What Is a 1500 Calorie Diet?

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A 1,500 calorie diet is any diet that consists of 1,500 calories or less per day. Considering the daily caloric intake to maintain weight falls somewhere in the 2,000 to 2,500 range, a diet consisting of 1,500 calories typically helps followers lose weight quickly. However, these plans should consist of healthy choices and be complemented by regular exercise and lots of drinking water.

The Basics

A diet consisting of 1,500 calories per day is best when it consists of smaller, more frequent meals. It should also feature foods that contain needed essential vitamins and minerals, with plenty of healthy carbohydrates and protein. Fruit, vegetables, fish, chicken and lean meats should be staples of any low-calorie diet. Fried and breaded foods must be avoided.

Fruits & Vegetables

Loading up on fruit and vegetables is the easiest way to keep your caloric intake to 1,500 or less per day. Apples typically consist of no more than 60 calories, skin included. Bananas are around 75 apiece, and a fresh piece of broccoli has as few as 10. The key is to eat only fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid those that have been frozen or canned. Under this plan, dieters can eat as many fruits and vegetables as they want and still stay under the 1,500-goal without starving themselves or feeling as if they lack energy.

Cereal & Oats

The healthiest cereals and oatmeals contain no more than 150 calories per cup. But anyone following a 1,500-calorie plan should take care to avoid cereals loaded with sugar and should instead reach for healthier choices, such as Special K or Total, topping them with low-cal sweeteners. The same goes for instant oatmeal, which is often loaded with sugar. Plain Quaker Oats are a much better choice and can be cooked just as quickly as “instant” pre-flavored varieties.

Poultry & Fish

A 6-oz. chicken breast typically contains no more than 290 calories. The same goes for a 4-oz. serving of salmon. Eggs (about 100 calories each) and tuna (about 30 calories per oz. in water) are other staples of a low-calorie diet. All of these foods are packed with protein, a major component when the idea is building muscle and burning fat.

A Simple Plan

Anyone hoping to keep their caloric intake to 1,500 or less per day might have a cheddar cheese omelet (two eggs with low-fat cheese), slice of plain wheat bread and apple for breakfast (450 calories total), followed a few hours later with a banana for a snack (75 calories). Lunch could consist of a medium-sized bowl of salad with Romaine lettuce, topped with carrots, broccoli, low-fat dressing and a tablespoon of tuna (350 calories). Follow that a few hours later with an orange (80 calories) or serving of low-fat yogurt (120), followed by a dinner of 4 oz. of salmon (290) and fresh steamed vegetables (100). That’s just 1,385 calories, giving you the option of another banana or serving of yogurt if a hunger pang strikes later.

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