If you want to lose weight slowly but steadily then you should consider the 1400 calorie diet. This diet plan cuts daily calories by an average of 20% to 25% vs. adults’ average intake. It’s a semi-restrictive diet. You won’t be required to pick low-carb, high-fat foods like the keto diet. You also won’t have to fast 18+ hours a day like intermittent fasting (IF). However, you will have to cut calories somewhat. The good news is you can still eat stuff like peanut butter, cheese, and even steak. That said, you’ll also have to make calories count. That’s done by picking nutrient-rich foods and small portion sizes. If you don’t do both of these things then you’ll go over 1,400 calories when you do the math.
When doing an under-1400 calorie diet it’s also important to know what NOT to eat. Fun Fact: A Whopper with cheese has 800 calories. That’s over half the calories you’d be allowed for the whole day on this diet. So, it’s important to know what kinds of foods could sabotage your diet and cause you to cross the 1,400-calorie line. In general, this includes foods that are high in carbs, sugar, and fat. However, it’s important to know the specific foods you should avoid.
What’s the 1,400 Calorie Diet?
This is a “restrictive” diet since you can’t eat over 1,400 calories/day and should eat nutrient-rich foods. For example, you could use approaches like low-carb and high-fat in the ketogenic diet or even the one meal a day (OMAD) diet. What’s most important is to stay under 1,400 calories.
The results will also be different for different people. That’s based on factors like your age, gender, and health/fitness. So, if you’re already eating a low-calorie diet this one won’t help you lose lots of weight.
How much weight can you lose on this diet? It’s greatly based on the different above-mentioned factors. However, in terms of actual weight loss, you can shed anywhere from about ½ pound to 3+ pounds per week. One of the biggest factors is how many daily calories you’re eating now.
A caveat is health experts usually only recommend losing up to about 2 pounds per week. That’s because If you lose more per week you’ll likely be losing not only fat but also muscle. It’s also tougher to lose weight in the long term, which means you’ll probably gain it all back within the time.
So, this diet is ideal if you want to lose weight gradually then keep it off. For example, if you’re physically active due to work or sports/workouts then 1,400 calories probably won’t be enough for the daily energy you need. However, in other situations, this is a good long-term diet plan you could use forever.
The key is to know what to eat and what to avoid. Make sure you’re eating low-calorie foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and probiotics. This generally includes the so-called “superfoods.” For example, one green chili pepper contains over 120% of the daily value (DV) you need. Meanwhile, a cinnamon roll has 430+ calories, tons of fat, and few nutrients.
Foods to Eat on 1400-Calorie Diet
How do you know whether you should eat this or that food while on this diet? Make sure to take the general approach of making your calories count. Low calories are good but it doesn’t mean much if you’re not getting the daily nutrients you need. Here are some ideas for three square meals:
- Spiced Oatmeal
- Raw oats (1/3 cup)
- Honey/cinnamon/nutmeg (1 tsp)
- Hot water (1 cup)
- Almond butter (1 TBSP)
- Breakfast Burrito
- Whole wheat/corn tortilla
- Scrambled egg whites (2)
- Veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, and onion)
- Low-fat cheddar (2 oz.)
- Avocado slices (2)
- Hot sauce
- Yogurt w/ Nuts & Fruit
- Greek yogurt (6 oz.)
- Dried cherries (1 TBSP)
- Cinnamon (1 tsp)
- Almond slices (up to 15)
- Plus apple cinnamon or chocolate bar
- Chicken Pocket
- Roasted chicken breast (4 oz.)
- Greek yogurt (1/4 cup)
- Celery (1 stalk, chopped)
- Cucumbers (3 TBSP, diced)
- Red grapes (5)
- Dijon mustard (1 TBSP)
- Dill (1 tsp, chopped)
- Sausage and Potato
- Baked potato (1/2)
- Low-fat cheddar cheese (1/4 cup)
- Turkey bacon or chicken sausage
- Plus side salad
- Fish Special
- Grilled cod or salmon (3 oz.)
- Tomatoes, asparagus, or zucchini
- Brown rice (1/2 cup)
- Rice chips (10-15) w/salsa
- Beef Fajitas
- Beef cubes (4 oz.)
- Brown rice (1/2 cup)
- Sautéed onions/bell peppers
- Sauce of almond butter (2 TBSP), chili oil (2 tsp), diced ginger (1 tsp)
- Veggie Pizza
- Whole-wheat tortilla (1)
- Low-sodium tomato sauce
- Goat cheese (2 oz.)
- Fresh basil
- Side salad or cooked veggies
- Bunless Burger
- Turkey burger
- Grilled mushrooms/onion
- Chopped lettuce w/ tomatoes (chopped) and jalapenos (sliced)
- Sweet potato fries (1 cup)
- Apples with cheese
- Cottage cheese and whole grain chips/crackers
- Fruit smoothie
- Trail mix
- Hazzlenut butter and pear sandwich
Make sure to keep snacks low-calorie so you can stay within 1,400 calories for the day. Go with natural/organic foods to make them delicious AND nutritious.
Foods to Avoid on 1400-Calorie Diet
This includes sodas, energy/sports drinks, powdered drinks, and most so-called “fruit juices.” Refined sugar is high in calories and can ruin your low-calorie diet. Another factor is sugar turns to fat.
Limit your beverages to water, black coffee, green tea, and DIY juices/smoothies. Speaking of coffee, make sure to avoid high-calorie coffee drinks with sugar, whipped cream, etc.
They’re super-high in calories and rock-bottom in nutrients.
Potato Chips/French Fries
The irony here is potatoes are actually healthy since they’re full of nutrients including potassium. When you remove the skins, cook them in “bad” fat then add lots of salt and other unhealthy stuff—not so much.
The only real exception would be baked sweet potato fries. You should still limit the serving size to around 1 cup.
You can make some low-calorie pizzas but they’re super-small and don’t contain tons of fatty meat or cheese-stuffed crust. In fact, it’s better to swap out the crust when possible.
These foods are often loaded with unhealthy stuff including trans-fat, white flour, and sugar. Homemade versions are a little healthier because you can swap in healthy fats, whole wheat flour, and applesauce.
Fun Fact: Beer has more calories than carbs/protein. If you’re going to drink some alcohol a better option is white wine, and you should limit it to one glass/day.
There are a few big problems with ice cream. Flavored ice cream will usually contain more additives like sugar, artificial colors, etc. A better option is 1 cup of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
This is a highly-refined bread and includes lots of sugar. It will cause your blood sugar to spike but you’ll be getting few nutrients. Better options are whole wheat and multi-grain bread on the 1400 calorie diet.