What 1,500 Calories Looks Like [Infographic]

Elle Penner, MPH, RD
by Elle Penner, MPH, RD
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What 1,500 Calories Looks Like [Infographic]

Trying to clean up your diet and cut calories? A budget of 1,500 calories a day can be pretty satisfying when you fill up on nutrient-rich foods like produce, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains. Here’s a sample menu with some of our users’ favorite MyFitnessPal recipes to show you just how delicious and satiating 1,500 calories can be.



About the Author

Elle Penner, MPH, RD
Elle Penner, MPH, RD

Elle is a nutrition and wellness writer, recipe developer, blogger and nutrition consultant whose favorite things include her camera, carbs and quality time with her toddler. For more from this busy mama, check out Elle’s lifestyle blog or connect with her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


137 responses to “What 1,500 Calories Looks Like [Infographic]”

  1. Avatar lowfatpie says:

    doesn’t really look like very much food for someone who is very active but also wants to lose weight. especially dinner is a small amount. Or am I just greedy 😀

    • Avatar Paula Schlotterbeck says:

      I agree! Maybe we are both greedy. =D

    • Avatar JKPS says:

      Everyone has a different amount of calories they should be eating, so you might not be greedy at all! Have you used a TDEE calculator?

      • Avatar Honest Avy says:

        I recommend staying away from those calculators. They aren’t accurate on a per-body basis and can easily have you eating too much and gaining weight. I speak from experience. Mine was WAY off and I’m losing thanks to getting recommendations from a dietician (and what she recommended was closer to MFP)

        • Avatar JKPS says:

          But how did your dietitian come up with the amount? Didn’t they use a formula?

          For me personally, MFP gave me a higher calorie recommendation than any of the TDEEs I’ve looked at.

    • Avatar Terry T says:

      It really is not much food. Eating more nutrient dense fruits and vegetables will give you more volume than some of their pictured choices.

    • Avatar Virginia Kramer says:

      The best way to find out how many calories your body needs to safely and effectively lose weight, is to have your metabolism tested. The fitness & weight loss center for whom I work uses metabolic testing for all weight loss clients. We use the Korr MetaCheck system and if you research it in your area, you may find a center that offers it. SO worth the money to know your individual metabolism because not everyone is “average”!

      • Avatar Gail says:

        Virginia and what happens with results – do you want high or low metabolism and then do you adjust your food to help? Is this something a dr could also have tested for you?

    • Avatar Amanda Moore Ortega says:

      I agree, but having done weight watchers in the past successfully there are “zero point” foods you can bulk this plan up with, like weight loss soup added to the dinner, or a big salad with lemon juice or salsa on top. Add an apple or orange to one or two of these meals as needed.

      • Avatar C says:

        They may be zero points, but they are not zero calorie. REPLACING some of the foods here with less calorie dense options would be good while staying within 1500 calories, but adding more foods on top, even if they are “zero points” will easily make this diet go above 1500 calories. Ultimately it comes down to the calories.

    • Avatar Lonestar says:

      No, you are correct. This is not the way to build a satisfying 1500 calories–needs more vegetables.

    • Avatar C says:

      I would be satisfied with this diet, but you’re right, it would be better with more fiber (Fruits and vegetables) and less processed foods. It does have 5 meals.

  2. Avatar Paula Schlotterbeck says:

    I’d rather split my day into 3 meals and 3 snacks, myself (though I tend to aim a bit higher- 1750ish as I am an active person). Still, nice visual- thanks for sharing!

  3. Avatar David Leslie says:

    170 Carbs, 55 Fat, 88 Protein.
    Carbs seem kind of high. How about we ditch the pancakes and tortilla and add some nice big plates of Califlour & Broccoli, and maybe a little more lean meat.

    • Avatar Rita says:

      170 gm of carbs is 45% of 1500; well within the recommendations for someone who is active

      • Avatar David Leslie says:

        Recommended, sure. But I find a higher veggie quantity and lean meat more filling for the same calories.
        Too each his/her own…

        • Avatar Daknar says:

          Also if you can keep the macro’s more balanced 30-30-30 you can actually stay in ketosis and not jump into burning glycolysis for energy and your body will eat your fat stores for its extra energy as most active people will be in a calorie deficit at 1500 calories. Loved the post though. We need more like them. I would have liked the recipes as an additional hyperlink. Keep smiling,

          • Avatar C says:

            You won’t be in ketosis with a 33/33/33 split. And you don’t need to be in ketosis to burn fat. You need sufficient protein to prevent yourself from losing muscle, which this diet covers, if barely. The carb and fat amounts are personal preference for weight loss.

          • Avatar Norma says:

            I agree with C!
            You cant possibly be in ketosis with rhat kind of split!
            Remember that fats have to be the larger portion,then protein and carbs the smaller one!

          • Avatar usa anon says:

            the ketosis nut jobs are out in force

    • Avatar Rebecca says:

      Add 2 eggs to your cauliflower and broccoli and maybe 1/4 avocado…

    • Avatar Lonestar says:

      Carbs are ok, but it’s the kind of carbs and the processed food. However, your suggestion would be more satisfying which I think was the point of this.

    • Avatar Steph Reitmeier says:

      Agree – this seems no where near enough vegetables.

  4. Avatar Stephanie Wetzel Landsem says:

    I agree. I’d go with more veggies and protein to fill up and ditch those pancakes and crackers. Also, pretty low on iron-rich foods. Lots of American women and girls are already anemic, as I am.

  5. Avatar Robert Janowski says:

    I would go for 1.8g proteins perk kg of body weight, 1.5g of carbs and 1.0g fat
    and first 2 meals fat/proteins… then add carbs alternatively… carbs before and after workout abd a bit before going 2 bed.

  6. Avatar 11 says:

    1500 calorie diet, seriously? What is this nazi concentration camp menu? An hour run in zone 2 burns nearly a 1000, and that kind of an easy training. I’m a regular guy, 185 cm, 85 kg.

    • Avatar JKPS says:

      Good for you! But some of us are on a 1500 calorie plan. I’m sure you can Google and find an example for whatever amount of calories you need to eat.

      • Avatar 11 says:

        For sure there are cases when its a best solution. On the other hand level of activity for most is a choice, not a inherited “must”. I truly don’t understand why would someone choose to starve and stay quiet if you can strenghten and enjoy food. This doesn’t apply for medical cases when there reasons beyond choice.

        • Avatar therationalpi says:

          Exercise takes practice, and not everyone can handle a 1000 calorie workout and call it “easy training.” Moreover, not everyone has an hour a day to devote to running, but anyone can adjust their diet to match their level of activity and metabolism. Even with regular exercise, a 1500 calorie diet is what I need to lose weight.

          • Avatar Mariska Kuhn says:

            It’s like with my fitness app, after entering all my details they say I should eat 1200 calories. And with the 3 day military diet I have all that amount of calories, I’m full after eating supper and not starving at all. Then I have an hour walk in the evening with hubby IF we’re not both tired after a long hard days work. Then it gives me 461 extra calories that I can add if I need any more calories. I feel better and don’t mind the apps calculations.

          • Avatar 11 says:

            Not really. If there are no medical restrictions its a 3 to 6 month effort to be able to exercise for an hour in HR zone 2. Its endurance, not strenght.
            As for time, its also a matter of priorities. I leave house at 6:20, get back at 19 – 20, have 2 kids and a lot to look after at home, but it’s not an obstacle to find an hour for a run. At night. On ice. When it’s -15 °C. It’s a matter of priorities 😉

          • Avatar therationalpi says:

            Humble brag much?

          • Avatar 11 says:

            Sure. I should, stick to modest starving and staying indoors?
            Once you dare and commit, it changes much more than just a physical appearance. I started from overweight and 10000 steps a day. That was less than 3 years ago 🙂
            Trust me, it’s easier than you think and you don’t need to starve.

          • Avatar therationalpi says:

            Okay, just for reference, I’ve largely achieved my weight loss goals. I’ve lost 40 lbs over the last few years, work out for at least an hour a day, and am in much better shape than I’ve ever been. I’ve gone from the lower end of “obese” to “normal” BMI, but I’ve also had to restrict my calories and change my diet drastically to get here. A combination of genetics, childhood obesity, and bad habits accumulated over my life have made reaching my weight loss goals much more difficult. Not to mention that my BMR is a solid 1000 calories below what it should be for a person of my age/weight/height.

            You may think that you’re being motivating or insightful by pointing out how easy it is to lose weight, but your experience isn’t universal. For people that have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight despite their best efforts, it’s frustrating to be told that they simply aren’t trying hard enough.

            1500 calories/day, 10000 steps/day, and 1 hour/day alternating cardio and weight-lifting is what I needed to shed about 0.5 kg/week as a 181 cm 85 kg man. I don’t trust you that it’s easier than I think, because I know exactly how easy it is, and losing weight for me does include feel hungry a lot of the time.

          • Avatar 11 says:

            Mate the same for me. 3 years ago I wasn’t able to run 2 kilometers, now I can run a marathon. Sadly I came to this only now (I’m 35 now), not 20 years ago.
            If you perceive it as a “punishment” and do it because your doctor told you so then it’s hard. Hell hard. I look forward for it. If it’s night, in the woods (I live remotely), -20’C, snowing and on ice (that’s quite a season for that now), it doesn’t matter. I get back tired and happy, I get back a better person. And while it’s hard physically, you get used to it if you are persistent but it didn’t take me long to start liking it. there is some biochemistry behind, explaining why I like it.
            As for the hunger, I’m also always hungry, but metabolism seems to be fast as I need 3000 – 3500 calories a day. On the other hand I burn ~1000 a day. If you work out daily for an hour or more considering your frame it should be 800 – 1000 calories too. And you get away with a food worth 1500 calories? I find hard to beleive it.
            Anyhow I think you do something wrong if you consider it hard. You don’t get pleasure out of it. My core, shoulders hand muscles are sore from a workout 2 days ago and every time I feel mild ache, I came up with small smile 🙂 I know it’s there and I know exactly why it hurts. I also know that in few days I’ll be a little stronger going the same routine.

