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500 calories per day

hi has anyone tried the 500 calories per day diet? i know operah did it consumed 500 calories in liquid form and lost weight in 4 months.. has anyone tried this 500 calorie diet per day and lost weight?

Thu. Mar 27, 2:08pm

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 3:38 PM

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Saturday, December 09, 2006, 3:14 PM

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500 calories is a quick fix.. weight loss is not a quick fix .. its a lifestyle chnage..sure if you consume 500 calories you will lose weight, but you will lose muscle as well and its not healthy because when you start eating normal again. any weight you lost you will gain back and than some..

this is just my opinion. I would consult a dietician about how many calories and a plan that you can live with..I couldnt imagine drinking every meal.. I love my frueits and veg, lean meats.. maybe you could do a smoothie for a meal once a day thats healthy like a breakfast smoothie to cut some calories just a idea.

good luck.. be careful dont put your body into stravation mode. I wish you success on your journey.

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 2:16 PM

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Did Oprah keep it off? No.
Enough said.

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 2:18 PM

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I am a guy and doing 1100 per day for a few months and it is extremely hard with the high level of exercise I do, but effective. DO NOT go to 500 a day, try 800 at the absolute minimum. The starvation mode thing is just the law of diminishing diet returns, so I don't buy it, but at 500 it would be pretty tough to get everything you need to not be damaging your body, mental health and disposition.

Are you willing to not be functioning properly, for what? Gotta be a size zero by summer? You would lose weight very quickly at 800 and that is already pushing it, there is really no reason to endure that level of pain and mental anguish that will probably break your will anyway
Generally just figure your BMR + exercise burned and back off a little from there (of course that is not what I am doing, but I am not really myself lately either)

BTW - Oprah sucks!

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 2:29 PM

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Oprah Sucks!

Never go under 1200 a day or you will regain it and then some!

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 2:52 PM

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My dr put me on 850 a day both because I am extremely overweight and because I don't exercise, yet.
And I am losing very quickly.
However about 3 months into it I had to up the calories. I generally do 1200 or less. I try to stay around 1000 but it is getting harder all the time.
After 3 months of 850 my body just didn't want to function. I was so weak and my thinking was slow. Within a week of going to 1200 I had so much more energy and well the thinking may not have been the calorie amount.....
No just kidding.
Anyway so I wouldn't suggest the 5oo calorie diet either.
Btw when I was in highschool I did something like that. And at the end of 3 months I had lost 90 pounds but my dr told me at the time had I been 30 years old I would be dead.
Your body can't take as much as we so often try and put it through.
I am losing a pretty steady 15-20 pounds a month on 1000-1200 a day.
With no exercise. Imagine if you feed your body what it needs and exercise you could lose better, maybe.
Depends on many factors I know.
Good luck to you.
And take care of yourself, you only have one body.

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 4:37 PM

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you really need to tweak food stuff just a little and not go so nuts.

When I go way below the reasonable calorie threshhold my workout intensity suffers severely as do my relationships, job performance, and even outlook on life. Don't go quite that nuts, okay?

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 4:48 PM

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500 Calories??? In liquid form??? It's in our nature as human beings to eat...that's why we have teeth and gums and a stomach! Lower your calories in contingence with your weight...DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF! You will be on a fast track to over eating and binge eating. Trust me...500 calories...bad idea!

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 5:19 PM

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Okay - Oprah did that about twenty years ago and says today what a horrible idea it is.

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 5:49 PM

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You will lose weight, but you also risk developing anorexia. Coming from personal experience the destruction such a diet has on your body for short term results is not worth it. Losing weight the healthy way will always work best, it's a slower process but you're more likely to keep it off.

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 8:12 PM

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You're spiking your metabolism SOUTH.
You can't conclude that it's successful until you are maintaining your loss, because anyone can lose but only 10% keep it off.

We should just let this thread die, the OP is barely literate and doesn't really want to hear or process anything unsupportive of her brilliant new plan.

Friday, March 28, 2008, 10:12 PM

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to OP

Why are you here in a healthy eating forum? I'm guessing it's to provoke such an unhealthy, unwell question.

Saturday, March 29, 2008, 6:04 PM

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South. Down. Below Zero (metaphorically).

And 10:03, it's way past your bedtime. Your parents will ground you.

