The 1200 Calorie Diet Plan – What Foods To Eat And Avoid?

The 1200 calorie diet plan is one of the most effective ways to lose 20 pounds in about 90 days. This is not a fad diet plan. This 7-day diet plan requires you to eat a lot of healthy proteins, carbs, and fats without exceeding the 1200 calorie per day limitation. There is no easy way out to lose the stubborn fat. Therefore, regular exercise and a changed lifestyle are needed to accelerate the weight loss process.

This diet plan can be followed by anyone. However, the amount of weight you lose will depend on factors such as current weight, age, medical history, and genes. Consult your doctor or dietitian to know which diet plan is the best for you.

This article provides detailed information on all you need to know for active weight loss while on the 1200 calorie diet plan.

 

The 1200 Calorie Diet Plan To Lose 20 Pounds

  1. The 1200 Calorie Diet
  2. Generalized 1200 Calorie Vegetarian Diet Chart
  3. Generalized 1200 Calorie Non-Vegetarian Diet Chart
  4. What To Eat When On The 1200 Calorie Diet
  5. What Not To Eat When On The 1200 Calorie Diet
  6. The 1200 Calorie Diet Recipe
  7. Role Of Exercise
  8. Changes In Lifestyle
  9. Benefits Of The 1200 Calorie Diet
  10. Drawbacks Of The 1200 Calorie Diet
  11. Dos & Dont’s
  12. FAQs

1. The 1200 Calorie Diet

The logic behind the 1200 calorie diet is to restrict the calorie consumption to only 1200 calories. There are numerous food items that are recommended in a typical 1200 calorie diet chart, such as lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, legumes, fruits, and vegetables to guide the dieters. Due to such a wide variety, there can be many diet menus for the 1200-calorie diet. An example of such a diet chart is given below.

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2. Generalized 1200 Calorie Vegetarian Diet Chart

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MealWhat To EatCalories
Early MorningA glass of warm water, honey, and half a lime74
BreakfastOptions:

1 bowl vegetable quinoa

A glass of fat-free milk and 2 slices of multigrain bread

421

260

LunchOptions:

Vegetable sandwich (with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise)

Broccoli and lentil soup

195

216

Post-LunchA bowl of fruits (banana, watermelon, kiwi, melon, and strawberries)227
Evening Snack

Green/black tea with a small bowl of popcorn (without butter)

32
DinnerOptions:

Baked potato, carrot, eggplant, tomato

1 serving low-fat vegetable lasagne

342

310

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3. Generalized 1200 Calorie Non-Vegetarian Diet Chart

Image: Shutterstock
MealWhat To EaCalories
Early Morning1 cup green tea with honey65
BreakfastOptions:

1 glass kale smoothie with pomegranate and cucumber

1 whole boiled egg and a slice of multigrain bread with low-fat cheese

Egg frittata with bacon

257

213

243

LunchOptions:

Spinach, asparagus, and mushroom salad with light dressing

Tuna sandwich with lettuce and tomato with 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise

298

285

Post-LunchOptions:

1 apple

A bowl of fruits (watermelon, musk melon, and kiwi)

52

133

Evening SnackGreen tea with 1 multigrain biscuit73
DinnerOptions:

Baked salmon with veggies

Chicken clear soup with lots of veggies

410

316

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4. What To Eat When On The 1200 Calorie Diet

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The 1200 calorie diet plan requires a careful consideration of the amount and nature of food to be consumed in order to fulfill the nutritional requirements. Foods rich in carbs, such as flour bread and pasta, sugary products, and foods with high fat content should particularly be avoided as they have more calories, which tend to cause weight gain.

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5. What Not To Eat When On The 1200 Calorie Diet

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Here is the list of foods that you should avoid when you are on the 1200 calorie diet:

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6. The 1200 Calorie Diet Recipe

Broccoli And Lentil Soup

Image: Shutterstock
What You Need
How To Prepare
  1. Wash the yellow lentils and keep them aside.
  2. Chop the onion, garlic, tomato, and chili.
  3. Dice the broccoli florets.
  4. In a soup pot, heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds.
  5. Now, fry the garlic until golden brown.
  6. Add the onions and fry until they are translucent.
  7. Add the broccoli florets and tomato. Fry for about a minute.
  8. Add the chopped green chili and fry for about 15 seconds.
  9. Add the washed lentils, a pinch of salt, and a cup of water.
  10. Let it cook until the lentils and the broccoli florets are properly cooked.
  11. Add the orange juice and use an immersion blender and blend all the ingredients to make a thick soup.

