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How Much Can You Lose on a 1,500-Calorie Diet?

by
author image Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.
How Much Can You Lose on a 1,500-Calorie Diet?
A man is cooking healthy food. Photo Credit Halfpoint/iStock/Getty Images

Although a 1,500-calorie diet will likely lead to weight loss in most adult men and women, the amount of weight you’ll lose also depends on your age, size, activity level and current calorie intake. Losing weight at a safe pace will help you keep lost weight off long term.

Healthy Weight-Loss Pace

Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds weekly, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To accomplish this goal, eat 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than your usual intake. For example, if you normally eat 2,500 calories a day to maintain your current weight, eating 1,500 calories daily will help you shed about 2 pounds weekly. If your usual intake is 2,000 calories a day, a 1,500-calorie diet will help you lose 1 pound per week. As long as you stick with your 1,500-calorie meal plan daily, you should be able to achieve long-term weight-loss goals.

Men vs. Women

Since men often require -- and eat -- more calories than women, men often lose weight more rapidly eating 1,500 calories a day than women. While Harvard Health Publications recommends men eat at least 1,500 calories daily during weight loss unless supervised by a health care provider, women can safely drop down to 1,200 calories a day to shed pounds.

Rapid Weight Loss

Some adults, particularly active men ages 19 to 50 who often require 2,800 to 3,000 calories a day for healthy weight maintenance, may lose more than 2 pounds weekly eating 1,500 calories a day. For example, active men who normally eat 3,000 calories daily may lose 3 pounds per week eating just 1,500 calories a day. Although rapid weight loss may seem desirable, it can lead to negative side effects and should only be achieved under medical supervision.

Maintaining Weight Loss

Once you achieve your weight-loss goal eating 1,500 calories a day, your daily calorie needs for healthy weight maintenance are generally higher than 1,500 calories. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 estimate that men often need 2,000 to 3,000 calories daily and women generally require 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day for healthy weight maintenance -- depending on age and activity level.

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