1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss – Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid

The 1200 calorie diet plan is a flexible way to balance meals and add all the important macro and the micronutrients. It is not a fat diet, but a conventional food plan that needs you to have 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% proteins.

There is no easy way to reduce stubborn fat. Therefore, regular needs out and a changed lifestyle are required to manage the weight loss process. The 1200 calories diet plan can be followed by anyone. However, the amount of weight you will lose depends on the factors like present weight, medical history, age, and genes. Talk to your doctor or diet expert to know which diet plan works best for you.

The 1200-Calorie Diet Plan

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 1

Research shows that this type of conventional hypocaloric diet aims to lower energy consumption by 500-600 kcal from the basic calorie intake. This approach lowers approximately 0.5 kg per week, which depends on age, medical conditions, and physical activity.

This weight loss is seen in the first few months and will slow down due to hormonal adaptations. Hence, it is also essential to grow personalized diet plans depend on individual preferences and the weight loss goals, as these diets are followed for more time to get the desired weight loss.

How to Calculate Your Everyday Calorie Goal

One everyday diet of 1200 calories, most everyone will reduce weight. You can get more accurate loos at your calorie level by calculating everyday calorie goal. The simple calculation will provide you a daily goal for calories that can help to reduce a healthy 1-2 pounds every week.

Know present weight to estimate about calories you need every day, multiple the current weight by 12.

Cut 500 calories every day to lose 1-pound per week.

Cut 1000 calories every day to lose 2-pound per week.


If your present weight is 160 pounds and your goal is to reduce one pound every week:

160 [lb.] x 12 = 1,920 calories

1,920 [calories] – 500 [calories] = 1,420 calories

This formula is used in different clinical weight-loss trials and allows the person to use the equation is inactive. If you are an active person, you may know you need extra calories than what you calculated to feel satisfied in a day.

The best measure for whether you are at the correct level is how satisfied you will feel (you should not feel hungry the whole day) and whether you are reducing weight.

If you are losing weight with 1800 calories per day and feel good, stick with that. The calculation is only advised at the starting point. As you reduce weight, you may wish to use calorie calculation again, since your calorie requirement will have changed.

For healthy weight loss, it is not advised to lose more than 2-pounds every week. If you calculate an everyday calorie goal that is lower than 1200, set your calorie goal at 1200 calories. Below that, it is hard to meet your nutrient requirement or difficult to feel satisfied to continue the plan.

And if you see that you are losing weight quickly, check your calorie consumption to help weight loss zone of 1-2 pounds every week.

General 1200-Calorie Diet Chart

Early Morning

  • Almonds (overnight soaked and peeled) – Calories: 31
  • One glass of warm water with lime juice and honey – Calories: 34


  • One cup vegetable quinoa with half a glass of low-fat milk – Calories: 200
  • OR
  • One slice of multigrain bread with one boiled egg and 1oz of low-fat cheese – Calories:200


  • One medium apple – Calories:107
  • OR
  • One cup grapefruit – Calories:97

Evening Snack

  • Black or Green tea with one small bowl of popcorn without using butter – Calories:32


  • Baked potato – Calories: 243
  • One serving of low-fat vegetable lasagne – Calories:282
  • Options:
  • One serving of Grilled vegetables and baked salmon – Calories:397
  • One cup chicken mushroom soup – Calories:150

What to Eat During The 1200-Calorie Diet

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 2

The 1200 calorie diet plan needs careful consideration of the food quantity and its nutritional requirements. If you wish to follow the 1200 calories diet plan for one month or 7-days, you need to change the basic diet plant with the following common consideration.

Eat more vegetables and fruits as they provide fewer calories, high fiber, carbohydrates, and vitamins when compared to other foods. Eat vegetables like mushrooms, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, beets, peppers, asparagus, and leafy greens.

Fruits such as plums, bananas, grapes, cherries, peaches, and apple are healthy options.

Choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Eating whole-grain bread, bran, and pasta will keep you full for more time as they take time to digest and have a low glycemic index.