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7. Role Of Exercise

No specific exercise is recommended when you follow this diet. However, dieters should be aware that exercising on a daily basis is vital for maintaining weight loss and for overall good health. Nevertheless, you should not resort to excessive exercise as the caloric and nutritional intake are too low for high levels of physical activity. Exercise and workout should be done in moderation. Working out in the gym or brisk walking for an hour on a daily basis is recommended.

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8. Changes In Lifestyle

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When you are on a diet to lose weight, you have to make it a habit to know what you are eating, especially when you buy foods from the supermarket. Also, try to avoid eating out. Cook simple and easy to cook foods the night before and store them in airtight containers. This will help you keep your weight in check.

While on a low-calorie diet, make sure you allow your body and mind enough rest by sleeping for at least seven hours. Also, go to bed early so that you wake up early. You will get time for simple stretching exercises and also to fix a good breakfast before heading out. Also, when you sleep early, you can avoid the late-night carb cravings. You will feel more energetic the next day.

A lot of women gain weight due to “emotional eating”. Try to leave the office worries at the office and don’t carry them home. Listen to good music to block all negative thoughts. This way, you will be able to focus better, feel less anxious, and can completely avoid emotional eating.

Book an appointment at a spa and get a body massage. This will mobilize the stored fat and help burn it as well. You will feel rejuvenated and good about yourself.

You don’t have to be perfect, just dance. Do crazy moves or the perfect dance steps. This will help you release a lot of “feel good” hormones, which will help you lose weight by burning fat. It will also make you feel good and help you avoid emotional eating. Make sure you get grooving for at least five minutes a day.

If you are someone who gets tempted to eat just by watching food channels, it is best to avoid watching them for a while. This will help you avoid eating unnecessarily.

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9. Benefits Of The 1200 Calorie Diet

The 1200 calorie diet is proven to be beneficial for numerous reasons, the most important being weight loss. Listed below are a few benefits:

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10. Drawbacks Of The 1200 Calorie Diet

All forms of diets have certain drawbacks, and the 1200 calorie diet is no exception. While many people might find it effective, it does not mean that this diet is suitable for everyone.

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11. Dos And Don’ts

DosDon’ts
Eat a heavy breakfast.Do not exceed the calorie limit when you are on this diet.
Eat at least 6 meals per day.Do not keep a long time gap between two meals.
Eat a whole fruit rather than juicing it.Do not drink packaged drinks, aerated drinks, and alcohol.
Mild exercises will keep your muscles and bones active.Avoid doing rigorous exercises.
Get a good night sleep.Don’t 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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12. FAQs

Why is 1200 calories a day important when dieting?

Most women need 2200 calories per day. The need for weight loss arises when you eat more than what you burn. To lose weight, you should either work out rigorously, or balance it with lesser calorie intake and mild workout. The 1200 calorie diet plan does exactly that. It restricts your calorie intake, without being too low on calories and includes a mild exercise routine that will help to keep the muscles and bones in your body active.

If I consume 1200 calories a day, how much exercise do I need per day?

Do not opt for rigorous exercises. Yoga, mild stretching, freehand exercising, and intermittent running and walking should be enough. However, if you are already an active woman, you can opt for strength training exercises as well, but for a lesser duration. Consult your trainer for expert advice.

Why is the 1200 calorie meal plan ideal for women who want to lose weight?

The 1200 calorie diet plan is not ideal for every woman. Depending on your current weight, age, height, medical condition, and genes, your doctor or dietitian will be able to tell you whether this is the ideal diet plan for you or not. If this is the ideal diet plan for you, it will help you lose 20 pounds over a period of 90 days. The slow weight loss process will keep you healthy and help you avoid post weight-loss problems like loose skin.

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When you decide to go on a low-calorie diet to lose weight, the toughest part is to stick to the plan. Since it is a restricted diet, it is normal to have carb cravings very frequently in the beginning. However, once you stick to it for the first three days, following the diet plan for the next four days will not be a hassle anymore. Also, follow a proper diet, exercise routine, and change your lifestyle to get better and quicker results.

Let us know how this diet plan helped you lose weight. If you have any questions or queries, do comment in the box below.

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Charushila is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition and a full-time contributor to Diet & Weight Loss at Stylecraze. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. A binge eater-turned-fitness enthusiast, Charushila likes to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.

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