The 800 calorie a day diet is what we call an aggressive weight loss regimen. You have the potential to lose 3 - 5 pounds per day on the 800 calorie a day diet. The average overall weight loss if you rigidly maintain 800 calories a day is approximately 44 pounds in 12 weeks, with the majority of the weight lost during the first 3 - 6 months.
Note that this diet is only a short-term solution for rapid weight loss; after the desired weight is lost, the only way to keep the weight off is to continue to stick to a low-calorie diet and exercise regularly.
When considering beginning any diet, it is always imperative to consult your physician. With that being said, let’s find out how the 800 calories a day diet works.
Things to Consider When Eating 800 Calories Per Day
The types of food you would eat during the 800 calories a day diet is limited to liquids and meal replacement products. This often includes shakes, bars, clear broth, yogurts, fruits, legumes. Typically the chosen food item should be one serving per meal. A website that helps create meal plans is EatThisMuch.com.
To best align with your health history, the replacement products should be prescribed by your doctor rather than purchasing them over the counter from health and fitness stores. This ensures you are getting the proper vitamins and nutrients needed for your body to survive the diet.
2. Sample Menu
Your day could start off with one cup of Matcha Green Tea Chia Pudding, which is approximately 320 calories. Lunch could be one serving of nonfat Greek yogurt with pesto and tomatoes. Dinner could be two kabobs of vegan skewers and two cups of fresh spinach, lemon juice, olive oil with three ounces of shrimp.
For anyone that has trouble adhering to smaller portions or servings of such a strict meal plan can opt for two meal replacements, like a medically recommended shake and a low-calorie dinner.
3. Side Effects
There are side effects to consuming 800 calories a day. The most common are nausea, headache, fatigue, diarrhea and/or constipation. You will likely suffer one or more of these side effects because your body has to adjust to only having 800 calories a day. These side effects tend to be prominent in the first 4 - 16 weeks of the 800 calories a day diet.
Since this diet is short term, these side effects will probably last the entire duration of the diet. The possible severe side effects are an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to rapid weight loss - another reason to get your physician involved, keep safety before vanity.
One way to combat the intensity of some of the side effects is to drink 2 - 3 liters of water daily. If you do not like the taste of water alone, it is always helpful to add fresh lemon, lime, or cucumber to the water for flavoring. This will aid in combating the severity of constipation and headaches.
Useful Weight Loss Tips
• Eat at the kitchen table for every meal rather than eating on-the-go or in front of your television. This helps you eat a prepared meal that stays within the parameters of your chosen diet of 800 calories a day, rather than something quick and probably unhealthy for you.
• Regardless of whether you are on an 800 calorie a day diet or a more typical calorie diet, eating slowly is always a great idea. When you scarf down food, you do not give your food time to reach the small intestine where a hormone called peptide PYY (often referred to as the hunger hormone) is activated, which signals your brain that you are full. When food is eaten too fast, the body is not alerted properly; you continue to eat past the needed amount.
• Eat real food and not diet products. Diet products are usually processed. These products contain unnecessary levels of sugar and artificial sweeteners. High-sugar foods turn the, ”I’m full” trigger off, causing you to keep on eating.
• Leave food on your plate. When we were growing up we were told that we could not leave the table until all our food was eaten. Though the premise behind this was not to be wasteful, it also taught us to gorge on food so we do not leave any behind, ultimately leading to overeating or good quality food ending up in the garbage. If you truly do not want to waste food, serve yourself smaller portions that will not require you to eat more than you actually need/want.
• Avoid diets. Going on a diet means you are undertaking a short-term change in your food habits. You will shed water weight while on the diet initially and maybe lose some extra pounds, depending on how long you are dieting. The moment you go back to your normal way of eating, you will see all your pounds pack right back on.
• Avoid diets and choose lifestyle changes. Some of these lifestyle changes are listed directly above. Making small changes and substituting foods you love with healthier alternatives will give you far better results long term.
The reality of the 800 calorie a day diet is its EXTREME. If you are thinking about eating 800 calories a day, consider only allowing it to be a thought and nothing more.
This diet should only be prescribed by your physician, where he/she can monitor your health and progress. Doctors rarely suggest a diet this extreme, and if they opt for this way of losing weight, it is because you are extremely obese or immensely overweight and use this diet as a tool to help prevent a series of serious health complications.
The point of this article is to give you useful information so you can think twice before opting for this 800 calorie a day diet just to shed a few pounds. The better alternative is to recite, “I am beautiful just the way I am,” in the mirror daily until you believe it.