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.

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

  1. Im 5’8 276 and am on day one of 1000 cal diet. I’ve tried less aggressive methods with little to no results. I want to lose about 70lbs. How long could I maintain 1000 cals before my metabolism suffers? I mean it seems asleep anyway. I also felt the same as Skylar above that people really restrict after surgery and they are ok. Do you have any advice or suggestions?

      • I absolutely am. I do plan to make a lifestyle change after i lose the lard i have an elliptical, weights, a treadmill. I just need to have the energy to use it and not break it with my fat ass. Hard to workout consistently when ur thighs rub n ur knees are killing you. Then having a college student middle schooler and newborn im just overwhelmed i feel this is the easiest way to just shed the weight.

        • you’re right but it still takes time. Since u are 276, u could be on 1000 cals per day for a few weeks without detrimental effects but it’s really not sustainable in the long run

    • Antonia, I’m a 5’11” male that weighed 200lbs. I’d like to be at 175, so I started intentionally eating better. After a week in I decided to track calories. Turns out what I had been eating was ~1000 calories a day. I didn’t feel bad at all and the routine felt good so I kept going. 3 weeks in now and 12 lbs down. (8 first week, and .2-.3lbs each day or 2-3lbs down for weeks 2 and 3) Based on week 2 and 3, I’m sure 5-6lbs of the first 8lbs was just water etc. OP is absolutely right, if it’s not a habit change then the initial loss doesn’t mean much. I plan on keeping my routine cause it’s easy at the moment and I weigh in each morning. If I plateau out, I’ll switch things out, so far it looks like clockwork. Once I get close to my goal, I don’t plan on changing my routine, just upping the portion sizes to maintain.

      • I do not know why you need to use bad words to advise or pass a massage. There is no need for F…. &S….. words for sensible conversation. People managed to do so, before these kind of expressing became normal behavior. However thank you

        • Well written article outside of the F-bombs and S-balls. I get it though, it is just your personality and style. I went to medi-weight loss clinic and followed their 500 calorie a day diet for 4-5 months. I was religiously devoted to the diet. I kept to the plan and was losing weight at 10-15lbs per week. I had a lot of weight to lose and was successful. Benefits included: joint pain disappeared. (weight loss and inflammation) skin cleared up significantly. I was down 100lbs. The first week was brutal as my body wanted its daily caloric intake. Headaches, body aches, hunger pains, and emotional food replacement was gone. I had to deal with my problems without food. It got a lot easier and the results were staggering. Clothing was falling off of me. I could run without getting tired. I stopped sweating. I was just a cleaner person. I am now 12 years since that experience. I have kept most of the weight off but have to tune up once a year. I think the author of this piece is trying to say: “hey, with fucking balance and not eating shit you will eventually make long term lifestyle choices. So get off of your fat ass and pay attention to what you are doing.” How I would translate that for Angela: “You are what you do. Keep a diary of your eating habits. Get some light to moderate exercise. You can start with a low calorie diet to start your nutritional new life. There is not short term plan. You have to educate yourself on diet and the food you eat. You have to mentally commit to weight loss!” Angela, food is an addiction! Just like alcohol or drugs it takes control. Only realizing that you need to take control is the way forward. Stop eating foods that come in a box, plastic wrapper, or are made of stuff you cant read or understand. If you buy chicken, it should say chicken. Nothing processed nothing in a plastic tube. What you are doing is hard and you have to make a plan and stick to it. Do you want to be thin and attractive or BIG and attractive. Also, while you are starving you will feel terrible physically and emotionally. Drink a ton of water it will help. Get plenty of rest and dont worry about the exercise while you are cutting calories. You are not an olympic athlete so dont raltionalize in your mind that if you eat ice cream you can work out extra 5 minutes. It wont matter! Exercise is great for your stress and mind. It is good to keep moving but exercise as a weight loss method is false. Exercise and equipment are a business just like the food P&G puts on the shelf it is not going to help you lose weight. Calories are everything. Best of luck and keep telling yourself you want to to do it and fight the urge to eat! YOU CAN DO IT!

