500 Calorie Diet
Guideline for Following a 500 Calorie Diet
People often believe that they can lose weight quickly using fad trends such as the 500 calorie diet. While there may be quick weight loss, especially when combined with vigorous exercise, it is vital not to remain on these “starvation” plans for longer than a few days to maintain your overall health.
Is a low calorie diet safe?
Doctors admonish against such low calorie diets; however, humans in good health are able to thrive on minimal meals for temporary periods as long as they remain hydrated, take vitamins and get ample exercise. An example is when an individual experiences a bout of influenza. When the flu bug hits, nausea often inhibits the desire to eat; often lasting for several days. Generally, the only things they are able to keep down are fluids. As the individual begins to feel better, they are slowly able to introduce foods into their systems once again. During this period of illness, people find they lose up 10 pounds as the lack of food forces their bodies to steal nutrients from stored fat cells for energy.
It should be noted that this does not mean that low calorie diets should be used for prolonged periods. The human body requires energy in order for vital organs to function properly. For short periods, however, fasting or consuming very few calories can benefit a dieter by providing a boost in weight loss, especially when regular exercise is included. After a few days, the individual should return to a healthy, well balanced diet of 1,200 to 1,400 calories.
Typical foods for a 500 calorie diet
Food choices are extremely limited on a 500 calorie diet. A typical day’s menu may look like this:
Breakfast: Plain tea, coffee or water
- Lunch: 3.5 ounces of lean beef, veal, chicken breast, white fish, lobster, crab or shrimp that has been either grilled or boiled; one cup of spinach, chard, beet greens, salad, tomatoes, celery, onions, cucumbers, asparagus or cabbage; one breadstick or melba toast; one apple, orange, 3 to 4 strawberries or ½ grapefruit.
- Dinner: The same as lunch.
Occasionally, the meat choices can be replaced with eggs or cottage cheese. In addition to this typical meal plan, spices can be used to accentuate the foods including salt, pepper, vinegar, garlic, basil, thyme and marjoram. Many people find that eating the fruit or the breadstick in between meals helps to stave off any hunger pangs felt. Also, breaking up the meal choices into smaller “mini meals” can be an effective plan; eat the protein for breakfast, fruit for a morning snack, the vegetable for lunch, another vegetable for an afternoon snack, protein for dinner and fruit for dessert keeps them feeling fuller and also gives the impression of eating more since it is more often. Throughout the day, it is important to drink plenty of water; slicing a lemon into wedges and adding it to the water offers variety and flavor.
The need for exercise on diets
When a body is active, it expends more energy or calories. Burning more calories than you consume is when weight loss occurs. Including a minimum of 30 minutes of physical exercise with your 500 calorie diet plan each day will help your body to burn off fat that has been stored as “emergency” calories in your body.
To maintain your optimal health, the duration of a low calorie diet must not exceed more than 3 days. Drink plenty of water while on the diet, and return to a well balanced diet consisting of between 1200 and 1400 calories per day after completing the 500 calorie diet. Once the extra weight has been lost, remember that a diet is not a temporary measure, but a lifestyle; maintaining a healthy weight will bring huge benefits for a lifetime.