Can You Lose Weight On 1500 Calories A Day?

Whenever you look up a weight loss plan online or on social media, you will likely come across the number 1500. 

Can You Lose Weight On 1500 Calories A Day?

This number is often touted as the magic number that will help to propel you to your weight loss and fitness goals in no time. 

However, is it as simple as focusing on this one number to help you lose weight?  In this article, we will look at whether you can lose weight on a 1500-calorie per day diet, and whether there are other, more efficient, and healthy ways to lose weight.

Minimum Calories Per Day

One of the most important things that you should consider when trying to lose weight is whether the diet that you are adopting is healthy and sustainable for your lifestyle. 

As a general rule, the 1500 calories that are supported as a magic number will return weight loss results when you stick to that caloric intake each day. 

However, to see the best results, it is important to ensure that the exact number of calories you are consuming is conducive to optimum weight loss. 

Unless you are undertaking an intense exercise program or have a very active job or lifestyle, eating more than 1500 calories per day isn’t often necessary to continue sustained weight loss. 

However, it is important to make sure that you are consuming enough calories to fuel your body properly during weight loss. 

This means that while 1500 is often a great number to encourage weight loss, it may be too low if you are a particularly active individual. 

Alternatively, if you are not seeing the results that you want and wish to lower your calorie intake further, dipping below 1200 calories per day, even on a sedentary lifestyle, can be too few calories and lead to hindered weight loss and even health issues. 

If you are just starting your weight loss journey, 1500 calories per day is a great starting point that is likely to help kick start your weight loss and help you understand your body’s true caloric needs. 

Once you have successfully stuck to a 1500-calorie diet, you can adjust your intake depending on your current weight loss. 

If you are unsure about lowering your calories to 1500 per day due to other health issues that you may have, it is important to check with your doctor what your intake and goals should be. 

If you do not have any pre-existing health conditions and are generally healthy regardless of your weight, then a 1500-calorie diet is a perfectly safe starting point.  

Calories And Nutrients

Although 1500 calories is a great number to encourage weight loss, the source of the calories is a crucial part of ensuring success. 

Not all calories are created equal.  1500 calories of kale and 1500 calories of cake are both 1500 calories, however, they will not have the same influence on your weight and neither is a particularly healthy choice for daily consumption. 

The food that you eat is more than just the calories it contains.  The nutrient profile of your diet should remain balanced and healthy within the 1500-calorie limit. 

A mix of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates will help to ensure that your new diet is sustainable and leaves you feeling satiated and satisfied. 

Although it can be tempting to try to continue enjoying your favorite treats on a regular basis, it is more important to ensure that you are getting the nutrients your body needs within your calorie limit. 

It is reasonable to allow yourself treats on occasion, even if they don’t fit into your daily calorie allowance, the important thing is that you are consistent overall. 

Calculating Calories

Calculating Calories

As mentioned above, while 1500 is a great starting point, especially if this is the first time that you have been using a calorie-controlled diet to lose weight, there are some factors that can affect how many calories you should be consuming to continue safe and healthy weight loss.  


One of the main factors that affect how healthy a 1500-calorie diet will be for you is the amount of exercise that you are doing. 

If you lead a very sedentary lifestyle, 1500 calories will be a perfectly healthy amount of calories to consume. 

However, if you lead a busy and active lifestyle, whether through your job, raising children, or with sessions in the gym, you will need to boost your intake slightly. 

It is important to ensure that you don’t add too many calories to your daily intake otherwise you will hamper your weight loss. 

To help avoid this, it is important to track the calories you burn through exercise or active movement as accurately as possible. 

There are wearable devices that can help with this.  You should then add the majority of the calories burned to your daily intake allowance to ensure that your body is adequately fueled. 

Other Physical Needs

Outside of active lifestyles and exercise regimes, other physical needs can influence whether 1500 calories is a healthy amount for your body. 

If you are currently breastfeeding, you will need to adjust your calorie intake to ensure that you are properly fueling your body to help it provide the nutrients necessary. 

You should also check with your doctor or midwife before undertaking any weight loss diets. 

Similarly, if you are unwell with a virus or other type of sickness, it is important that you increase your calorie intake to compensate for the excess energy your body requires to fight the illness. 

If you increase your caloric intake appropriately, there shouldn’t be a significant dip in your weight loss in either scenario. 

Final Thoughts

1500 calories is a great starting point to help kick start your weight loss journey. 

Although the number that works best for you might differ from 1500, beginning your weight loss by eating a healthy and balanced 1500 calories is a great way to make significant progress at the start that can help keep you motivated.

Jenna Priestly