  2. I am sure you have good info to share, but unfortunately can only focus on the “F” bombs frequently sprinkled thru your blog. Moving on.

  3. I am 5.0 and weigh 192.1. I would definitely like to drop 25 quick and then go at a better pace after that. What do you recommend one eats for the diet?

    • typical healthy shit – lean proteins, veggies, fruit.

      I’m just very worried about you using the word “quick.”

      I understand where you’re coming from, but 99.9999999999999999% of the people i work with who try to lose weight “fast” or “quick” don’t keep their results because “quick” means short term thinking.

      You can eat 1000 cals for a week, but don’t think of it as a permanent fix, just a tiny little boost to your weight loss journey.

  4. I want to lose 20 pounds at a faster rate than I want to lose the rest. Once I lose the initial 20 I’m not concerned with the amount of time it will take.

  5. You’re awesome, I read all of your articles and it all
    sounds dead on. I already tried fasting and it really worked, I’m going back to it. I need to lose min 30 pounds.

  6. To be honest ive done the 1000 calorie diet for 3 months I lost 50 lbs. But I didn’t eat sugar I didnt eat fast food and I didnt eat chips! I ate on friday one treat, and in total lost 50 lbs. Great yes you are absolutely right! But it was hard and I really wanted it. I am now starting again. P.s I did keep the weight off I took vitamins its not impossible and it isnt as unhealthy at seems. My body was strong and I felt healthier then ever but the first week is a nightmare dont exercise to much drink alot of water. Anyway its reasonable its hard. Some times when I read these I feel like these people personally havent tried the diet.

  7. Don’t listen to people telling you not to curse…they can just read something else. Write the way you want! I love it! My favorite: “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.”

  8. I am so pleased that I found you! Sarcasm, humor and my pets get me through life and I feel at home here. Im 5’8” and up until the age of 40 I weighed between
    125-130 lbs, except during my two pregnancies. I am 50 years old now and due to some health issues and depression I put on a hundred pounds. In June I peaked at 226lbs. I started a 1,000 calorie a day diet with a plan to do it for a week. I was so happy with the results I stayed with it for a month then added 200 more calories. I have been on a 1,200 calorie a day high protein, semi low carb diet ever since. I weighed 186 this morning. So in less than four months I’ve lost 40 pounds. I have not been working out or exercising at all. I have however been more active in the last few months than I have in the last ten years. I plan to start lifting weights to try and tone my almost non existent muscles soon. Thanks!

  9. I am76 years old, 6ft 4 inches tall and weighed 268 lbs. when my doctor told me I was diabetic, I went on a 1,000 calorie a day diet on May 15th. by October 13th (same year) I weighed 217 lbs
    I ate the same thing every day. For breakfast, I had a packet of instant oatmeal and a handful of blueberries, For lunch I had a small cup of vegetable beef soup, a banana, and a cup of coffee. For supper, I had a pretty good-sized salad with fat-free dressing. I drank at least 10 16 oz glasses of water a day, and chewed a lot of gum, and I quickly developed the ability to say NO! to myself and made it stick. My fasting Glucose is now 96, and my LDL is 82

  10. Hey man,

    I’m a fatty. 6’4, early 30’s, 315 pounds. I’m down from 335 a couple months ago by just not eating like garbage, but the last couple weeks I’ve been hovering 1500-1800, which for my age, height, weight, still gets the job done fine.

    Question, though – you say a week of 1000 kcals, then afterwards, multiply by 10-12x my weight in pounds? That can’t scale all the way up for people at my size, right? 3150+ calories a day sounds absolutely crazy unless I’m doing a whole bunch of exercise daily.


    • Well…chances are you didnt’ get to your weight by eating less than 3150 cals per day. That will actually work for you, it will just be slower.

      But ya, since you weigh more, you can actually follow something along a 2000-2500 cal diet per day for a LONG time and keep seeing results. That should be pretty sustainable.

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