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Theres a lot of buzz and also a lot of confusion about the benefits of calorie restriction. Some claim that its the key to longevity and weight loss, while others attest that cutting calories will destroy your metabolism.
The old calories-in calories-out dietary approach has been questioned by many health professionals, and for good reason. Research shows that cutting calories short term may help you shed some weight, but long term research is scanty at best.
But what about all the claims surrounding calorie restriction and longevity?
There are, in fact, many studies show improvements in health and markers for longevity when calories are reduced. Some researchers even claim that calorie restriction is the key to anti-aging. But what they dont explicitly communicate is the amount of calorie restriction necessary to achieve these benefits.
Taking a closer look at the research, most studies reduce calories by around 15%, which puts the average person between 1500 to 1700 calories per day.
Whats more, many of the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction are similar to those you experience following a ketogenic diet.
Understand Your Macro Needs
All meal plans provide a certain amount of energy from carbohydrates, protein and fat â the main energy nutrients in food. While the ideal proportions of these macronutrients continues to be a topic of dispute, the National Academy of Sciences provides fairly flexible guidelines.
“The percentages of macronutrients that make up a healthy meal plan are 45 to 65 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 20 to 35 percent from fats and 10 to 35 percent from proteins,” Malina Malkani, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and creator of the Wholitarian Lifestyle, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
So according to IOM guidelines, a well-planned 1,200-calorie diet can contain a range of 135 to 195 grams of carbs, 27 to 47 grams of total fat, and 30 to 105 grams of protein.
On the other hand, some research shows the quality of food choices may be more important than the proportion of carbs, protein and fat in the diet. According to a study of over 600 overweight adults, published in the February 2018 issue of JAMA, 12-month weight loss success was not linked to whether the diet was high or low in fat or carbs. Instead, weight loss was greater in those who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods â and in those who ate more vegetables and other whole, unprocessed plant foods.
Heart Healthy Meal Plan Within 1200
Since a 1200-1500 calorie meal plan would surprise your body with its sudden impact on body weight and functioning, it is essential to safeguard your heart health. Hence, it is crucial to plan your meals smartly. As mentioned above, you should add adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables that are healthy for your heart. Let us look at some foods that are low in calories and enhance your heart health.
- Eat more seasonal fruits and vegetables, as the minerals and vitamins in them are heart-healthy.
- Include more fibre-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds along with whole pulses and legumes in your diet. They keep you satiated for long and prevent excess calorie-consumption
- Add whole grains to your diet. They are complex carbohydrates like multi grains and millets that take time to convert into sugar and are healthy for your heart.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart diseases by reducing the free radical damage of cell walls. Hence, you should consume them. The best sources are fatty fish, walnuts and flax seeds. You can also opt for Omega 3 supplements to further reduce the free radical activity.
- If you crave chocolates, do not hesitate in consuming a piece of dark chocolate. It is rich in antioxidants, which can help boost heart health.
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What Does 1200 Calories Look Like
If you eat healthy, whole foods, and lots of fruits and vegetables, 1200 calories can actually be quite satisfying! Making sure to get 100 grams of protein each day has been a game changer to helping to control my appetite.
The way I have been eating 1200 calories looks like this:
- BREAKFAST: Eggs & Oats or toast 300-400 calories
- LUNCH: Salad with protein on top 300-400 calories
- SNACK/DESSERT: 200 calories
- DINNER: Protein and veggies 400-500 calories
Keep Your Nutrition Intake In
The diet allows for snacks in your meal plan, and it also allows you to eat six times a day with snacks in between the three meals.
It will also enable you to take less rigorous exercise to facilitate your weight loss goal. Rigorous exercise can be dangerous on a caloric deficit.
While following this diet plan, make sure that your simple 1200 calorie meal plan count is a rich blend of a balanced diet.
This is important so you are not nutrient deficient in any capacity, and also to ensure that you drink water regularly to stay hydrated, and control your appetite.
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Why You Need A Meal Plan For Weight Loss
Following a meal plan, or having a pattern for my meals has helped me and thousands of people lose weight. Following a meal plan eliminates the focus on food, and the fatigue of decision making. I find, Im more likely to have discipline when Im not focused on what I should choose for my next meal.
Drawbacks Of The 1200
- The reduction in calories may also lead to the reduction of certain vital nutrients. Therefore, careful planning of the diet is required to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
- Calorie counting and food measurement are extremely crucial in this diet. This can be done by using a menu or assistive diet plan, which is an additional requirement.
- Hunger and fatigue are the most prominent side effects of this diet.
