Meal Plan For 500 Calories A Day: Is This Diet For You?

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Considering A 500 Calorie-A-Day Diet? Tread Carefully.

A 500 calorie-a-day diet is an extreme diet, to say the least. Even in a mostly resting state, our bodies burn between 1,000 - 2,000 calories each day depending on factors such as age, sex, weight, and genetic disposition. Although they do lose weight fairly rapidly, those who follow a 500 calorie-a-day diet also end up depriving themselves of energy and essential nutrients that their bodies need to thrive. That is a tough trade-off and seems counter-intuitive when you consider that most people diet for health reasons. However, if you have considered the risks and still are adamant that you want to develop a meal plan for 500 calories a day, please consider the diet described in the following section.

A Representative 500 Calorie-A-Day Diet

One representative 500 calorie-a-day diet was developed by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons. It has been named the “Very Low Calorie Diet” (VLCD) and, as you will see, it is aptly named. According to the VCLD, breakfast is virtually skipped. In fact, all that is allowed for breakfast is an unlimited amount of coffee and tea (but without sugar and with only one tablespoon of milk total per day).

For lunch, the dieter is allowed to eat 100 grams (when weighed raw) of meat, which may be selected from veal, beef, chicken breast, fish, lobster, crab and shrimp. At lunch, the dieter may also consume one vegetable selected from several types, including tomato, cucumber, celery, radishes, asparagus and cabbage, among others, one piece of fruit (specifically, one apple or orange, or one-half of grapefruit, or a few strawberries) and one breadstick.

At dinner, the VCLD calls for the dieter to choose among the same selections as permitted for lunch. Further, the dieter may consume unlimited amounts of tea, coffee and water throughout the day.

As you can see, there is very little food consumed in a 500 calorie-a-day diet. For most people, limiting their daily intake of food to this small volume would result in severe fatigue and may make them more susceptible to contracting ailments, such as the flu and the common cold, for example. If you feel that such a restrictive diet is not for you, you aren’t alone and should not feel badly. Indeed, not many can adhere to a diet of this kind.

This article is intended only to provide cautionary information regarding the prudence of the extreme decision to develop a meal plan for 500 calories a day. It is not meant to replace the good advice of your doctor and dietician. If you are considering a change to your diet, and especially an extreme one, it is highly urged that you first speak to your doctor.


Dr. A.T.W. Simeons, The Original hCG Diet by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons:

Mayo Clinic, Counting calories: Getting back to weight loss basics:

Medline Plus, Tips for Losing Weight, National Institutes of Health: