What an 1,800-Calorie Day Looks Like

Danielle Omar, RD
by Danielle Omar, RD
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Sticking to 1,800 calories a day is often recommended for most women to maintain their weight, and for most men to lose weight. With that in mind, choosing foods high in fiber and containing lean protein and healthy fats ensures you’ll have a satisfying day, without going overboard on calories.

This sample menu gives you an idea of what a delicious 1,800-calorie day looks like with some of MyFitnessPal’s best recipes.

Discover and log these recipes and more in the MyFitnessPal app!

What an 1,800-Calorie Day Looks Like

What an 1,800-Calorie Day Looks Like

What an 1,800-Calorie Day Looks Like

CLICK TO TWEET THIS ARTICLE > Check out what a typical day looks like on an 1,800 calorie diet via @MyFitnessPal

What an 1,800-Calorie Day Looks Like

READ MORE > What 2,000 Calories Looks Like
READ MORE > What 1,200 Calories Looks Like
READ MORE > What 1,500 Calories Looks Like

Originally published April 2020, updated with additional reporting

About the Author

Danielle Omar, RD
Danielle Omar, RD

Danielle is an integrative dietitian, culinary nutritionist, author and consultant, frequently lending her love of creating to high-profile food and nutrition media outlets. She’s a regularly featured blogger and founder of foodconfidence.comwhere she inspires men and women on their journey to become their healthiest self. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.


38 responses to “What an 1,800-Calorie Day Looks Like”

  1. Avatar Chris says:

    Those Macros though….jeez.

    • Avatar NiceGuysFinishLast says:

      Was thinking the same thing too. That’s gotta be a 60%+ carb ratio. Not to mention, I don’t think you can even attempt to meal prep and come up with those entrees without someone cooking/prepping for you unless you have no job and lots of free time.

  2. Avatar NiceGuysFinishLast says:

    Us carnivores can sum up our thoughts on this meal plan with one word. “Heckkk Nooo”. Ok, that’s like two words…

    • Avatar ML says:

      This is food made by women, they would never ever understand. They love to sit in a cosy couch and eat yoghurt with little berries. We have to remove the berries and yoghurt and just add bacon.

  3. Avatar John says:

    I’ll need to find different foods. Not a fan of avocado or cottage cheese.

  4. Avatar IWantASandwich says:

    “Integrative dietician”.”Culinary nutritionist”. Um,yea. By the carbs count this “expert” knows nothing. Those calories are my maintain calories as an average guy @185lbs.

    Now imagine most women eating like this. Is there any wonder the US is obese?

    The only things decent in there are: avocado (very nutritious fat),salmon,and the tacos. Even there those look like flour tortillas, so 200-300cal of simple carbs. Seriously?

    Those carbs? Holy fattening the cow, Batman.

    And eat 3 to 4 times a day? Great way to turn those carbs into fat as your pancreas floods your bloodstream with insulin from the glycemic spike of 450 calories,mostly from carbs,at every meal.


    • Avatar Charlotte says:

      actually…i eat 2000 cal/day to maintain and am fit with quite a bit of muscle. All I track for macros is protein which is 1 g per pound of body weight. Every body is different 🙂

      • Avatar IWantASandwich says:

        “Everybody is different”, which means this blog post is garbage from the outset.

        Additionally, what I’ve stated about macros is irrefutable – go read up on diabetic diets, something that has been well understood as early as the 1940’s. Our biology hasn’t changed.

        Everybody is different…within a range. You put that many carbs down in one sitting,and your pancreas WILL secrete more insulin which will make your body store the excess glucose as fat. The only exception would be if you were to immediately do something strenuous.

        But nowhere is this mentioned. What *is* stated is the “average male”. Well an average male (being somewhat sedentary) *will* gain weight taking on these carbs.

        The *average* female would be screwed.

        How you describe yourself is not average. So put your strawman down.

      • Avatar IWantASandwich says:

        Yes every body is different.

        This post was a guideline for *most* people. For *most* people this will likely end up fattening them.

        “I’m fit with quit a bit of muscle”, unlike the average person, let alone the average woman.

        Thanks for providing the exception that proves the rule.

    • Avatar John Hurst says:

      Any chance of clarifying what you mean here?

      Was your point that less meals a day are ‘better’ in your opinion?


      • Avatar IWantASandwich says:

        Oh, geez, god no! Lol.

        More meals is (are?) better, since you reduce your caloric intake per cycle, minimizing the glycemic response, which reduces how much glucose becomes bodyfat.

        Carbs (especially simple) are very quickly converted to glucose (20 to 45 minutes). Any glucose beyond what your muscles can metabolize during that time will be stored as fat.

        Protein and fat take longer to metabolize (2-3 *hours*) because protein needs to be deconstructed to its amino acids, then those AA’s are utilized to construction other molecules-muscle fiber, etc. I forget the constituents of dietary fat- fatty acids? (Been too long since that bit of study)

    • Avatar JoshJ87 says:

      How is your maintenance calories 1800 at 185lbs? Do you do no physical activity? I’m 170lbs and maintenance for me is around 2400-2500 a day.

      • Avatar IWantASandwich says:

        1. I’m a middle-aged lazy slug. Just started working out

        2. 1800 is actually a slight deficit (100cal/week). Trying to drop 5+ lbs over 6-9 months. Its not urgent so I don’t want to suffer.

