Weight Loss

The 500 Calorie Diet Plan For Weight Loss – What To Include For Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner

Reviewed by Merlin Annie Raj, Registered Dietitian
by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

The 500 calorie diet is a very low calorie diet (VLCD) that can help you lose weight rapidly. It is prescribed by doctors for obese patients who have a high BMI (over 30) and whose life is at risk due to the excess flab. Remember, this diet is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women and also for those who can lose weight by switching to a healthier lifestyle. With that in mind, let me tell you all about the 500 calorie diet. Swipe up.

What Is The 500 Calorie Diet Plan?



A 500 calorie diet is an extreme form of a very low-calorie diet. It includes meal replacement drinks, shakes, and bars for at least two meals per day. This restricted calorie consumption will help your body utilize the stored fuel source, i.e., fat. And, in turn, you will shed pounds quickly.

But make sure that you do it only if you have a very high BMI or your doctor has recommended it. Plus, this kind of intermittent fasting should be done under the supervision of your doctor or dietitian. So, what should your 500 calorie diet plan look like? Find out next.

The 500 Calorie Diet Plan For Weight Loss 

A part of the 5:2 diet plan is where dieters consume 2000 calories for five days and then go on a 500 calorie diet for two days. For these two days, you must be on a low-carb diet. But what exactly should you eat? Scroll down.

1. Breakfast

Breakfast Options
Decaffeinated tea or skimmed milk without sugar or artificial sweetener
8 ounces
Small banana + ricotta cheese
1 banana + 1 medium bowl
Hard boiled egg + Wheat bread toast
Milk + cereal + dates
1 cup, 4 tablespoons, 1 date

Tip: If you feel hungry before lunch, you can drink a cup of green tea. 

2. Lunch

Lunch Options
Vegetable soup made with cabbage, spinach, broccoli, or any leafy vegetable.
1 cup
Grilled chicken or fish + grilled broccoli and carrot
3 oz fish or chicken and ¼ cup veggiesl
Lettuce wraps with fish/mushroom/chicken/tofut
1 wrap with 2 oz fish/chicken/mushroom/tofu
Salad with a light dressing
1 medium bowl
Blueberries and greek yogurt
1 cup

Tip: Drink a glass of water 20 minutes before lunch to prevent yourself from overeating.

3. Dinner

Dinner Options
Chicken or mushroom clear soup
1 medium bowl
Broccoli and grilled turkey/tofu tossed in a little chili garlic oil
1 medium bowl
Egg white omelet with mushroom and spinach
2 eggs, 6 mushrooms, ½ cup spinach
Stir-fried veggies with red bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, tofu, and beans
1 cup + 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar + chili flakes

Tip: Drink water, and if you feel hungry, have a small cup of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric.

You can choose from these options and create an ideal, customized diet plan. Make sure you consult your doctor before starting this diet.

Now, there are foods that are low in calories but are harmful and do not aid weight loss – junk foods. Which is why you should have a clear idea of what to eat and avoid if you are on the 500 calorie diet. Let’s find out!

Foods To Eat On The 500-Calorie Diet



  • Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, carrot, beetroot, scallion, cabbage, lettuce, and parsnip. These are low in calories and loaded with nutrition. They will make you lose weight without putting your health in danger.
  • Salads, sautéed, stir-fried, and blanched food. These minimize the disruption of valuable enzymes and phytonutrients.
  • Full-fat milk and yogurt. Yes, full-fat versions are more nutritious and will help keep hunger away.
  • Fruits and freshly pressed fruit juices. Make sure you don’t consume high GI foods like mangoes, pineapple, and grapes.
  • Low-calorie salad dressing like olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Pre-cooked chicken and shrimps.
  • Pre-washed veggies.

Now, let us see the list of foods that you must avoid on the 500 calorie diet.

Foods To Avoid On The 500-Calorie Diet



  • Processed foods like sausages and salami.
  • Canned veggies, fruits, etc.
  • Energy drinks, soda, and bottled fruit juices.
  • Dried fruits.
  • Sugary foods like cake, pastry, pancake, and candies.

So, you get the idea, right? Eat clean and eat low-calorie. But how will it benefit you? Find out next.




The main benefit of the 500-calorie diet is that it aids rapid weight loss. A caloric deficit of 3500 calories can help you get rid of one pound of flab. If your normal diet contains about 2000 calories per day, the 500-calorie plan can create a deficit of about 1500 calories immediately! Plus, if you follow this for two days, you will shed weight. It is great for those who need to lose weight rapidly to prevent any health risks.

But what if you are on this diet even if you don’t really need to? Or what if you do it for a longer duration without being supervised by a doctor? Let’s find out what happens.

Health Risks

  • Muscle Loss

Do you want to lose weight? Then, lose the fat, not muscle. If you are on a VLCD for a prolonged period, you will start losing muscle mass, which will give you a “slim-fat” look. This means you will look slim, but your skin will be loose and droopy.

  • Nutritional Deficiency And Lesser Immunity

Since you will not be consuming too many calories, after a certain point, your body will run out of micronutrients that are essential for its proper functioning. Low-calorie diets cause nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, intolerance to cold, menstrual irregularities, and hair loss. Lack of fiber in the diet can also cause constipation. This decreases the efficiency of the immune system and makes your body vulnerable to various ailments.

  • Metabolic Changes

When you lose muscle mass and important nutrients, your metabolism will slow down, thereby leading to weight gain instead of weight loss. It can lead to eating disorders. Eating so less will change your body functions, which can cause harm in the long run.

So, it is clear from this article that the 500-calorie diet is not for everyone. Losing weight may seem to be a problem that you must address at this very minute, but putting your health at risk is not worth it. If you need to lose weight for an occasion, you can check out the 1500 calorie diet, which is safer. But if your life is at risk and your doctor recommends, you can allow the 500-calorie diet to be your savior. Take care!

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.