        • Avatar JKPS says:

          1500 calories isn’t necessarily a small amount for everyone; I would say I’m enjoying food. I eat basically whatever I want, just in smaller portions and not all the damn time.

          It would be nice if I could increase my activity level, but I have chronic pain resulting from a spinal condition, so I’m a little limited at the moment. I’m working on it, though! Some days I get 3,000 steps, that’s literally 3x the amount of steps I was getting.

      • Avatar Mariska Kuhn says:

        If you have the My fitness app on your phone and you put in all the necessary info in of your weight height and fitness in it will tell you how much Calories you need to get in every day. You don’t need to stick to the 1500 calorie plan. And 1500 calories is more towards the female gender than towards the male gender.

  7. Avatar Eleonora E. says:

    Thats way more than what I eat

  8. Avatar James Bailes says:

    I set my own goal to 1500 calories since 0ct 28 to this past Saturday I had lost 71 lbs

    • Avatar Cher says:

      That’s amazing! I know it’s not easy. You should be proud of yourself!

    • Avatar FitKris119 says:

      Hi5!!! That’s great! I wish you continued success to reach your goal. 🙂

    • That is terrific! What did you use for the weekly diet plan?

    • Avatar Felicia L. Evans says:

      That is awesome! Thank you for sharing this…there is hope!

    • Avatar NoMore9to5Work . says:

      Thats awesome. So what diet plan do you use?

      • Avatar choekstr says:

        diet plan? What’s that, this is merely about taking in less calories than you burn…
        If you aren’t losing weight this way then either you are cheating and eating more calories or you aren’t burning more than you are taking in and need to cut back on calories.
        I too lost a bit over 60 lbs but it requires diligence in tracking and ensuring you stay under your target calories

        • Avatar usa anon says:

          I hate this attitude. Somehow weight gain or loss is supposed to be related to calories and math. I have a slow metabolism, too much stress at my non-descript job which is not rocket science, I gain weight when I smell chocolate cake, yet can’t stop sniffing other people’s cake. I am fit regardless of my weight. Doctors know nothing about medicine. I always ask a plumber for advice about my taxes. On top of that I am cursed —- so why should I try

    • Avatar Serina Z says:

      Fantastic. I wish I could say the same or even half. I am making no progress at all.

    • Avatar markezz8 says:

      How u manage to loose 71ibs in that amount of time

  9. Avatar Jewels K says:

    even though all these options seem good (separately) as a combined daily intake its does not look like a well planned anything. I agree with David Leslie, Way too much carbs. I would rather eat a steak with salad for dinner then a little wrap and sour cream. Wrap for Lunch and Burrito for Dinner and pancakes for breakfast its does not look promising. Some hardy eggs whites with spinach and guacamole for breakfast would be a better choice. This menu has very little vegetables and leafy greens. lots of sugar and carbs.

    • Avatar Candace Moore Hill says:

      Yeah, I don’t think I’m ever going to make four pancakes for myself. And I’m not flipping flapjacks for anyone else these days.

  10. Avatar Petteri Moilanen says:

    Not enough protein or you can say bye to your muscle mass.

  11. Avatar Jacqui Dupré Baker says:

    Where can I find the recipes?

  12. Avatar Mariska Kuhn says:

    Too much “sweet” calories in there, If you think that dinner is small, try the military diets dinner on day 3, 1 cup of tuna, 1/2 a banana and 1 cup vanilla ice cream. I make a smoothie with my banana and ice cream, that actually fill me up more than the two separate. And the military diet is good if you need to shed some weight, I do it once a week and keep my calorie intake less instead of over indulging in to sweets and carbs and take away. I don’t eat bread at all except in the MD It needs to be whole wheat toast and only 1 slice when needed, cakes I don’t eat much although I’m a baker after hours when people put in orders. I’m an admin lady so being physically active during the day is a zero. Which is why I try to have a 30-60min walk every other day.

  13. Avatar Gus Olaneye says:

    Sometimes we get carried away with calories we eat rather than the quality of food. My name is Gus and since 2013 I have managed to drop from 24 stones to just over 14 and depending on my training I go under 14st. I have been able to do this with by reducing my carbs and preparing my own meals. I am not saying my way is the best or the only way , I just noticed that a lot of people I talk to and mentor always look for something else rather than simplify the whole process and listen to their gut feeling.

