Author: Amanda Cofer, MPH
You may have heard of some very low calorie diets or maybe even tried one yourself in the past. But what about a diet that might have more calories? This might feel like the way to go, like it won’t be restrictive or have as many rules. To some extent this might be the case, but every “diet” has rules to follow that may not always fit with your lifestyle. Let’s take a look at a 1500 calorie meal plan to see how this could be the case.
Calorie needs and weight loss
Before we get into the meal plan itself we need to review calorie needs during weight loss. We know this might sound boring or maybe even like a broken record, but it’s an important point to make. Calories are our bodies’ energy source, like the gas you put in your car, however, to lose weight we need to be burning more energy than we take in. This is what drives weight loss and is usually done with a mix of eating habit changes and exercise, when done in a healthy way.
If you’ve tried to drop some pounds in the past, you might have tried something that promised to “jumpstart” your weight loss in the beginning. The 1500 calorie calorie meal plan method, is one such plan you could try. We hate to burst your bubble but, jumpstarting weight loss isn’t really a thing. There are some steps you can take, though to help increase your chances of losing weight for good. First, if you’re comfortable, try telling your friends, family, co-workers, anyone you’re around regularly what you trying to accomplish. Their support will be important. Next, purge some foods from your pantry and kitchen and reorganize. Make yourself a go-to spot for your foods and snacks and give your kiddos or spouse a separate place for theirs. Lastly, plan! Even a little planning, for your meals and/or activity, can go a really long way.
Now that we’ve gone over calories and some ways to really prepare yourself for a weight loss journey, let’s take a deeper look into what the heck a 1500 calorie meal plan actually is.
The 1500 calorie meal plan
The 1500 calorie meal plan and diet is pretty popular and while the name is generic and its not owned or operated by one specific entity, you can find a lot of books, magazine articles, and blogs on the subject. This plan may not involve overly restricting your calories, per se, but it might still feel depriving. Like we said, calories are our bodies’ fuel source and we need calories to do literally everything and if you’re active already you will need to really take this into consideration. So what kind of deprivation are we talking about? Just like any “diet” there are do’s and don’ts that go along with it. Here are some that come with the 1500 calorie plan:
These “rules” might sound like basic healthy eating habits that we all could definitely work on, but more goes into these than you might think, especially if you think about what you have going on on a daily basis.
Sample 1500 calorie meal plan day
- Breakfast (365 calories) – 2 eggs, 1 slice whole grain toast, ½ avocado
- Lunch (408 calories) – grilled chicken salad with walnuts and balsamic vinegar dressing
- Dinner (386 calories) – 4 oz salmon filet, ½ cup quinoa, 1 cup brussel sprouts roasted with olive oil
- Snacks – apple + 1 tbsp peanut butter (211 calories), Greek yogurt (apprx. 120 calories)
You might have looked at this and thought “Wow, that’s a lot of cooking…” and it probably is if it’s something you’re not used to doing. Something like this might not feel as convenient at first, which is where categorizes foods into do’s and don’ts or good and bad can be counterproductive. This is where Noom is different than any “diet” you might follow. The Noom diet plan, in fact, isn’t really a diet at all. With Noom you can lose these labels and find something that works for you and not feel guilty about the foods you choose because you’ll be in control of them, not the other way around.
There is some psychological science to why labeling and categorizing food like this doesn’t work. We learn food rules from a young age so these habits are deeply ingrained and hard to break at first, but they are breakable. Categorizing foods as do’s and don’ts or good and bad can lead to some negative outcomes that can be detrimental to your weight loss journey. First, you could get caught in the “all or nothing” thinking trap (cue the scary music). Sure, the lines are clear but this mindset can lead to some extremes and if we have a treat, well the whole day is shot, when in fact there are still 2 other meals and a snack to go! These all or nothing thoughts are what lead to the negative feelings that we often attach to food such as guilt and embarrassment.
Second, if we don’t open up to these foods we won’t ever for a healthy relationship with them and we will constantly feel deprived (there’s that word again). Think about it this way, when you tell yourself that you can’t have something, what happens? You start to think about it all the time, then once you have it you enter back into that all or nothing cycle. In the end, learning to navigate these foods and work with them instead of against them is what leads to long term weight loss success and lifestyle change.
The 1500 calorie meal plan: The bottom line
While this might be a diet with more calories that most, it’s still a “diet” and we know these are usually temporary. Calories are not the only thing to consider when thinking through your eating habits and what helps you feel full and fueled. Deprivation doesn’t just apply to cutting your calories but might also apply to the foods that you feel like you can enjoy. Categorizing foods into do’s and don’ts might lead you to feel deprivation in a completely different way and once you do enjoy a treat here and there, experience detrimental all or nothing thinking. Building a healthy relationship with your food is what leads to true weight loss success as well as feel fulfilled in your lifestyle.