Amidst the plethora of diet plans for weight loss, the 500 calorie diet plan for weight loss has gained a lot of popularity recently. Let's have a look and understand how it helps.
When you start your weight loss journey, you will get to hear different suggestions from different people. Someone will say avoid eating rice, while others will say quit carbs and some surprisingly might suggest you to starve for weight loss. It is essential that you not blindly try your hand at everything, and should instead follow the expert advice of a nutritionist. The 500 calorie diet plan is one of the popular diet plans for weight loss. But you must consult your nutritionist while following it for best results.
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What Is 500 Calorie Diet Plan?
500 calorie diet plan is an extreme form of very low-calorie diet (VLCD). It includes reducing the calorie intake drastically. It may include meal replacement like drinks, shakes, energy bars etc. Since the diet plan needs drastic changes, it should only be done under expert supervision.
This diet plan is generally recommended to people who are very obese with a high body mass index. It is usually recommended to be practiced under the expert supervision of a certified nutritionist.
A recent study showed that people lose more weight on regular calorie-restricted diets, and intermittent fasting is effective in helping decrease belly fat. Restricting your calorie intake for short periods of time causes the body to release hormones that help you burn fat and build muscle.
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5:2 Diet Plan
500 calorie diet plan is a part of the 5:2 Diet. In this diet plan you stick to a healthy 2000 calories for five days, and then go fasting on no more than 500 low-carbohydrate calories for two days. The two fasting days are usually non-consecutive.
If you have medical conditions like diabetes, kidney problems, anemia, low blood pressure, or heart problems, then you should stay away from this diet plan. If you are on any prescription medications, then you must consult your doctor before starting this 500 calorie diet plan for weight loss. The diet plan is also a big no for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
What To Eat In A 500 Calorie Diet Plan?
|Breakfast – Choose any one of the options|
|Low-fat cottage cheese with a small banana||½ cup|
|Hard-boiled egg with a whole wheat toast||1|
|Unsweetened cereal + low-fat milk||¾ cup + 1 cup|
|Decaffeinated tea or skimmed milk||230 ml|
You may also go for low-calorie fruits like – melon, grapes, oranges etc. For sweetening tea or milk use saccharin or stevia. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, because it is more than important to keep yourself hydrated.
|Lunch – Choose any one of the options|
|Grilled chicken/fish and Mixed greens||85 gms and 3 cups|
|Vegetable soup made with cabbage, broccoli, spinach or any other leafy vegetables||1 bowl|
|Turkey rolls with lettuce and mustard + whole-grain fat-free crackers||Upto 55 gms turkey + 2 Crackers|
|Greek yogurt and blueberries (high-protein lunch option)||1 cup|
Drink at least 470ml water during lunch. Avoid using oils for dressing in salads. Instead, you can use lemon juice, soy sauce, or apple cider vinegar.
Related Article: How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss
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|Dinner – Choose any one of the options|
|Raw vegetable salad||1 bowl|
|Shrimps + Broccoli tossed in cocktail sauce||15 Shrimps + 1 cup|
|Stir fry veggies including bok choy, carrots, beans, celery, and tofu.||1 bowl + 2 tbsp broth mixed with 1 tsp soy sauce|
|Egg White Omelette
Low-fat Cheddar Cheese
Related Article – Indian Fat Loss Diet Plan For Beginners
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Getting hunger pangs between meals during the 500 calorie weight loss diet plan is a normal thing. Be strong and don’t succumb to temptation. You can munch on –
- Unbuttered popcorn
- Fresh juices (without sugar)
- Roasted peanuts
Make a wise food choice by eating low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods throughout the day. Don’t forget to drink water at regular intervals. You can indulge on calorie-free foods like –
- Black coffee
- Sugar-free lemonade
- Sugar-free gelatin and ice popsicles
- Fat-free broth
Disadvantages Of A 500 Calorie Diet Plan
Everything comes with a silver lining. Although this diet plan is suited for weight loss, it does have certain disadvantages.
1. Nutritional Deficiency
One of the greatest disadvantages of this diet plan is that it poses a risk of deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Studies show that most people don’t meet their daily requirement of minerals and vitamins if they eat less than 1200 calories per day.
2. Muscle Loss
500 calorie diet can put you at the risk of muscle loss. Once your body consumes all the fat reserves, it starts burning muscles. At first muscle loss may seem like you are losing weight. But keep in mind that not all weight is bad.
Ketosis is a state of body, wherein it is completely fueled by fat. The 500 calorie diet plan is the perfect diet plan for fast weight loss. It can be said it is a starvation diet plan. When the body is deprived of essential nutrients, it starts using stored fats to produce energy. And when these fats are burned, ketosis develops.
The side effects of ketosis include – leg cramps, heart palpitations, headache, lethargy, and irritability. The side effects are usually minor and transient. They can be avoided by intake of enough fluids and salt.
4. Metabolic Changes
Another treat that the 500 calorie diet plan poses is metabolic changes. Lesser calorie intake for a prolonged period of time can reduce your metabolism rate. This would in turn cause burning fewer calories.
It is advised that you undertake the 500 calorie diet plan under the supervision of a certified nutritionist only. It is a healthy diet plan for weight loss, but only when followed as recommended and required.