    • Avatar FitKris119 says:

      Congratulations on your success! I agree with the eating clean and listening to your body’s response to the foods you eat. Keeping it simple, preparing my own foods, and thinking of food as fuel for energy has helped me become more heathy.

  14. Avatar David Nunez says:

    whats up every one im doing 1500 calories, not working out at all at this moment, focusing on school, but i hit some push ups, pull ups, and squats from time to time,, if you catch this blog post and need a friend to get on my fitness pal with… “ive got your govna”… send me a friend request, i could use a friend to throw back and forth with about food and exercise everyone have a pleasant day, and continue hitting those markers!!!

  15. Avatar Yellow says:

    Hi people

  16. Avatar Jacqui Dupré Baker says:

    I would really love more posts like this. These meal options look easy, yummy, and doable!! More please!

  17. Avatar Martha Salazar says:

    Hi there, any ladies around age 50 interested in following me? I am a 50 year old woman who just started “trying” to run, and participated in my first 5K few months ago. Still working on it though. I could’n run the whole time.
    I’m interested in knowing how to lose some weight at this age, and keep it off.

    • Avatar Eiharris says:

      Congratulations on your first 5K, that is a big deal. I also ran my first 5k right before I turned 50.
      I just turned 54 and last year completed 17 5k and 1 10k. I joined Weight watchers to help me lose weight, I have successfully stayed at my goal weight for 2 years. Not easy but doable. Good Luck

      • Avatar Martha says:

        Thank you! Wow! Great inspiration. I will keep at it, even though it hasn’t been easy. But oh well. It is worth it feeling better instead of succumbing to “old age” mentality. Doctor just told me I might be developing some arthritis, but I refuse to sit around and wait for it to get worse. I hope I can soon say I ran my first 10K!

    • Avatar Christie says:

      I turned 50 in December and have lost 59 ponds since August. I enter every ting I eat into MyFitnessPal and i get to the gym for cardio and weights 4-5 times a week. Im not a fanatic and enjoy days away from the gym and indulge in some popcorn on occassion. I feel great and I got hit on by a much younger man (32)! cant tell you what an ego boost that was!

    • Avatar M J Phillips says:

      Hi Martha!
      I am a 61 year old female. Within the past year, I’ve lost over 50 pounds and have went from a size 16 to a size 8. This was accomplished by developing a different relationship with food! I began eating more natural foods–vegetables, fruits, poultry, and fish. I also started working out with a crossfit regimen. I’m in the gym 3-4 days per week, and also started running. I now run three miles prior to a workout. Sometimes, I will run an additional mile after the workout. I do keep count of calories. I’ve stopped eating sugar, flour, pastas, butter, salt, etc. There was no one thing that helped me, but a combination of an annual physical that indicated that I was “pre-diabetic, high cholesterol, high blood pressure” and a doctor telling me that she can prescribe medicines or either I “make a lifestyle change.” The rest is history. I went from 197 pounds to currently 145. I now love running and will try my first 5k in April.

      • Avatar Carolyn says:

        AWESOME!! I’m 61 and struggling to loose weight. I began doing a group 30 minute circuit training and man, it is difficult to get through. Sometimes I just want to cry and say screw it but then there is that little voice that says keep at it, it will get better. I have hope in that little voice.

        • Avatar Kevin says:

          It does and will get better. Keep at it! And it’s okay to cry, let it out. But then get back up and keep going. It’s soooooo worth it 🙂 Nice work, very proud of you!

      • Avatar Martha says:

        WOW!! So impressed. Congratulations! I like your changes made. I absolutely love food, and it’s getting harder for me to realize I can no longer eat the way I used to. These hormonal changes and slower metabolism are our worst enemies 🙂

    • Avatar Catherine Egan says:

      I am 51 and struggling with weight I have gradually put on in the last 7 – 8 years PLUS 13 pounds I recently gained when I broke a metatarsal. It’s very encouraging to read these comments, thanks everyone.

      • Avatar Martha says:

        You can do it Catherine! Little by little if necessary. It gets harder to loose weight as we get older, but (hopefully) it’s not impossible. Keep us posted!

