I’ve tried a number of diets and weight loss plans in my life.
Some of them are good, and some of them are not so good. But like people in the sales business say, there is a consumer for each and every product.
Personally, I like the 1200 calorie diet since it is not as restrictive as most diets, and you are still getting a healthy dose of nutrients.
The number, 1200 calories, is the lowest you can go calorie-wise but still get a healthy dose of nutrients while you are losing weight.
Normally, two to four pounds per week is something that you should aim. If you are losing more weight than that, simply increase your calorie intake to 1500 or 1800 per day.
The 1200 calories diet is something you can practice for up to three months, and long-term, it is more than healthy.
So, with that being said, I will give you some overview of the 1200 calorie diet, what you should eat, and who should try this diet.
Who Should Try the 1200 Calorie Diet Plan?
Simply put, the 1200 calorie diet is not for everyone. For example, adult men cannot withstand it, as it is too restrictive for them.
However, adult women who get little to no activity, but still desire to lose weight are ideal candidates for the 1200 calorie diet.
If you fit that description, the 1200 calorie diet plan is perfect for you. Another group of women that is ideal fir are women over 50 that are slightly active.
One thing I must point is that every weight loss plan should be accompanied by a workout regime. You do not need to go over your head with exercise, but mild workout every now and then is a good way to start.
For most men, the 1200 calorie diet is simply not suitable as the daily recommended calorie intake for men is 2500. Cutting it in half is way too much. Those who want to try some weight loss diet could try the 1500 or 1800 diet plan.
1200 Calorie Diet Overview
As with most diets, the 1200 calorie diet commands you have three main meals and two snacks per day. Five meals per day get you the healthy dose of nutrients and keeps your metabolism working all the time.
Now, to get the basic understanding, let’s start breaking down those meals.
For example, your breakfast should get you anywhere between 200 and 300 calories per day, and should consist of one protein and one fruit. Dairy products are ideal for the protein intake.
Your lunch should consist of one protein, one vegetable, some leafy greens and some taste enhancer. You want anywhere between 300 and 350 calories from your lunch. Some low-calorie vegetables are a must, and whole grain products as well.
Don’t forget the lean protein which you can source from meats or fish. The leafy greens are there to give you more healthy nutrients.
Your dinner is also made out of one protein, two vegetables, and some leafy greens and grain products. The dinner gets you the most calories, and you should aim between 400 and 500 calories from your dinner.
The reason is simple, you should try to get your dinner as late as 9 pm, or, at least, two to three hours before you go to bed.
This way, you will be full when you go to bed which will help you get enough sleep, and you will not feel craving once you get up in the morning.
The snacks are the tricky part, and you should aim for fruits or protein for snacks. There are some nice low calories, high in protein foods that can be used for snacks during the day.
And all of them are healthy as well. You want one snack after your breakfast, and one after your lunch. You can get as much as 100 calories from your snacks.
One Day Example Plan
To better understand the 1200 calorie diet, I will also give you an example of a typical day, and what you should and could eat.
Let’s start from the breakfast, where you can get one cup of bran or oat flakes, one banana, one cup of fat-free milk. You can add some nuts and cinnamon to get a better taste. Plus, cinnamon is a great spice for weight loss as it speeds up your metabolism.
For your lunch, you can get one cup of vegetable soup, one veggie burger with lettuce and salsa, some grapes and 4 ounces of light Greek yogurt.
Your dinner gets you the most calories, so you can “splurge” on a poached salmon, one cup of cooked brown rice, a salad with onions and some fat-free dressing. Add half a cup of pineapple chunks for some extra flavor and fiber.
As for the snacks, I already recommended some foods high in protein, but you can also never go wrong with fruits like apples and pears in the morning. For the afternoon snack, you can try some raw carrots, or some other veggie salad.
Mushrooms are always a nice choice, as they are rich in protein. Nuts and seeds are the standard, and they are great healthy snack.