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  1. #1
    Registered User Euthimios's Avatar
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    Less than 1500 calories?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm trying to lose weight and I was wondering, is it bad to eat under 1500 calories?

    I'm male, 5'5 and 220 lbs.

    I've read a few threads but there were many opinions, I wanted to get some extra input from you guys. From what I read, it's best to eat at least 1500 calories and make the deficit bigger by cardio.

    Thanks!
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    If you're 5-5 220, you're not going to be able to sustain <1500 cals/day for very long - regardless of whether it's "good" or "bad". Pick a daily intake that your appetite can realistically sustain over time without forcing you to binge, have cheat days, etc.
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    You have a lot of fat to lose. While 1,500 is doable it’s probably not your best choice. Start with 2,000 and drop 100 a day for every 10 lbs you lose.

    Everything will depend on your counting and tracking accuracy. Those daily amounts need to be every day or and average of a weeks worth of calories.

    Your food choices will become extremely important.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User Euthimios's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    If you're 5-5 220, you're not going to be able to sustain <1500 cals/day for very long - regardless of whether it's "good" or "bad". Pick a daily intake that your appetite can realistically sustain over time without forcing you to binge, have cheat days, etc.
    I think I can sustain 1500 for a long time. I was just wondering if going under 1500 is bad i.e slow down my metabolism etc.

    Thanks for replying.

    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    You have a lot of fat to lose. While 1,500 is doable it’s probably not your best choice. Start with 2,000 and drop 100 a day for every 10 lbs you lose.

    Everything will depend on your counting and tracking accuracy. Those daily amounts need to be every day or and average of a weeks worth of calories.

    Your food choices will become extremely important.
    I would like to lose at least 1 lbs per week though, is that possible with 2000 calories and some cardio? I will walk at least 1-2 hours per day and possibly a bit of jogging.

    Thanks for replying.
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    I think I can sustain 1500 for a long time. I was just wondering if going under 1500 is bad i.e slow down my metabolism etc.
    History of how you got to your current weight might say otherwise, but give it a shot if you feel you can do it. Most people get inspired at the start of each new year but then fizzle out. I think as you get closer to 1200 cals is when it might start to get unhealthy. The idea is to lose weight over an extended period of time, while working out to improve your general health as well. Good luck with however you choose to do it.
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    Registered User Euthimios's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    History of how you got to your current weight might say otherwise, but give it a shot if you feel you can do it. Most people get inspired at the start of each new year but then fizzle out. I think as you get closer to 1200 cals is when it might start to get unhealthy. The idea is to lose weight over an extended period of time, while working out to improve your general health as well. Good luck with however you choose to do it.
    I've been eating a lot of junk food is how I got to this weight. 1500 calories of healthy foods is enough for me I think as they are more filling.

    I see. Thanks!
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    It depends how much of that 220 is muscle and how much is fat. More fat means you can go lower. More muscle means you have to go slower. Since you are walking so much, the extra weight burns calories.

    Otherwise, I'd say 5'5" lets you go lower. 1500 is a bare minimum for average guys. Higher if one is 6'.

    It is best to lose half your calories from food reduction and half from increased exercise, if you were relatively sedentary before. If you are already walking around at work all day, you can just reduce food intake.

    Also need to exercise each muscle group with a set that nears failure.


    Bare minimum for average women is 1200. Some 5' women can go lower than that.



    I'm 5'8", relatively sedentary other than planned workouts and rides to the store, and I find 1800 cal gets me thinking about food, and 1700 gets unpleasant. I can make myself stay at 1200, but I lose muscle that way.
    Last edited by Darkius; 01-10-2022 at 09:21 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I'm trying to lose weight and I was wondering, is it bad to eat under 1500 calories?

    I'm male, 5'5 and 220 lbs.

    I've read a few threads but there were many opinions, I wanted to get some extra input from you guys. From what I read, it's best to eat at least 1500 calories and make the deficit bigger by cardio.

    Thanks!
    If you consume any less than 1500 calories in one day, you WILL die.

    OP, are you crazy?! No wonder you're 5'5 - because you don't eat!!!

    A dude your height needs to eat - REGULARLY!

    You need to start shovelling food down your throat and stock up on the protein and healthy fats (to boost androgen levels) and whatnot!

    People DIE from eating less than 1500 calories, you mad daredevil!
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    I think I can sustain 1500 for a long time. I was just wondering if going under 1500 is bad i.e slow down my metabolism etc.

    Thanks for replying.


    I would like to lose at least 1 lbs per week though, is that possible with 2000 calories and some cardio? I will walk at least 1-2 hours per day and possibly a bit of jogging.

    Thanks for replying.
    Dude, listen to yourself. How can any dude live on less than 1500 calories a day?!

    Have you ever been to Africa?! People die eating less than 1500 calories, you nutjob! It's dangerous!

