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

April 8, 2021 | 183 Comments

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.

183 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. Hi Fitmole 🙂

    I luv, luv, the way you get your f….ng message across about the pros and cons of wanting to shed our poundage. I thought I was the only one who got mad and used bad language typing questions into my browser as a way to relieve my utter frustration of needing to lose some poundage that has stuck with me for months. Despite eating around 1000 or fewer calories per day. Anyway, I can see you have provided many great articles and dietary ideas. I truly appreciate your candor. I even learned to laugh at myself after finding out that my issues are very normal and very human and that I am not an alien with a weird metabolism. Will keep you posted!

    Light and love,
    Emerantia 🙂

  2. Lol don’t trust this. Telling you to eat 10-12x your body weight in pounds?
    That means, for me, eating 2,300-2,760 calories per day. That’s more than what I need to MAINTAIN my body weight. I’ve counted my calories for years.
    Sure as hell not going to lose weight with that advice.

    1. so you weigh 230 lbs? I’m gonna be blunt because i’m very sleepy and just had a beer. You’re eating WAYYY more than 2300 cals per day.

      Anyone that weighs 230 and eats 2300 cals per day will lose weight, i guarantee it. Chances are you’re not tracking accurately. That’s the only logical explanation. There’s nothing else really. If you want, email me a 7 day food log including portions and pics of your meals. I’ll point out where you might be making mistakes.

          1. damn bro, you ended her with that k, shit )))
            I’m gonna try the 2nd option you know, just like you said, a jumpstart. And I like the fact that you swear,it gives a more real vibe you feel me.

  3. Just found this. All of this makes complete sense to me. Let me ramble…gained 5 pounds and became less active in the last 8 months. I’m f almost 40yrs old. 129 lbs clothes on. 5’3 Reading “Short people” makes sense!!! I’m aging and flabby in areas. Cutting calories aint gonna do the trick. Strength will!

  4. Keith,

    I appreciate the straight talk without all the BS flower talk. You say it like it is and ppl should easily understand what you’re saying. I’m a 61 yo male, retired military, 5’9.5” and weigh 155 lbs. I’m limited on what exercises I do bc of combat injuries of which one was a broken back and have 8 rods and screws in my low back. I’m T2 diabetic. I’m trying to lose the layer of fat on top of my stomach muscles which is hard to do. I try to stay around 1500 calls daily and sometimes may go over a bit. Any advice? Thanks for your advice in advance.

  5. Started this last Monday at 147 and 5’5, eight days later and five straight days of walking 3+ miles I’ve lost nine pounds. I know I have to up my calorie intake but I’m worried that the weight decline will take longer than it would if I just stayed under 1000. Any advice? I was thinking of sticking to 1500 this week and then going back down to 1000 the next. Do you think that’s a good or bad idea?? Please help lol

    1. ya of course it will take longer. Remember, your diet will need to change FOREVER aka the rest of your life.

      You can’t go back to your old way of eating ever again.

      That’s why this plan (if you use it for rapid weight loss) is just a small tactic to boost weight loss a bit. People who try to do it long term never succeed.

  6. Thank you for the advice it is well received. For someone who is 289 lb at the moment at a “normal” time in my life was 180 max I am trying anything including calorie counting so this is well received

  7. Hi Keith and thank you for your advice! I am on a bit more strict diet, my actual goal over the last couple months is to improve my eating behavior. So, initially I lost 2-3 kg without counting calories (but I was only eating healthy food) and now that I am adapted I was thinking to give a boost and decrease the intake too. I checked on a calculator that my basic metabolic rate is 1550. Based on your experience, do you think that an intake of 1100-1200 would be efficient enough? (PS: I am not exercising properly yet, I just go for long walks 3 times a week). Thanks and stay safe!

  8. I’m a F 6’ 211 lbs. I have done IF 16/8 for years as my reg maintenance. However I had a hysterectomy and have gained about 25-30 lbs in a year and half. I am now doing one meal a day and consuming less than 1000 calories a day. I have done this about 2.5 weeks and have lost 12 lbs. what do you suggest I continue with?
    Thank you for any help!

  9. I’m pretty crestfallen. I’m 62, female and weighed 190 lbs. I started a diet on Jan. 2nd. I maintained 800 calories for two weeks and lost 4.5 lbs. I weighed in at 185.0 lbs. This last week I raised the bar to 1100 calories. I stepped on a scale this morning to see I have gained 1.2 pounds and presently weigh 186.2. What could be wrong? I weigh my food on a scale and limit my intakes to meat, poultry. fresh vegetables,cheese and premier protein shakes. I literally weigh everything and eat 3 meals a day with one to two snacks but never go over the 1100 calories. I also climb 50 flights of stairs daily and get 5000- 8000 steps. It’s just so disheartening. )-:
    Thank you for your help. J

    1. bodyweight is never stable. It can fluctuate +/- 5 pounds any given day. You did not gain fat. It’s most likely water weight.

      1. Hi Keith … my name is Steve I’m 48 gonna be 49 in May …. my weight has spiraled out of control last fifteen years … I’m 5’9 275 lbs … was always in good shape and have always been told I have good physique…. those were the days…. now i can’t find anything under my bear fat !!!!! I wanted to try 1000 calories a day for next few weeks until I can get some weight off …. I’m counting calories and on Weight Watchers … any suggestions ?

        1. i mean…consistency is key. Don’t look for quick fixes. You didn’t get to 275 overnight, and you won’t get down to your goal weight overnight either.

          1. So what do you recommend calorie wise ? Weight Watchers has zero foods that don’t count …. but in the end calories are calories …. do you recommend a specific calorie amount ?

  10. Any dieting advice for someone with a history of eating disorders? Since I’ve “recovered” I’ve gone from 100 to 170ishlbs (5’8”) and am now classified as overweight. I think I keep gaining weight because I’m worried that if I try to limit myself at all, I’ll go back to my old habits. 🙁

  11. Love your advise. Where is the best place to go when looking up calories?
    I feel like I may not be logging in the correct caloric intake due to bad information.
    I am cooking my own food and trying to follow some recipes. I tried Nutrisystem for a mindless weight loss system but didn’t make it two days due to the food being disgusting.
    My problem is I love food and bread which I am now avoiding.
    Thank you in advance for the information.

  12. Came across this because I started using a FitBit a few days ago to track my exercise/calories burned and set it to a 1000 deficit. I’ve been doing it for 4 days and today was the hardest. I’m 5’2” and 126 pounds. I’m trying to get back to my prebaby bod of 95 lbs. So don’t I fall into two categories and this will work long term?

  13. Hi
    I am 70 year old female and weight 138 in the morning. I want to lose about 15 IBS. I am 5’1” tall, can I go on a 1000 calories a day and if I got to my weight, would I just increase calorie intake. I have never counted calories before, I’ve been on low carb before but it was not good for my digestive system. Thank you. I love reading all your info you have for people.

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