Who Needs a 1200 Calorie Diet? A 1,200 calorie diet is a plan that restricts food intake, creating a calorie deficit to promote weight loss. Unlike other diet strategies that focus on a particular food group (such as the ketogenic diet cutting carbs or the 3-day military diet which cuts several foods), there are no specific modifications for the 1,200 calorie diet. Overall quantity is limited in whatever way is easiest for you. Given the average woman requires 2100 calories to maintain a healthy weight, the 1,200 calorie diet should be a sizeable yet manageable caloric deficit for most. That said, eating 1,200 calories may mean a mild reduction in calorie intake for some, yet quite drastic and unhealthy for others. It simply depends on your current calorie intake as well as your metabolic rate. To find your current metabolic rate, use this equation.
For instance, a smaller, sedentary postmenopausal woman may only require 1,500 calories to maintain her current weight. Restricting to 1,200 calories may produce mild weight loss. Meanwhile, a larger, active young man may require 2,500 calories to maintain his current weight. This means, restricting to 1,200 calories would cut his food intake by over 50%. So, while restricting calories to 1,200 will help you lose weight, the rate and sustainability of this diet depends on individual characteristics like age, gender, activity level and health status.
BENEFITS OF THE MEAL PLAN
A 2011 study showed that eating a low-carb diet can help reduce hunger, which is essential if you are following a very low-calorie plan of 1200 calories per day. If you can see results for your efforts while experiencing minimal hunger, you are more likely to stick to the plan and less likely to stray down paths with foods higher in calories. Motivation is a key factor in any weight control plan.
FOLLOWING THE MEAL PLAN
To follow this plan, divide your allotted 1200 calories into three meals of 300 calories each and three snacks of 100 calories each. The steady flow of food keeps you feeling sated throughout the day. The best way to ensure you are adhering to calorie and carb counts is by weighing your food on a kitchen scale or measuring it carefully.
Snacks are important. It is imperative to ensure you never get to a point where you feel starved or shaky. You are also less likely to feel deprived if you eat every couple of hours. You may notice this plan does not include alcohol. In order to maximize nutritional intake, the 1200 calorie low carb meal plan leaves no room for empty calories. Every calorie must have value when you reduce caloric intake to this level.
THE MEAL PLAN
Each meal and snack includes a few options to give you some variety. For maximum nutritional benefit, try to vary your meal plan each day. Variety helps ensure you do not become bored with your diet, and eating a variety of foods across the spectrum of color will ensure you get all of the vitamins and minerals you need. The diet plan is low carb rather than no carb. Carbohydrates are essential for metabolism and many other vital body processes. Because vegetables, particularly leafy greens, are low in both carbohydrates and calories, they figure strongly into these meal plans.
Low-carbohydrate meals are those with less than 25 grams of carbs per meal. In many cases, the meals listed below have lower effective carbohydrate counts because fiber is counted as a carbohydrate as far as nutritional information goes, but it does not affect blood sugar the way other carbohydrates do. Carbohydrates listed are total and not effective carb rates.
Meals are between 250 and 300 calories with snacks totaling the same. Feel free to mix and match for a meal plan that will maintain you at around 1,200 calories per day with low carbohydrate counts.
To use the meals below, select one breakfast, lunch, dinner, and three snacks.
The diet relies on lean protein, berries, and vegetables as well as the use of the cooking spray. A tablespoon of oil or butter contains up to 120 calories, calories you cannot afford to add if you are sticking to the 1200 calorie plan.
If you decide to make other substitutes, bear in mind you will need to reduce the portion size of some items because of differences in calorie counts. An online calorie counter and reading food labels can help you make good choices while staying within the calorie limit using low carb foods.
Limiting your calorie intake is one effective way to lose weight. Combining low-calorie options with foods low in carbs can help you achieve your weight goals that much quicker.