach 57-58 kg then slowly increase them until I can establish my personal maintenance level (sedentary) before slowly working exercise back into the equation.

    I would be interested in your thoughts.


  10. Ive lost 26lbs since October eating around 1000c/day, 195 down to 170, 5’3, but unlike everyone else, I eat terribly (or whatever I want). I just weigh myself everyday and usually go down 0.2 lbs. I read somewhere that hunger comes in waves and is not cumulative. This has got to be the best advise I have seen as when I am hungry, I tell myself it will pass and wont be as bad next time.
    What I am having trouble with is going to the bathroom. All liquid/foam coming out all the time and it feels like I have to go a lot. I feel like it is because I dont eat enough, but I dont want to eat more to combat it.
    Any suggestions?

    • stop weighing yourself every day, stop eating “terribly”, and if you’re not already, start doing some resistance (weight) training

  11. So I’m 16 and last summer I weighed about 120kgs am about 180cm 5’10? Anyways I did a diet where I eat 3 times a day I lost 3kgs a month but then I wanted to do more so I made a diet where I just eat chicken and salad everyday or tuna with salad or egg salad anything with salad SHIT WITH Salad anyways by the end of the month 1 and a half month I lost about 17kgs I never weighed myself until people told me I look different but after that I increased calories a bit and dropped down to 98 but after stopping everything for 3 months I weigh now 102 I kinda felt good because a friend of mine regained most in 2 months but now am back on track am eating 2 eggs a day and lots lots lots of veggies or steamed chicken 80kgs is my ideal weight I wanna achieve as for the summer. Part I used to fast someday and do intense workout im a martial artists so it helped a lot but now am always worried if I’m doing something wrong can anyone help or add something I can doo

    • if you’ve lost weight before using that certain method, then do it again. Although, i find it sustainable since you’re going too extreme by eliminating entire food groups.

  12. Hi Keith,

    I feel this may make you angry but I am curious.

    I am 286pounds (130kg), 5’7 tall (174cm) female.

    If I eat 1000 calories for 6 months plus take vitamin and mineral supplements and work out at the gym, will I be ok?

  13. Thanks Keith I’m 5ft 6inch female. I want to lose 10 pounds currently 130 llbs (I’ve had a baby or two). I’m in great shape considering, but I want to be better. My husband 6ft 2inches needs to lose like 50lbs possibly more bless him. He’s 225 llbs. Your advice seems do-able. Kind regards. Lara.

    • are you lifting weights right now or doing any sort of challenging resistance training? if not, i rec you start before just heavily restricting cals. A moderate calorie deficit combined with weight lifting will help a lot more than just cutting cals dramatically


Leave a Comment