Saturday, March 29, 2008, 11:37 PM

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Sorry, but ther is no way on earth this will be successful.
Of course you'll lose weight but that's only because you're depriving you body so serverly of nutrients that it will LITERALLY begin to consume itself. It's really not worth it, I mean these are just a few of the things that will happen as a result of keeping such a bad diet up for a substantial amount of time; your hair will fall out, your gums will start to bleed, your muscles will weaken, you'll get ridiculously tired.

I'm not saying this to be rude or mean or make you feel bad. I'm saying it because it's a fact. Find a group that's aiming for the same goals as you and work at it together slowly, after all - how do you eat an elephant?

Sunday, March 30, 2008, 7:41 AM

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dont do it

eating only 500 calories per day i s very dangerous. and it will only be a quick fix then you rbody will eventually go into starvation mode and slow you rmetabolism down to nothing so youll end up gaining instead of losing
that is how i gained all my weight by doing something similiar to that. consult a dietician for how many calories you need per day

Sunday, March 30, 2008, 9:10 AM

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That is not healthy! Nor is it sustainable... As soon as you went back to eating a normal diet (even a healthy one) weight would come back. You have to change your habits in a way that is a long term lifestyle change, not a crash diet.

Sunday, March 30, 2008, 9:33 AM

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500 ? Are you on crack? What are you eating to get there?

That could be either two snicker bars
a huge salad and can of tuna and an apple and a little more...

Which way are you going ? ?

Monday, March 31, 2008, 10:36 AM

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That's about 50 calories more than the average daily consumption of a prisoner at Auschwitz, and we all know what happened to most of them.

Monday, March 31, 2008, 2:32 PM

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1200... 1000... maybe even 800...

...but 500 ??

WHY ? Losing a pound a day not fast enough for ya' ?

Monday, March 31, 2008, 5:18 PM

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Nah, 5:58.

I know what you mean, but you CAN change without the Gestapo holding a gun to you.

Monday, March 31, 2008, 6:07 PM

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LOL, I am losing about a pound a day. I have a lot of weight to lose. (70 lbs more) I am averaging about 1000 calories a day I would say. I am really tired somedays, feel dizzy and have to grab an apple sometimes to spike up my blood sugar and I know I wont be able to sustain it for long, but I am dropping as much as I can stand and then I will up my calories and start working out. I just have to get to where I can stand looking at myself and get me that bit of motivation from actually losing some first. Dont know if that makes sense but people saying "wow you look great" is really motivating.

Monday, March 31, 2008, 9:03 PM

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9:03: by only eating 1000, you are losing muscle....and then when you do hit the gym, you'll have to work harder to gain back the muscle

Monday, March 31, 2008, 10:08 PM

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Unless you've got a ruined metabolism and only need 800 calories a day just to exist (uncommon, but not unheard of), then 1000 calories a day is unhealthy because you can't get all the nutrition your adult body needs, and unsustainable because "will power" to overcome heightened hunger pangs and headaches will crumble.

How about showing some evidence that restricting to 1000 calories a day is efficient and healthy? Now that's something I've never seen in all of the diet books and health magazines I've picked up in the last decade. Oh, and infomercials don't count.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 12:20 PM

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You state, "you can't get all the nutrition your adult body needs"
Well for 1000 calories you could eat:

4 cups romaine lettuce
2 cups spinach
1 cup chopped cucumber
7 radishes - chopped
1 whole red pepper - chopped
8 baby carrots - chopped
1 cup broccoli - chopped
3 celery stalks - chopped
10 asparagus spears - chopped
1/4 cup red onion - chopped
2 servings cottage cheese
6 oz. tuna
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 large apple

or whatever so then you should be okay, now if you only ate a McValue meal then no...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 1:33 PM

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All at once! That is a lot of veggies. Are you a 6 foot rabbit? ;-)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 1:39 PM

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i did something similiar ..i did 3 slimfast shakes 180 calories a day excercised for a hour on the elliptical and lost a great amount of weight...and kept it off..