    • Avatar Pam S says:

      I am 62 (and a half) – and have lost about 120 pounds since turning 61 and I am trying to work on maintenance (or possibly losing just a few more pounds…) and I am finding it challenging. I have been within the same 5-6 pound range now for several months and this is the longest that I have maintained a lower weight for probably 30 years.
      I always took up running when I wanted to lose weight in the past, but this time around I decided that maybe walking was a better option for me. I had both hips replaced when I was 55 and really shouldn’t be running anyway. What I have done though to lose weight -and hopefully keep it off THIS TIME – is take up yoga. I have found that yoga has really helped with some of my emotional eating issues – I still struggle with stress eating, but I keep working on it. I do 20-30 minutes of yoga at home every day and go to a class now and then. My family was so supportive of my journey that they encouraged me to go to yoga teacher training and never in a million years would I have ever dreamed that at 62 I’d be starting something so far outside my box – but I am loving it!!
      I use a Fitbit to track my steps and try to always be over 10,000 – although life does get in the way sometimes and I’m trying to be realistic. I weight lift for a half hour 2-3 times a week and go to a Zumba class once a week. I feel so much better at this weight and can enjoy my life so much more than when I weighed 291!!! I also use MFP to help me recognize the caloric consequences of food and that has been a huge help! There are times when I falter but I just keep in mind that each day is a fresh start and I don’t have to carry broken pieces of yesterday into today.
      Good luck on your journey to better health and fitness!!!

      • Avatar Martha says:

        OMG! You are a true inspiration! Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I would like to loose about 15’20 pounds only, but definitely interested in gaining endurance so I can run the whole 5K next time. I{ll keep you posted.

      • Avatar Reader58837 says:

        I am 60 (and a half!) male and lost 38 pounds since a trip to the Olympics inspired me. All with losing some bad habits, better food, less food (even “better” can be too much!) and the big thing… CYCLING! Let me give you two bits of advice… as a physician: please do not run on those hips. Leave them alone to do their job and not over stress them. As a weight loss partner and co-60 year old… take up cycling. Once by the two week leg fatigue, you will love it. And I “discovered” roads that I never drive on and found a whole “new” county that I have lived in for 30 years!

        • Avatar SUZANNE says:

          I’m an 80 year old female (BD inJan) Need to lose 40-50 pounds. I am unable to run or cycle due to hip and back pain from arthritis and spinal surgeries. However, ican walk if I take a pain pill 45 minutes before I take off. I try to walk daily if weather allows. Will walk in the rain if it isn’t too cold.
          The think that I have just started that I think will help me the most is Water Aerobics. My gym has W.A. four days a week. So far I do every other day, which means that I’m only getting in 2 days a week. However, I hope to work up to 4 days a week.
          I’m going to use this 1200 calorie approach to losing weight. Wish me well.

  18. Avatar flashjpr says:

    Hi guys, a HUGE thanks to the MFP team for creating this awesome app.I have started using the app+gym 4x/week + keto + kitchen scale every day non stop. I mean it turned my life upside down!
    On Jan 15 I was 115kg and today after 20 days I am 101.1kg on 1.3k calories/ day.

    Thank you!

  19. Avatar sea_fan says:

    Where did you find bowls so small that a 1/4 cup serving overfills them?? 😛 Just kidding, cool post thanks

  20. Avatar Liv says:

    This would be so much more satisfying if they cut out the tortillas and crackers and swapped them for more everything else! Meat, eggs, veggies, wild rice, fruit… i dont want to waste 220 calories on stupid tortillas.

  21. Avatar BellaTerra66 says:

    Where are the recipes? And what are “protein-packed pancakes”? Thanks. 🙂

    • Avatar Nancy Barlow says:

      There is a protein pancake mix called Kodiak cakes that is available at many grocery stores.
      I use egg white instead of water to up the protein even more. They also make awesome
      waffles and muffins!

  22. Avatar Grill_Master says:

    How do you hit 1500 calories a day and feel comfortable (ie not starve). I struggle to stay at 2150. I’m a larger guy 265lbs (flex between 250-265) l could stand to loose 20lbs but I’m built, I lift heavy 3 days a week and cardio 2 days. I’d love to learn how to hit 1500 calories but being honest someone would have to chain me up as the hunger pains would drive me to binge eat. Not to mention i am sure I would not be the most pleasant person to be around starving all day. I eat 4 meals a day now.. most days its clean (fruit,veggies,oats,eggs lean meats, nuts as a snack)… w /kids in sports I am known to have a slice of Pizza or two on a weekend.

    I welcome any thoughts on the matter – Kudos if you can hit 1500. Just trying to learn how to get there i guess.

    • Avatar Catherine Egan says:

      Boy. I weigh 80 lbs less than you and struggle to stay at 1500. 1500 is probably too few for you with your size and your activity. Maybe you could stay around 2100, but try those little tricks like packing them all into 8 hours and not eating for 16 straight hours. Or, you could do 1 day a week at 1600 calories and look forward to the next day when you are back to 2100. 🙂

    • Avatar La Bandita says:

      Im 5 7 137 and 1500 is too many calories for me. 1200 calories is better. Plus those particular snacks are dumb. Add the snack calories to the meal. Also being hungry a little is not a crime.

      ETA: Im no help:).

    • Avatar Lonestar says:

      At your size, 2150 seems low. Seriously. Too low and you encourage your body to decrease muscle. You unless you’re short, if you have muscle, you should probably never be eating 1500.

