800 Calorie Diet Plan

The 800-Calorie Diet Plan and Its Weight Loss Benefits

14 min read


10 Feb 2023

Things you'll learn here...

  1. What is the 800-calorie diet?
  2. What food can I eat on an 800-calorie diet?
  3. Benefits of the 800-calorie diet plan
  4. How much weight can I lose on 800 calories a day
  5. Dangers of such a low-calorie diet
  6. 3 days 800-calorie diet plan menu
  7. How to transition from an 800-calorie diet
  8. What are the alternatives to the 800-calorie diet?
  9. Final thoughts
  10. FAQs on 800 calorie diet plans

Weight loss is a huge trend these days. With rates of obesity skyrocketing in the United States and many other areas of the world, it's no wonder that people are beginning to try new alternatives to help them lose weight. 

Working out, taking supplements, portion control, and changing diets are among the most popular methods.

One of the popular diets to emerge in recent years is known as the 800-calorie diet. The diet is pretty self-explanatory, but there is some controversy as to whether or not it's actually possible to eat this diet and get all the vitamins and nutrients that you need to be healthy.

In this article, we will discuss this controversial diet and weigh out (no pun intended) its pros and cons.

What is the 800-calorie diet?

Famous for its fast results, this diet plan is said to help people lose weight very quickly and is suggested to be particularly effective at restricting calories and helping to burn belly fat

Some professional surgeons like Dr. Nowzaradan recommend patients go on such very low-calorie diets before surgery.

It's understood that one of the most important aspects of losing weight is to regulate your daily calorie needs and intake. 

People who consume more calories than they burn are going to save those extra calories as fat. Calories are energy, and energy that isn't used has to be stored in the body somewhere.

One of the reasons that this restrictive diet is appealing is because it creates such a calorie deficit that people may actually be able to lose some weight without putting much effort into their exercise routine.

This may sound like an excellent opportunity – according to the University of California, you can lose up to 5 pounds a week for eight weeks on this diet – but in reality, it's not healthy. 

The reason that the body loses weight is that the body actually thinks that it's starving if you consume much fewer calories rather than 1,000 calories per day

For this reason, many of the diet success stories are from obese people – those who have a lot of extra body mass to spare. It's rather unsafe for anyone who doesn't. People who aren't obese may benefit more from a low-sugar diet instead.

Regardless, the diet is generally quite uncomfortable for the first few days – people are often wracked with hunger pangs, fatigue, and other symptoms of starvation. Fortunately, these symptoms tend to go away after a week or so. Issues like constipation, diarrhea, and nausea may persist for longer.

What food can I eat on an 800-calorie diet?

Cooked vegetables for weight loss

Many people who approach the 800-calorie diet are worried because they feel like they're going to have heavy restrictions placed upon the types of food they're going to be able to eat.

This isn’t strictly true—this diet does not restrict you from eating any foods in the same manner as say—the keto diet or a paleo diet. You can still eat whatever types of food you want; you just have to be cautious and aware of how much you're eating an 800 calorie diet meal.

For example, if you really need that cup of ice cream in the evening, you're going to have to cut out most of your other calories for the day. 

The key here is to bring awareness to the types of food that you're eating, the frequency that you eat them, and the amount of body-boosting energy they provide. 

Here are some recipes and some general ideas about the kinds of food that you'll want to eat on a low-calorie diet. Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats. Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs is essential.


  • Fresh and cooked vegetables. You'd be surprised at how many vegetables you can pack into your body at an extremely low-calorie count, and meals made of sauteed vegetables cooked in soup stock or with spices can fill you up without costing a lot of calories.
  • Fresh fruit is another great food source that can fill you up with fiber, making you feel full on surprisingly few calories. They are great to help you lose weight.
  • Whole grains and legumes. Things like beans, lentils, and rice may be higher in calories, but they will provide you with protein. Protein is digested very slowly and will help to keep you full for longer. Make sure to get whole-grain brown rice with the hull still attached.
  • Healthy fats and complex carbohydrates, like fatty fish, sweet potatoes and whole-grain rice, will provide you with a more sustainable dose of energy. Complex carbohydrates are digested slower, have a less marked impact on blood sugar, and will keep you full for longer.


  • Processed and refined sugars. Preferably, avoid any kind of sugar at all. Sugar is basically concentrated calories with no nutritional value, and even a simple teaspoon of sugar will significantly increase your daily calorie count.
  • “White” foods and processed foods. White foods, like white bread and white rice, are generally paled versions of foods that were once healthy. These highly processed foods contain very few nutrients and will cost you a lot of calories. White potatoes and starchy vegetables are also generally high in calories.
  • Oils and fats. While oils and fats are necessary for the body, they are generally very high in calories. Try to saute your vegetables in water instead of oils to reduce your calorie intake.