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 2:37 PM

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What i meant was 1000 calories in 5 meals throughout the day could be a lot of "nutrient dense" and healthy food that would give you all the nutrients that you need. Now if your 1000 calories is a Milky Way, a White Castle, and two Vodka tonics - you are gonna die.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 2:50 PM

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 3:41 PM

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I have lost 5 pounds eating 1200 calories a day and exercising! But I probably have a different body than you...who knows!! THIS IS CRRAAAZZyYY

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 3:46 PM

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Its all calories in & Calories out. 500 calories a day is not enough to function. Plus, you cannot continue to eat 500 calories a day for the rest of your life. Once you start eating more you will gain weight. Like everyone else has said, 1200 is a good amount. I have lost 75 lbs on 1200 calories a day. It didn't happen over night but I feel good and have enough energy left to exercise. Good luck.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 5:33 PM

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First, don't do a super restrictive diet unless your doc tells you so and you are under their care. The super restrictive diets are very hard on your heart, which is used to pumping at a certain speed and amount, and you are throwing it in flux when you lose a lot all at once. Ask your doc. I'm not a doc but that I what my doc has told me.

If you exercise, you need more calories so you have some energy to spend. You will lose muscle mass with restrictive diets.

I have heard rotating the number of calories per day is something that works. like one day eating 1000, the next 1200, one day a week 900, and the other days 1500-1800.

There are a bunch of weight loss sites that will help you gauge how many calories you and your body need, based on your height, your weight, your bmi, and etc.

I did a grapefruit diet for a week a long time ago and I lost 20 lbs. I did a Scarsdale for 2 weeks a couple of years ago and lost 20 lbs. I never gained either of those weights back. I am dealing with the rest now. Every diet program has a first two week period that is a little more restrictive, while you are energetic and enthusiastic to begin. You can always do a phase 1 South Beach Diet, or a Phase 1 Fat Smash, or a First and Second Week Weight Watchers if you want to kick start your weight loss. They are a lot healthier alternatives than 500 calories.

I used to like Oprah since she is a kind hearted caring person. But her weight issues just tell me that slow and steady win the race, since she has been up, then down, then up, then down, then up...So I would not take her advice on weight loss. Plus I have funny feelings about someone who is the picture of the month every month on the cover of their own magazine....

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 9:24 PM

Add comment you really think you're getting enough calcium, iron, potassium, complex carbohydrates, etc. on that farty diet you propose? I'm glad you're not my chef...nothing in that list makes all those vegetable palatable. And I'd still be eating my fingernails for sustenance. Nice try though.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 12:54 AM

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That is what multiviamins are for! And throw in a coupla tums and some fibercon. Done.
Oh and get some light low cal Italian dressing to toss on it - we can still afford it on what is there.

p.s. I was kindof joking anyway...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 2:16 PM

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- 500

I'll do you one better, how about - 500 calories.

Eat your two snicker bars a day and then go running and burn another 1000. A couple of weeks and POOF- you are thin... and dead.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 3:20 PM

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OP - what do you say now ?

Still thinkin' of 500 calin' it?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 8:54 PM

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Fun thread.

My BMR is 1887 and I workout 10 hours a week (mostly moderate to intense cardio w/ some weights) and generally eat 1100 - 1400 healthy cals a day...

Am I going to disapear?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 9:21 PM

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No, you'll hit starvation mode though, since that means your output averages 2700/day (1887 x 1.2, then add 400 for exercise) and you're only taking in half that. Four-digit deficits are tricky to make work.

And you'll get lots of fun things like dry skin and headaches. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 10:51 PM

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9:21p - I had a similar calorie intake and workout schedule (although reversed - more weights, less cardio) and I lost 25 pounds and got to my goal weight in about 14 weeks. I was in the best shape of my life! (After having a baby, I'm working on getting back there.)

And that was right on schedule per my calculations of BMR x 1.6 (for 5 days exercise) - 1200 calories (my average intake.) There was definitely no starvation mode going on in my case. Just consistent, on target, weight loss.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 11:07 PM

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11:07 - Yeah, I did this for two months (six months ago) and got below my highschool weight. - I make sure to eat lots of veggies and protein and healthy stuff and vitamins, but I know it is pretty extreme - highly effective though. I gained a little back over the holidays and now want to drop just a little more and then go for muscle.

Thursday, April 03, 2008, 10:21 AM

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yes you can lose weight from only 500 cal. a day, i did it for about 5 months before but was also on diet pills from the doctor. i lost a total of 52 pounds easy. i decided to stop the diet because of my hair falling out alot and tender gums and teeth. so if i was you atleast play it more safe, only do it for a few months and take vitamines everyday!

Sunday, February 15, 2009, 8:11 PM

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worked for me.

i did that a few months ago :) lost loads of weight, looked and felt great.
side effects? maybe a bit of muscle mass lost, not much though, if you go to the gym once or twice a week. i also had hair loss but that's not a problem for my thick hair at all so i wasn't bothered :D
now that i've reached my goal weight, i've slowly increased my calories so i wouldn't lose more.
i'm small though, so my daily intake is supposed to be around 1200-1500.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 10:43 AM

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that's all I had today

I'm on a strict no snacking between meals diet. Neither of my meals were substantial-I was too busy to eat much. I'll probably eat more tomorrow and go to bed early today though!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 6:48 PM

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Ditto the hair loss. Lots and lots of hair loss.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 12:31 PM

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Most people who chose this kind of diet will lose but will not keep it off. If you can follow a diet like this with eating right and exercise, then you can make it work. But most people cannot. Most people follow a diet like this with a resumption of old habits, or WORSE feel that the deserve treats and wind up eating even worse than before.

Starvation mode it is a myth. It is estimated that a 500 per day calorie deficit will cause a 1 lb per week weight loss. As the calorie deficit increases, the amount of weight lost goes down, but does not go to zero. And if you are eating 500 calories in a day, trust me when I tell you you will not gain weight! The energy to run your body has to come from somewhere.

I have done a 3 day water fast. The first two days were HARD. The hunger sensations were challenging. But after the second day, the hunger sensations went away. I could easily have continued beyond 3 days, but a number of social events came up that I wanted to participate in. In 3 days, I lost 8 pounds. *Because I resumed eating the way I formerly ate, I gained back about 4 pounds.*

So today is a calorie reduction day. I am eating a very small number of calories in the form of protein. Tomorrow I begin a 4 day fast which will take care of all the weight I want to loose. Then I will start counting calories in order to stay put, instead of lose as well as resume exercise.

Some advantages of fasting. After doing that, you wind up satisfied with far less food. My hunger sensations are way lessened. I find a great deal of mental clarity through fasting as well.

The downside is that you can also loose muscle mass.

Good luck.


Monday, May 17, 2010, 3:00 PM

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No I haven't done it because it isn't healthy to do it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 7:22 AM

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The hard way...same results

I don't know about Oprah's system, but I've tried it. I did it for detox and spiritual reasons but couldn't do a whole fast, so I let myself eat about 500 cals of fruit. So I will tell you, not from a place of judgment, but from my own experience:

YOU WILL NOT LOSE MORE WEIGHT ON 500 CALORIES than you would on any other plan. So whatever would be your weight loss trajectory on a healthier diet, you'll have the same one on 500 calories.

This is mostly because our bodies are amazing machines and will eventually adapt (just not well) to 500 calories. I know people dispute this (calories in, calories out!), but think about this: many anorexics survives *for years* eating 200-800 calories all while running and doing jumping jacks and all manner of compulsive activities (no disrespect to those with ED's.) They live, but their bodies are doing all kinds of strange things to keep them eating their brains.

So, in a nutshell, you can either lose a lb a week (on average) on 1200 calories (I'm assuming you're a woman), or one lb a week on 500 calories.

You choose.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 2:37 PM

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weight loss shakes

I am looking to do this also, but only for ten days, from your experience do you think thats enough time to lose any weight?

Friday, December 21, 2012, 4:24 AM

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what I am doing

What I do is Breakfast/2 eggs with hot sauce, lunch/ 1 piece 4oz salmon, 1 cup broccoli, and 1/4 cup dry (2/3 cups after cooked) pinto beans, Dinner/ 1piece tilapia 4 oz. And another cup of broccoli. Exercise first thing in the morning and you will have more energy!!! Yoga, deep breathing, and stretches everyday!!! I am 5"3 started at 230 lbs now at 189. If that is to much or should I say little go to and type in the search box George 100 sugar calories, I lost 17 pounds in 2 weeks just by eating what was on the ok list and not eating the do not eat list, after I lost the 17 lbs I tooka month off to make sure I could maintain it, I not only maintained it but I had to go buy new pants, yeah!!!:-)

Monday, June 23, 2014, 2:16 PM

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what I am doing

I just wanted to add one more thing drink a lot of water. I drink 94 oz a day, minimum!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014, 2:22 PM

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