If you want to lose weight fast then an 800 calorie diet – a type of Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) – is an excellent way to achieve this.
In this article we’ll examine:
- Some of the many benefits of an 800 calorie diet
- What an 800 calorie diet meal plan looks like
- How much weight you can expect to lose
- 800 calorie diet success stories
- Combining diet and exercise
Benefits of an 800 calorie diet
The 800 calorie diet has many benefits over other popular diets including:
- Easier than the normal 500 calorie diet – Many people find the reality of a 500 calorie meal plan far too restrictive. However, with an 800 calorie diet menu in place, there’s more room to include snacks and/or more tasty food to ensure that your frustration (or hunger) levels never go through the roof as they would with the 500 calorie diet.
- Stick to it for longer – As the 800 calorie diet is easier to stick to, it becomes easier to maintain this diet for longer. And the simplicity and ease of allowing for 800 calories a day means that this is a VLCD which has proved to be very successful for so many people. Other diets may be more successful in a shorter amount of time, but, due to their difficulty, they’re a diet with no long term potential.
- See results fast – Due to the large (but manageable) calorie deficit you’re imposing on your food intake, you’ll begin to lose weight very quickly and the effects will be easily noticeable. Friends will comment on your weight loss and that pair of jeans you’ve been trying to fit into for months will suddenly fit like a glove. And it’s these types of ego boosting moments which can really help to build your motivation to continue.
- Lower blood sugar levels – Taking in only 800 calories per day can not only help accelerate weight loss, but it can also lower blood sugar levels. And, when you consider the number of ill effects that high blood sugar can cause, it soon becomes clear that this is a huge bonus. The 800 calorie diet will also minimize the amount of calorie dense saturated fats in your diet and this can dramatically lower your chance of heart disease.
800 Calorie Diet Menu
An 800 calorie diet is surprisingly versatile and allows you to consume a variety of foods to help keep you on track to lose weight fast. To serve up meals which help you keep your calorie count under 800 meals a day you should consider including:
- Low calorie sauces: Good flavors are crucial for ensuring that a diet can be stuck to, so incorporating low calorie sauces is essential for tasty meals and a reduced calorie count. And the vast range of sauces available is almost endless, just complete a quick Google search and you’ll be presented with page after page of results.
- Healthy frozen food: You want to make your diet as easy to stick to as meals which are time consuming to create can often be ignored in favor of easier, but more calorie dense meals. And that’s why low calorie frozen food provides an amazing level of convenience when it comes to sticking to your diet. Sometimes these can be purchased from the store, but it’s also a good idea to create bulk batches of healthy meals at home which you can then freeze.
- Nuts: High in protein and low in carbs, nuts make an excellent snack which – when consumed in moderation – can help keep hunger pangs at bay whilst keeping you on track with your 800 calorie diet menu. There’s also a huge variety of flavors on offer from the many range of nuts be it creamy macadamia, savory pistachios or delicate, sweet almonds. And nuts, of course, provide many health boosts e.g. just look at the benefits of hazelnuts.
It’s useful to get an idea of what an entire day’s meal plan should look like. And, as with all diets, a regular structure can really make the difference when it comes to a successful diet. Therefore, planning several options before you embark on your diet will help you to understand that you don’t need to stick to the same meals every single day.
Most importantly, a set of daily menus will demonstrate that an 800 calorie menu plan doesn’t have to be packed full of bland, tasteless food.
Let’s take a look at a good example to get you started:
- Kick start your day with a low calorie breakfast such as ricotta avocado toast with poached egg to prepare your body for the day’s demands. This provides you with essential carbs, fats, fiber and protein – a healthy all in one meal which also keeps the calorie count low.
- Lunch is always important, but you don’t need to overdose on calories, so look for something simple, but tasty such as this vegetable soup. The number of different vegetables will provide plenty of flavor and the fiber will help you remain full.
- When it comes to your dinner you want to go for a healthy mix of protein and vegetables, like this recipe for chicken Parmesan with zucchini pasta. It’s the perfect option for dinner as the protein will keep you full and the zucchini’s fiber will provide bulk to slow the digestion process down.
- Dieting isn’t easy – at times it can feel like a marathon – so you need to find time every day to reward yourself with a dessert. Whilst you may feel like reaching for a tub of ice cream, a more sensible option is to pluck for a low calorie dessert such as a healthy mousse or yogurt.
- One final part of your menu plan comes in the form of green tea. Firstly, this is a beverage which is calorie free, secondly it will help you relax and, finally, it helps to burn body fat off
If you want to stick to meal plans such as this then it’s essential that you plan ahead to make things as easy as possible for yourself. Make sure that you complete a weekly shop, so that all the ingredients are in place and you have no excuse for ordering a take out. Most importantly, make batches of meals and low calorie sauces that you can keep frozen to minimize preparation time – during the week when you may feel tired after a day’s work and not fancy cooking a meal from scratch.
The big question posed by those who undertake the 800 calorie diet is always: what is the 800 calorie diet weight loss rate? And, by bringing a little bit of math to the table, you can work this out as follows:
- You first need to understand what your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is as this calculates the number of calories your body burns naturally without the influence of any exercise. This may sound incredibly complicated to work out, but, thankfully, the helpful folk over at the BMR calculator are there to lend a hand.
- The next step is to calculate your daily calorie needs and this can be done by inputting your data into the Harris Benedict equation. Again, this sounds like something from an advanced math lesson, but it’s not as painful as you’d think – a full breakdown of how to do this can be found here.
- The deficit can then be calculated by subtracting 800 away from your daily calorie needs.
- A pound of fat contains roughly 3500 calories, so divide that by your daily calorie deficit and it will tell you how many 800 calorie days you’ll need to complete to lose one pound.
How long should you stick to the diet for?
Ideally, to really see the benefits, you should stick to the 800 calorie diet for one month as this is when the most substantial weight loss occurs. However, everyone is different and their situation may vary e.g. someone may need to lose weight very quickly for a big event, but for others there may be more time to play with.
In fact, many people use the 800 calorie diet intermittently over the course of many years to help counter any sudden weight gain, so it’s always beneficial to have this stored in your locker. The maximum amount of time you should stick to the diet constantly for, however, is eight weeks and you should always resume a normal diet if you suffer any adverse effects. And always consult a doctor before starting your diet.
800 Calorie Diet Success Stories
There are lots of positive stories of 800 calorie diet results, which are useful to show you what is possible if you follow the diet correctly.
Just to prove that this is a diet which can make a huge difference when trying to lose weight, here are a few 800 calorie diet success stories to encourage you:
- Lauren: Following years of bullying at school, Lauren decided that she was going to create a new, streamlined Lauren as she started college. Consuming around 600 – 800 calories a day, Lauren created a custom menu plan which managed to incorporate all the food groups and not at the expense of taste. This allowed her to lose weight quickly and achieve her goal of starting college as a slimmer Lauren.
- Jackie: Suffering from type 2 diabetes wasn’t the only concern that Jackie had, she also had to contend with heart disease and high blood pressure. And the major contributor to these health worries was her weight which, at its peak, was 108kg. Thankfully, the 800 calorie diet helped her to lose 45kg and practically reverse her diabetes.
- Stella: Having suffered from obesity throughout childhood, Stella decided to take control of her weight with an approach which didn’t involve attending group meetings or medication – both popular approaches, but not right for Stella. Instead, she incorporated the 800 calorie diet into her life and, by the time she had left university, she weighed around 63kg.
- Lilith: Using the 800 calorie diet, Lilith used a mixture of strong motivation and a diet which was strict, but, crucially, provided plenty of variety and flavor. It was a highly successful diet and never saw Lilith suffering food cravings, so it was as pain free as a diet can be. And the end result was that she lost 11kg in three months.
Check out some of our other fasting success stories here.
Diet and Exercise – A Powerful Combination
Whilst a good diet can bring impressive results and help to redefine your body shape, it’s possible to maximize the effects of a diet by combining it with exercise. You don’t need to have a PhD in biochemistry to understand that exercise burns calories, so there’s no excuse for not incorporating exercise into your weight loss regimen.
Exercise allows you to effectively shave off calories from your daily calorie intake, so if you stick to your 800 calorie limit, the calories burned through exercise will mean you notice weight loss even quicker.
And, when we talk about exercise, we’re not talking major endeavors of athletic achievement. We’re talking more about simple exercises that can be completed at home and don’t require a costly gym membership. In fact, the simplest and cheapest form of exercise is running, so consider going for a run round the block five times a week, you’d be surprised just how much of a difference this can make towards weight loss.
However, not everyone is keen on running – particularly in the winter when those cold, dark nights seem like they’ll never end – so you need some alternatives. And that’s when you need to take a look at the best home exercise equipment for your needs – this can take the form of a mini stepper machine, a treadmill, an exercise bike or, if space permits, even a multi-gym.
It’s up to you what you choose, but the most important thing to remember is that combining the 800 calorie diet with exercise will really speed up your weight loss. Exercise, of course, is also vital to make sure that, rather than becoming skinny, you gain a toned, slim body which leaves you looking amazing.