Last updated on August 29th, 2021 at 12:59 am

Whether you’re a bride-to-be dreaming about having the perfect body on your wedding day, or you’re going on your dream vacation but you’re afraid that you will not look good in a swimsuit because you gained extra weight in winter, you can try the ultra-low calories diet for a few days to get in shape.

The 800 calorie diet plan can help you lose weight fast. It’s designed for obese people (BMI: 30 – 40) who need to manage their blood sugar before surgery, and for couples under fertility treatment, but it is not recommended as a routine diet. 

You’ll find more information about this diet in the table below:

How many days?A maximum of 12 weeks
Weight loss rateAbout 5kg (11 Pounds) in 2 weeks, it helps people to lose 15 – 25% from their initial weight.
Nutrients45 – 65% of daily calories from carbs, 20 – 35% from fats, the remaining percentage from protein. You also need essential vitamins and minerals so you will take calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Folate, and thiamin.

What Is the 800 Calorie diet?

It is a low calories diet designed to make you lose weight very fast, but you need to ask your doctor (is it safe for you? And for how long?) the normal body needs 2000 – 2500 calories daily, and when you get only 800 calories daily your body will burn fats to get what you need.

The 800 calorie diet for Weight loss

- 800 calorie high protein diet

Very-Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD) is a diet that can make you lose about 20 kg in only 12 weeks, and when you add some lean protein to breakfast or dinner it will help you preserve your muscle mass while promoting weight loss. 

Studies found that when you follow the 800 calorie diet plan you will get the best weight loss result, and it is even more effective than if you only got 500 calories daily.

- 800 calorie HCG diet plan

HCG hormone is an effective way to support weight loss in 800 calories diet plan, the patient can get it by injection like any other hormone or get the sublingual prescription if they want to avoid injection.

HCG hormone plays an important role in pregnancy, so many women ask if it’s safe to take during menstruation or while they are pregnant? Nutritionists say it is safe in menstruation, but you have to avoid it if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant during the treatment period.

- 800 Calorie Vegan diet

If you have a powerful intention to make a change in your life you can cut meat and animal products from your diet and go vegan.

In a vegan low calories diet, you will eat a lot of low calories vegetables and fruits like legumes, seeds, whole grains, and nuts. You can also drink caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea without any sweetener. The diet is effective and you can feel the difference within few weeks.

Who is it for? Is it suited to everyone?

Low calories diet was invented for obese people whose body mass index is over 30, it makes them lose up to 5 kg (11 pounds) every week, and improves all medical conditions related to obesity like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and triglycerides.

800 calories diet is not suitable for everyone, so you need to consult your health care provider before you start following it.

The diet is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding stages, and is not suitable for children and teenagers, also not recommended for people over 50.

The 800 calorie diet plan side effects

The 800 calories diet and type 2 diabetes

A new study published on Lancet journal shows that the patients with type 2 diabetes for less than 6 years who stick with 800 calories diet for 20 weeks, showed significant progress in controlling their blood sugar and they lost around 15 kg from their weight. The most impressive result is that half of the participants got normal blood sugar without medication.

The conclusion in this study was: the more weight you lost the more blood sugar control you can get.

What to eat on 800 calories a day diet?

People find it so difficult to plan meals that can help them tolerate the 800 calorie diet plan and to make it easier, which is why we’ve come up with a few suggestions: 

– breakfast: egg white, oatmeal, cinnamon, skimmed milk, and strawberry. 

– Lunch: chickpea, red bell pepper, tomato, onion, olive, lemon, and cilantro. 

– Dinner: raisins, and cottage cheese.

800 calories a day with exercises

Does 800 calories diet take into account exercise?

When you follow the 800 calorie diet plan you need to make lifestyle changes and make a significant effort to change your eating choices. 

Exercise may help you tolerate a low-calorie eating pattern because it gives you a chance to eat desired foods by calculating the calories you lost while you are doing your workout.

Find here the best exercises you can do to burn more calories:

1: High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Studies show that (HIIT) affects vascular fats, which is the first culprit in insulin resistance and leads to type 2 diabetes.0 It also has a wonderful effect on mitochondria, the organelles in cells responsible for energy production.

