500 Calorie Meal Plan

If you’re planning on starting a low calorie diet it is well worth spending some time up front thinking about what you will eat. Creating a 500 calorie meal plan will help you get through the fast days, without the stress of worrying about what you can and can’t eat.

In this article we’ll look at:

  • The importance of preparing before you start a 500 calorie diet
  • A couple of 500 calorie meal plans
  • 500 calorie diet weight loss
  • Adding exercise to speed up progress

Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail…

The easiest way to stick to the 500 calorie diet is by doing thorough preparation. If you’re willing to plan your diet in advance then, congratulations, you’re off to a flying start and are giving yourself the best chance of success.

However, as this is a fasting diet, your plan needs to be designed with military precision to maximize results. Make sure you consider the following when planning for a successful 500 calorie diet:

  • Identify the roadblocks – What are the potential roadblocks that could get in the way of your diet? For example, do you have bad habits such as snacking? After all, snacking can be one of the major factors behind weight gain, so you need to look at modifying your behavior and the contents of your kitchen cupboards. It’s also important that you discuss it with your family as you’re going to need their support – the last thing you need is them eating pizza directly in front of you as it’s demoralizing and highly tempting!
  • Consider timing – Make sure you plan when you’re going to start the diet. Many people may need to stick to the diet for a month to get the results they need, but there’s no point starting this diet if you’ve got a holiday booked a week later. You need to prepare a date which gives you the fewest distractions – the middle of summer when you’re constantly being invited to barbecues is a bad choice – and allows you to stick to your diet with the highest possible chance of success.

The 3 Week Diet

  • Educate yourself – Thoroughly research the types of food which you will include in your 500 calorie meal plan. Once you’ve collated all these foods together you can begin to research the best types of low calorie meals which will suit your needs and personal tastes. And never discount the importance of low calorie frozen food – the convenience of it will really help you stick to your diet. Remember, all diets are highly personal and the only way you can stick to them is if you enjoy the food you’re eating, so it’s essential that you can generate meals you’re going to want to eat regularly.
  • Think FULL – It’s also important that you understand the types of food which will fill you up. Ideally, your 500 calorie diet meal plan should look to include foods that include plenty of protein, fiber and water as these nutrients will tell your brain that your stomach is full and reduce the need to eat more. And don’t forget about liquids as beverages can be used very cleverly to keep your stomach full whilst incurring barely any calories. Better yet, drinking green tea before bed can actually help burn body fat at the same time. See also our post on how to eat 500 calories a day and feel full.
  • Make it tasty – Flavor is highly important when it comes to diets. If you stick to the same old, mundane flavors then your taste buds are going to feel as though they’re being slowly tortured. This is where temptation creeps in and, before you know it, you’re munching down a cheeseburger and fries. The best way to tackle this temptation for more flavor is by using low calorie sauces. They can bring a whole new dimension of taste to a chicken breast, for example, and there are so many different recipes available that your taste buds should never get bored again.

The 500 calorie diet is known as a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) and these types of diets are characterized as being tough to adhere to. However, if you can prepare correctly, then you should find that this is a VLCD diet that you can complete without your frustration levels reaching record highs.

500 Calorie Meal Plan Ideas

diet meal plan

Even a simple 500 calorie meal plan will give you a much higher chance of success

The 500 calorie diet requires a 5:2 diet meal plan, so you’re expected to supplement 5 days worth of healthy, balanced eating with 2 fast days where you only consume 500 calories per day. This really encourages the body to burn fat and also allows you the freedom to retain a level of normality when it comes to your diet.

500 calorie meal plan ideas aren’t necessarily something that you’ll have to hand as the extreme reduction in calories is unlikely to be a scenario you’ve previously experienced. However, to give you a helping hand and get eating 500 calories a day, here are some plans to keep your daily consumption under 500 calories:

500 Calorie Meal Plan – Sample 1

  • Day 1 – Normal, healthy balanced diet
  • Day 2 – Fast Day!
    • Start your day with a black coffee as it’s a simple beverage packed full of amazing fat burning properties, so it makes for an excellent start. Check out coffee pros and cons for the full benefits.
    • Choose a low calorie breakfast such as honeydew melon and grapes as this is not only low in calories, but it provides plenty of fresh flavor and important nutrients to get you ready for the day.
    • You’ll want lunch to be light, but tasty, so go for this chicken and cabbage soup as it should keep any thoughts of indulging in a huge triple deck sandwich at bay whilst preserving your calorie count.
    • Mid-afternoon may call for a low calorie snack, so try reaping the benefits of hazelnuts with a quick handful. This is a cheap snack and requires absolutely no preparation, just keep them in your draw or bag in order to keep hunger at bay.
    • Dinner should incorporate protein and vegetables and this thai steak salad easily satisfies these needs and, if you want extra flavor, try adding some low calorie chilli sauce.
    • Finish the day with a cup of green tea before bed as, much like your morning coffee, this will help to burn fat.
  • Day 3 – Normal, healthy balanced diet
  • Day 4 – Fast Day!
    • Start your day with a black coffee.
    • A fantastic low calorie breakfast idea is this blueberry bircher muesli as it delivers plenty of flavor along with essential carbohydrates to prepare you for the rest of the day.
    • Keep lunch simple again and try making this poached egg and bacon salad to keep the calories low whilst filling you up with protein and healthy fats to keep your stomach satisfied.
    • A great choice for a low calorie snack comes in the form of 10 green olives, so try enjoying these if you get any hunger pangs as they’re tasty and packed full of essential nutrients.
    • Dinner still needs to keep your calories controlled, so these chicken thighs with turmeric and sea salt will reduce the calories but give plenty of taste. Try supplementing this with a salad accompanied by a low calorie sauce if you want a bit more variety on your plate.
    • Finish the day with a cup of green tea
  • Day 5 – Normal, healthy balanced diet
  • Day 6 – Normal, healthy balanced diet
  • Day 7 – Normal, healthy balanced diet

