Can You Live On 250 Calories a Day? A Detailed Guide

There are days when I needlessly look for things to write on, but this question immensely intrigued me. When I saw this question on Reddit, I started pondering whether one can eat 250 calories a day and still stay fit for long. So I started collecting all the info that I can get about it on the web to share with you.

250 calories a day

Yes, you can eat 250 calories a day, and it will be quite beneficial for weight loss, but eating less than 800 calories is not recommended by specialists [1]. That doesn’t mean you cannot decrease your daily expenditure to 250 calories. In fact, eating around 1200 to 1300 calories a day and then exercising can reduce your daily calorie consumption to about 250 or 300 calories a day.

This is a complex subject, and you have to understand it better to do this properly, so keep reading. I have tried to include everything, including lists, charts, and diet plans to help you further.

Understanding total daily energy expenditure (TDEE)

what is tdee?

Before going into any expedited effort, you need to understand the concept of daily energy expenditure (TDEE). This is the number that you should be focusing on rather than your daily calorie intake. Take, for example, two people, one works at a construction site, and the other does a desk job. The construction worker usually will require a lot more calories and can stay fit even after eating 3000+ calories each day [2]. While the guest worker can get fat even after eating only 2000 to 2500 calories a day.[3] Therefore, how much work you are doing in a day also corresponds to the number of calories you can eat.

Let’s say you eat around 1300 calories and walk for three hours in two sessions totaling about 1000 calories. And, that’s the reduction from exercise alone. That would mean your daily energy expenditure is 300 calories only. This is equal to a stationary person eating 300 calories and not working at all. So, rather than thinking about eating 250 calories, you should think about eating around 1000-1200 calories and then exercising to reduce the margin to 250 or 300.

Why eating 250 calories alone can be dangerous

is 250 calories a day healthy

Several studies have suggested that our body needs vital nutrients and other vitamins to function properly— which we acquire through food. Also, our daily Macro needs require a substantial amount of energy to keep our vital organs alive. If you eat too low, your vital organs could shut down, or you could face metabolic problems. [4]

You can definitely take extra vitamins and minerals from nontraditional sources like supplements, but completely removing all nutrients from your diet is not recommended by us.

TLDR! Eating 250 calories a day can:

  1. Loss of vital nutrients from the body [6]
  2. You can feel distressed and low energy all the time [6]
  3. You can suffer from gallstones. [5]
  4. You can suffer muscle loss [6]

Hence, we are suggesting to you a complete diet plan of 1200 calories and some exercises with the potential of losing a lot of weight in just a few months.

Why 1200-1300 calories can suit your needs

is 1200 calories enough for weight loss

Eating 1200 calories a day can provide some nutrients and vitamins. It is also much more capable of being run over a long period compared to a 250 calorie diet, in our opinion. With 1200 calories, you can eat a lot of vegetables and even can do other daily work instead of just sitting on your desk and feeling restless.

Benefits of the 1200 calorie diet [7,8,9,10]

  1. Reduction in cholesterol levels
  2. Faster weight loss
  3. Decreased blood sugar levels
  4. Reduction in inflammation.

Here is an example of a 1200-1300 calorie diet plan that you can employ

  • 500 g tomatoes – Approx. 100 calories
  • 500 g carrots – Approx. 180 calories
  • 50 g of soybean 170 calories
  • 200 g mangoes 132 calories
  • 2x omelet (100 g each) – 308 calories
  • 2x skim milk coffee (240 ml) – 60 calories (30 calories each)
  • Low-fat yogurt 500 ml – 254 calories

Total 1204 calories

How to lose 1000 calories per day

How to lose 1000 calories per day

There are several ways to lose 1000 calories a day. None of them is quite easy, but you can walk yourself through the required calories.

Here are some of the most powerful exercises you can execute to gain results [11]

  • Swimming – 198 to 294 calories per 30 minute Approx.
  • Running – 11 to 16 calories per minute Approx.
  • Rope jumping – 8 to 10 calories per minute Approx.
  • Cycling (stationary) – 210 to 311 calories per 30 minute Approx.
  • Walking- 3 to 5 calories per minute Approx.

Besides these, you can do daily chores and reduce extra calories, just by doing routine housework such as cooking, cleaning, and mowing the lawn.

chores to lose weight

Here are the most common chores you can do [12]

Mopping – 156 calories per hour

Vacuuming – 170 calories per hour

Cooking – 150 calories per hour

Mowing lawn- 325 calories per hour

Talking over the phone – 90 calories per hour

 

Extra helpful tips to help you not burn out while eating less

As you have already understood, there are several ways to trim down your calorie intake. Now, we have several more tips and tricks to further your efforts in this vital journey.

Eating low GI (glycemic index) Food

carrots to lose weight

This is one of the most common advised things to people who want to lose weight. Food that are low in the Glycemic index tends to stay longer in your belly, and therefore you don’t feel the urge to eat for a long time. They are also beneficial for those suffering from sugar-related problems like diabetes. [13]

Here is a list of Low GI foods [14]

Food item GI Index value
Apples 36
Milk full fat or skim 35-40
Soybeans 16
Kidney beans 24
Lentils 32
Chickpeas 28
Yogurt 41
Carrots 39
Rolled oats 55
Barley 28

 

 

Take a lot of water/ice

Studies have found that people who drink water half an hour before taking their meals tend to eat fewer calories. [15] It has also been linked to burning more fat for up to 90 minutes after consumption. [16] You can also drink cold shakes and juices made out of ice and low-calorie fruits to keep you full longer. Drinking more water is also linked to fewer plateaus and continues weight loss.

Do Mouthwash thrice a day

This is one of my personal tricks. Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash and whenever you feel a dry mouth or cravings. Rinse for 30 secs or more. As you are doing a non-alcoholic mouthwash, you can do it multiple times a day, and each time you can avoid eating for 30-45 minutes. This is all based on my anecdotal experience, and no study has been conducted on it.

Reduce your Carb intake

reduce carbs to lose fat

Carbohydrates are the easiest form of energy for our body besides sugar. Carbs are generally absorbed quickly into the system, and hence you feel the need to eat more in a few minutes. Thus several studies have shown that eating fewer carbs is linked to a lot of weight loss. [16, 17] The right way is to reduce your carb intake to less than 50 percent per day. You can use apps like MyFitnessPal to track your macros correctly.

Increase your protein intake

Studies have shown that protein is one of the most fulfilling macronutrients. Therefore, eating more protein can help you immensely in decreasing your calorie intake.[18] Also, as absorbing protein takes a lot of energy, you lose a lot more fat than before.[19,20] Protein also helps in reducing effects such as metabolic slowdown.[21] Hence, taking a lot of protein is a must.

Conclusion

It is definitely possible to eat a very low-calorie diet like a 250 calorie one, but it is not recommended at all. Instead, you should eat fewer calories but substantial amounts like in the range of 1000-1300 calories a day and then reduce your TDEE by exercising and workouts. By doing extreme diets, you can suffer for a long time, and these extremely low calories diets cannot be kept after you have lost weight. Regaining weight is quite common among those who have lost their weight recently [22].

 

An appeal: Please share this article with your friends and family members. You can change their life just by making a 5-second effort. A distressed person just needs a helping hand to change his life, and you can be that hand.

If you have any more questions, you can use our contact us page to reach out to us. Best of luck!

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