Calorie Diet Meal Plan: Learn The Benefits Vs Risks
When you put aside the fad diets, macronutrients and meal plans, weight loss comes down to one simple rule: Eat fewer calories than you burn. This is the main premise of the 1,200 calorie diet, an eating pattern that is designed to help boost weight loss by restricting your intake to no more than 1,200 calories per day.
Whether you accomplish this by filling up on low-calorie foods or simply scaling back your portion sizes, theres no doubt that decreasing your daily calorie consumption can help promote weight loss. However, there are also some risks and side effects to consider as well, as reducing your intake too much could tank your metabolism and increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies.
So is the 1,200 calorie diet an effective strategy for sustainable weight loss? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the plan, including a comprehensive food list and meal plan to help get you going.
Is The Military Diet Healthy
The Military diet has no rank in the world of nutrition. In fact, its never even made it onto US News annual best diet list. That may be because theres no clinical data about the Military diet. There is a dearth of research regarding the military diet so its safety and effectiveness are not known, Jen Bruning, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, told TODAY.
No studies support the Military diets claim that you can lose up to 10 pounds in a week.
A 2016 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who cut their calories by 25% lost an average of almost 17 pounds over two years.
A study of low-calorie and very-low-calorie diets published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports an average weight loss of 27 pounds in people who dieted for eight weeks on average. However, they were eating 1,000 calories per day or less.
Are You Ready For The Challenge
- Hide your sweets No temptation please! Tell your friends and family about your diet plans. Avoid social events during the 7 days, or bring your snacks along and stay strong!
- Make a shopping list and stick to it. Dont go shopping hungry by the way!
- Feel free to make amendments to this 1200 calorie diet find what works best for you depending on the season of the year, country and taste.
- Dont punish yourself Its ok if you go over the daily calories, this is a very healthy diet and going over the calories because you ate more fruits and veggies is alright!
Have a go at this Here is our in case you want to make your own 1200 calorie diet plan.
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Calorie Deficit Meal Plan Foods To Eat
There is nothing you should be avoided when following a 1200 calorie diet except junk food, sugar-rich stuff, and processed edibles.
The stuff needs avoidance because it doesnt get digested fully, can lower metabolic rate, and be the reason for obesity, heart issues, and stubborn fat disposal in precise areas.
Losing this fat, even if your calorie intake is limited, becomes hard without exercise, and you must go through some tough workouts to eliminate the issue.
Now, lets discuss the seven Printable 1200 calorie diet plans in detail:
Find The Perfect Avocado
Soft, ripe avocados are perfect for mashing and perfect for your best avocado toast. A perfectly ripe avocado will give to slight pressure, but not feel mushy. You can always cut into your avocado if you are unsure. Some small blemishes in the flesh are ok, just remove them before mashing. If your avocado is very brown, or very soft, it may be past its prime. Conversely, an avocado that is under ripe will be hard to mash and leave you with a lumpy result.
Here’s more about finding the perfect avocado.
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Foods To Avoid On A Simple 1200 Calorie Diet Plan
1200 calorie diet plan Foods to Avoid on 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
As earlier stated, while shedding light on what the 1200 calorie diet plan is, the food to avoid while following this diet plan is an unwritten code.
It is not strictly stated to avoid certain foods, but it is in your best interest to avoid them so you dont stay long on this diet plan.
Most of the food items that are listed here are purely exempted for anyone who has a weight loss goal irrespective of the diet plan he/she follows.
Avoid the following foods:
Soft drinks: Juice, aerated drinks, and any drink that contains artificial added sugars/sweeteners.
Alcohol: Because it contains sugar capable of increasing your blood sugar level.
Fried foods: Fried snacks, etc.
Carbohydrates: Rice, pasta, candy, and other simple carbohydrates because they make you hungry quickly and they are high in glucose. At best make sure you limit their intake substantially.
Fat: Food items that are rich in fat
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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Keep Your Nutrition Intake In
The diet allows for snacks in your meal plan and you to eat six times a day with snacks 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 for 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.
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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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.
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.
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What Is A 1200
A 1,200-calorie diet is a low-calorie diet. For the average adult, this is the lowest calorie level at which it may still be possible to meet most of your nutrient needs through food. When carefully planned, a 1,200-calorie menu includes sufficient protein to minimize any muscle you might naturally lose on a fast weight-loss plan and it will hit most of your vitamin and mineral targets. However, because of the low calorie levels, its pretty inflexible and it doesnt have any room for fun foods that are devoid of nutrition. Heres a peek at what a 1,200-calorie weight-loss diet looks like.
How To Follow This Plan
Since 1200 calories is far lower than the recommended calorie allowance for men, a 1200 calorie diet should only be used by women looking to lose some weight.
If you want to follow this plan as a man, then you would need to increase the portion sizes in order to match the higher energy requirements men have.
The plan itself contains lots of fiber, fruits and vegetables so that you can trust that what youre eating is healthy, plus contains a good amount of protein.
The recipes and shopping list within the plan are suitable for 2 people. However, this can be easily adjusted if needed.
