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Not sure what 1500 calories looks like? Here are sample menus for 3 days with delicious, healthy options.
I always encourage my patients to tackle their weight issues with a one-two punch of diet and exercise, and a 1500 calorie diet plan reinforces this approach. This type of plan allows for a reasonable amount of food, and it generally leads to a healthy rate of weight loss in most people.
A 1500 calorie diet plan might be right for you if you’re a female who gets regular exercise but you’re still seeking weight loss. This also applies if you’re a male who’s only lightly active and seeks weight loss, or if you’re a male over the age of 50 who gets minimal activity. It should go without saying that regular exercise is important for your health and can also help you reach your weight loss goals.
A drop of no more than 2 pounds (1 kg) per week is considered a safe rate of weight loss. If you’re losing more quickly than that, move up to the next highest calorie level. If you’re losing more slowly than that, you can try the 1200 calorie diet plan, but you shouldn’t cut your intake to less than 1200 calories per day.
This plan calls for three meals and two snacks each day. Here is the basic breakdown for the 1500 calorie diet plan:
Breakfast: 1 Protein + 1 Fruit (+ vegetables if desired)
Lunch: 1 Protein + 1 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 1 Starch/Grain + 1 Beneficial Fat
Snack: 1 Protein Snack
Dinner: 1½ Proteins + 2 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 2 Starch/Grain 1 Beneficial Fat
Snack: 1 Protein Snack
Daily Totals: 3½ Protein, 1 Fruit, 3 Vegetable + leafy greens, 3 Starch/Grain, 2 Protein Snacks, 2 Beneficial Fats
Daily Totals: 4 Protein, 3 Fruit, 4-5 Vegetable, 2 Starch/Grain, 1 Protein Snack, Leafy Greens – no limit, 2 Taste Enhancer
As long as you don’t exceed the daily totals for each food group, feel free to move your portions around. But try to keep the same general pattern of three meals and at least one snack. It’s not recommended that you skip meals and then “double up” at the next one. More evenly spaced meals will help keep your energy level up, and protein at each meal (and for the afternoon snack) will help to keep you from getting too hungry.
Large salad made with:
Veggie and Tofu stir-fry. Sauté veggies in oil, then add tofu and seasonings:
Grain salad with protein. Toss together:
Tuna pita pocket:
Want more options? Customize your own 1,500 calorie diet plan with these additional tips.
Susan is the Sr. Director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife, where she is responsible for the development of nutrition education and training materials, and is one of the primary authors of the Herbalife-sponsored blog, www.discovergoodnutrition.com. She is a Registered Dietitian and holds two Board Certifications from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and a Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management. Susan is also a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Susan graduated with distinction in biology from the University of Colorado, and received her master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Colorado State University. She then completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas. Susan has taught extensively and developed educational programs targeted to individuals, groups and industry in her areas of expertise, including health promotion, weight management and sports nutrition.
Prior to her role at Herbalife, she was the assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, and has held appointments as adjunct professor in nutrition at Pepperdine University and as lecturer in nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Susan was a consultant to the (then) Los Angeles Raiders for six seasons, and was a contributing columnist for the Los Angeles Times Health Section for two years. She is a co-author of 23 research papers, 14 book chapters, and was a co-author of two books for the public: “What Color is Your Diet?” and “The L.A. Shape Diet” by Dr. David Heber, published by Harper Collins in 2001 and 2004, respectively.