Not sure what 1500 calories looks like?

Here are sample menus for 3 days with delicious, healthy options.

A 1500 calorie diet plan is the plan I seem to recommend most often to my patients. That’s because a 1500 calorie plan allows for a reasonable amount of food, and generally leads to a healthy rate of weight loss in most people. This should include regular exercise as part of the equation. I always encourage my patients to tackle their weight issues with a one-two punch of diet and exercise, and a 1500 calorie plan reinforces that strategy.

Related Article: Healthy 1800 Calorie Diet Plan

Who should choose a 1500 calorie diet plan?

A 1500 calorie meal plan might be right for you if you are a female who gets regular exercise but is still seeking weight loss. Also, if you are a male who is only lightly active and seeks weight loss, or if you are a male over the age of 50 who gets minimal activity. It should go without saying that regular exercise is important for your health and can also help you reach your goals.

A drop of no more than 2 pounds (1 kg) per week is considered a safe rate of weight loss. If you are losing more quickly than that, move up to the next highest calorie level. If you are losing more slowly than that, you can try the 1200 calorie diet plan, but you shouldn’t cut your intake to less than 1200 calories per day. As with any diet plan, regular exercise is not only a healthy habit, it also helps you to burn more calories to help you reach your weight goals.

1500 calorie diet plan overview

This plan calls for three meals and two snacks each day. Here is the basic breakdown for the 1500 calorie diet plan:

Breakfast: 1 Protein + 1 Fruit (+ vegetables if desired)

Lunch: 1 Protein + 1 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 1 Starch + 1 Taste Enhancer + 1 Fruit

Snack: 1 Protein Snack + 1 Vegetable

Dinner: 2 Protein + 1 Starch/Grain + 2 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 1 Taste Enhancer

Snack: 1 Fruit

Daily Totals: 4 Protein, 3 Fruit, 4-5 Vegetable, 2 Starch/Grain, 1 Protein Snack, Leafy Greens – no limit, 2 Taste Enhancer

As long as you don’t exceed the daily totals for each food group, feel free to move your portions around. But try to keep the same general pattern of three meals and at least one snack. It’s not recommended that you skip meals and then “double up” at the next one. More evenly spaced meals will help you keep your energy level up, and protein at each meal (and for the afternoon snack) will help to keep you from getting too hungry.

Take a look at my “How to Create Your Own Sample Diet Plan” article, which provides all the details on portion sizes for each food group. You can find other options if there’s something in the meal plan that you don’t like, don’t have time to prepare, or can’t get hold of. That way you can customise your own 1500 calorie diet plans.

Remember that swapping out one or two meals a day for an Herbalife Formula 1 Healthy Meal Drink or an Herbalife Express Meal Bar can be an easy alternative if you’re pressed for time or looking for a convenient alternative.

3-day menus for a 1500 calorie diet

DAY 1

Breakfast

  • 1 cup (250g) nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (80g) strawberries
  • Sprinkled with cinnamon

Lunch

Large salad made with:

Snack

  • 1 ounce (30g) soy nuts
  • Carrot and celery sticks

Dinner

  • 8 ounces (200g) grilled salmon with lemon
  • 2 cups (160g) steamed green beans with garlic
  • ½ cup (150g) cooked brown rice
  • Mixed leafy greens salad – any amount
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced calorie salad dressing

Snack

  • 1 orange

DAY 2

Breakfast

  • 1 whole egg + 4 egg whites scrambled in nonstick pan with pan spray
  • Topped with tomato salsa
  • 1 cup (80g) cut melon

Lunch

Veggie stir-fry. Saute together tofu and veggies:

  • 5 ounces (125g) firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup (80g) broccoli florets
  • Large bunch fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) oil to stir-fry
  • Season with soy sauce, garlic, pepper and ginger
  • ½ cup (150g) steamed brown rice
  • ½ medium mango

Snack

Dinner

Grain salad with protein. Toss together:

  • 8 ounces (200g) grilled shrimp
  • ½ cup (150g) cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups (160g) chopped mixed vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumber, onion)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced calorie vinaigrette dressing
  • Place on a bed of leafy greens

Snack

DAY 3

Breakfast

  • 1 cup (250g) plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg

Lunch

  • 4 ounces (100g) grilled halibut
  • 1 cup (80g) steamed asparagus with lemon
  • ½ cup (150g) whole grain pasta
  • Mixed leafy greens salad – any amount
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced calorie salad dressing
  • 1 cup (80g) berries

Snack

  • ½ cup (125g) nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (80g) chopped mixed raw vegetables (carrot, red pepper and broccoli florets are a nice combination)
  • season with salt, pepper, dried dill or chives

Dinner

  • 6 ounces (170g) grilled lean steak
  • 2 cups (160g) roasted Brussels sprouts (halve, toss with olive oil, roast at 400 F / 205 C for 20 minutes)
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) olive oil (for Brussels sprouts)
  • Steamed kale, spinach or Swiss chard with vinegar
  • ½ small sweet potato sprinkled with ginger

Snack

  • 1 cup (80g) diced fresh pineapple

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