When you are eating 1000 calories a day, it’s normal to feel hungry; however, there are specific changes you can make to help you feel full, even while you eat fewer calories.
How can you feel full on 1000 calories? To feel full while eating 1000 calories per day, you should focus on eating foods with higher water, fiber, and protein content because these nutrients help to keep you full for more extended periods. Additionally, you should avoid low-volume, calorie-dense foods that digest too quickly.
It is important to note that if you try to implement all of the tips mentioned below but still feel pretty hungry, you may just need to increase the number of calories you take in. This is because 1000 calories is a pretty low amount to eat per day for most people.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Can you feel full eating 1000 calories a day?
- Tips for feeling full eating 1000 calories
- Meals that will keep you feeling full on 1000 calories
- Still not feeling full on 1000 calories? Here’s what to do
We offer more tips on how to stick to your weight loss diet in our article 34 Tips For Getting Used To Eating Less
Can You Feel Full Eating 1000 Calories A Day?
Whether or not you feel full eating 1000 a day depends on a few factors, such as how many calories you usually burn in a day and what foods you choose to reach this daily intake.
That being said, very few people can eat 1000 calories and not feel hungry because 1000 calories is a very low intake, and most people require more than this to maintain or even lose weight.
For example, a 25-year-old male athlete who is 5’11’’ tall and weighs 190 pounds requires at least 2700 calories per day to maintain his weight. Not only would this man feel extremely hungry while eating 1000 calories per day, but it would also be highly unsustainable. It would likely result in adverse effects on his health if done for an extended period of time.
Negative health effects associated with undereating by this magnitude are extremely low energy, hair loss, irritability, sleep problems, feeling cold all of the time from disrupted hormones, digestive issues (mainly constipation), and constant hunger.
Even if we were to examine an individual who requires a much lower calorie intake to maintain their weight, it is still likely that this individual would experience hunger while eating 1000 calories.
For example, a 25-year-old female who is 5’3” tall and weighs 125 pounds would need 1700 calories a day to maintain her weight. Therefore, following a 1000-calorie diet would still create a whopping 700-calorie deficit, likely resulting in many negative symptoms mentioned above.
To achieve healthy weight loss, you need a calorie deficit of around 250-500 calories (eating 250-500 calories less than your maintenance calories). Therefore, the only people who should be eating 1000 calories per day are those who maintain their weight at 1500 calories at most, which would be very few people.
All that to say that 1000 calories aren’t enough nourishment for most people, so it’s normal to feel hungry with this daily intake.
However, if upon careful consideration, you have decided a 1000-calorie diet is right for you, there are strategies you can incorporate to decrease the amount of hunger you experience.
In the next section, I will discuss which foods are best for feeling full on a 1000-calorie diet, along with additional tips you can implement to achieve this goal.
Tips For Feeling Full Eating 1000 Calories
Here are ten tips for feeling full and satisfied after your meals while eating 1000 calories a day:
- Focus on fiber-rich foods
- Include more fruits & vegetables
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat foods with higher water content
- Avoid fat sources that lack volume
- Eat regularly throughout the day
- Choose slow-digesting carbohydrates
- Avoid drinking your calories
- Try lighter forms of exercise
- Slow down at mealtimes and chew your food more
1. Include More Fruits & Vegetables
One of the best ways to increase fullness after a meal is by incorporating foods with high fiber content, like fruits and vegetables. When a food contains higher amounts of fiber, it provides more volume in your stomach and takes longer for your body to digest.
For example, if you were to drink apple juice, it wouldn’t leave you feeling as full as if you had eaten the apple. While the apple and the apple juice will have a similar nutrient content, the fiber in the apple you ate would take your body more time to digest and take up more room in your stomach.
Some examples of foods that are high in fiber while also being low in calories are:
- Lettuce and other leafy greens
- Cruciferous veggies (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts)
- Squash (zucchini, spaghetti, butternut)
- Berries (all varieties)
2. Prioritize Protein in Each Meal
Another great way to feel full on fewer calories is to eat an adequate amount of protein in each meal (20 to 30 grams) because protein is the most satiating nutrient.
While protein and carbs contain 4 calories per gram, eating a meal centered around protein will make you feel fuller for longer than a carb-centered meal.
Protein helps reduce your hunger hormone ghrelin and boosts the levels of other hormones in your body that help with feeling full.
In addition, protein takes longer for your body to digest than carbohydrates, so you will feel full for longer because it takes more time to travel through your digestive system.
You should eat around 30% of your daily calories from protein-rich foods. If you are eating 1000 calories per day, this would mean you would be eating 75 grams of protein in a day.