- This diet is not recommended for physically active individuals as they require more calories to sustain themselves.
|Get a good nights sleep.
|Dont stress yourself too much. Stress may make you gain weight.
|Consult your physician or dietitian to know whether you need to go on such a low-calorie diet to lose weight.
|Do not follow it at a stretch for many weeks. You can follow this diet plan every alternate week.
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Are Smoothies Good For Kids
“Smoothies can be a nice option for kids since they’re simple to make and give parents the opportunity to incorporate foods that their child may otherwise not eat,” says Sassos. Even if your kid makes a face at even the idea of spinach, he’ll probably love a “green monster smoothie” , especially if there are a few banana chunks in there to naturally sweeten it up. Another reason smoothies are great for parents is that you can make them ahead of time , or take the along in a spill-proof cup for a healthy between-games Saturday snack.
Healthy Daily Calorie Consumption
A standard diet involves the consumption of around 2,000 calories per day. However, the exact amount of calories you should consume is based on three factors: age, sex and activity levels.
As you might expect, men typically need more calories than women. Similarly, people who are extremely active need more calories than those that are sedentary. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a standard diet can range between 1,600 and 3,200 calories. In fact, certain people, like Olympians, have been known to consume up to 12,000 calories per day at times.
If you’re extremely active, consuming more calories than average won’t make you put on weight. However, most people aren’t active enough to consume more than 3,000 calories each day. In fact, most Americans consume more calories than they should, which contributes to weight gain and obesity.
If you’re consuming large amounts of calories, reducing your daily intake can easily support weight loss. However, there are also limits regarding minimum healthy calorie intake. Harvard Health Publishing recommends that women consume no less than 1,200 calories per day, while men should consume a minimum of 1,500 calories per day.
Following a 1,200-calorie diet usually results in weight loss, but the exact amounts may vary. Your weight loss depends on several factors, including your sex, age, metabolism and activity level.
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Following The Simple 1200 Diet Plan
The 1200 diet plan doesnt have phases or stages. It is an easy-to-understand diet plan. Following this diet plan means your total calorie count must be within and not more than 1200 calories per day.
You can get help from apps to make calorie counting easier such as Myfitnesspal, Loseit, Cron-o-meter, Fatsecret, Sparkpeople, and more.
This diet plan accounts more for weight loss than weight maintenance, it is, therefore, important that you have a weight goal, and ensure you do not lose body mass alongside body weight.
When you have reached your desired weight goal you can increase your calorie intake if you want but continue to eat healthy meals to maintain your weight.
Printable Gluten Free Daily Meal Plan
Gluten is a type of protein that most of us dont think about. However, people with celiac disease and those who are sensitive to gluten may suffer from serious health issues if they accidentally ingest it.
This restriction definitely makes it hard for them to stick to a low-calorie diet, especially since this lifestyle sometimes calls for grains and pasta dishes. Luckily, this daily meal plan printable will resolve that problem, thanks to the diverse menu options that it offers.
This printable may only provide meals for five days, but its easy enough to mix and match the various dishes.
Not only are the meals diverse, but theyre also incredibly flavorful, so my taste buds were always in for a surprise.
My favorites were the Mushroom Omelet and the Green Meatball Salad, both of which featured gluten-free and highly-seasoned ingredients.
Learn more about this printable gluten-free 1,200-calorie meal plan at Diet Meal Plan.
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Here Are Some Healthy Dinners To Add To Your Low Calorie Meal Plan:
Further in this article under Sample 1200 Calorie Mean Plan Menu section Ill share a printable 1200 calorie diet plan using all the following recipes.
See the section above to learn how to divide your 1200 calorie diet into 3 meals and snacks. This section will give you some free recipes for your 1200 calorie meal plan.
In the Sample 1200 Calorie Mean Plan Menu section below, theres a printable 1200 calorie diet plan using all the following recipes.
Afternoon Snack: 150 Calories
If you love your pumpkin spiced latte over ice, then this is your quick fix. These pumpkin energy balls are just what you need to pump yourself up in the afternoon.
You can make these in advance and enjoy throughout the week. Youll need a powerful food processor to get the best results, like this one: Hamilton Food Processor.
Calories: 75 kcal
These summer-inspired Mango & Berries Ice Pops are super refreshing, sugar free and delicious! The sweetness in these popsicles rely heavily on a fresh ripe mango and a mix of berries. All in different layers! To make these youll need ice pop molds, I really like the Ikea ones, I use these a lot: Ikea ice pop molds.
Calories: 75 kcal
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Weight Loss Tip: Try Fruit Infused Water If Youre Still Hungry
Often people have a hard time on their first week of a 1200 calorie diet plan, that is when I recommend water or better yet, Fruit Infused Water!
One thing my site is pretty famous for is my fruit infused water recipes. Drinking infused water-a fantastic way to improve your weight loss by helping you drink more water without artificial sweeteners or other nasty chemicals.