The 3 Week Diet

500 Calorie Meal Plan – Sample 2

  • Day 1 – Normal healthy balanced diet
  • Day 2 – Fast Day!
    • Start your day with a black coffee
    • When it comes to breakfast try these moreish, but low calorie pistachio quinoa bites as they offer plenty of flavor, color and texture to keep your taste buds stimulated.
    • A good lunch will keep you full, serve up plenty of taste and be low in calories, so go for this spicy vegetable soup which ticks all the boxes and helps you feel as though you’re not even on a diet.
    • Almonds are a fantastic snack for keeping you full, so they’re just great for you to carry and consume when you start to feel those early afternoon hunger pangs.
    • For dinner, try having reduced sugar beans on toast as, although it’s more associated with being a breakfast meal, it’s perfect for any time of the day.
    • Finish the day with a cup of green tea
  • Day 3 – Normal, healthy balanced diet
  • Day 4 – Fast Day!
    • Start your day with a black coffee.
    • One of the best low calorie breakfasts is that age old favorite of a boiled egg which is bursting with protein and flavor, but very few calories and helps you remain motivated for the rest of the day’s diet.
    • It’s time for lunch, so you want something that’s flavorful, but healthy and this onion, carrot and ginger soup is exactly what you want.
    • The tangy crunch of a dill pickle is hard to deny, so try eating six of these for a low calorie snack.
    • An ideal small dinner can be found in these scrambled eggs with salmon as they give you all the important nutrients you need, but don’t compromise your calorie count.
    • Finish the day with a cup of green tea
  • Day 5 – Normal, healthy balanced diet
  • Day 6 – Normal, healthy balanced diet
  • Day 7 – Normal, healthy balanced diet

500 Calorie Diet Weight Loss

The 500 calorie diet weight loss results can be quite spectacular if you stick to it. Naturally, most people want to know the amount of weight they’re going to lose and it’s fairly easy to estimate how many pounds you’re going to drop.

A 500 calorie meal plan will help to keep your weight loss on track

Let’s take a look at how you can do this:

  • The normal calorie consumption for a day’s worth of food is approximately 2000 calories for a female. (Bear in mind, though, this can fluctuate depending on a person’s size, weight and age etc. Nonetheless, 2000 calories is a decent amount to consider as an average.)
  • The aim of the 500 calorie diet is create a calorie deficit of 1500 kcal twice a week, so this is why two days of the week sees your calorie intake restricted to just 500 calories a day.
  • A pound in weight is roughly equivalent to 3500 calories and this is why – if you can stick to the diet strictly – the weekly calorie deficit should help you to comfortably lose one pound per week.

And don’t forget, your non-fasting days don’t insist that you stick to exactly 2000 calories per day. You can easily drop a few 100 calories here and there to create even more of a deficit. The best way to really increase this deficit and shift that fat burning power up a gear is, of course, to integrate exercise into your daily regime.

There are a huge number of people who have successfully completed the 500 calorie diet and lost large amounts of weight. And if you can follow the fasting days religiously – whilst exercising and not overindulging on the normal days – you’ll start noticing a huge difference pretty quickly. In fact, if you stick to the 500 calorie diet for 3 weeks, with the right amount of dedication, you can easily expect to lose half a stone.

Check out these fast diet success stories for more inspiration.

The 3 Week Diet

You should of course play around with these meal plans to find what suits you best. For example you may want to swap out the green tea and instead enjoy the many Oolong tea benefits.

What if this doesn’t work for me?

Whilst there are plenty of success stories from intermittent fasting it doesn’t always work for everyone and can soon feel like a monumental struggle. If you do find yourself in a position where it doesn’t feel you can go on then you need to look to rectify this situation.

If you’re struggling with any diet then the temptation is to simply give up. And, before you know it, you won’t be able to fit into that favorite pair of jeans.

The best way to combat this sort of setback is by eating a slightly larger number of calories e.g. four days of 2000 calories and then three days on an 800 calorie diet. Obviously, this will make things a little easier, but, as with everything that’s worth doing, it’s a case of no pain, no gain; that’s why you need to counter this extra calorie intake with more exercise.

The thought of additional exercise may conjure up visions of having to join expensive gyms, but, in this day and age there’s a real wealth of home exercise equipment available. Not only is it inexpensive – especially compared to gym memberships – but it’s also incredibly effective at burning calories e.g. it’s possible to burn 200 – 300 calories on an exercise bike in 30 minutes.

Exercise will accelerate your progress and get you closer to your weight loss goals in record time.

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