Eating a good amount of protein is more important for balancing lean tissue and fat burning. It boosts satiety and triggers thermogenesis, which promotes high energy expenditure. Eat more beans, lentils, soy, tofu, mushrooms, fish, chicken breast, turkey, and lean beef.

Choose high protein snacks such as roasted peanuts, granola bowl with yogurt, and baked beans to promote satiety and manage hunger pangs.

Having a healthy, rich protein breakfast within 1200 calories is a helpful way to boost satiety, lower unhealthy snacks, and boost metabolic rate.

The 1200-Calorie Diet: Drawbacks

Lowering calories may also cause a reduction in important nutrients. Therefore, be cautious about planning your diet to prevent nutrition deficiencies.

Calorie counting and food range are extremely important in this diet. It can be done by using a menu or a helpful diet plan, which is an extra requirement. Fatigue and hunger are the more notable side effects of a 1200 calorie diet.

Fatigue and hunger are the other side effects of this diet.

The 1200 calorie diet is not advised for physically active individuals as they need more calories to maintain themselves.

Dos And Don’ts


  • Eat your breakfast
  • Eat at least six meals every day.
  • Consume whole fruit instead of juice.
  • A mild workout will keep the bone and muscles active.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Take your health care advice to know whether you need to follow a low-calorie diet to reduce weight.


  • Avoid overdoing the calories while on 1200 calories diet.
  • Avoid keeping a long gap in 2-meals.
  • Do not skip packaged drinks, alcohol, and aerated drinks.
  • Skip doing a rigorous workout.
  • Do not stress much because it may cause you to gain weight.
  • Do not follow it at a stretch for more weeks. You can follow a 1200 calories diet plan every alternate week.


An individual should take advice before following a restrictive diet. It is more difficult to get important macronutrients, such as fats, proteins, and other micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins on a low-calorie diet. Therefore, it is essential to read nutritional labels and take expert advice before trying a 1200 calorie diet.

  • A dietitian can often help in planning a personalized eating plan. People who should consume extremely low-calorie diets include:
  • Those who are underweight
  • women who have menopause due to underweight or eating less calorie diet.
  • A person suffering from eating disorders
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant women
  • Young children
  • people with specific nutritional imbalances or deficiencies
  • People who have got advice to skip low-calorie diets.

A 1200 calorie diet may not be suitable for some people. For example, an individual who gets all of their calories from potato chips, sweetened cereal, and cookies may get malnourishment.


Improves Weight Loss

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 3

It is necessary to burn extra calories than you consume to lose weight on an entire day. It can be created by either with an active lifestyle or physical activity into your daily routine or decreasing calories consumption.

For most people, including back everyday calories to just 1200 calories every day can consume a caloric deficit, which can help to promote weight loss. According to one research out of Montreal, following a diet with low calories for the short term can help to decrease belly fat and lower body weight by an average of 8%.

The exact amount of weight loss can be changed in nutritional requirements and metabolism. Following a nutrient-dense, 1200 calorie diet can cause you to drop 1-2 pounds of weight every week.


Simple and Flexible

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 4

Several people choose to follow a 1200 calories diet over diet plans because it’s more flexible and easy to follow. While other plans keep restrictions on which foods you can consume, you can still enjoy your favorite foods as a part of a reduced-calorie diet by managing other snacks and meals the entire day.

Even foods, which are not typically thought diet-friendly can be added on a low-calorie diet by lowering portion sizes, and other high-calorie foods.

Lower Risk of Chronic Disease

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 5

Some research has discovered that following 1200 calories with high protein, low carbs diet could lower the chronic disease risk and improve complete health.

During one small study held by the Department -of -Pathology-at-the-University-of-California, following a healthy and well-balanced diet with low calories for 2-years shown to decrease blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol for participants, all of which are risk factors for ailments like type2 diabetes and heart disease.

Other research shows that caloric restrictions could also save heart health by lowering resting heart rate, blood pressure levels, and inflammation, which could potentially lower heart disease risk and stroke.