I recommend you drink about a gallon a day, or as close as you can. These detox drinks will keep you full among other health benefits, including making your skin more beautiful and increasing your metabolism.
This Simple And Easy 1200 Calorie Meal Plan Is Just What You Need To Kickstart Your Weightloss Journey And Shed Those Extra Pounds Here We Focus On Wholesome Meals That Are High In Volume And Low In Calories To Make You Feel Full And Satisfied All Throughout The Day
This post may contain affiliate links. I get a small amount of compensation if you choose to purchase from one of my links, which Ill totally spend on caramel lattes and new measuring spoons! If you’d like to check out our full disclosure policy click here.
If youve been struggling with your weight for a long time then this might just be what changes the game for you.
This will involve a lot of tracking to get the truest results. For this you should maybe invest in a food journal where you can write down all youve been eating. This is my favourite food journal: Track your nutrition!
If youre extremely serious about tracking everything, then maybe you should consider a fitness tracker.
This will track your steps, exercise, sleep patterns, heart beat, and even your menstrual cycle .
My boyfriend gifted me the Huawei Band 4 Pro for my birthday and Ive been loving it! This is the best fitness tracker you can find for its value! Ill be sure to write a review on it in the next couple of months!
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You May Need A Stricter Discipline Than Usual When Following A Simple 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
It is fair to inform you that as a follower of this diet, more discipline than you can imagine is required especially if you are used to a high caloric intake.
This is because your body may be subjected to hunger while you make this switch. This is another reason why you should talk to a doctor before starting this diet.
To tackle the hunger that accompanies following this diet it is important to eat food that is healthy and will fill you for a longer period.
Sustain your appetite by consuming healthy and filling foods moderately. Examples of good foods to choose from include
Fruit with high water content and more.
What To Think About When Meal Planning
Carbohydrates: Carbs are the body’s main source of energy. They impact blood sugar more than other nutrients. Some people with diabetes need to track their carb intake. This is especially true if you take insulin at mealtimes.
There are three types of carbs:
- Starches found in grains, potatoes, and beans or lentils
- Sugars found in fruits, milk, and processed foods
- Fiber found in leafy greens and other vegetables
Watch out for white, refined, processed, and sugary foods. These carbs can cause weight gain and sharp spikes in blood sugars. When thinking about carbs, consider portions as well as type.
- Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes
- Low-fat dairy such as Greek yogurt
- Low-glycemic index fruits such as berries.
Most people do well with 30 to 45 grams of carbs per meal and 15 to 20 grams per snack. The amount you need will depend on your:
- Blood sugar control
- Other health factors
A registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator can help you decide how many carbs are right for you. Keep in mind that every gram of carbs has about four calories. If you eat 45 grams of carbs per meal and 30 grams per snack, that’s 660 calories from carbs per day.
Protein: Protein is a macronutrient and another form of energy for the body. It boosts immunity, wound healing, and muscle recovery. It can also help you feel full longer. With a calorie-controlled diet, it’s important to choose lean protein. It has fewer calories and less fat.
Lean protein sources include:
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Calorie Diet And Adding More Calories As Needed
Not everyone will be satisfied with 1200 calories a day and so I wanted to chat quickly about what to do when you needs to add more calories.
For instance, if you did the calculator for calories per day above, and you need 1500 calories a day, or perhaps 1350, this section will help you add calories.
1500 calorie meal planning can be simple and easy! All you need to do is add snacks to the 1200 calorie meal plan above!
Simply add 1-3 snacks to the day, each is around 100-150 calories and will get you to the 1300, 1400, 1500 calories a day you are looking for.
Frequently Asked Questions About Simple 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
Question: How easy is it to follow this diet?
Answer: The diet is easy to follow it allows for mild adjustment to suit your needs. For exams switching to it, calorie requirements may be detrimental to your own body, so it allows for slight considerations
Question: How weighty are the advantages against the disadvantages of this diet plan?
Answer: The advantages outweigh the disadvantages, it is noteworthy that the disadvantages can be amended by your slight adjustment which must not reasonably doubt the requirement of the diet.
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Does Your Body Need A 1200
Mostly, the nutrition labels base their recommendations on a 2000 calorie diet. In such a case, the restrictive diet, which requires a person to reduce their daily intake of calories to 1200-1500 calories, may lead to malnourishment in some cases.
Typically, more calories for older adults, young males, active individuals, breastfeeding or pregnant women or medically conditioned people are critical than the other people. In addition, the number of calories required for a person each day varies vastly depending on different factors, including age, sex, activity level, body size along with any medical conditions. For example, people who are overweight or obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle would need fewer calories, thus making the 1200 calories meal plan somewhat safe and potentially effective for them.