    • Avatar Daknar says:

      Grill Master,

      I wouldn’t try to keep down to 1500 calories as you will end up so hungry that you will binge on not as healthy items. I would focus on just being in a calorie deficit every day. 500-700 calories in the hole and keep your workouts going. Keep your macros’s even though. 30-30-30 so your body can get into fat burning and pull the extra energy from your fat stores instead of making you feel like you need to eat sugar. As you focus on your macro’s it will be tough for the first few days as your body will crave sugar until you tell it to shut up and just start burning fat. After about a week of keeping your blood sugar from spiking by keeping your meal macro’s even you will start to crave a lot less and your fat will start to melt off and your 20 pounds will go away as long as you are still in a calorie deficit every day.

    • Avatar tbright1965 says:

      Sounds like we are built the same, but I am newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. So I’m on 225g of carbs/day. Probably seems like a lot, but at 5’11” and started at 265 pounds, it’s really not that much.

      There are few days I go over that. My Dr and Dietitian have me on 2250 calories/day for weight loss as I work out 6 days/week. Three days cardio and three days weight training. The 225g of carbs, no more than 60/meal and another 45g for snacks during the day. I usually don’t go over 200g/day so I don’t feel too guilty on the occasional miss, until I take my blood sugar.

      The remaining allocation is 75g of fats and 169g of protein.

      A breakfast is a three egg omelette with peppers and a slice of gouda and a couple slices of bacon, or I add ham to the omelette.

      I usually have a banana before I go to the gym to get things started off.

      That uses up about 1/3rd of allocation, save for the carbs where I’m usually below the 60g meal target, even with the banana.

      I’m losing 2-4#/week on this and that’s with the cardio workouts being lighter due to a recent knee injury.

      So I’d say you are in the same boat with me. Sounds like you are similar size and activity.

      I don’t think 1500 would be right for you and me. We couldn’t do it consistently as our basal metabolic rate is probably right around that 2000-2200 calories before we even do anything other than eat, sleep and change channels on the TV.

    • Avatar tbright1965 says:

      Just wanted to follow up and see how you are doing?

      Using the regime below, I’m down to 229# from the 265# starting on 14 Feb.

      I realize it’s an older thread, so don’t know if you (or anyone else) is still paying attention. But I’ve kept on a pretty consistent 1%/week loss of weight.

      Once I’d lost about 10% of the starting weight, I did adjust my macros down 5%, so 2135 calories/day 213/214 g carbs/day and others were adjusted the same 5%

      I do realize that at some point, I have to adjust them back up, save the carbs figure, depending on what the blood glucose does.

      However, the fast BG has been between 95 and 115 most mornings, so the change is working.

  23. Avatar Chasity B says:

    Where can i find the pancake recipe?

  24. Avatar Kristin Adams says:

    Recipes please?

  25. Avatar Edward Schlesselman says:

    I would like to see 1500 calories for someone that really doesn’t like vegetables… That would be helpful.

  26. Avatar Discuss Much says:

    That 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries and bananas looks more like one cup.

  27. Avatar Jason S (Brooklyn) says:

    The app has me at 1,760 calories based on a 245 pound starting weight and my goal to lose two pounds per week. Reading this makes me think I’ve been needlessly overeating for six weeks now!

  28. Avatar Diane Hall says:

    These meals look great, but I don’t think this particular menu for a day would come even close to hitting the minimal potassium recommended intake.

  29. Avatar Dan E. says:

    I’m not a weigh management expert, but I believe you have to realize it is a lifelong process. What I mean is you can’t lose weight, clap your hands together and say I’m done. For me, I came to the point where I hated that my jeans were so damn tight all the time and I only had one pair that fit me okay because I broke down and bought a larger size pair. So four years ago I decided to try counting calories and by chance I chose fitbit that told me to eat 1,500 per day, so that’s where I started. I didn’t care what I was eating, just how much. My diet was (and still remains) very high in carbs because I love candy & ice cream & pasta, etc, etc. But I lost 25 lbs @ approx 1 1/2 lbs per week without going to the gym or any other exercise. I did for sure feel some hunger, but nothing to cry about and it worked like a magic trick. I’d laugh out loud sometimes because of what I was eating and the results I was still achieving. I continue to count calories to this day because it works for me by keeping me aware of how much I’ve eaten that day. I limit my weight to a 3-4 lb range. My advice is this, start with something you know you can do, but whatever you decide make it an unbreakable personal priority that nothing will prevent you from doing every day. That’s the “trick” in a nutshell. Think about it, if you’re going to stop in a week, a month, a year, 3 years, etc, why put yourself through this task that does require personal discipline & sacrifice? You’d be better off not doing anything because when you quit, you’ll go back to at least where you started and feel that much worse about yourself because you were doing it and now you’re not. You only need to start somewhere (anywhere) and the only too be relentlessly persistent. If that sounds harsh, ask yourself how many important successes in your life have you accomplished when the things that got you that success were optional? Net-net, your success is your responsibility and if you don’t make it an unbreakable priority nobody else can do it for you.

