1000 Calorie Low Glycemic Index Diet

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
apple with measuring tape

If you consume a 1,000-calorie, low-glycemic index diet you'll likely lose weight. However, this type of diet isn't for everybody. A 1,000-calorie, low-glycemic index diet is classified as a low-calorie diet and commonly used for weight loss and blood sugar control. Glycemic index, or GI, is a method used to rank carbohydrate-containing foods on a scale of 1 to 100 based on how they affect your blood sugar levels.

Following a 1,000-Calorie, Low GI Diet

When you follow a 1,000-calorie, low-GI diet it's important to consume low-GI foods, which are generally high in fiber and take longer for your body to digest compared with high-GI foods. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following classifications apply to the glycemic index of foods:

  • Low-GI foods: GI scores 55 and under
  • Medium-GI foods: GI scores 56 to 69
  • High-GI foods: GI scores 70 and above

The University of Sidney provides a GI database that allows you to search for GI scores of some of your favorite foods. However, a few examples of low-GI foods include:

  • All-Bran cereal
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Rye bread
  • Legumes
  • Raw carrots
  • Peas
  • Raw apples
  • Raw pears
  • Raw oranges
  • Skim milk
  • Barley
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

How to Average 1,000 Calories per Day

If you consume a 1,000-calorie, low-GI diet, use a meal plan to help stick to your daily calorie limits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, created sample healthy meal plans at different calorie levels. A USDA 1,000-calorie daily meal plan consists of:

  • 3 ounces of whole grains
  • 2 ounces of high-protein foods such as lean meats, seafood, poultry, eggs, soy products, nuts, or seeds
  • 2 cups of dairy products or soy milk
  • 1 cup of fruits
  • 1 cup of vegetables
  • 15 grams of vegetable oils or other healthy fats
  • 137 extra calories from foods of your choice

Sample Menu

Breakfast

  • 1 cup of All-Bran cereal
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • One medium raw pear or raw apple

Snack

  • 1/2 ounce of mixed nuts, cashews, or almonds

Lunch

  • One slice of rye bread
  • 2 ounces of canned light tuna packed in water
  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of raw carrots

Snack

  • 1 cup of low-fat or fat-free yogurt

Dinner

  • 2 ounces of grilled salmon
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup of cooked peas

Helpful Tips

  1. If you choose to count calories instead of using a meal plan to average 1,000 calories per day, the USDA's National Nutrient Database is a useful tool for you.
  2. To help stick with your diet plan and adhere to your daily calorie limits, record everything you eat on a daily basis.
  3. Weigh yourself one time each week to monitor your progress and make sure you're losing about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Is This Kind of Diet Right for You?

Whether or not you should follow a low-calorie, low GI diet is a decision that you should make together with your physician. Generally, people with diabetes and pre-diabetes are most affected by a food's glycemic index. Use the guidelines below to see if you should consider this type of diet.

Reasons to Choose a Low-Calorie, Low-GI Diet

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, diets containing between 1,000 and 1,200 calories per day will help most women lose weight safely. Also, 1,000-calorie, low-GI diets are usually effective for blood sugar control. If the following applies to you, talk to your doctor or dietician about starting this kind of diet:

  • You're a small-framed, sedentary woman trying to lose excess body weight and control your blood sugar levels.
  • You want to control your blood sugar levels, because you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or are at risk for developing diabetes.
  • You want to reduce the need to take diabetes medication. Consuming a low-GI diet may help reduce the need to take diabetes medications.

Consuming low-GI foods as part of a 1,000-calorie diet will likely help you lose weight and body fat. A study published in a 2005 edition of Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism found that subjects who consumed a low-fat, low-GI diet over a period of six months showed a significant 15 percent decrease in body fat and lost an average of 8.9 kilograms, or about 19.6 pounds.

When to Avoid a 1,000-Calorie, Low-GI Diet

Although a 1,000-calorie, low-glycemic index diet can help you lose weight and control your blood sugar, this type of diet may contain too few calories for you, even for weight loss. You should avoid this type of diet if you:

  • Weigh more than 164 pounds
  • Are an overweight woman, but exercise regularly
  • Are an overweight man

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services encourages people who fit into any of the above categories, to consume between 1,200 and 1,600 calories each day for weight loss. If you're overweight or obese, the American Dietetic Association encourages you to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week by reducing your daily energy intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day.

Although consuming a 1,000-calorie, low-GI diet will likely help you lose weight, unless you're a small-framed sedentary woman you may feel hungry if you consume this diet for an extended period of time. Studies that examine effects of low-GI diets on weight loss show mixed results. The American Dietetic Association reports that low-glycemic index diets without calorie restriction are not encouraged for weight loss because they have not been proven effective for weight loss or weight maintenance.

Bottom Line

Before you begin a 1,000-calorie, low-GI diet for weight loss, talk with your healthcare provider to make sure this type of diet is appropriate and safe for you. If you're overweight or obese, your doctor may suggest you try a 1,000-calorie diet plan but avoid choosing only low-GI foods. If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, your doctor may recommend a low-glycemic index diet that contains more than 1,000 calories per day. The bottom line when choosing a diet is to pick a healthy eating plan you can stick with long-term.

1000 Calorie Low Glycemic Index Diet