Benefits of the 800-calorie diet plan

Woman eating salad

The main benefit of the 800-calorie diet plan is it helps you lose weight quickly. This has been proven—obese people are much more likely to shed extra pounds when they are only consuming 800 calories a day. 

But, there are some other health benefits too that have been attributed to the 800-calorie diet. 

Managing type-2 diabetes

The 800-calorie diet has been shown to actually help reverse type-2 diabetes. For this reason, it has been dubbed the Blood Sugar Diet, and there are many 800-calorie diet plan success stories in this regard.

The study, which followed 298 patients with type-2 diabetes, showed remarkable results. Most patients found the diet was easy to stick to. Many of them lost a significant amount of weight and were able to lower their blood sugar levels so much they were considered ‘normal'.

Better metabolism

If you follow an intermittent fasting schedule (avoiding your evening or morning meal), your body's metabolism will get a serious boost. 

This can improve a number of areas of your health and will certainly help to improve the rate at which you lose weight.

Consistent weight loss

This low-calorie diet is a good option for people who are unable to get to the gym or to get out and exercise. 

But, remember: To shed the pounds in a controlled, healthy way, you should still try to move more when you can and eat a balanced mix of healthy whole foods that will make you feel good.

How much weight can you lose on 800 calories a day?

As a general rule of thumb, you can lose weight at an average rate of eight to 16 pounds per month with a low-calorie diet like this one.

But, it's important to remember that everyone's body is unique, so there's no one-size-fits-all answer here. 

While cutting calories can lead to continual weight loss, dropping down to 800 calories a day is pretty extreme and might not be sustainable in the long run.

Instead of fixating on a specific number of calories, focus on nourishing your body with a balanced diet rich in fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. 

Don't forget to listen to your body's hunger cues—it usually knows what it needs. Oh, and we’ll say it again—If you’re going to follow this plan, make sure you do it the right way. 

The dangers of such a very low-calorie diet and rapid weight loss

Woman with a hormone imbalance

While the benefits of a moderately low-carb, low-calorie diet may sound appealing, it's important to be aware of the potential dangers of this sort of extremely low-calorie diet.

Let’s take a look…

Nutritional blind spots

It's incredibly hard to get all the nutrients you need from a diet this low in calories, and unless you have a qualification in nutrition or dieting, it's unlikely you'll meet your daily requirements without supplementing.

If you use any of your calories to consume much else besides vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish, you'll probably run into a mild nutritional deficit.

Internal imbalances

People on very low-calorie diets are at a higher risk of having high levels of uric acid present in the body. This substance contributes to the development of gallstones, so anyone attempting the 800-calorie diet should be well aware of this risk.

Slower metabolism

In the long run, low-calorie diets can actually reduce your metabolism, meaning that you'll burn fewer calories than normal. 

This reduced metabolism also tends to persist for much longer than the duration of the diet.

Muscle loss

Very low-calorie diets, such as the 800 calorie diet, also cause muscle loss—one of the reasons that they contribute to lower metabolism.

This also means that you're more likely to experience fatigue and weakness, often seen in those following an 800 calorie diet plan. You can try to avoid this by eating more protein and continuing to exercise. 

Hormonal issues

Low-calorie diets can reduce the number of vital hormones that your body produces. When you have lower levels of testosterone and estrogen, this leads to a decrease in the health of your bones and can also negatively impact your fertility.

When you have lower levels of testosterone and estrogen, this leads to a decrease in the health of your bones and can also negatively impact your fertility.

Three Days 800-calorie diet plan menu to lose weight

Healthy vegetables

If you believe that this diet is suitable for you, this basic diet and 800-calorie meal plan can give you a good outline to follow if you want to stay healthy while you're following the diet. 

If you feel like snacking between lunch and dinner, try to have a cup of green tea—this will energize you and curb your appetite.

Day 1

  • Before breakfast: A glass of water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to boost metabolism.
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal sweetened with a banana or an apple.
  • Lunch: Vegetables, sauteed in water with spices, or clear chicken, fish, or vegetable soup
  • Dinner: Baked fish with grilled vegetable

Day 2

  • Before breakfast: A glass of water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar OR a cup of water that has had fenugreek seeds soaking in it overnight. Both are great for metabolism.
  • Breakfast: Green smoothie (kale and fruit with two almonds for protein), OR quinoa, spiced with two almonds
  • Lunch: Vegetables in a lettuce wrap OR tuna salad (no mayo – use spices and onions or pickles for flavor)
  • Dinner: Peppers stuffed with chickpeas OR grilled chicken and vegetables 

Day 3

  • Before breakfast: A glass of water with either of the prior suggestions OR mixed with lime juice
  • Breakfast: One boiled egg, one glass of fat-free milk OR green smoothie (avocado, celery, and chia seeds provide a great balance of nutrients)
  • Lunch: Baba ganoush with pita OR smoked fish with veggies
  • Dinner: Gourd soup OR sauteed chicken with veggies

How to transition from an 800-calorie diet 

If you've finished an 800-calorie diet, you're probably eager to jump back into regular-sized portions again. 