    I'd say that in order for you to gain inches in height, you need to consume AT LEAST 2,500 calories a day, possibly even more than 3,000 calories.

    No wonder you're 5'5 - because you don't eat! If you are, you'd be big and tall!
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    It depends how much of that 220 is muscle and how much is fat. More fat means you can go lower. More muscle means you have to go slower. Since you are walking so much, the extra weight burns calories.

    Otherwise, I'd say 5'5" lets you go lower. 1500 is a bare minimum for average guys. Higher if one is 6'.

    It is best to lose half your calories from food reduction and half from increased exercise, if you were relatively sedentary before. If you are already walking around at work all day, you can just reduce food intake.

    Also need to exercise each muscle group with a set that nears failure.


    Bare minimum for average women is 1200. Some 5' women can go lower than that.
    I dont have much muscle so a lot of it is fat. I see, so 1300-1400 calories would be fine for my height you think?

    Thanks for replying.
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    IMO you should lift first and get as strong as you can before you start cutting. Only cut once you stall. At 220 you will have enough fat stores to build up for a while before you need to worry about bulking and cutting.

    Definitely clean up the diet though. I suspect doing that will get you some early weight loss naturally.
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    Originally Posted by lsiberian View Post
    IMO you should lift first and get as strong as you can before you start cutting. Only cut once you stall. At 220 you will have enough fat stores to build up for a while before you need to worry about bulking and cutting.

    Definitely clean up the diet though. I suspect doing that will get you some early weight loss naturally.
    My priority is losing fat currently, not getting stronger/gaining muscle but I see.

    Thanks for replying!
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    Originally Posted by HannoCometh View Post
    If you consume any less than 1500 calories in one day, you WILL die.

    OP, are you crazy?! No wonder you're 5'5 - because you don't eat!!!

    A dude your height needs to eat - REGULARLY!

    You need to start shovelling food down your throat and stock up on the protein and healthy fats (to boost androgen levels) and whatnot!

    People DIE from eating less than 1500 calories, you mad daredevil!
    Hopefully a joking response.
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    My priority is losing fat currently, not getting stronger/gaining muscle but I see.

    Thanks for replying!
    Your goal should be to lose fat and maintain muscle and cut the fat. At you stats you should look at losing 2 lbs a week until you lean out some.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Your goal should be to lose fat and maintain muscle and cut the fat. At you stats you should look at losing 2 lbs a week until you lean out some.
    0.50 kg loss per week would be enough for me. I assume eating 1500 calories and burning 300-400 extra calories per day will do it!
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    I dont have much muscle so a lot of it is fat. I see, so 1300-1400 calories would be fine for my height you think?

    Thanks for replying.
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    0.50 kg loss per week would be enough for me. I assume eating 1500 calories and burning 300-400 extra calories per day will do it!
    Your loss will depend on your deficit. 1,500 calorie every day and 400 cals of cardio plus your NEAT and you'll lose more than a pound a week if you're actually taking in 1,500 a day. To get to, say, 150 that's 75 lbs of loss which is 75 weeks. You REALLY want to be dieting that long?
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    Registered User Euthimios's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HannoCometh View Post
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    Not sure what you expected with your trolling. Hopefully you feel better now that I replied to you!

    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Your loss will depend on your deficit. 1,500 calorie every day and 400 cals of cardio plus your NEAT and you'll lose more than a pound a week if you're actually taking in 1,500 a day. To get to, say, 150 that's 75 lbs of loss which is 75 weeks. You REALLY want to be dieting that long?
    It would be great to lose 2 lbs a week but I don't want to reduce my calories too much below 1500. I'll see if I can add more cardio!

    1500 calories is fine for me long-term.
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    Not sure what you expected with your trolling. Hopefully you feel better now that I replied to you!


    It would be great to lose 2 lbs a week but I don't want to reduce my calories too much below 1500. I'll see if I can add more cardio!

    1500 calories is fine for me long-term.
    as I told you you’ll lose more than a pound a week, probably 2. It will depend on if you are actually taking in a real 1,500 and burning 3-400 a day in cardio.
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    I think I can sustain 1500 for a long time. I was just wondering if going under 1500 is bad i.e slow down my metabolism etc.

    Thanks for replying.


    I would like to lose at least 1 lbs per week though, is that possible with 2000 calories and some cardio? I will walk at least 1-2 hours per day and possibly a bit of jogging.

    Thanks for replying.
    I would recommend just walking until you drop a decent amount of weight. Or, use an elliptical, or bike, or something easier on the joints. I was 5'6", 198 lbs. several years ago, and I'm now 140 lbs(Have been as low as 135). I tried jogging early on, and tweaked my knee. At 5'5", 220, I'm going to guess your knees and joints won't tolerate jogging very well. Just a cautionary tale.
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    Originally Posted by aspalmat View Post
    I would recommend just walking until you drop a decent amount of weight. Or, use an elliptical, or bike, or something easier on the joints. I was 5'6", 198 lbs. several years ago, and I'm now 140 lbs(Have been as low as 135). I tried jogging early on, and tweaked my knee. At 5'5", 220, I'm going to guess your knees and joints won't tolerate jogging very well. Just a cautionary tale.
    Actually a good point...running and general cardio improve with weight loss just from the fact of being lighter. Start slow.