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Calories Meal Plan: Precautions
While you follow a 1200 calorie meal plan, its pretty essential to keep your medical history in mind. For example, if you are a person with diabetes or hypertension, a diet low in crucial macronutrients like proteins and fat, micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins may cause you harm. Hence, you must thoroughly go through nutrition labels and take advice from your doctor/dietician before adopting this meal plan.
What To Put On Avocado Toast
We top this avocado toast with a fried egg, but the sky is the limit on what you can use to top your toast. Eggs work well for breakfast, as do thinly sliced tomatoes or smoked salmon as a different spin on a cream cheese and lox bagel. Try adding veggies like cucumber, sprouts or salad greens to give your avocado toast a more lunch-like vibe. And of course, you can add a flavorful drizzle like Sriracha, balsamic glaze or salsa to finish it off.
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Eating The Recommended Amount Of Calories
We asked America’s top nutrition experts to weigh in to cut through the most common calorie misconceptions and help you identify what you really need each day.
“Many people think eating fewer calories is better when trying to lose weight,” says Felicia Stoler, D.C.N., M.S., R.D., F.A.C.S.M., author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes. “However, unless you’re a woman under 5-foot-3, I wouldn’t recommend eating less than 1,600 calories per day.” As Stoler points out, consuming too few calories can lead to a deficiency of essential nutrients and may even suppress the immune system.
“Eating less than your body needs can slow metabolism as the body begins to break down muscle for fuel,” says Keri Gans, R.D.N., author of The Small Change Diet. “Without adequate calories, you may experience low energy levels, excess hunger or changes in mood,” adds Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., C.D.N., C.F.T., author of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.
On the other hand, too many calories aren’t ideal, either. In addition to weight gain and an increase in fat storage, consuming more calories than your body needs can result in a variety of less than pleasant ailments.
“Eating too many calories, especially from fried or spicy foods, can lead to gastric reflux,” says Gans. “Those excess calories can result in feeling lethargic, weighed down and sluggish,” adds Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., C.D.N., C.F.T.
How Does A 1200 Calorie Diet Plan Work
The 1,200 calorie diet plan works by reducing the required calories the body requires daily.
The goal of this reduction is to make the metabolic processes in the body seek another source of energy to make up for the reduction in calorie count.
Studies show that the next source of energy to use up is to cover the reduction in the fat in the body, therefore by burning this fat, weight loss is achieved conveniently.
However, it is important to note that the progress and success of this diet plan are primarily dependent on your current weight, your age, medical history, and other factors that require you to discuss with your doctor before starting it.
Talking to a doctor before following this diet plan is indispensable because the human requirements are unique to their body system .
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Make Every Bite Count
Hunger and cravings are significant barriers to any meal plan. To counter this, Malkani recommends more high-volume, fluid-containing and low-calorie foods, such as salads, vegetables, soups and fruits. In addition, she recommends eating balanced meals, drinking plenty of water and incorporating high-fiber foods, such as whole grains and legumes.
Equally important is to avoid getting calories from liquids and other low-nutrition and high-calorie foods. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages, including sodas and sugary coffee drinks, and cut back on fried foods, desserts, candies and snack chips. Including these extra calories can really get in the way of your progress. “If you choose to restrict calories, it’s important to make every bite count,” recommends Malkani.
How To Meal Plan For A 1200
- Plan ahead and meal prep. Taking some time on a Sunday or your day off to plan your meals for the week, grocery shop, and prep some meals in advance is a major time saver during busy weeks. It can also help reduce stress when thinking about what to eat and helps you stay on track.
- Start your day with a balanced breakfast.Be sure to include plenty of protein, healthy fats, and fiber in breakfast to give you energy and keep you full until lunch.
- Don’t forget about timing.You want to think about eating about every 3-4 hours. This keeps your energy levels up throughout the day and prevents you from going to any one meal starving.
- Keep your food groups in mind.It can be challenging to come up with meals every day.To make it easier, think about including protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fruit or vegetable in each meal. This combination helps you get all of the nutrients you need and keeps you full and satisfied.
- A 1,200-calorie meal plan may be temporary.For slow, sustainable weight loss, your diet plan must be realistic and long-lasting. While 1,200 calories may be enough for you at one time, it may not be in the long term depending on your nutritional needs and life stage. Assess how you feel and consider adjusting your meal plan if needed. Speak with a registered dietitian if you feel you need an individualized plan.
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Foods To Eat On A Calorie
Because youll be consuming fewer calories, its important that those calories contain all the vitamins and nutrients you need in order to function correctly.
This means eating nutrient-dense foods, such as:
- Fruits such as apples, avocados and berries
- Vegetables particularly cruciferous vegtables and leafy greens
- Whole grains such as whole grain bread, brown rice and oatmeal
- Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds
- Legumes such as beans and chickpeas
- Fatty fish fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel
- Low-fat dairy such as milk and yogurt
- Lean proteins such as poultry, fish
- Extra-virgin olive oil for cooking