Good sources of protein to include in your meals when eating 1000 calories per day are:
- Lean cuts of poultry (chicken breast, turkey breast)
- Extra-lean cuts of meat (extra lean ground beef, extra lean ground bison)
- Wild Fish and shellfish (salmon, tuna, cod, halibut, shrimp)
- Egg whites
- Non-fat dairy products (e.g. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese)
- Whey protein powder
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Another important tip is to drink plenty of water because It is very common to feel sensations of hunger when you’re thirsty or dehydrated.
While the ideal daily water intake will depend on individual factors, it is generally recommended that men consume at least 3.7 liters a day and women consume at least 2.7 liters per day.
Drinking water before meals has been shown to reduce hunger more effectively, which is extremely helpful when eating lower-calorie meals.
4. Eat Foods With Higher Water Content
Not only can it be helpful to drink enough water to help you feel full, but eating foods that naturally contain more water can also help to reduce your hunger levels.
Foods with a high-water content are also typically high in volume and low in calories, meaning that they will provide a feeling of fullness in your stomach without raising your calorie count.
Examples of foods that have a high water content that are also low in calories are:
5. Avoid Fat Sources That Lack Volume
When you are only eating 1000 calories per day, your daily fat intake will be relatively low because fats have the most calories per gram. I recommend allocating 30% of your daily calories to fat, which would be around 33 grams of fat per day.
Since a daily fat intake of 33 grams per day is quite low, it is important to be strategic about the fat you use. Using a fat source that contains fat, carbs, and protein is more beneficial in increasing food volume and promote satiety and fullness.
If you’re choosing a fat source that only contains fat (no carbs or protein), it will be higher in calories and lower in volume, so you will be more hungry than you need to be.
The difference in food volume is because fats have 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbs only have 4 calories per gram. So, a fat source that is pure fat will be higher in calories than a fat source that also contains carbs and/or protein.
For example, one tablespoon of olive oil contains around 120 calories and 14 grams of fat with no carbs or protein. On the other hand, 1/2 cup of avocado contains about 117 calories and 11 grams of fat but also has 6 grams of fiber (carbs) and 1 gram of protein.
On a low-calorie diet, the avocado would be considered a superior choice for fat compared to the oil because it’s high in volume and will keep you full longer.
Some foods that are high in healthy fats while also containing fiber and other nutrients include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Coconut shavings
- Eggs (particularly the yolk)
- Chia seeds
6. Eat Regularly Throughout the Day
If your goal is to eat 1000 calories a day and feel full, you must eat regular meals throughout the day. Skipping meals could cause you to become extremely hungry, resulting in overeating or binging at your next meal.
While the ideal meal frequency will vary depending on personal preference, I recommend you aim to include to have breakfast, lunch, a small snack, and dinner daily.
7. Choose Slow Digesting Carbohydrates
Another consideration for staying full on 1000 calories is to choose carbs sources that are slower to digest because slower-digesting carbs will keep your stomach full for longer.
You can identify slow-digesting carbs by their fiber content because it is the fiber content of these carbs that makes them slower to digest.
A great place to start is to swap out any foods containing white flour with whole grain/ whole wheat products.
For example, if you usually eat white basmati rice, you can easily swap this out for brown basmati rice. Or, if you typically eat regular pasta, try whole wheat pasta instead.
Great examples of slow digesting carbs to eat on a low-calorie diet include:
- Whole wheat bread/ whole wheat tortillas
- Brown rice
- Rolled oats
8. Avoid Drinking Your Calories
When trying to eat 1000 calories a day, liquid calories can be your worst enemy because it’s much easier to drink your calories than eat them, so you might be increasing your calorie intake more than you had planned.
While the obvious high-calorie beverages such as soda are easily avoidable, it is also important to pay attention to the calories in beverages such as juice, tea, coffee, and certain sports drinks.
For example, if you are drinking 2 cups of black coffee daily, this is harmless to your calorie count at only 5 calories per cup. However, adding as little as 2 cream and 2 sugar to your daily coffee can increase the calorie content of your coffee to 140 calories per cup, totaling 280 calories per day just in coffee.
When eating 1000 calories a day, it’s best to stick to low/ no calorie beverages such as water, black coffee, tea, and zero-calorie soda/ sports drinks (in moderation) because it’s not worth wasting calories on beverages that won’t keep you full.
9. Try Lighter Forms of Exercise
It’s also important to consider whether you’re exercising in appropriate amounts because exercise affects how hungry you’ll feel when eating 1000 calories a day. If you burn too many calories, you will feel much more hungry.
As mentioned earlier, 1000 calories a day is already a very low intake for most people, so adding in exercise (especially intense) on top of this makes it even more drastic.
Adding intense exercise isn’t beneficial because once your body feels like it’s not getting enough nourishment, it will stop burning calories as readily to save what calories are coming in for basic bodily functions like breathing.