  30. Avatar Pam says:

    1500 calories but 170g are carbs and only 88g. Doesn’t seem like a good balance.

  31. Avatar Pam says:

    88g of protein. Sorry New at this

  32. Avatar Russell Aaron says:

    Does anyone have a visual guide like this for the 3500-4000 calorie range??

  33. Avatar Pale Horse says:

    Definitely not for a male weight lifter! I need about double the amount of protein that is in that meal plan. I am not big (175 lbs) but am quite active and my maintenance calories are about 2800 per day. If this type of plan works for you, that’s awesome. Everyone requires something a bit different! Best of luck, everyone and never give up.

  34. Avatar Joseph Lopez says:

    i find using my fitness pal to log my calories is a big help I am down to 2100 calories a day and have lost 53 pounds

  35. Avatar Emma C Jenkins says:

    I am a female 77 year old diabetic ~ 170 carbs seems unacceptable to lose weight?!?

  36. Avatar nicky .ywilliams says:

    Same ole &^% different blog.

  37. Avatar Ellen S. says:

    This sample menu would leave me starving! I set my goal at 1500 but doing a low carb/ high fat approach. I pair the fat with lots of veggies. Most days I find I am sticking around 1300-1400 calories with no trouble. Feeling full and satisfied. It took a few weeks to get used to the higher fat and no processed carbs or sugars. Keeping my carbs below 75 and all from veggies and some almond flour in a ‘cheesy crust’ that is a great substitute for bread. I have lost 9 pounds in 5 weeks even with a couple cheat days. Yay fat and veggies! I like that I can adjust my goals for fat/carbs and protein with MFP.

  38. Avatar Golden_Snidget says:

    I’d swap out those pancakes for 2 eggs and one piece of toast

  39. Avatar Larz says:

    Lots of people are criticizing her food choices, but she is just sticking with the ADA dietary guidelines. The ADA says 35% of calories can be from fat. As a medical doctor, I would never recommend that because it is more fat and less protein than you need to be really fit, especially when you are running a calorie deficit to lose body fat.

  40. Avatar sillyrabbit says:

    I would die on this tiny amount of food. It would send me to Baskin Robbins within a few hours.

  41. Avatar Dog says:

    Where are the recipes for this meals (pancakes, chicken salad, quesadillas) and names of products like the tortillas used for lunch and dinner. Looks like a great meal plan, it just leaves people hanging with no directions how to eat like this. Thanks

  42. Avatar SparklingH2O says:

    Black bean and spinach quesadillas DO NOT WORK FOR MEXICANS!!

  43. Avatar Gretchen Adkins says:

    Recipe for the pancakes? I love pancakes but lack getting enough protein in my normal routine. The recipe would be a big help.

    • Avatar Julie Comardo says:

      3/4 cup of oatmeal, 3 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce, 1 scoop of protein powder (I like GNC’s vanilla), cinnamon, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 1 whole egg, and about 2-3 tablespoons of egg whites. Mix and then drop in a low heat pan to fry with a little Pam. Brown on both sides. Really delicious with 1 tsp of almond butter on each. Great balanced breakfast…..

  44. Avatar Terry Carlino says:

    Wow! For me that is a lot of food! I’m trying to work up to 800 cals a day, currently taking in 400 to 600 cals. Severe Crohn’s disease. I wish I could eat some of that. Been on clear/full liquid diet for about 10 yrs now. Eat chicken once in a while. Have not been able to eat raw fruits or veggies for years, can eat some cooked but maybe be twice a month. Ahhhh! I miss solid food!

  45. Avatar Bombshell says:

    I would love to see an option without processed foods! I supposed I can try some substitutions! THanks!

  46. Avatar LizLSB says:

    Are these recipes on the blog?

  47. Avatar Austin Joseph says:

    1500 calories is far too little for the average person, man or woman.

  48. Avatar Theresa says:

    I just want to lose 15 lbs , 7 would even be great, I am 5’0″, currently weighing 150lbs

  49. Avatar Jerome Barry says:

    1/4 cup guac? Since most of the quac from an avocado would be oxidized at that rate of consumption, won’t you agree that your photo should feature blackened quacamole?

  50. Avatar Anita says:

    How can I print the infographic without it having typed words all over it?

  51. Avatar Nick says:

    My doctor suggested I remove breakfast except for the morning coffee and as long as I do not increase the amount I eat at lunch it is an easy way to remove 500 calories from my daily diet. Since Jan. 4 I have lost 33 lbs but am leveling off at 240 lbs which is still more than I want. Still it only took about two weeks to get use to no breakfast, plus making sure I still eat the same at lunch and it does work without trying to be on a diet.

