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Low-calorie diet — sources, health benefits at

Friday, December 15, 2017 by

A low-calorie diet (LCD), also called a calorie-restricted diet, is a type of diet that gives a target intake of calories each day. The calorie target is designed to be less than the calories your body will expend, through organ functions and activity.

LCD provides a steady way to achieve weight loss. Essentially, if you eat fewer calories than you burn, your body can resort to burning your fat stores. You lose weight as a result.

A low-calorie (kcal) diet is between 1,500 and 2,000 calories per day for men and between 1,000 and 1,500 calories per day for women.

Some people may think that consuming a diet low in calories decreases the nutritional value of the diet. On the contrary, these diets can be nutritionally sound. The key is variety. People who adhere to LCD eat a balanced diet by making specific choices within each food group, generally choosing foods that are low-fat, are dense in micronutrients, or have high water content. These choices have led to higher intakes of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate.

Health benefits of a low-calorie diet

In addition to weight loss, LCD promotes sharpness of memory in old age and improved agility. further lists down other health benefits associated with LCD:

  • A healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Losing four to seven pounds (two to three kilograms) per week.
  • Slows down the aging process and even increases life span.
  • Prevents stroke, heart disease, hypertension and high blood pressure.
  • Increases energy level.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Controls blood sugar levels.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Food items typically found in a low-calorie diet

Consuming a low-energy-dense diet – one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products – helps people lower their calorie intake. These types of food usually tend to be foods with either a high water content, lots of fiber, or little fat, such as:

  • Almonds
  • Apple
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cereal grains
  • Chicken breast
  • Coffee
  • Cucumber
  • Eggs
  • Fennel
  • Grapefruit
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lemons and limes
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Non-fat yogurt
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tea
  • Tofu
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Walnuts
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Planning out your meals is a good way to start maintaining a steady weight loss. shares a seven-day meal plan that promotes the 1,200-calorie intake per day. And the best part is, this meal plan does not let you skip a single meal time.

Body systems supported by a low-calorie diet

The main reason to restrict calories is ultimately to lose weight. Obesity is a condition that brings about many health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers. Weight loss remains the key in managing obesity.

According to, animal studies indicate that reducing calorie intake has some effects in animals which have been subjected to calorie reduction. These effects include longer life spans, higher levels of physical activity, improved reproductive performance, less age-related degeneration of the brain and lower rates of cancer.

Where to learn more


A low-calorie diet is a type of diet that gives a target intake of calories each day.

It promotes the consumption of less calories than you burn; your body in turn may resort to burning your fat stores. Weight loss is a side effect of this process.

Sources include:


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