Healthy 1800 Calorie Diet Plan

An 1800 calorie diet plan calls for three meals and three snacks each day to provide your body with sustained energy. Let’s take a look at a sample diet plan that delivers 1800 calories together with all the essential nutrients your body needs.

An 1800 calorie diet plan allows for an extra snack and a bit more starch than lower calorie diet plans, in order to meet the body’s needs for protein and carbohydrate. If you’ve looked at my menu plans for 1200 or 1500 calories, you’ll notice that the menus are quite similar in terms of food items. But as the calories go up, I have increased the number of servings from the different food groups over the course of the day. I tried to keep the meal plans similar across all calorie levels. That way, if a couple chooses to diet together but their calorie needs differ, they can still eat their meals together.

Do you need a 1800 calorie diet plan?

An 1800 calorie diet plan might be right for you if you are a large-framed, active female who is seeking weight loss. This meal plan may be appropriate for medium-framed men who are active but seek weight loss, or large-framed men who are only lightly active and seek weight loss. It should go without saying that regular exercise is important for your health and can also help you reach your goals.

A drop of no more than 2 pounds (1 kg) per week is considered a safe rate of weight loss. If you are losing more quickly than that, move up to the next highest calorie level. If you are losing more slowly than that, you can drop down to the 1500 calorie plan. As with any diet plan, regular exercise is not only a healthy habit, it also helps you to burn more calories to help you reach your weight goals.

What does a 1800 calorie diet look like each day?

This plan calls for three meals and three snacks to help you take in 1800 healthy calories each day at regular intervals. Here is the basic breakdown for the 1800 calorie diet plan:

Breakfast: 1 Protein + 1 Fruit (+ vegetables if desired)
Snack: 1 Protein Snack
Lunch: 2 Protein + 2 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 1 Starch/Grain + 1 Taste Enhancer + 1 Fruit
Snack: 1 Protein Snack + 1 Fruit or Vegetable
Dinner: 2 Protein + 1 Starch/Grain + 2 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 1 Taste Enhancer
Snack: 1 Fruit

Daily Totals: 5 Protein, 3 Fruit, 4-5 Vegetable, 2 Starch/Grain, 2 Protein Snack, Leafy Greens – no limit, 2 Taste Enhancer,

I’ve created the 1800 calorie menus based upon this framework, but you can make adjustments as long as you don’t exceed the daily totals for each food group. For example, if you tend to eat a late breakfast and an early lunch, you might want to move your morning snack to another time during the day. Or, perhaps you don’t feel the need to eat your fruit after dinner, but would rather have it with your morning protein snack.

Take a look at my “How to Create Your Own Sample Diet Plan” article, which provides all the details on portion sizes for each food group. That way, you can find other options if there’s something in the meal plan that you can’t get hold of, don’t like or don’t have time to prepare. By using this meal plan as a guide, and swapping out items that fit within the general plan but meet your individual tastes, you are far more likely to stay on track. You may even find that you want to stay on this sample 1800 calorie diet plan for longer than three days.

If you are using Herbalife Formula 1 shakes or Herbalife Express bars as meal replacements, then make sure you are also consuming the suggested snacks and one or two balanced meals each day to ensure you meet your calorie allowance.

3-Day Menus for a 1800 Calorie Diet



  • 1 cup (250g) nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (80g) strawberries
  • Sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Snack

  • ½ cup (125g) nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • Lunch

    Large Salad made with:

  • Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach) – any amount
  • 2 cups (160g) chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, peppers, tomato)
  • 6 ounces (170g) grilled chicken breast
  • ½ cup (150g) cooked white beans
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) reduced-calorie salad dressing
  • 1 tangerine
  • Snack

  • 1 ounce (30g) soy nuts
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Dinner

  • 8 ounces (200g) grilled salmon with lemon
  • 2 cups (160g) steamed green beans with garlic
  • ½ cup (150g) cooked brown rice
  • large leafy green salad – any amount
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced calorie salad dressing
  • Snack

  • 1 orange
  • DAY 2


  • 1 whole egg + 4 egg whites scrambled in nonstick pan with pan spray
  • Topped with tomato salsa
  • 1 cup (80g) cut melon
  • Snack

  • ½ cup (125g) nonfat cottage cheese
  • Lunch

    Chicken and veggie stir-fry. Sauté together tofu, chicken and veggies:

  • 5 ounces (125g) firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 3 ounces (85g) chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 2 cups (80g) broccoli florets
  • Large bunch fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) oil to stir-fry
  • Season with soy sauce, garlic, pepper and ginger
  • ½ cup (150g) steamed brown rice
  • ½ medium mango
  • Snack

  • 4 Tablespoons (60g) prepared hummus
  • 1 cup (80g) baby carrots
  • Dinner

    Grain salad with protein. Toss together:

  • 8 ounces (200g) grilled shrimp
  • ½ cup (150g) cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups (160g) chopped mixed vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumber, onion)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced calorie vinaigrette dressing
  • Place on a bed of leafy greens
  • Snack

  • 1 fresh orange
  • DAY 3


  • 1 cup (250g) plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg
  • Snack

  • 1 ounce (30g) low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Lunch

  • 8 ounces (200g) grilled halibut
  • 2 cups (80g) steamed asparagus with lemon
  • ½ cup (150g) whole grain pasta
  • Mixed leafy greens salad – any amount
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced calorie salad dressing
  • 1 cup (80g) berries
  • Snack

  • ½ cup (125g) nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (80g) chopped mixed raw vegetables
  • season with salt, pepper, dried dill or chives
  • Dinner

  • 6 ounces (170g) grilled lean steak
  • 2 cups (160g) roasted Brussels sprouts (halve, toss with olive oil, roast at 400 F / 205 C for 20 minutes)
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) olive oil (for Brussels sprouts)
  • Steamed kale, spinach or Swiss chard with vinegar
  • ½ small sweet potato sprinkled with ginger
  • Snack

  • 1 cup (80g) diced fresh pineapple
  • More diet plans

  • 1200 calorie diet plan
  • 1500 calorie diet plan
  • 2200 calorie diet plan
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