  52. Avatar cerenatee says:

    It’s funny how we all see the same thing but have different interpretations. I’m looking at this thinking it’s a lot of food, but I also eat 3 meals a day. Combine her breakfast and snack, her lunch and snack, and then her dinner by itself, and that’s a lot of food. And it’s definitely not short on the fruit and veggies. She’s having them at every single meal. But I don’t eat until I’m stuffed or even full. I follow the Japanese practice of just eating until I’m not hungry (80% satisfied). Maybe that’s why?

  53. Avatar BONNIE says:

    When they show these “Meals”……..they are unrealistic for the everyday person…………..show the meals of what everyone has in their fridge and pantry for every day. !! They always make it so difficult for people to understand how to do it at home. I am on 1500 calories and for the most part, I eat scrambled eggs and Grapefruit juice and coffee for breakfast and lunch is a salad with canned Tuna or Chicken on top……….and Supper is usually Regular meat and cooked veggies……….I keep the bread to a minimum of a couple slices per week…………no white flour or sugar or starches……..everyday foods. I keep fruits and veggies on hand to snack on and Yes I even keep yogurt (Plain) in my fridge to use in a shake or as a dessert with strawberries or blueberries………..eat whole natural foods………….NO Boxed stuff………No Frozen stuff because it is all laced with huge amounts of salt !! and preservatives and fat !!!. Make your food at home and try not to use the premade food. I do every once in a while enjoy a cup of tomato or cream of mushroom soup on chilly days or nights………but that and the canned meat is about it !!! On Sundays I will cook up lots of chicken and beef and top my salads with that during the week………just throw it in the oven and roast it and then when it’s cooled store it in airtight containers in the fridge !!! Great Protein and no added salt or fats !!! Keep the broth…………..when chilled scrape the fat from the top and use it to give yourself a warm cup of broth………..to cut your hunger. <3

  54. Avatar Susan McGinnis says:

    Ms. Penner, I see every meal you suggest here contains grains. I have read lots of information and about some diets (Whole30, Paleo) that explain in scienntific detail why grains should be eliminated from our diets. I have tried Whole30 more than once, eliminated grains and have felt incredibly great. Then, I have gone back to my previous eating habits and feel like I did before, normal. I know most done want to hear about fully dropping bread, crackers, cakes, etc. Just curious what your, and anyone’s opinion is. Thanks. Susan

  55. Avatar rileygruff says:

    That looks like quite a volume of food.

  56. Avatar Victoria says:

    Where can I find all these recipes ?

  57. Avatar vanecia says:

    hi ya ive been going to the gym for 4wks now ,bits of cardio and weights my diet is quite good i use fitness pal daily , but hence all my trying ive put on weight and look very cellulity in the back of my legs and bum yak ,where am i going wrong i need help im eating 1.600 cals atm

  58. Avatar Traci Gilbert Regan says:

    That’s great and all but what are you supposed to eat if you’re allergic to tomatoes, onions give you headaches, you’re lactose intolerant and can’t stand salmon or spicy foods?!

  59. Avatar Alexi Balmuth says:

    Please show these items all at the same scale and on the same average sized plates and bowls. Showing the food in overflowing bowls is unlikely and confusing.

  60. Avatar Heather Owen says:

    Can we have veggie versions of all these? Here in the UK people who are interested in fitness and weight management are mostly vegetarian. Personally I find the very mention of chicken rather nauseating.

  61. Avatar Stephen Bloom says:

    I am disappointed (or am I just having trouble navigating the website?). The 1500 calories a day menu looks great, but I can’t find the recipes for the meals.

  62. Avatar Natalie says:

    I would starve on this meal plan. Why are there so many carbs? They’re eating up room for more food!

  63. Avatar Robert says:

    it seems all of these menus rely heavily on Dairy which I am lactose intolerant. Be nice to see some without dairy.

  64. Avatar Bob McBoburous says:

    You should have posted a link to the recipes for all those meals.

  65. Avatar Dani Bregman says:

    how can you substitute bananas, whole milk yogurt (I am lactose intolerant), and waldorf salad?

  66. Avatar Isabelle says:

    I’m allergic to eggs and whey so breakfast is always hard for me. I haven’t had yogurt in 20 years and I miss it so much. That used to be a big part of my breakfast but as I grew older I acquired more allergies. A whey protein shake (which I ironically made for myself) actually put me in ICU for 4 days due to anaphylaxis so this isn’t just a few hives or GI issues. I’m having trouble getting enough protein for breakfast. Breakfast sausages are great but I think they have a lot of sodium if I’m not mistaken. I typically eat oatmeal with flax and blueberries and a glass of almond milk. Any suggestions?

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