Most people that consume a mere 500 calories per day lose weight and lose it very quickly. The average weight loss on a very low calorie diet, defined as 500 to 800 calories per day by About.com, is 3 to 5 pounds per week, for a total average of 44 pounds over a 12-week period. However, maintaining the weight loss requires a change in lifestyle.
Most very low calorie diets (VLCD) require medical supervision. However, WebMD warns "VLCDs are no more effective than more modest dietary restrictions in terms of long-term maintenance of reduced weight." Once the patient completes the diet, she requires a change in lifestyle to maintain the changes that occurred.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a 500-calorie diet has several potential side effects including fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, menstrual irregularities and intolerance to cold. Meals that do not offer plenty of fiber increase the chances of constipation. In addition, such rapid weight loss increases the potential to develop gallstones. The San Francisco Chronicle warns of potential serious consequences, including stroke, heart arrhythmia and brain hemorrhage. Pregnant women following a low calorie diet cause potential birth defects. Diets high in liquid and low in protein decrease blood sodium, resulting in dizziness, confusion and fatigue or even coma and death. Nutrient deficiencies are common, and the Mayo Clinic notes there are much safer ways to lose weight.Learn More
According to WebMd, the amount of calories a person needs each day is based on his weight, age, gender and whether he wants to lose, gain or maintain his weight. To maintain weight, women ages 19 to 30 with a body mass index of 21.5 need 1800-2000 calories if they lead relatively inactive lifestyles. Males in the same age range with a BMI of 22.5 need 2400-2600 calories.Full Answer >
The total number of calories a person needs to consume daily depends on the person's age and gender. For example, females between the ages of 19 and 30 need 2,000 calories per day. Males in the same age range, however, require 2,400 calories per day, the highest of any group.Full Answer >
The number of calories a person needs per day varies based on height, weight, gender, age and activity level. To calculate the total number of calories a person needs per day, take into account the body's basal metabolic rate, the person's physical activity level and the thermic effect of food.Full Answer >
The number of calories needed to maintain body weight depends on many factors, including gender, age, current weight and activity level. There are formulas and calculators online that can help determine the appropriate number of calories based on individual needs.Full Answer >