The 1500 Plan

I fell off the health wagon over the holidays. I’m going to do my best to get back on and reach new goals.

Eating is the most important aspect, so to help, I dusted off InDesign and made a weekly chart I could print out. It’s based on the eating plan I’m on when I go to Hilton Head Health, only increased a bit. 1500 calories a day. 300/400/500 for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner and 100 calorie snacks in between. Fairly aggressive for me on a long-term basis, but I’m hoping I can do 2-3 weeks and then morph that into a more normal plan.


PDF of this.

I think my OCDish desire to fill out a perfect week of X’s will help me get it done.

8 responses to “The 1500 Plan”

  1. Erik Isaksen says:

    This is great! I fell off the wagon this past year and gained a lot of weight back but I lost 140 lbs the year before so I know I can do it again. One tool that helped me was myfitnesspal. Mostly because I could scan a lot of the foods and save meals for one-touch reuse. Just made it easier. The only issue I had was if my battery was dead. :( so…a paper back up is great. Great work & Good luck Chris!

  2. Carl says:

    Agree with @Erik about MyFitnessPal. I used it to track calories consumed and the accuracy and coverage of food products supported by it was excellent. It’s no exaggeration to say this app (on iPhone for me) kept me on the reduced calorie plan far longer than if I hadn’t had the app.

    Once thing to be wary of. On a reduced calorie plan you should be careful with your exercise. You will need additional calories to fuel your exercise. Yes, you could do the exercise without additional calories but your exercise will be fueled by your already reduced calorie intake and could lead to you trying to manage on just 1,000 calories more or less (assuming 500kcal burned in exercise) which probably isn’t advisable plus you’ll simply be more fatigued during exercise and hence more likely not to do it or to do it effectively.

    Far more preferable to increase your calorie intake by the amount burned by your exercise. Ultimately you’ll still be on a net 1,500 calorie intake (the additional kcals and exercise kcals will negate each other out) and therefore still lose weight but you won’t feel so fatigued during exercise or so hungry during an exercise day — a recipe for failure!

  3. Gray says:

    Only commenting because I was slightly concerned with the 1500 calories but Carl mentions some good points above. All depends on the intensity of the workout, I suppose!

  4. Cindy says:

    Good luck Chris!
    It is the exercise part that is hard to find time for. I am using your chart, thank you for making it. I put it on my fridge (LOL) Drink a lot of water and go light on the carbs.

  5. Jeff Holland says:

    Once upon a time, a few years back when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was a certified personal trainer, diet coach, etc., and I also competed in the Mr. Alabama Teen Division in bodybuilding, which I was fortunate enough to win the three times I did enter that bodybuilding contest. At contest time I was right around 2.1-2.7% body fat and in the best shape of my life then and during off-season too. I was extremely dedicated to eating healthy and working out, so much so that if I missed a workout, it would eat and gnaw at me and my psyche for days or at least until I was able to get back in the gym the following day. On one late night/early morning I was driving and went off a 75′ cliff and threw myself under the dashboard/steering wheel in order for me not to be ejected through the windshield of the car and when my car finally landed and started rolling into a small pond, I broke my L1, L4, and L5 lumbars in my lower to mid area of my back. Anyway i digress, the point I am trying to make with all that said is however you plan on working out, rather in your den to body rock, at a gym with dumbbells, or a daily fast pace walk around your neighborhood, it is your own personal goal that you are striving for. I have often come up with the “I just can not seem to find the time to workout and exercise” excuse. And that is exactly what it is, and excuse, and when I say that I am only speaking in regards to myself, because I do not believe there is any one human that can not allocated at least twenty minutes a day to get some exercise in. My personal exercise routine is a fives day a week, about an hour or hour and a half max per day, and I make sure I rest on Saturday and Sunday so my body and muscles can recover and grow, because that is when our body starts to transform is the days that we are resting and recovering and not the days that we are in the gym or home working them out. Thanks Chris for all that you do for us in the community and also letting me ramble on. I just felt the need to post to keep me accountable for my goals and actions as I embark on improving my overall being this coming year 2014. Another major goal of mine is to become a very talented developer/designer as I am self taught for a few years now, but I feel like I need the real work experience in order to sharpen my skills. I am in between the decisions of trying to find the funds to attend but I see no way of being able to raise that much money to attend those incredible nine weeks of nothing but greatness. My other alternative goal has been to become a better WordPress developer but like I said I am not making any kind of progress in my current status.

  6. JustMe says:

    Hey Chris, great job at css-tricks. :) I just wanted to say hello and wish you best of luck with your plan on eating healthy. However i am not sure if cutting your calories intake to such drastic number is a great idea. Of course it depends on number of factors and some of them are for example your activity level lean body mass (muscle require much more energy than fat) and so on. Ive been working out for a few years now and i know a little bit about this however i am no nutrition expert or so. I would recommend you consulting it with your doctor first.

    Thing is that if you cut your calories too drastically (more than 15-20%) than there is high chance that your body will “freak out” and go to the starvation mode. There is also high chance that your body will start burning your muscles. Last thing that you want is that because the more muscle you have the easier is for you to loose weight because the muscle burns much more calories than fat to survive.

    I would recommend you changing your diet just slightly and start some light cardio excercises. If you are too overweight than start with walking or cycling on the bike (outdoor of stacional) your joints will thank you later. Later you can start running. If you do this light cardio regullary for about 20-60m your body will go to the “owerdrive” and start burning much more calories than without it. Its called the afterburn effect. Like with the nutrition do not do “insane” amount of cardio (more than 2h a day) because your body will start burning the muscle and depending on your training you could get your body to the overtrained state which would not benefict you at all.

    Of course i would recommend you to talk to your doctor. You can learn more about nutrition or excercies at which is a free site dedicated to these topics.

    Anyway good luck with your goals and keep up the good work. If you would like to respond to this message i will probably not be here to answer since ive used despozable email address. Lastly i would like o apologize for my bad english its not my mothers tongue, in fact its 3. foreign language i have learned. :)

  7. Jen says:

    Stole your diet plan PDF. I like X’s as well. Miss your face.

  8. Jeff says:

    I’m not naturally a big dude, but I often end up eating like garbage and spending way too much time in front of my computer. I found the tedium of tracking calories and all that to be a huge pain, too, for me. I’d eventually lose interest and stop.

    A friend of mine – whom I routinely, legitimately refer to as “the smartest person I’ve ever met” – had been following the Paleo/Primal lifestyle for a few years, so I gave it a go. Seriously, best decision ever. No more heartburn, better sleep, consistent energy levels, and lost 20lbs (which is about all I could afford to lose) of body fat – not muscle. No counting calories or anything either. Anyway, if you plateau or get bored with the method you’re trying here, give that a shot if you’re interested.

    Good luck on your efforts Chris!

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