How much calorie-cutting should you do to lose weight? It’s one of the most effective ways to achieve that goal. For example, the 1400 calorie meal plan requires you to cut calories by an average of 20% to 25% based on a typical diet of 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day. This might sound like a lot. However, you should consider the high number of “empty calories” many people eat today. These are from foods/drinks that include calories with little or no nutritional value. If you focus on ditching them then you can focus on making your calories count. If you take that approach then 1,400 calories aren’t impossible.
What should you expect to eat to reach 1,400 calories? This is actually the number of calories allowed for Day One of the military diet. The diet’s first day of meals include foods like meat, tuna, peanut butter, veggies, fruit, and (wait for it) ice cream. 1 cup of vanilla ice cream has 207 calories. The key is to reduce calories while eating foods that are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. If you take that approach then you’ll find out you can eat three square meals that add up to 1,400 calories. It’s about choosing your foods wisely.
How Much Are 1,400 Calories?
It’s important to first talk about how much is 1,400 calories. Adult men usually consume about 2,500 calories and women about 2,000 calories. So, we’re talking about a 20% calorie drop for men and a 25% decrease for women.
That might sound like a lot. However, one X-factor is the high number of empty calories many people eat today. That can include fast food, junk food, and sodas or energy/sports drinks. These calories add up quickly let alone all the salt, sugar, and salt they contain.
If you want to lose weight then you’ll have to create something called a “caloric deficit.” There are different ways you can do this. One way is by exercise. However, reducing the calories you eat is even more important. It’s about three-quarters of weight-loss according to health experts.
The good news is this doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. It’s about making your calories count. For example, a typical Western breakfast is loaded with salt, sugar, and bad fat. Breakfast is important but an unhealthy meal is a wrong way to start the day.
The key to a reduced-calorie diet is to make them count. A 1,400-calorie day means you must consume about 500 calories per meal. So, if you’re eating a cup of ice cream for dessert that’s already about 40% of your meal’s total calories.
It’s safe to say that counting calories aren’t fun. Most of us don’t know how many are in specific foods or ingredients. That’s OK. However, if you’re maintaining a diet of X calories per day then it’s something you’ll have to do.
The key is to get all the nutrients you need for the day. That includes vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and probiotics. The good news is “superfoods” can help because they’re chock-full of healthy nutrients that you need on a daily basis.
1400 Calorie Meal Plan
So, what does a 1,400-calorie day look like? The goal should be to keep your meals within about 500 calories. If you’re going to eat a few snacks then you’ll need to drop that figure even more. Here are some ideas for your three square meals (and snacks):
|Banana pancakes||Toast with peanut butter (2 tablespoons)|
|Banana||Scrambled eggs with veggies and shredded cheese (1 tablespoon)|
|Coffee/Tea||All-bran cereal with skim milk|
|Yogurt with granola and fruit|
|Toast and tuna (1/2 cup)||Bean or squash soup|
|Meat/green beans||Spaghetti squash with low-calorie sauce|
|Stuffed Zucchini||Chicken with hummus|
|Fish/veggie salad||Low-fat steak|
|Cabbage soup||Roasted broccoli w/ lemon/garlic sauce|
|Shrimp & spinach||Apple or banana|
|Hummus||Plain yogurt with fruit|
|Chocolate chips||Boiled egg with pepper or hot sauce|
|Cheddar cheese (1 oz.)||Carrot sticks|
These are just some basic ideas. It’s important to do the math to make sure you don’t go over 1,400 calories in one day. Some meals could be a little larger than others but you should cut calories during the other meals to stay at 1,400 calories.
One thing to watch out for is refined sugar. The problem isn’t just the sugar itself. Sugar also turns to fat, which can be a double-whammy if you’re dealing with the sugar/calories plus bad fat.
High sugar content is obvious in foods like sodas, cookies, and cakes. However, you should also watch out for “hidden” sugar.
Snacks are another area where your calories can spike. In some programs like the Military Diet, you aren’t allowed to eat snacks during the first three days.
If you follow a plan that allows them to make sure to keep the snacks low-calorie. They still count towards your 1,400-calorie maximum so you’ll want to keep calories super-low.
Tips for Planning Low-Calorie Meals
How can you keep your daily calories at 1,400? Here are some tips:
Pick fish/seafood and chicken
You can go with lean pork or beef. However, if you want to really cut calories in a 1,400-calorie diet then go with lower-calorie options like fish and chicken. These are healthy options that are still filling options when preparing lunch and dinner in particular.
One big way to reduce meal calories is to pick skinless chicken. Even if you eat low-fat white meat the chicken skin could basically offset it due to the high-fat content.
Vegetables are color, flavorful, and low-calorie. They’re also full of important vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to make calories count. You can even add more veggies to “meat dishes” like soups/stews, casseroles and believe it or not–meatloaf.
Cook with less fat
This starts with cooking oils. One option is cooking sprays for pans/trays to prevent sticking, applesauce to replace fat in baked goods, and meat broths for flavor. These are much healthier and lower-calorie than other options like oil, butter, or margarine. If you must use cooking oil use ones like olive oil with “good” fat.
When you cook with dairy you can also use skim/low-fat versions. They have less fat and fewer calories than full-fat versions. However, one thing to watch out for is fillers that are added to replace the fat since this can also be unhealthy.
Sugar turns to fat and white sugar in particular. One way to reduce sugar content for baked goods is to boost ingredients like nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, and cinnamon when they’re included in the recipe. This will add extra flavor.
Another option is to use sugar substitutions. If you take this step it’s a good idea to pick natural options to make your meals as healthy as possible during your 1400 calorie meal plan.