Extends Longevity

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 6

A promising study recommends that lowering the daily calorie consumption could help to lower aging signs, reduce inflammation, and promote longevity.

For example, one research in Journal-of-American-Medical-Association discovered that restricting calories for 6-months change several biomarkers of longevity in 48 people.

Lowering calorie consumption may also prevent oxidative damage and inflammation, both of which are thought to be linked to the aging process and disease growth.


While a 1200 calorie diet has a low carb, it can help some people, but it may not right for all. Depending on body weight, activity level, and health conditions, 1200 calories may not be good for you.

Lowering calorie consumption more can cause fatigue, cravings, and weakness. Without good planning, a 1200 calorie diet meal plan could also raise your nutritional deficiencies risk, which can cause more side effects with time.

Additionally, although lowering calories as part of 1200 calories from a high protein diet will most likely increase weight loss, it may not be suitable for the long-term.

This diet focuses completely on lowering caloric consumption and lifestyle change that causes weight gain.

Additionally, although lowering calories as part of 1200 calories from a high protein diet will most likely increase weight loss, it may not be suitable for the long-term. This diet focuses completely on lowering caloric consumption and lifestyle change that causes weight gain.

For this purpose, it is best to combine a balanced diet and whole foods, and regular workouts to promote long-lasting weight loss, instead of focusing on only calories. 

What Happen When You Restrict Calories?

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 7

Many people no longer wish to continue a restricted-calorie diet because it is not suitable for the long term.

A research study issued in June 2016 in JAMA-Internal-Medicine offers a unique insight into what happened to those who followed restricted calories. This study also includes people who did not have obesity because of weight loss in an obese individual with high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and sleep apnea in addition to boosting their quality of life.

The researchers in this study observed 218 people for 2-years. The average age was 38, and 70% were women. At the time of registration, they could have a BMI of up to 28, but no fewer than 22.

The groups were randomized to either move with their ordinary eating regimen or take an interest in a calorie-confined eating habit. The eating regimen contained roughly 25 percent fewer calories than they had recently eaten.

Why did the researchers wish a 25% reduction in calories? They believe this level was the most that could be lowered and sustained for the complete 2-year study. Registered dietitians advised people weekly food diaries to limit total calories. All people were urged to workout at least 5-days a week for 30-minutes at one time.

The authors listed many important findings. The people in the group who consumed fewer calories lost more weight. On average, individuals in these groups lost 7.6kg in comparison to other groups, who lost 0.4 kg.

What was even more good impact of calorie restriction on the good life? Those who limited calories reported good moods and less everyday tension, and they rated complete better health throughout the study.

The restricted calorie group also showed improved and quality sleep.

Is a Low-Calorie Diet Good for You?

If you are obese or overweight, the choice may be simple. Weight loss is one critical lifestyle choice to boost general health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and premature joint disease.

But decreasing the risk of these problems is only part of the possible advantages of cutting calories. Many other benefits of calorie restriction can increase the quality of life and everyday functioning. If you are in the healthy weight range, this new study also recommends a potential advantage of calorie limitation if followed correctly as long as your BMI does not lower than 22.

If you choose to limit calories, then consider the expertise of the study researchers in this trial and aim for a 25% reduction. It is the level at which there were some benefit and tolerability. Here are ways how to get started:

  • Manage an accurate diary of your food consumption for 1-2 weeks.
  • Use a web calorie counter to help know calorie intake.
  • Plan to limit calorie consumption by 25% over the next month.
  • Write out a menu every week that include a different variety of foods.

One of the good ways to limit calories is to raise your vegetable and fruit consumption, which will make you more filling and less calorie-dense. Also, consider making good diet changes with other people who can powerfully offer social support to improve the likelihood to succeed.

As you start to experience improved life, food, and sleep will positively strengthen your goals to follow a restricted-calorie diet.