But, it's important that you don't do this, since it can be rather dangerous for your health. It's important that you wean yourself off of any very low-calorie diet gradually. Otherwise, you might experience other health issues.

First, figure out how much weight and how many calories you actually need to maintain your new weight. Likely, this means you probably won't be eating as many calories as you did before you began dieting. 

Be sure to slowly introduce new foods into your diet, working up with more fresh fruits and vegetables as part of an 800 calorie meal plan. If your 800-calorie diet was largely liquid-based, start by eating softer foods and gradually transition into heavier foods so as to not shock your body.

If you were fatigued during your diet, gradually ease yourself back into exercise so you don't damage your body. This will give your muscles and joints time to adjust.

What are the alternatives to the 800-calorie diet?

While this popular diet trend does result in gradual weight loss, it does involve a great deal of calorie restriction.

Approached in a healthy and balanced way, you can reduce your daily calorie intake while still getting the nutrients you need to feel good.

But, here’s the thing—there are alternative ways to consistently shed the pounds without following such a restrictive diet.

Instead of stripping your daily food intake down to the bare bones, you can try intermittent fasting—eating a healthier number of calories in the process.

To maintain a healthy weight while you’re juggling a million plates, making a series of small yet sustainable lifestyle tweaks is often your best bet.

Weaving a little more movement into your day while making healthy food swaps will help you lose weight at a steady rate while giving you bundles of energy. Making the right changes will also help you keep the weight off while making the most of every day.

If you’re looking for extra advice, tips, and support when it comes to making the right changes for sustainable weight loss, our blog’s Lifestyle section has you covered. Check it out and make another positive step towards the change you want to see. 

A word on weight management

If you want to keep the weight off moving forward, it’s important to be kind to yourself.

You’re a go-getting human with a million plates to juggle, and the best way to lose weight is to exercise regularly (even a brisk walk will do), eat a varied, balanced diet, and have patience. We're with you every step of the way.

Read: Our essential guide on manifesting weight loss and feeling positive about your journey.

Should you do the 800-calorie diet plan?

Happy, healthy woman

Low-calorie diets, such as the 800-calorie diet, can certainly benefit certain people's health. But, for the average person, extremely low-calorie diets are more likely to cause harm than they are to help. 

We recommend keeping your calorie intake no more than 400 calories below your RDA for the healthiest diet plan. For most women, this will mean eating no less than 1200 calories per day.

Otherwise you are going to risk side-effects, and ultimately it’s not a sustainable way to lose and maintain weight loss. 

Hopefully, this guide has helped you better understand the potential benefits and risks of a diet lifestyle like this, including an 800 calorie diet. And for insider advice and supportive suggestions to help you get you where you want to be, explore our full library of articles, guides, and how-tos. We’ve got you.


If you're considering the 800-calorie diet plan, you likely have a lot of questions. Below are some of the most common questions about this diet and their corresponding answers.

What is the 800-calorie diet plan?

The 800-calorie diet plan is a very low-calorie diet that involves eating only 800 calories a day. This diet is sometimes known as the "fast 800" diet or the "fast" diet. It is a rapid weight loss plan that is typically followed for 8-12 weeks. 

What does a typical meal plan look like on the 800- calorie diet?

On the 800-calorie diet, a typical meal plan might include a low-carb Mediterranean-style diet with lots of fiber. 

Lunch and dinner might consist of a salad with lean protein and lots of vegetables. Snacks could include fresh fruit and nuts. It's important to follow the stage of the diet that you're in and eat in a way that is sustainable for you.

Is 800 calorie Intake a day safe?

Following this diet can be safe for short periods of time, but it's important to speak with a nutritionist or your doctor before starting this diet.

It is not recommended for everyone, especially those with a history of disordered eating or certain medical conditions. 

Plus, it's important to make sure that your diet is nutrient-dense and that you're getting enough protein to maintain muscle mass.

How much weight can you lose on the 800-calorie diet plan?

Rapid weight loss is a key feature of this diet plan. You can expect to lose a significant amount of weight, typically between 10 to 20 pounds, during the first eight weeks of the diet. 

But, weight loss will vary depending on individual factors such as starting weight, metabolic rate, activity level, and adherence to the meal plan.

What are the risks of following an 800-calorie diet plan?

There are risks associated with restricting calories too much, especially for long periods. One of the biggest risks of following this diet plan is that it may not be sustainable over time and that the weight may be difficult to keep off.

Additionally, there may be negative impacts on your blood pressure and sugar levels, especially for those with a risk of type 2 diabetes. That's why it's essential to speak with a doctor. 

Also read: What are the benefits of losing weight?