1300 Calorie Diet Plan – Everything You Need to Know

Reviewed By Dr. Geeta Dharmatti, M.Sc,Ph.D , Clinical Nutritionist and Registered Dietician, MSc, PhD , Registered Dietitian
Written by Charushila Biswas , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

A 1300 calorie diet involves creating a calorie deficit from your minimum calorie requirement to lose weight. This is not a fad diet. It simply involves balancing all the nutrients within a limited calorie budget. The 1300 calorie meal plan is not a shortcut method to lose targeted fat. When combined with light stretching and yoga, it is a good approach to tone your body.

However, according to multiple studies, sudden restriction of calories or limiting food intake may affect your metabolic rate and make you gain back the lost weight once you go off the diet (1). So, start with making small changes in your diet and adopt a healthy lifestyle to ensure long-term weight loss.

This is a sample diet plan that shows what you can take within a limited calorie budget. This plan can vary as per the age, activity level, and medical condition of the person. So, speak to your nutritionist to get a customized diet plan.

A Sample 1300 Calorie Diet Plan

MealsWhat To EatCalories
Early Morning (6:30 – 7:30 am)1 cup water with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar1
Breakfast (8:15 – 8:45 am)1 cup vegetable quinoa + 1 cup low-fat milk + 3 almonds431
Mid Morning (10:30 am)1 medium whole apple107
Lunch (12:30 – 1:30 pm)Kidney beans, basil, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce salad with light dressing + grilled salmon399
Evening Snack (4:00-4:30 pm)1 cup green tea0
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 pm)Avocado, tofu, and watermelon salad + 1 small piece of dark chocolate (80% or more cocoa)382.4


Total Calories – 1320 Total Carbs – 132.5 Total Protein – 36.5 Total Fat – 40.1

Here is a list of substitutes that you can check out if you are a picky eater or allergic to any of the foods mentioned in the chart above.


  • Apple cider vinegar – Lime juice
  • Quinoa – Semolina
  • Low-fat milk – Soy milk
  • Apple juice – Pear juice
  • Mushroom – Eggs
  • Kidney beans – Black-eyed peas
  • Basil – Chives
  • Zucchini – Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes – Black olives
  • Lettuce – Chinese cabbage
  • Coconut water – Watermelon juice
  • Celery – Beetroot
  • Balsamic vinegar – Lime juice
  • Avocado – Chayote squash
  • Tofu – Cottage cheese
  • Watermelon – Muskmelon
  • Dark chocolate – Low-fat frozen yogurt

Healthy Shopping List For 1300 Calorie Diet

To follow any diet plan, you need to plan out your shopping list a week ahead to avoid any hassles. You should aim to include healthy options from all food groups.

  • Choose whole grain cereals and foods like whole grain bread and pasta.
  • Pick whole seeded beans and legumes like red kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, and different types of lentils.
  • Opt for healthy nuts and seeds.
  • Try to include colorful seasonal vegetables. Pick some fresh leafy vegetables for salads.
  • Choose whole fruits over fruit juices.
  • Go for low-fat dairy and dairy products.
  • If you are non-vegetarian, opt for lean cuts of meat and fish.
  • To fulfill those sweet cravings, take some dark chocolate (that contains 80% cocoa).

1300 Calorie Diet Guidelines

  • Your weight loss depends on a host of factors such as age, current weight, medical history, genes, lifestyle, water intake, etc. It may take 1-3 weeks to lose the flab. The trick is to not panic if you have not lost weight in a week.
  • Write down your goals in a journal. Also, when it comes to adhering to a weight loss plan, make checklists for the next day so that you can check the ones that you have followed. It will give you a clear picture of your adherence to the plan and why it worked or didn’t.
  • You should do light exercises like stretching or yoga 3-5 hours per week to hasten the fat loss and also tone your body by building lean muscle mass.
  • Avoid foods that do nothing but harm your body, such as fries, pizza, burger, oily and greasy food, fried chicken, etc., and consume more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats.
  • Adopt small and frequent eating without skipping any meal.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol, soda (diet or not), and energy drinks. Drink black coffee, green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, herbal tea, buttermilk, coconut water, water, freshly-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, or detox water.
  • Have a cheat day every week not only to satiate your tummy and taste buds but also to prevent your metabolism from plateauing.

Benefits Of 1300 Calorie Diet Plan

  • It is a simple plan to follow without much restriction on food intake. You just need to know how to manage your portions.
  • This diet provides healthy and tasty recipes within a particular calorie budget.
  • If judiciously planned, it helps reduce 500 gm per week. However, this depends on how your body responds to the calorie budget.
  • It is cost-effective. All you need is a calorie-counting tool, which can be found online for free.

Side Effects Of 1300 Calorie Diet Plan

All forms of diets have certain drawbacks, and the 1300 calorie diet is no exception. While many people might find it effective, it does not mean that this diet is suitable for everyone.

  • The reduction in calories may also lead to the reduction of certain vital nutrients. Therefore, careful planning of the diet is required to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
  • Calorie counting and food measurement are extremely crucial in this diet. This can be done by using a menu or assistive diet plan, which is an additional requirement.
  • You might feel hungry or crave particular foods. You will need to look for alternative options to manage these cravings.
  • This diet plan is not advisable for highly physically active people as they require more calories.

Dos And Don’ts

  • Keep yourself hydrated. Drink at least 3-4 liters of water per day.
  • Take a multivitamin and calcium supplement every alternate day.
  • Take a fish oil supplement every three days.
  • Stress is a weight-loss inhibitor. Therefore, try to relax and de-stress as much as possible.
  • Sleep early to avoid late-night snacking and to get up early in the morning, work out, and make breakfast.
  • Do not stop working out.
  • Work on mobilization apart from the exercise schedule.
  • Talk regularly to people who are serious about losing weight.


The 1300 calorie diet is a healthy alternative to lose excess fat. This is not a shortcut to get fit and toned. Choose healthy alternatives from all basic food groups, change your lifestyle by practicing light stretching exercises and meditation, and aim to sleep at least 7 hours a day to maximize the benefits of this diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many carbs should I eat on a 1300 calorie diet?

If you are following a 1300 calorie diet to lose weight, you need to restrict your carb intake. Your carbohydrate intake should not be more than 50% of the total calories if you are on a conventional hypocaloric diet plan (2).

Are 1300 calories enough for a 14-year-old?

Adolescence is a period of growth, and it is crucial to maintain nutritional balance at this time. So, it is not suggested to follow a 1300 calorie plan at this age. Speak to a nutritionist if you want to lose weight at this age.

Can I follow a 1300 calorie diet with no exercise?

Yes, you can follow a 1300 calorie diet with no exercise. But, it is always advisable to move your body and do some stretching exercises for proper blood circulation. Also, practice some breathing exercises to de-stress.

I am following a keto meal plan – are 1300 calories enough for me?

It is possible to follow a keto meal plan (high-fat meal plan) within this limited calorie budget. Choose healthy alternatives after consulting with a nutritionist.

Are 1300 calories enough for my body?

It depends on your lifestyle and activity level. If you follow a sedentary lifestyle with no exercise and want to lose weight, you can follow a 1300 calorie meal plan. But, talk to a nutritionist to figure out healthy options for you within this limited calorie budget.

I am eating 1300 calories but not losing weight – why?

Weight loss depends on many factors like your workout routine, lifestyle, and how your body responds to the restricted calorie intake. Start doing stretching exercises, eat mindfully, and speak to a dietitian for better results.


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Dr. Geeta Dharmatti, M.Sc,Ph.D

(Clinical Nutritionist and Registered Dietician, MSc, PhD )
Dr. Geeta Dharmatti is the Director and Founder of Geeta Nutriheal Consultancy (Nutrition Services Consultancy) and an Executive Member of... more