The 500 calorie diet, which was initially designed for patients required to lose weight, is rapidly gaining popularity as a weight loss remedy. It is popular among all those weight watchers who want to lose a lot of weight within a short period of time. As the name suggests, this diet demands an individual to consume no more than 500 calories per day.
It comes under the category of restrictive or Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). It claims to help the dieters lose 5 pounds per week. It should not be confused with "5:2 Diet", wherein you can restrict the calorie intake to 500 for two non-consecutive days in a week, and continue to eat normally for the other five days.
The normal calorie intake of a person, who is even moderately active, is somewhere between 1800 to 2000 calories. When you bring this calorific value down to 500 in a short span of time, there are bound to be some untoward effects.
Due to the adverse effects that could occur, it is highly recommended that one follows this diet only under the guidance of a health professional. This diet should be strictly avoided by children, adolescents, heart or kidney patients, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and individuals above 50 years of age.
500 Calories a Day Meal Plan
For lunch, you do have some options. However, you need to keep a strict watch on the ingredients and the preparation technique of the meal, so that you don't exceed the 500 calorie limit.
Consult a dietitian or a nutritionist before following the diet. Unhealthy weight loss, low levels of energy, malnutrition, reduced strength in the body due to deprivation of protein, constant hunger, fatigue, reduced muscle in the body, are some problems you can face if the nutritional requirements are not met. All this can lead to psychological problems.
For those who are too keen on losing weight fast, there's the option of following the 5:2 Diet. This can help you avoid the adverse effects of the 500-calories a day diet to some extent. It must be noted that even 5:2 diet is a fad diet that must be followed under the supervision of a dietitian or a nutritionist.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.