A low-calorie diet is usually used to achieve weight loss of
1 lb (0.5 kg) to
2 lb (0.9 kg) per week. Most
experts do not recommend losing more than
2 lb (0.9 kg) per week unless
you are participating in a medically-supervised weight loss plan.
General recommendations for a low-calorie diet include:
Reducing calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,500
calories per day for women and 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day for men. Women
should not restrict themselves to fewer than 1,000 calories per day and men to
fewer than 1,200 calories per day without medical supervision.
Limiting fat intake to no more than 20% to 35% of your total
calorie intake. For a person following a 1,500-calorie diet, this means eating
no more than 35 to 60 grams of fat per day. Eating foods that are made with fat
substitutes (such as olestra) might help decrease your daily fat intake, but
they have not been shown to lead to weight loss.1
carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables, and
fruits. About 45% to 65% of your total calorie intake should come from
carbohydrate. For someone following a 1,500-calorie diet, this means eating
between 170 to 240 grams of carbohydrate per day.
protein sources, such as fish, poultry, and legumes (for example, pinto beans,
lentils, and split peas). About 15% to 25% of your total calorie intake should
protein. For someone following a 1,500-calorie diet,
this means eating between 55 to 95 grams of protein per day.
Patterson RE, et al. (2000). Changes in diet, weight,
and serum lipid levels associated with olestra consumption. Archives of Internal Medicine, 160(17):
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.