Additionally, your body will be begging you to increase your calorie intake by sending more intense hunger signals than it normally would with a 1000-calorie intake.
Therefore, If you are eating 1000 calories a day, it’s better to stick to lighter forms of exercise such as walking, yoga, and moderate weightlifting sessions. You should avoid moderate-to-high intensity cardio and intense/ heavy weight training sessions that could burn more calories.
10. Slow Down at Mealtimes and Chew Your Food More
One simple and easy way to feel full and satisfied with your meals is to take the time to sit down and eat your food slowly and mindfully. It has been shown that eating your food more slowly can help to suppress hunger hormones while increasing fullness hormones.
In addition, if you eat your meals too quickly because you are distracted, you are less likely to feel full and satisfied afterward because you haven’t given your body enough time to register that it’s full.
Eating more slowly can also help you chew your food into smaller pieces, enhancing your digestion.
Meals That Will Keep You Feeling Full on 1000 Calories
Below is a list of different breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options that will help you to feel full on a 1000-calorie diet. Choosing one meal from each category will add up to 1000 calories.
Breakfast Ideas (300 calories)
- 1/3 cup oatmeal mixed with ½ scoop of protein powder, topped with ½ cup raspberries, 1 tbsp peanut butter, and cinnamon.
- 3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, mixed with 2 tbsp chia seeds, ½ of a chopped apple, and ½ tbsp cacao powder (cacao powder optional)
- 1 egg + 4 egg white omelet made with 2 cups sauteed spinach, 1/2 cup chopped onion and mushrooms, 1 oz low fat cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Served with 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tsp butter on the side.
Lunch Ideas (300 calories)
- 4 oz baked chicken breast, with 4 oz mashed sweet potato, and 1 cup cooked broccoli (use low/ no calorie seasoning of choice).
- 3.5 oz tiger shrimp (cooked with 0.5 tbsp coconut oil), sauteed with 2 cups frozen stir-fry veggie mix, 1/3 cup basmati rice, and 1 tbsp soy sauce.
- Open-faced tuna sandwich with 1 slice whole wheat bread (toasted), 4.5 oz canned tuna, 1 tbsp low fat mayo, 2 slices of tomato, and 1 pickle. Served with 1 cup sliced cucumber/ snap pea and 2 tbsp hummus.
Snack Ideas (100 calories)
- 1 scoop of protein powder mixed in water
- ½ an apple with ½ tbsp peanut butter
Dinner Ideas (300 calories)
- Taco salad made with 3 oz lean ground turkey, 2.5 cups romaine lettuce, ¼ cup tomato, ¼ cup mushrooms, ¼ cup chopped cucumber, 1 oz low fat cheddar cheese, 20 thin corn tortilla chips (crunched into salad), 1 tbsp salsa, and 1 tbsp low calorie Italian dressing.
- 3 oz salmon, 2 oz mashed purple potato, 7 asparagus spears, and ½ oz low fat feta cheese.
- 4.5 oz grilled mahi mahi with 4 oz roasted baby potatoes, ½ cup roasted beets, 1 cup roasted Brussel sprouts, and 25 grams of avocado.
Still Not Feeling Full on 1000 Calories? Here’s What to Do
If you have utilized all the tips mentioned above and are still experiencing extreme hunger eating 1000 calories a day, you need to increase your calorie intake.
In fact, there is a very good chance that 1000 calories is too low of an intake to maintain, and you would be better off choosing a less severe, more realistic deficit to achieve your goal.
If you don’t need to diet on 1000 calories a day, then it’s better not to. Dieting on a lower intake than you need is counterproductive in the long run because you’ll slow down your metabolism and burn fewer calories.
To determine what calorie deficit is appropriate for you, I recommend you find your total daily calorie expenditure (TDEE) using an online calculator like this one.
Your TDEE estimates how many calories your body burns in a day, which is important because it will be equivalent to how many calories you need to eat to maintain weight.
Once you have determined your maintenance calories, simply reduce this number by 250-500 calories. A deficit of 250-500 calories should allow you to lose anywhere from 0.5-2 lb per week, which is a healthy and safe amount of weight to lose.
If you’ve already been eating 1000 calories for a while now and you’ve stopped seeing progress, then it’s time to consider either a diet break or a reverse diet.
To learn more about how to feel full while in a calorie deficit, you can book a 20-minute free consultation with one of our expert coaches to discuss your specific goals.
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About The Author
Colby Roy is a holistic health and nutrition coach. She is certified through Precision Nutrition and has a passion for all things nutrition and healing the body. More specifically, Colby likes to work with clients who want to optimize their gut health and energy levels.