A 500 calorie diet restricts your calorie intake drastically and in fact, to a meager fraction of what your actual calorific requirement is on a daily basis. For the same reason, it is featured under the category of VLCDs (Very-Low-Calories-Diets that supply below 800 calories/day), something which always need to be supervised at every level by a recognized medical practitioner.
Since calorie constraint is one important aspect of weight loss, in terms of losing weight rapidly this diet can hand over to you the most significant results than its contemporaries. But following it for a protracted period is not the right thing to do if you don’t want your body to play host to a series of nutritional deficiencies.
The only glaring benefit that this diet offers is rapid weight loss.
A calorie shortfall of 3, 500 calories can help melt away 1 lb of weight from the body. Assuming that your normal diet contains 2000 calorie daily, following a 500 calorie plan can create a deficit of 1500 calories every day right away. Added up, in slightly more than 2 days you will lose 1 pound of weight through this. Sounds great but most health experts would advice you against this as the more approved protocols of losing weight recommend 1to 2 pounds of weight loss per week. So yes, you have guessed it right, there are dangers of following a 500 calorie diet. What are they? Read below.
Disadvantages and dangers
- All VLCDs, and your 500 calories diet is no exception, helps in rapid weight loss due to one reason- it sends the body quickly to the starvation mode by significantly affecting the metabolic rate. Signs of appetite suppression are apparent after 4-5 days of the commencement of the diet and weight loss is a natural consequence that follows.
- Some studies have gone on to reveal that for the same reason, there are instances where all the lost weight is promptly regained back after such a diet plan ends, since the deprived fat cells then scream aloud for increased amounts of fat and glucose to make up for their loss.
- Such a low calorie diet can trigger serious nutritional deficiencies in the body if followed for a longer duration of time and subject the body to anemia and bone loss.
- Although the exact reason is not known in full, it is assumed that VLCDs inducing quick weight loss affect the bile secretion levels in the body and lead to gallstone formation.
500 calorie diet plan
The HCG diet is the most popular 500 calories a day diet on the rack. Hereby “human chorionic gonadotropin” hormone injections are supplemented with extremely restricted food choices for the dieter. Breakfast, for instance, comprises of nothing more than black tea/coffee, lunch/dinner being restricted to 100g meat + 1 breadstick + 1 serving of fruit and vegetable each, all grilled or boiled.
Your 500 calorie meal plan
- 1 cup of unsweetened black tea (8 oz.) would contain 2 calories and for coffee that would be 8 calories. You can pair that up with a small piece of fruit, an apple for instance, containing not more than 75 calories.
- Some food options are there for lunch but the preparation procedure should be kept a strict watch upon for arresting sneak entry of calories into meals.
- So a grilled skinless chicken breast with herbs (3-4 oz containing 130 calories), or a portion of fresh veggie salad made with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onions and mushrooms minus dressing (150 calories) can be included in your lunch.
- Evening Tea/coffee would be the same unsweetened black version.
- A whole-wheat sandwich made of 4 oz. grilled chicken and lettuce (260 calories) can be munched on for dinner.
Creating your own 500 calories plan
Creating your own 500 calorie meal plan with variations included is possible if you pay close heed to the cooking procedure and the calorie content of the foods that you plan to eat. Just make sure that your food is –
- Low in calories
- Low in fat
- Fresh & unprocessed
- Comprised of lean meats (chicken), fish (shrimp, veal, and white fish), low-cal green vegetables (spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, asparagus, celery etc.) and low-cal fruits (apple, pear, orange, grapefruit etc.).
These low calorie diets are strictly to be followed for shorter durations, if needed, but once again, do remember to consult your physician before embarking on such a meal plan for any duration of time, as otherwise it may subject your body to serious changes/consequences like protein deprivation, fatigue, muscle loss and constant hunger eventually, which are all undesirable.