    And I'd definitely recommend lifting while losing the weight. It will help with the loss and result in a better physique when you drop the fat.
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    I dont have much muscle so a lot of it is fat. I see, so 1300-1400 calories would be fine for my height you think?

    Thanks for replying.

    After reading other people's replies, I now have to ask how old you are. Are you still growing, under 25? If so, don't risk stunting your growth.


    I also agree no running.
    Even walking might hurt you. Right a bike if you can.
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    After reading other people's replies, I now have to ask how old you are. Are you still growing, under 25? If so, don't risk stunting your growth.


    I also agree no running.
    Even walking might hurt you. Right a bike if you can.
    Yes, I explained to the OP that the reason he is 5'5 is because he doesn't eat enough. Jeez! No wonder he's 5'5 - he doesn't eat enough!
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    as I told you you’ll lose more than a pound a week, probably 2. It will depend on if you are actually taking in a real 1,500 and burning 3-400 a day in cardio.
    Thanks!

    Originally Posted by aspalmat View Post
    I would recommend just walking until you drop a decent amount of weight. Or, use an elliptical, or bike, or something easier on the joints. I was 5'6", 198 lbs. several years ago, and I'm now 140 lbs(Have been as low as 135). I tried jogging early on, and tweaked my knee. At 5'5", 220, I'm going to guess your knees and joints won't tolerate jogging very well. Just a cautionary tale.
    Thanks for the advice! Good job on the weight loss!

    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Actually a good point...running and general cardio improve with weight loss just from the fact of being lighter. Start slow.

    And I'd definitely recommend lifting while losing the weight. It will help with the loss and result in a better physique when you drop the fat.
    Thanks for the reply, I might get a gym membership soon.

    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    After reading other people's replies, I now have to ask how old you are. Are you still growing, under 25? If so, don't risk stunting your growth.


    I also agree no running.
    Even walking might hurt you. Right a bike if you can.
    I'm older than 25, no worries.

    Walking definitely won't hurt, I'm quite fit for my weight as I can go walking for hours. I think I won't run for now though.
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    I'm looking for more opinions on whether going under 1500 calories is a bad idea!
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    I'm looking for more opinions on whether going under 1500 calories is a bad idea!
    It seems you're already set on the 1500 calories/day and you just want someone to confirm and ignore the many that said it's not a good idea (minus that one user). Do it and find out, you either will hurt yourself or you won't. I've been at this for 5 months, lost ~1.5lb/week and never went below or came close to 1500.

    You want a single approval, there go for it. Just keep in mind all signs point to no.
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    You probably have about 60lbs of fat. So you could run quite a low calorie intake. You might not stick to it for long though.

    Also, increasing cardio is no different to decreasing food intake - it's the NET calorie deficit that matters.

    If you want to get technical, you can allow a maximum 33 calories per lb of bodyfat - and that would be your maximum net deficit.
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    Originally Posted by darkjfman View Post
    It seems you're already set on the 1500 calories/day and you just want someone to confirm and ignore the many that said it's not a good idea (minus that one user). Do it and find out, you either will hurt yourself or you won't. I've been at this for 5 months, lost ~1.5lb/week and never went below or came close to 1500.

    You want a single approval, there go for it. Just keep in mind all signs point to no.
    I'm not set on 1500 calories a day, I just wanted more opinions on whether it's bad to go below that.

    Thanks for replying.

    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You probably have about 60lbs of fat. So you could run quite a low calorie intake. You might not stick to it for long though.

    Also, increasing cardio is no different to decreasing food intake - it's the NET calorie deficit that matters.

    If you want to get technical, you can allow a maximum 33 calories per lb of bodyfat - and that would be your maximum net deficit.
    I see, thanks for the advice. I assume nutrition-wise it's better to increase cardio than decreasing food intake though. (especially when it comes to large deficits)
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post

    I see, thanks for the advice. I assume nutrition-wise it's better to increase cardio than decreasing food intake though.
    It depends on whether you can fit the required amounts of protein, essential fat, vitamins, minerals etc. into your calorie budget. I think it would have to be very low to make this impossible. You should be eating mostly wholefoods so as not to trigger your appetite - so there shouldn't be any "empty calorie" foods in there.
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    Originally Posted by Euthimios View Post
    I'm not set on 1500 calories a day, I just wanted more opinions on whether it's bad to go below that.

    Thanks for replying.


    I see, thanks for the advice. I assume nutrition-wise it's better to increase cardio than decreasing food intake though.
    to a point. Cardio can stimulate your appetite and also compromise your NEAT so more isn’t always better
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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