Typical items on a 500-calorie-per-day diet include Greek yogurt, almonds, fruit, vegetables and lean meat. Multiple 500-calorie diet plans are available, and foods vary based on the plan. Due to the calorie restrictions, a dieter shouldn't go on a 500-calorie plan without medical supervision.
Certain 500-calorie diet plans instruct the dieter to eat normally for five days and use the 500-calorie plan for two days per week. The two days are typically nonconsecutive. Dieters may choose to eat multiple small meals throughout the day, or one large meal. Meals for this type of diet plan include a spinach omelette, chicken miso soup and Chinese vegetable chow mein.
Nutritional deficiencies are an issue on a 500-calorie diet plan. When eating such a small amount of calories, most people can't meet daily vitamin and mineral requirements. They also do not eat enough carbohydrates and fats. These deficiencies can cause short-term issues, such as fatigue, constipation and dizziness, and long-term problems, such as irregular heartbeats and gallstone formation.
Although weight loss is common on these diet plans, restricting calories for long periods of time slows the metabolism. This makes it difficult to maintain weight loss. These diet plans can also cause muscle loss.