The 1200-Calorie Meal Plan: Is this Diet for You? Sample Daily Menus

The 1200 calorie diet is a low-calorie diet, but not very restrictive, that is not so far from the daily amount of calories (1500) that most women should consume daily. This diet requires careful planning. This does not mean that a diet with more calories does not require it. But when you are only going to provide your body with 1200 calories it is necessary to make sure that you are going to provide everything that is required at a nutritional level. Every calorie is very important.

How to plan your menus for a total of 1200 calories daily

Is the 1200 calorie diet right for you?

A person’s day-to-day needs differ as much as the contexts, lifestyles, and other innumerable personal and environmental variables that exist.

For whom is it indicated?

– It is ideal for medium-sized women and men of small build, with a moderate level of activity (office workers, sedentary jobs, and little habitual physical activity), looking for weight.
– It is also suitable for sedentary women of a small physical build looking weight maintenance.

For whom it is not indicated?

– It is insufficient for men of medium physical structure or women of great physical structure, with a high level of activity (athletes, works that require great energy deployment and people who frequently attend the gym or train in a habitual way).
– It may not produce weight loss in sedentary women of a small physical build. If it is your case, you may not get fat, but you will not lose weight either.
– Above all, this diet should not be followed by pregnant women or nursing mothers.
– This diet may be suitable for people with diabetes but medical monitoring is essential. There are several types of diabetes, and in most cases, diabetes is already a heavy burden to live on a daily basis. In this case, it is not advisable to follow this diet.

Observations

We can not get into the menu ideas for a 1200 calorie meal plan, without first talking about the care that this type of diet requires. It is vital that the diet plan is supervised by a nutritionist. This is because, in addition to losing weight, you must to keep in mind the need to lose weight healthily by following a nutritious and balanced diet. Why bother to get rid of excess pounds, but feel weak and tired all the time, get sick, and even have to spend time in the hospital?

A careful and supervised planning is especially important with regard to this diet when taking into consideration that the maximum reduction that a person should have in their daily caloric intake is 1000 calories. If a person used to consume 2,000 calories daily, the loss of 800 calories in the diet is not exactly a small number, is it? Thus, care must be taken so that nutritional deficiencies do not occur.

Also, if the diet is combined with regular exercise that maximizes caloric expenditure, you need to take extra care of your food, making sure that despite this caloric restriction you will have enough energy for physical activities.

How to compose a menu with 1200 calories

A question now arises: how to be sure not to exceed the calories of this hypocaloric diet? Here is how to proceed.

1- List the low-calorie foods you like.

We will not list them all here, but rather give you the broad categories:

– Dairy products (skimmed milk, white cheese and yogurt 0%)
– Products rich in fiber and vitamins (cereals, legumes, wholemeal bread, fruits, and vegetables)
– Products rich in protein (eggs, lean meat, red meat, fish)
– Drinks (water, tea, herbal tea, coffee, lemon juice).

2- Choose a good application

We have the ease with our smartphones, to have everything at hand so why not take advantage of it. There are now very well made apps that will easily calculate a 1200 calorie menu depending on the foods you save. You can test the following apps: MyFitnessPal, Fatsecret…

3- Have a book that lists the calorie number of foods

This is less technological than an app but just as effective. Do not hesitate to bring one of these books which lists the calories per food preferably in an alphabetical form or according to the number of calories contained per food. From there and from the list of foods that you have established previously, you can very easily prepare your menu without too much hassle. And this by choosing low-calorie foods that you like.

Suggested food servings per day

  • White cheese with 0% MG: 300 to 500 g/day.
  • Skim milk (optional): 100 ml/day.
  • Plain yogurt: 2/day.
  • Lean meat: 150 g/day.
  • Wholemeal bread: 150 g/day.
  • Fresh vegetables: 300 to 500 g/day.
  • Fresh fruits: 300 g/day.
  • Fat (butter: 5g – olive oil: 5g): 10 g/day.
  • Drinks: water, tea, coffee, herbal tea: 1,5 to 2 liters/day.

Substitutions

You can replace:

  • 100g of meat with 150g of fish or 2 eggs.
  • 50g of wholemeal bread with 125g of potatoes or pasta or rice cooked.
  • 1 teaspoon of oil (5g) or 5g of butter with 2.5 tablespoons of light cream or 1 tablespoon of UHT liquid cream or 15g of fresh whipped cream (1/2 tablespoon).

Choice of lean meats

Choose between roast beef or pork or veal, veal or turkey escalopes, grilled pork, lamb shoulder and defatted lamb, steak and grilled beef tenderloin, chicken, rabbit.

Daily food distribution

Breakfast

  • Tea or coffee with, possibly, skimmed milk.
  • 100g of fruit.
  • White cheese.
  • 50g wholemeal bread.

Mid-morning

  • 1 yogurt or white cheese.

Lunch

  • 100g of meat (or 150g of fish or 2 eggs).
  • Vegetables as you want (but not less than 150 g).
  • 50g wholemeal bread (or 125g potatoes or cooked pasta or rice).
  • 1 yogurt or white cheese.
  • 100g of fruit.

Snack

  • 1 yogurt or white cheese.

Dinner

  • 50g of meat
  • Vegetables as you want (but not less than 150g)
  • 50g wholemeal bread (or 125g potatoes or cooked pasta or rice)
  • 1 yogurt or white cheese
  • 100g of fruit

Practical cooking tips

  • Always remove from your plate the fat that is visible.
  • Prefer as often as possible steaming, baking, or grilling.
  • Divide the daily 10g of fat (butter and olive oil) according to your menus.
  • Prepare thick vegetable soups.
  • Season the pasta or rice with homemade tomato coulis: mix peeled and seeded tomatoes with chopped onions and garlic; heat well to evaporate the water so that it thickens.
  • Generously use herbs, spices, lemon juice and condiments (mustard, pickles, ketchup, etc.)

Advantages and disadvantages

First advantage: this diet allows to lose several kilos quickly. Moreover, as long as care is taken to diversify the menus, it does not present a great risk of food deficiencies, as it does not exclude any family of foods. This diet also teaches to eat healthier, it gives good eating habits. At least, if you do not “crack” completely along the way, because there is one of the big drawbacks of this meal plan: it is not easy to follow.

Low-caloric intake can cause fatigue, bad mood, and demotivation. Another disadvantage: this diet must really be scrupulously respected to function properly. The yo-yo effect is hard to avoid because after a few weeks it is difficult to maintain a low-calorie diet.

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