The 1000 calorie diet is a drastic weight loss program that is intended to help you lose a great deal of weight as quickly as possible through the use of severe caloric restriction. In this, it is similar to various detox diets or cleansing diets that have become popular in recent years. The purpose of this article is to outline the 1000 calorie a day diet plan and let you know whether or not it is recommended for weight loss.
How Does The 1000 Calorie Diet Plan Work?
One of the primary concepts of weight loss is that whether you gain or lose weight depends on which side of the equation of calories consumed versus calories burned you are on. In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume.
Severe caloric restriction diets like water fasts and the 1000 calorie diet take this concept to a new extreme: the fewer calories you eat, the more weight you’ll lose. While there is a certain logic to the concept, the intricacies of metabolism and the way the body functions are not entirely taken into account.
The basic concept behind the structure of the 1000 calorie diet involves eating three meals per day plus two snacks, all of which are low in calories and contain very small portions. As the name implies, your goal is to consume right about 1000 calories each day. No exercise is required. This continues for 14 days before you return to a more normal diet.
Sample 1000 Calorie Diet Menu
A typical daily meal plan under the 1000 calorie diet looks something like this:
Breakfast – Sugar free oatmeal with skim milk
Snack 1 – Fat free yogurt
Lunch – Chicken salad with mixed greens, no dressing
Snack 2 – Handful of cherries or blueberries
Dinner – Skinless chicken breast with mixed vegetables
1000 Calorie Diet Dangers
Whenever you severely restrict your caloric intake, you are going to run into some definite side effects, few of them pleasant. While the 1000 calorie diet is not going to be nearly as extreme as you would find from a water fast or a juice fast, there are some definite dangers that you are going to need to be aware of.
Dehydration – When you lose weight, especially a large amount of initial weight loss, a good deal of that weight lost is going to be in the form of water weight. Unless you are very obese to start with, it is not safe to lose 30 pounds in a month, as some who recommend a diet such as this promise. If you are not careful to drink plenty of water, you risk dehydration.
Malnutrition – The body needs nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in order to function. It is a simple matter of life. When it does not get the nutrients that it needs, the body can break down and suffer all manner of impairments. Brittle nails and hair, dizziness, pale skin, and other symptoms are among the initial signs of malnutrition.
Reduced Metabolic Function – When you restrict your calories too much, whether you are following a 1000 calories diet or some other type of cleansing diet or water fast, such as the Master Cleanse or lemonade diet, your body is going to act as if it is in a starvation situation – which it is. In order to ensure survival, it will drastically reduce your overall metabolism in order to adapt to the new, lower caloric level. This will reduce the amount of weight lost and make it that much more difficult to lose weight later on.
Fatigue – When you are not getting the proper nutrition, the body does not have enough energy in order to properly sustain itself. As part of the energy-saving methods that the body uses as part of reduced metabolic function, your energy levels will also decline. You will become tired, fatigued, and will have a general lack of energy. This will be compounded further if you continue exercising during your severe caloric restriction.
Thyroid Damage – Severe caloric restriction, as is the case with any sort of cleanse diet or the 1000 calorie diet, causes thyroid function to decline. Over a prolonged period, this can result in hypothyroidism. Good weight loss tips never result in the potential for the body to become permanently damaged in such a way.
Eating Disorders – When you engage in such a restrictive diet that requires such a specific number of calories, the intense effort that goes into maintaining such a regime can potentially cause changes in the way you think about food and approach eating. This increases the risk of developing an eating disorder.
Is The 1000 Calorie A Day Diet Recommended For Weight Loss?
While there are situations where a medically supervised very low calorie diet can be recommended when the life of the patient is at risk, these situations generally occur within a hospital or quick weight loss center where the patient undergoes constant medical supervision. These are extreme situations.
As to whether or not the 1000 calorie diet can be recommended for a person working on his own at home to lose weight, it is certainly not the case. It is not safe or effective for sustained weight loss, and tends to exacerbate the problems associated with yoyo dieting. If you are in a life or death situation and your doctor is planning a medically supervised weight loss plan, it is important to follow his advice, but diets like these should not be undertaken alone. There are better diets that work out there.
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