1500 Calorie Meal Plan 

This simple 1500-calorie meal is designed to help you stay in a calorie deficit without feeling deprived. Created by a dietitian, the meals and snacks are high in protein and fiber, which helps you feel satisfied.

This comprehensive 1500-calorie meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, complete with recipes, ingredients, instructions, and nutritional information for each meal.

About this 1500 calorie diet

The 1500-calorie meal plan consists of a distribution of macronutrients: 35% protein, 35% carbohydrates, and 30% fats. This translates to daily targets of 131 grams of protein, 131 grams of carbohydrates, and 50 grams of fat. Although fiber doesn’t provide calories, it contributes to fullness and regularity, making it an essential nutrient; this meal plan ensures an average daily intake of 25-35 grams of fiber.

This meal plan was designed using Cronometer.

Are you finding it hard to manage your nutritional intake? As a dietitian, I’ve found Cronometer to be an invaluable tool. This app tracks more than 60 nutrients with precision and ease. Join the millions of users who have transformed their dietary habits with Cronometer and start reaching your nutrition goals. Signup now for FREE!

Sample 1500-calorie diet

Day One:

CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
1567136 g 184 g48 g53 g

Breakfast: Mango Protein Smoothie

Ingredients
  • One cup of frozen mangos (150 grams) 
  • One cup of almond milk unsweetened 
  • One scoop of whey protein powder
  • 1/3 cup of 2% or fat-free Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Add the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
39237 g 38 g  11 g 10 g 

Snacks: Greek Yogurt 

Ingredients
  • Danon’s Pro Greek Yogurt 
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
14020 g 8 g  3 g 0 g 

Lunch: Salmon Salad Wrap Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Avocado mashed
  • 1/4 cup of greek yogurt non-fat 
  • 1/4 cup of celery 
  • 1/2 cup cucumber 
  • 1/2 of the juice of a lemon 
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder 
  • 1 dash of salt 
  • 120 g can of drained salmon
Instructions
  1. Mix the avocado, yogurt, cucumber, celery, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl. 
  2. Add salmon into the mixture and mix everything until coated. 
  3. Wrap the salmon salad in a tortilla wrap or serve on a bed of lettuce.
Nutrition Facts

With Tortilla 

CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
41443 g38 g19 g 22 g

With Lettuce Wrap 

CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
35937 g 18 g17 g 8 g

Snacks: Fruit 

Ingredients
  • One piece of medium-sized fruit
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
1151 g 31 g1 g6 g

Dinner: Simple Ground Turkey Spaghetti

Ingredients
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 1/2 cups water or chicken broth (Low sodium) 
  • Ground Turkey, 97/3
  • Garlic
  • Onion, White, Yellow, or Red, Raw
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Pasta Sauce, Marinara, No Sugar Added
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Parsley, Fresh
  • Pasta, Whole-Wheat, Dry
Instructions
  1. Place a large 5-7 quart pot on the stove. Add one tbsp olive oil and heat to medium to high.
  2. While the pot is heating, begin to chop your garlic and onion. Once the pot is hot, add the garlic and onion. Sauté for about 2 min. 
  3. Once you begin to get the aroma from the garlic and onion, add in your ground turkey.  Mix well, breaking the turkey apart as it cooks. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Once the turkey is almost cooked, add in your water, pasta sauce, balsamic vinegar, and Italian seasoning. Mix well. 
  5. Time to add the whole wheat pasta. To submerge the pasta, you may need to break the pasta in half. Bring the pot to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat and simmer for ten or until the pasta is tender. 
  6. Every few minutes, stir the pasta. Cover the pot with the lid again to continue cooking.
  7. The pasta is done cooking when it becomes tender. Let the pasta sit for 2-3 minutes to absorb more of the sauce. 
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
48633 g 54 g17 g9 g

Day Two: 

CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
1429130 g 141 g41 g28 g

Breakfast: Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries 
  • 1/2 medium – 7″ to 7 7/8″ long frozen banana 
  • 1/2 cup whole greek yogurt 
  • 24 g whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup milk 
Toppings:
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Banana 
  • Sliced almonds
  • Granola 
Instructions

1. Add the frozen strawberries, banana, yogurt, whey protein powder, and milk to a blender. 

2. Blend the ingredients until smooth. 

3. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with chia seeds.

Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
40235 g 46 g10 g10 g

Snacks: Cottage Cheese with Almonds

Ingredients
  • 3/4 Cup of low-fat Cottage Cheese 
  • 10 g of Sliced almonds 
Instructions
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
182236 g7 g1 g

Lunch: Rotisserie Chicken Chipotle Bowl

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup uncooked rice or 3/4-1 cup cooked 
  • 1/4 cup black beans 
  • 4 oz Rotisserie Chicken (Diced) 
  • 2 Tbsp whole Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Salsa 
  • 1 oz Shredded Cheese 
  • 2 Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions.
  2. Break down the rotisserie chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. To serve, divide the cooked rice and black beans between two bowls. Top with chicken, yogurt, salsa, cheese, and a squeeze of lime.
  4. Garnish with lime wedges and enjoy!

*Note: If you don’t have access to a rotisserie chicken, you can cook your chicken breast if preferred. 

Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
42339 g 44 g11 g7 g

Snacks: Fruit 

Ingredients

One piece of medium-sized fruit

Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
1151 g 31 g1 g6 g

Dinner: Ground Turkey Lettuce Burgers

Ingredients
  • 1 Pound 93%/7% Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs, Plain 
  • 2 Egg Whites 
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion 
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg whites, onion, and garlic in a medium bowl. Mix well and form into four patties.
  3. Place patties on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until fully cooked.
  4. Serve on a bun or lettuce wrap, and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts

With Bun

CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
39936 g35 g14 g 4 g

With Lettuce Wrap 

CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
32634 g 21 g13 g 4 g

Day Three: 

CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
1500139 g 134 g53 g 33 g

Breakfast: Breakfast Sandwich 

Ingredients
  • 2 Slices of Whole Grain Sprouted Bread 
  • 2 Slices of Turkey Bacon 
  • 2 Whole Eggs 
  • 1 Slice of Swiss Cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the turkey bacon in a pan over medium-high heat until crispy.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. 3. In the same pan, cook the eggs over medium-high heat until they are cooked to your liking.
  4. 4. Once the eggs are cooked, place them on one slice of bread, followed by the turkey bacon and cheese slice. Close with another slice of bread and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
40635 g 29 g17 g12 g

Snacks: Magic Spoon Cereal

Ingredients
  • 35 g of Magic Spoon High-Protein Cereal 
  • One Cup FairLife 2% Milk
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
25828 g 19 g11 g2 g

Lunch: Sheet Pan Chicken Teriyaki 

Ingredients
  • 1 lb Chicken breast, cut into small strips
  • 3/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red Bell pepper, cut into small strips
  • 1 cup Chopped carrots.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup of store-bought teriyaki sauce, one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of garlic powder, and one teaspoon of ground ginger.
  3. Slice veggies and add to a large mix bowl set aside
  4. Prep chicken by slicing it into 1-inch thick strips
  5. Add chicken strips to the bowl and toss to coat.
  6. Using tongs, spread the chicken mixture onto a large baking sheet, followed by the sliced veggies.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  8. Remove from oven and top with green onion slices and sesame seeds. 
  9. Serve over one serving of steamed veggies or rice.
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
33240 g 22 g9 g8 g

Snacks: Fruit 

Ingredients
  • One piece of medium-sized fruit
Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
1151 g 31 g1 g6 g

Dinner: Easy Shrimp Fajitas Sheet Pan Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced 
  • 1/2 onion, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 lime, juiced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Mix shrimp, bell pepper, onion, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, and salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Spread mixture onto a sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. 
  4. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the fajitas before serving.

Serve on a whole wheat tortilla or rice, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
CaloriesProteinCarbsFatsFiber 
40635 g 29 g17 g6 g

Foods to Focus on:

If you’re following a 1500-calorie diet, it’s important to focus on nutrient-rich foods. By definition, nutrient-rich foods are those that provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients while being relatively low in calories. 
Some examples of nutrient-rich foods include 

  • Fruits 
  • Vegetables
  • Lean protein sources 
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat dairy 

There’s no perfect 1500-calorie meal plan but rather a combination of nutrient-rich foods to create a well-rounded diet.

  • Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber 
  • Lean protein provides essential nutrients without being too high in calories or saturated fat. 
  • Whole grains offer a variety of nutrients, including B vitamins and iron. 
  • Low-fat dairy is a good source of calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

By including a mix of nutrient-rich foods in your 1500-calorie diet, you’ll be sure to get the nutrients you need while staying within your calorie budget.

How To Meal Prep 1500 Calorie Diet

I am a firm believer in the idea of cooking once and eating twice. While I cannot say for certain who originated this term, it is a great way to think about meal prep.

How I like to think about meal prepping in one of two ways. The first way is batch prepping: making several recipe servings and portioning them into separate containers.

Or, you can cook as you go, which I do most often. For example, for dinner on Monday, I will make chili. Enough for dinner that night, and then I portion the rest into containers for lunch later in the week. The great thing about both of these methods is that they can be done in advance, and then all you have to do is grab and go. 

Frequently asked questions

How much weight can I lose by eating 1500 calories a day? 

There are a lot of variables that will affect weight loss, including activity level, starting weight, and gender. Generally speaking, a 1500-calorie diet falls 500 calories short of what’s needed to maintain weight, so weight loss is possible. How much weight depends on how long you can maintain 1500 calories daily.

Does the 1500-calorie diet work?

The 1500-calorie diet can work for weight loss, but it depends on the individual.  For some people, 1500 calories may be too high, while for others, it may be just right. Also, remember calories are only one part of the nutrition equation. Refer to the Foods you should focus on.

Why am I not losing weight by eating 1500 calories a day?

There are several reasons why someone may not lose weight by eating 1500 calories per day. The number one mistake I see is that people think they are eating 1500 calories when eating much more. Try tracking your calorie and nutrient intake using Cronometer.

Will eating 1,500 calories slow my metabolism?

Yes, for most people, eating 1,500 calories is not enough food. While that does encourage weight loss, your body begins to adapt to getting fewer calories. The result is a slower metabolism.

Is 1500 calories too low for a woman?

It depends on the woman. When prescribing a calorie deficit for female clients, I find that their Basal Metabolic Rate typically falls between 1300-1600.  If a woman falls at the higher end of that range, 1500 calories may be simply too low.

Conclusion

A plan is key to success with any diet, and a 1500-calorie diet is no exception. Be sure to focus on nutrient-rich foods and include a mix of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy in your 1500-calorie diet.  And don’t forget to track your progress to ensure you stay on track.

Disclaimer

Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.

Noah Quezada is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in Denver, Colorado. Over the course of more than a decade, he has gained extensive experience in helping clients manage their weight through in-person sessions. Noah is also the 2023 President of the Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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