800 Calorie Diet Menu and Meal Plan

One successful way to get rid of the excess pounds is to reduce your calorie intake. When the calorie count that you consume is lesser than the average, normal calorie intake it will lead to weight loss. A number of diet plans are available to help us consume fewer calories than we usually do. The 800 calorie diet menu and meal plan is one such diet plans which limit the calorie intake of a person to 800 calories per day. This diet plan falls under the category of Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) and should never be practiced without the approval and monitoring of your doctor. This diet plan is only recommended for people who are dangerously overweight and for people whose obesity may lead to life threatening situations. Doctors recommend this diet for people whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 30. People who take this diet usually lose 3-5 pounds per week and a total of around 50 pounds in twelve weeks.

This diet should not be tried by anyone at home. Getting a doctor’s recommendation is mandatory with this diet plan, as the calorie intake per day is dangerously low and taking this diet without medical supervision can lead to many medical complications. Never ever follow this diet without your doctor’s approval.

How is the 800 calorie diet menu formulated?

The 800 calorie diet menu and meal plan is generically formulated by replacing most of the regular food with meal replacement supplements and liquid diets. The exact diet formulation will be designed by your physician depending on a lot of factors like your weight, age, medical conditions etc. He will give all the details about what to eat and when and will also ask to see you every two weeks or so when you are taking the diet. You will be completely monitored during this period by your doctor. Because of the drastic calorie reduction, your blood pressure, pulse, changes in weight are closely followed and recorded by the physician. Moreover blood tests are also taken every two weeks to make sure that you are alright. The doctor will also recommend behavioral therapy and physical training exercises as a part of the diet plan. So you can understand how dangerous and foolish it would be to take these diets by our own without the support of a doctor.

800 calorie diet menus:

Furnished below are a few well known 800 calorie diets.

  • Medifast: This diet plan is endorsed by John Hopkins University and the calorie intake when following this plan is limited to 800-1000 calories per day. Therefore this is strictly not a VLCD.
  • Optifast: This difficult to follow diet plan is widely practiced in a lot of clinics in the US and Canada.
  • The Cambridge diet: This diet has a very low calorie level of around 400-600 calories and is used in the UK.


The Medifast meal plan is made of up to five meal replacements a day. Meals can be substituted with bars, soups, shakes and oat meals. Besides this, the meal plan also recommends one meal per day that constitutes of lean meat and two cups of vegetable salad. A minimum of 64oz of fluids should be consumed in a day and it is better to consume some fluid every two to three hours.


This program followed in clinics comprises of the following: 

  • Initial medical analysis before the diet is launched and continuous monitoring when the diet is being followed.
  • Counseling on behavior, lifestyle and nutrition that need to be followed to maintain the weight.
  • A predominantly liquid diet.
  • Regular physical activity.

This program is offered as a 26 week plan during which care is taken to ensure that the person taking the diet properly transitions to the regular meals.

The Cambridge Diet:

The Cambridge diet is a very low calorie diet and should not be tried without medical supervision. In this diet plan, regular meals are replaced with precise amounts of vitamins, calories and nutrients that are available as bars or in sachets. Copious amounts of water should be consumed to keep the metabolism balanced and to avoid constipation.

Side effects:

Following the 800 calorie diet will have a lot of side effects as there is a steep reduction in the calorie intake. People following the 800 calorie diet plan usually complain of fatigue, diarrhea, constipation and nausea. There is also a possibility of serious complications like gall-bladder stones if the weight loss process is too quick. So it is very critical to follow this diet plan along with medical supervision. Be aware that this diet plan is a risky endeavor and so never ever try to do this all by ourselves and put your health at jeopardy.