2: Resistance training:

The more muscle you have, the more calories you can burn. That is why resistant exercise is the perfect workout for losing weight from your body fats and keeping your muscles strong.

Resistance training raises your body’s metabolism rate and helps you burn calories faster, even in rest time. It has also a lot of health benefits like lowering your blood pressure and controlling blood sugar, for best results you must do resistance workout sessions at least twice a week.

3: Incidental exercise:

Sedentary life raises mortality rate, that is the conclusion of a long-term study that took 15 years, starting from 1996 and until 2011. It’s not always easy to find time to exercise during the day, but you can try to fit incidental exercises around your daily activities.

To add some physical activities to your daily life you may try the following: 

  • When you go to work by bus, get off one bus stop early and walk.
  • Use the stairs instead of elevators.
  • During breaks, walk for 3 minutes.
  • Move around the room when you talk on your cell phone.
  • Walk to shopping areas in your neighborhood instead of driving.
  • Go for a walk in the fresh air and listen to audiobooks instead of reading on a sofa.

Does it really work?

The 800 calorie diet plan is mostly used with obese people with a BMI of 30 or more, and it helps them lose about 2 – 3 kg per week, when they are following it for 12 weeks, they lose 20 kg in total.

Losing this much weight is very motivating because it puts them in better health and shape, making them feel rewarded. Even after the diet period is over, it is important to make a lifestyle change by eating healthy food and exercise regularly.

Precautions

  • When you follow 800 calories diet you will be at high risk of deficiency of vitamins and minerals and it may lead to major health problems, like iron deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, and vascular problems because most people need at least 1200 calories daily to get their minimum needs of vitamins and minerals.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should not follow a calorie-restricted diet because it will affect your baby’s development.
  • 800 calories diet limits the intake of macronutrients like protein, so you need to exercise regularly to keep your muscle mass in good shape.
  • Type 2 diabetes patients need to adjust their medication all the time because they may suffer from hypoglycemia or dramatic blood pressure changes.
  • A very low calories diet is designed to be followed for a short period only (not more than 12 weeks).
  • It is not suitable for children or teenagers or people over 50’s or people suffering from eating disorders. 
  • Do not follow this diet if you have a previous history of gall stones, pancreatitis, or fertility issues.800 calorie diet Myth

Side effects

The most common side effects of low calories diet are: 

  • Headache 
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea or Constipation 
  • Low energy 
  • Hunger 
  • Dry mouth
  • Cramps 
  • Hair problems

Can the fast 800 Calorie Diet be good? Is it worth it?

When weight loss becomes a life-or-death matter, it is worth it to follow a low-calorie eating pattern for a while and make a complete lifestyle change to eat healthily and care about your body’s health. It will also help you get self-confident and feel good about yourself.

The 800 calorie diet plan before and after

Before and after - Success stories

Jayne, 47: used to eat 3,000 calories per day, and her BMI was 51. She had a health crisis and blood clots in her lungs (pulmonary thrombosis), which is why her doctor recommended a restricted 800 calories diet plan. Currently, she’s down 7 dress sizes after staying on the diet for a long time and is much healthier and more able to take care of her children.

Tracey, 48: followed 800 calorie diet for 12 weeks, plus HIIT exercise regimen. She lost 24 kilograms and is currently on an intermittent fasting diet to maintain her weight loss.

Conclusion (Is it safe?)

When you take all precautions and do it under medical supervision it will be safe to follow this kind of diet for 12 weeks.

And there are many variations of a very low calories diet, so you can find what suits you. For example: 

Healthy Alternative Diets

The very low calories diet has a lot of precautions and side effects, so we call it an (emergency diet), but when you need to lose weight safely without any complications it is better to follow safer diets and be sure your body got what it needs from macronutrients, minerals, and vitamins. One option is the Military diet or (intermittent fasting) in this diet you will stop eating for 16 hours and eat healthy food for 8 hours every day. 

So, you can eat your breakfast at 7 am then lunch at 3 pm, and stop eating the rest of the day. You can still drink water and coffee or tea without sweeteners. With this method, you will not feel tired or hungry, and you will lose fat safely while keeping your muscle mass in good shape and stay healthy.

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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