        With a reduced-csrb diet you actually consume fewer cals

  5. Avatar Tralena says:

    I don’t think the macros are correct. Bananas, blueberries and pears have sugar, yet there is zero grams listed in those meals that contain fruit.

  6. Avatar Michael McCarthy says:

    Why am I getting ads in this section? I paid 50$ for a year and you have the audacity to put ads in the blog! Fix this right away myfitnesspal, I am a paying customer and your life blood of your company!

  7. Avatar Carl Barczak says:

    How about 1800 calories with something less than 194g of carbs, for those of us who are diabetics.

  8. Avatar Tom Ostlund says:

    It would be nice if the items that were in this diet would be in the common kitchen. The entire article is useless unless you are ready to “whip” up chia seed pudding and pesto pasta. *Fail*

    • Avatar flipmore says:

      …because this example of a days worth of food that has to be prepared immediately, and it doesn’t allow you to go to the store to get the ingredients. So, sorry… You can’t have this.

  9. Avatar Bklyncyclone83 says:

    Those snacks have a ton of sugar. Do you have any suggestions for lower sugar alternatives to those? The breakfast and dinner look very yummy meanwhile and not as sugary.

  10. Avatar B Shields says:

    Foods that regular people eat and have on hand would be more helpful.

    • Avatar flipmore says:

      Please submit a list of food that “regular people eat”, and also an inventory of what food you happen to have on hand so that you can get a customized article written just for you and what’s in your kitchen.

      • Avatar Joseph15 says:

        Regular people don’t eat that breakfast.

        Regular people can coat their pan with olive oil spray (0 calories), fry two eggs (150 calories) and sautee mushrooms, onions and/or pepper (50 calories).

        Eat the breakfast as late as the day as possible so you can skip the unnecessary mid-morning snack.

        I just saved you 300 calories. And also for those who have an issue with blood sugar, my morning has no sugar, a tiny amount of crabs, and a 0 GI.

        So many dietitians are completely clueless in terms of what the average person is willing to prepare in 2018 America, and what they should eat.

  11. Avatar JDub says:

    Not hating but this is awful. Ok I am hating.

  12. Avatar Ron Devito says:

    This is a high-carb / low fat diet. I’m on a low-carb and what I’ll call moderate fat diet – my tweak of Atkins. I was pushing the 300 club when I started late December and I’m at 258 lb now. For me, 100 grams of carbs in a day means I did something like have a burger with the bun. My typical intake now is 30 – 50 grams per day of carbs and I try to stay at the lower end. I love pasta, but I don’t see how that can be included in a weight loss regimen unless you strictly limit your portion to 2 oz uncooked – and even then you’re loading up 42 – 45 grams of carbs – which turns straight to sugar – like 10 teaspoons worth. I can see that later on when you’re trying to maintain weight, but not for losing. The salad posted would make a lot more sense with a can of albacore or salmon – or even two cans.

    To me a salad should be simple: lettuce or spinach, tomato, onion, olive oil, and vinegar; and if adding anything else – the fish.

  13. Avatar Bill says:

    protein*** guys lol.

  14. Avatar India Shotts says:

    i would like to see the carbs broken down. i need to know how much sugar is in the total carbs. you should really only have 10 grams or less of sugar per meal.

  15. Avatar Jo says:

    This seems to be a meal plan for people that must only drink water. When I log my food it includes my morning coffees and any other liquid I consume throughout the day. I often hear people say they don’t eat much but they forget about the milky mid day coffee that adds the extra 150 plus calories or the cup of tea with milk that punctuates their days. A diet is the whole intake not just foods that make for pretty pictures and don’t reflect the reality of working people who don’t have all day to spend in the kitchen. I’d love to see this meal plan done with real foods done like meat and salad – showing portion size.

  16. Avatar Kimberley Black says:

    Weigh (excuse the pun) too many carbs!

  17. Avatar Geraldine Elliott says:

    Hi everyone, I’m geraldine from Ireland, and I hope you don’t mind me joining your discussion, as you all make so much sense and have great helpful things to say , . Thanks .

  18. Avatar Mika says:

    How about some warm dishes? I get cranky eating only cold food through out the day. Like everyone else is saying, dial down the carbs and bring out the meat. Need more PROTEIN!

  19. Avatar Fat_Boy_Slim says:

    Really? How much for all these ingredients? Do you even have a job? When
    is anyone going to shop for and prepare all this guff? This menu is for
    people nothing else to do but blow a week’s food money on a day’s menu
    and spend all day preparing it. “Daaaad, when is tea ready?” “Sorry
    kids, I skipped work
    and spent all day shelling pistachios and
    putting together a pesto pasta salad with scattered rocket leaves. The
    washing isn’t done, the dogs dead, the house is filthy and your mums
    left me for someone who gets 180g of protein a day. Now I’m starving and
    you are getting a takeaway.”

  20. Avatar alwaystestthespi says:

    Yes I am currently on the 1800 calories diet and have lost 2.2 lbs already in 1 week. I hope to lose more for I was 237 now I am 234.8.

  21. Avatar Jesse Ramirez says:

    All looks good, I would switch the bread and tortillas or use low carb alternatives.

  22. Avatar Kendra Staub says:

    Oh my god you all complain so much. This person wrote an article to give some very basic examples of what this calorie range would look like. No one cares if you’re keto, paleo, diabetic, etc., adjust accordingly and stop whining when people don’t write something specifically for you. I’m plant based and these articles never apply to me, but I still read them without getting upset. Use your brain or do research on your own.

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