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!
    I am 5’3 and 145 pounds. I am fairly active but just started 1000 calories a day for the last couple of days and plan maintain for two weeks. As long as I can remember I have been doing the 16/8 fasting. I love a few cocktails on the weekend. I’d like to lose 30 pounds. How long should I do the 1000 calories (&eat what I’d like on the weekend) and then what calorie amount should I aim for to lose the 30 ponds?

    1. just try it for a week first. Then you can do something more sustainble on week #2. You need around 1400-1600 per day to lose weight.

  2. Thank you for the information and the moments if laughter! I will try your suggestions since they seem very logical and doable.

  3. Thanks for the information, Keith. Much appreciated. I am a pretty short guy at about 5’5 (5’6 on a good day), but I weighed in at the doctor’s office at 210lbs back in April. This surprised me a lot because I remember being 210lbs when I was a teenager and I looked and felt very fat. However, even though I notice that I have a gut and lovehandles again. . . I genuinely feel like I don’t look anywhere near as roly-poly-ish as I did when I was 17.

    Thing is, since then, I have started lifting weights much more often, so I am not at all sure how much of this weight is muscle and how much of it is fat. Regardless, I still have a good 30lbs or so to lose, from my estimation.

    I was going to just stick to a 1000 calorie diet for…idk…the rest of the summer (1 cup of oatmeal + banana + protein powder for lunch, and 1 chicken breast + 1 cup of broccoli w/ olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes for dinner every day – skipping breakfast to do the 16/8 fasting thing, maybe replacing the chicken breast with a salmon fillet other day or so), but now I’m not so sure that’s the healthy choice for me.

    1. it’s very unrealistic to stick with 1000 cals per day all summer at your weight. Should just 1000 cals for 1-2 weeks then do something more sustainable like 2000 cals per day.

  4. Hi I love reading about this weight loss
    Looks so interesting I’m new to this
    I’m 168lb heaviest ive ever been I’m 5:1 how many calories should I be taking want to lose 2lb a week
    Belfast Ireland

    1. dont focus on 2lbs a week. Focus on the process, improving your daily habits, and becoming a better version of yourself. The weight will melt off if you do that.

  5. Please don’t punch a gold fish;) I’m a 53 yr old woman and after foot surgery I needed to lose some weight. I went on a low carb diet (not keto) 20 carbs a day. I’ve gone from 136 lbs to 126 lbs at 5’4”. I didn’t think I was fat just knew a middle aged women somewhere in menopause should start paying attention before it became out of control. My goal was 125. I was concentrating on my carbs not calories but I began to notice I was eating under a 1000 calories a day for the last 6 months. I enjoy what I eat and I don’t feel hungry. If I’m out or it’s a special occasion like the food truck are in the neighborhood I’ll eat what I like, no carb counting. In fact I noticed when I eat more carbs I’m hungrier and starts craving everything again. It just worried me when I noticed under a 1000 calories. I walk and jog so in my app maybe I’ve eaten over 1000 but I’ve burned many of those away. Now I think I need to concentrate on toning muscles if possible. I have fibromyalgia and weight lifting really isn’t going to be a good fit. I’m thinking body resistant type exercises. Would you recommend me eating 10/12 x my weight? Any idea on a carb count? I’d rather count carbs. It seems easier for my life style.

    1. i dont care about carb count. Calories are 90% of the equation. Getting a decent amount of protein is importnat too.

  6. Love the humor – but I did lose more than 100 lbs almost 20 years ago by eating 1,000 calories a day for 8 months or so.. might have been a year…it’s a long time ago, now. I am still chunky but the 100+ lbs I lost has stayed off which is great. I want to lose more and not be chunky so, 20 years later, I’m going to try to do 1k a day again for a month.

  7. Keith – you article has some great ideas, but dropping the F bomb all the time is kind of like you taking a dump on the sidewalk in front of everyone.

    thanks for the good ideas, and please consider cleaning up the language!

  8. What about alcohol calories, rather skip food and go out !! Yeah I no vodka slimline etc .. I like to get merry 2x doubles won’t do that more like 10x doubles no food – don’t care about health just wanna be drinking n skinny women 5,10 10.4 stone

  9. I’m a 5’7″, 153lb, 73 year old male. Up until about 2 years ago I weighed in at 130lbs. I’m a desk jocky but I work-out at the gym about 4 times a week for about 45min each visit. I want to get back to the 130lbs where I feel comfortable and my suits fit right.
    I eat 1 meal a day, usually supper at around 6:00pm. Then I have a small snack about 9:00pm before going to bed at midnight. I don’t count calories, I just eat what I like (mostly healthy foods). I cook a lot. Beyond what you’ve said about a week of 1000 calories and then 10X my remaining weight, do you have any other suggestions for losing 23lbs or should that doit?

  10. Fantastic information. I’ve been looking for a straight shooter on what to do with my diet for a long time. This is pure gold. You laid it out clear as day.

    Thank you.

  11. I love the tone of this article, great, informative and funny as heck. I started 1000 calories a few days ago, only doing for a week to jump start a plateau I'm on; lots of weight to lose, 30 lbs down so far with 1400 calories a day. I kind of wanna see you punch a goldfish though.

  12. Best line ever: "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."

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