1200 Calorie Diet Plan Explained

Slimming down isn’t just about busting your butt in the gym for hours on end, it also requires self-discipline and a good diet plan in place.

There are dozens of diet plans to choose from, but for those who want to see quick results, the 1200 calorie diet plan is something worth looking into. What is the 1200 calorie diet meal plan, will it work for you, and what does 1200 calories look like in terms of real food?


What Is the 1200 Calorie Diet Plan?

As the name suggests, the 1200 calorie diet plan is about limiting your food intake to 1200 calories per day with the primary goal to lose weight. In order to lose weight, the number of calories you consume in a day should be lower than the amount of calories you burn.

1200 Calories is in fact quite a low amount of calories and therefore the 1200 calorie diet meal plan is recommended only for women. Men should ideally consume at least 1800 calories per day.

Why Does the 1200 Calorie Diet Plan Work?

It is important to understand that just counting your calories everyday isn’t enough to be successful with this diet plan. It’s vital that you eat food that provides you with healthy nutrients, rather than eating unhealthy food that will only put you at risk of health problems. You have to make sure that you still get enough protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Make sure you choose your 1200 calories wisely. There is absolutely no point in drinking a can of coke. Because if you do so, you have already used up a large portion of your 1200 calories in a very bad way.

Instead, try to plan your food intake around whole, unprocessed foods, packed with healthy nutrients to give you enough energy throughout the day.

The 1200 calorie meal plan alone isn’t enough to help you achieve, and maintain, your desired weight. This is why it is best that you combine this diet plan with exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle. Only this way you will get results with this diet plan.


Example 1200 Calorie Diet Meal Plans

So what does 1200 calories look like? Here are 2 examples of daily 1200 calorie diet meal plans that are both healthy and nutritious:

Example 1 - 1200 Calorie Diet Meal Plan

  • 1 Glass orange juice
  • 1 Cup oatmeal
  • 1 Cup low fat yogurt
  • Coffee or tea
  • 2 Slices of whole meal bread with canned tuna
  • Salad with tomato, cucumber and lettuce
  • 100g Free range chicken breast
  • 2 Celery sticks
  • 1/2 Cup brown rice

1200 calorie diet meal plan - vegetables

Example 2 - 1200 Calorie Diet Meal Plan

  • 1 Slice whole wheat bread toast with light cheese
  • 1 Banana
  • Sandwich with turkey breast and light mayonnaise
  • Handful of mixed nuts
  • 1 Apple and 1 kiwifruit
  • 100g Grilled salmon
  • 1/2 Cup brown rice
  • Large leafy green salad
  • 1 Cup steamed broccoli
  • 1 Cup greek yogurt

1200 calorie diet meal plan - salmon

These are just a few examples. But as you can see, the 1200 calorie diet plan can still offer you exciting and nutritious meals without having to go really hungry. It may not look like much, but you might be surprised to find that you’re quite satisfied after having one of these meals.

Benefits of the 1200 Calorie Diet Plan

Here are some of the main benefits of following a 1200 calorie meal plan.

  • If you want to lose weight, this diet plan will work for you, as long as you eat healthy and nutritious food.
  • The 1200 calorie diet plan can easily be combined with other diet plans as long as you limit your intake to 1200 calories a day.
  • There are plenty of different types of meals to prepare while still maintaining the 1200 calories consumption. Variety should not be an issue.
  • The 1200 calorie diet plan is customizable which means you can make your own diet regimen that fits eating 1200 calories per day. For example, you can focus on a high protein diet or perhaps a 100% low-fat diet.
  • There are no restrictions to what types of food you can eat with this diet plan as long as the food you eat is nutritious.

Final Thoughts on Dieting

Most of us will find it challenging to limit our food intake to 1200 calories a day. But once you get used to the 1200 calorie diet plan and start to see results, you will find that it becomes easier to follow.

However, it is not the amount of calories that matters most. What matters much more is that you maintain a healthy diet at all times, a diet that provides you with all the important nutrients your body needs.

If you do this, you will find that in the long-term you can easily consume much more than 1200 calories per day without gaining weight. Dieting is not about going hungry, dieting is about eating healthy.

Leave a comment below 2 comments
Jess B - August 1, 2015

I’ve been tempted to try this plan for a while, and I like the grilled salmon recipe you recommended – do you have any other recipes I could try to help me keep within this meal plan?

Donna H. - August 2, 2015

Hi Jess B, if you focus on lean white meat (i.e. skinless chicken and turkey), fish (i.e. tuna and salmon), fresh fruit and vegetables (i.e. broccoli and spinach) you really can’t go wrong.

Maybe try one of these delicious chicken salads.


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