Knowing the Right Calories

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 8

Calories are the most critical factor, which characterizes both weight reduction and weight gain. A sound weight-reduction plan gives a lift to calorie lack of weight reduction. The round of weight reduction is about calorie admission and calorie consumption. On account of adjusting weight, all calories are the equivalent, yet with regards to finish wellbeing, all calories are not comparative.

The 3-main sources of calories are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Unhealthy sources include butter, saturated fats, fatty cuts of meat, and cheese. Whereas sources of healthy, unsaturated fats include vegetable oils, nuts, seafood, and olives. Just like unhealthy and healthy fats, there are unhealthy and healthy carbs also.

Simple carbs are sugar, white rice, white flour, fruit juices, and baked goods are the one cause fat build-up.

Complex carbohydrates include wheat flour, brown rice, lentils, beans, fruits, legumes, and vegetables helps in weight loss.

Proteins are important for promoting muscle mass and good to reduce saturated fat. You can get natural protein from low-fat dairy products and egg whites. Therefore, it is necessary to identify healthy and unhealthy calories and add the right foods in a 1200 calories diet plan.

How to Plan Own Menu of 1200 Calorie Diet?

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 9

You might have heard that a successful and healthy weight loss diet includes 5-6 small meals every day instead of three heavy meals. Small and healthy meals have short intervals to boost metabolism to burn calories. The basic idea of this 1200 calories diet plan is also similar.

It is important to divide the 1200 calories into 6-meals consisting of 3-meals such as breakfast, lunch, dinner of 300 calories each with complete 900 calories. The remaining 300 calories should contain healthy snacks and other beverages that will cover the whole day.

Try to stick with unprocessed and whole foods, such as green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, dairy, and poultry for meals and snacks. Avoid processed and starchy foods like cabbages, potatoes, and cauliflower. You can consume multivitamin supplements and calcium foods in the diet.

1200 Calorie Diet FAQs

Image Source
1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss - Benefits, Safety, And Foods To Eat & Avoid 10

How 1200 Calories Per Day Benefits?

Most females need 2200 calories every day. The requirement for weight loss raises when you consume more than what you can burn. You should either do a rigorous workout or balance your calorie intake with the mild workout.

The 1200 calorie diet plan also does the same for your body. It restricts the calorie consumption, without being too low calories, and adds a mild workout routine, which will help to manage the bones and muscles.

How Many Workouts Require to Combine With 1200 Calories?

Avoid doing a rigorous workout while on 1200 calories diet. Mild stretching, yoga, intermittent running, freehand workout, and walking should be enough. However, if you are already an active individual, you can get strength training workout also, but for less time. Take your trainer or expert advice. 

Why Is The 1200-Calorie Diet Plan Ideal For A Female Who Wishes To Lose Weight?

The 1200 calories diet plan is not ideal for every woman. Depending on your present age, weight, height, genes, and medical condition, your doctor or diet expert advice you on whether to follow this diet or not. If this is the ideal diet plan for you, it will help you reduce 20 pounds over a time of 90 days. The slow process of weight loss will keep you healthy and prevent problems of post-weight loss like loose skin.

How Much Weight Will You Lose If You Consume 1200 Calories in A Day?

A healthy way to reduce weight is to have a 500-600 calorie deficit every day. This approach will help to reduce 500 g every week or 4kg in one month, depending on your activity levels and health conditions. 

Is It Healthy To Consume 1200 Calories Every Day?

The calorie requirement also depends on your BMR, age, and activity level. Talk to your dietitian or nutritionist who will decide the right meal plan for you.

Are 1200 Calories Too Low?

The 1200 calories diet plan is not much low diet plan. It is the minimum calorie range, which a person should follow to manage the minimum BMR level. Choosing the right foods and nutrient is important to stay healthy and fit.

How Much Fat Consumption Is Enough Every Day While on A 1200 Calorie Diet?

You should consume at least 30-36g of fat in which 20g would be visible fat come from cooking oil and the remaining from other food sources. Choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids in place of trans or saturated fatty acids.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *