900 Calories A Day: Is This A Healthy Way To Lose Weight?

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There are various reasons why people might want to follow a 900 calorie diet plan or use a 900 calorie meal plan, one of which is to try and lose weight.

But, is 900 calories a day enough to provide you with what you need throughout the day, or are there safer ways to support weight loss?

In this 900 calories a day diet guide, we will discuss if eating 900 calories a day is enough, the risks and benefits of a 900 calorie diet plan, and some sample 900 calories a day meals and recipe ideas.

We will cover: 

  • Is 900 Calories a Day Enough?
  • How Much Weight Will You Lose Eating 900 Calories a Day?
  • How Do You Eat 900 Calories a Day?
  • What Is the Best 900 Calorie a Day Meal Plan?

Let’s dive in!

A notebook that says calories, a fork, apple and tape measure.

Is 900 Calories a Day Enough?

Eating only 900 calories a day is considered a low-calorie diet (800-1200 calories per day) and almost a very low-calorie diet (VLCD, under 800 calories a day).

A 900 calorie diet plan falls well below the recommended daily caloric intake for adults according to the 2020-2025 United States Dietary Guidelines.

According to these recommendations, adult men should consume at least 2,200–2,400 calories, while adult females should consume at least 1,600–1,800 calories daily.

Thus, a 900 calories weight loss diet plan is not enough to provide the nutrition you need to prevent nutritional deficiencies and fuel your body adequately, even if you are trying to lose weight rapidly.

We present this 900 calories diet weight loss guide with the imperative disclaimer that we are not recommending following a 900 calorie diet plan unless you are being guided by a medical team or eating 900 calories a day for a day or two as a quick reset or jumpstart into a more sustainable, healthy weight loss diet plan.

Another option is if you are doing intermittent fasting using the alternative day schedule, and you want to use a 900 calorie meal plan for your fasting diet days instead of strict fasting and then resume normal eating every other day.

A calorie counting app.

How Much Weight Will You Lose Eating 900 Calories a Day?

The amount of weight you will lose by eating 900 calories a day depends on your total daily caloric expenditure (body size, activity level, etc.) and how long you follow a 900 calorie diet plan.

A caloric deficit of 3500 calories results in one pound of fat loss, so you will need to determine your total daily energy expenditure and then subtract 900 calories from the diet to figure out your daily caloric deficit.

Finally, multiply this caloric deficit by the number of days you follow a 900 calorie meal plan.

How Do You Eat 900 Calories a Day?

The challenge of a 900 calorie diet is that eating 900 calories a day will likely not leave you feeling satisfied in terms of physical and emotional hunger.

All foods contain calories, and a surprising number, in most cases. Therefore, 900 calories a day will be a surprisingly small amount of food.

There are various strategies for choosing a good 900 calories meal plan or eating 900 calories a day without feeling absolutely famished.

You can either split your 900 calories meal plan into three balanced meals that are each 300 calories: 300 calorie breakfast, 300 calorie lunch, and 300 calories dinner if you want to feel like you are having regular meal time.

A plate with the letters calories on it.

Another alternative is to do intermittent fasting and split your 900 calories meal plan into two different meals that are each roughly 450 calories or one smaller breakfast like a 300 calorie breakfast and a 600 calorie dinner if you prefer to have a larger meal.

Another similar intermittent fasting approach is to try the one meal a day diet, called the OMAD diet.

The OMAD diet is exactly how it sounds—you fast all day and then eat one meal.

Thus, with a 900 calories weight loss diet plan, you’d fast 23 hours and then have one 900-calorie dinner (or midday meal).

Finally, you can try eating 900 calories a day by having no real “meals“ but rather having small 100 to 200 calorie snacks spaced throughout the day every couple of hours.

The best tip for eating 900 calories a day or following a 900 calories a day meal plan is to experiment with different approaches to see which 900 calories diet plan works best for you logistically, emotionally, and appetite-wise to help you feel energized enough and not famished.

Again, this is all with the important disclaimer that we are not supporting following a 900 cal a day diet plan unless you are specifically guided or instructed by a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or certified medical provider to be eating 900 calories a day.

A yogurt parfait.

What Is the Best 900 Calorie a Day Meal Plan?

We have created a 900-calorie weight loss diet plan in two ways.

One 900 calorie meal plan has 3 meals per day, each roughly 300 calories, and the other option has two larger meals if you want to do intermittent fasting.

900 Calorie Low-Carb Meal Plan: 3 Meals a Day

Breakfast: 310 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, 33 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber

  • Yogurt Parfait: 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 10 almonds, 1/2 cup raspberries 210 calories, 7 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs, 6 grams fiber
  • Egg white scramble with 1.5 cups of baby spinach (7 calories per cup) and 5 egg whites (17 calories per egg white from a large egg, 4 grams of protein) 100 calories, 22 grams of protein, 3 grams of net carbs 
  • 12 ounces of water
  • Black coffee or unsweetened tea
A Greek salad.

Lunch: 275 calories, 30 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, 5 grams of net carbs

  • Baby spinach and arugula salad with 1 cup of each leafy green, one plum tomato chopped, 1 tablespoon of walnuts, 1/4 avocado chopped, 1 ounce of low-sodium feta cheese, 3.5 ounces of lean protein of choice (chicken breast, turkey breast, tofu, tuna), with lemon juice dressing.
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water

Dinner: 368 calories, 24g of carbs, 38g of protein, 12g of fat

  • Greek salad: 1/2 cup of chopped kale, 1/2 cup of chopped spinach, 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 ounce low-sodium feta cheese, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, dressing made from 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil: 268 calories, 22g of carbs, 18g of protein, 12g of fat
  • One 3-ounce can of light tuna in water, 2 celery stalks chopped, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard: 100 calories, 20 grams of protein, 2 grams of net carbs 
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water
Grilled chicken.

900 Calorie Low-Carb Meal Plan: 2 Meals a Day

Early Lunch: 370 calories, 7 grams of carbs, 14.5 grams of fat, 53 grams of protein

  • 6 ounces grilled chicken breast (268 calories, 50 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat), 2 cups romaine lettuce, 4 cherry tomatoes, 1 cup sliced cucumber, 1 tablespoon of peanuts (52 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs), 1 teaspoon olive oil (40 calories, 4.5 grams of fat), 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 12 ounces of water
  • Black coffee or unsweetened tea

Dinner: 540 calories, 28 grams of fat, 51 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fiber

  • 7 ounces of salmon, 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil (350 cal, 19 g of fat, 40 g of protein, 2 g of carbohydrates)
  • Broccoli with hummus and sesame seeds: 2 cups of broccoli chopped, 1/4 cup of hummus, 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (190 cal, 9 g of fat, 20 g of carbohydrates, 9 g of fiber, 11 g of protein)
  • 12 ounces of water

Total: 910 calories a day, 29 grams of carbs, 42.5 grams of fat, 104 grams of protein, 

With a 900 calories weight loss diet, you will almost certainly need nutritional supplements in the form of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes because it is virtually impossible to meet all of your micronutrient needs by eating 900 calories a day at most.

This is why it is really important to work with a healthcare provider to ensure that you are not creating nutritional deficiencies that will impact your health and even potentially your weight loss goals.

If you are interested in finding a healthy diet to lose weight, check out our database here.

A person speaking with a nutritionist.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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