The 1200 Calorie Diet Plan

A 1200-calorie diet plan is a great way to efficiently lose weight. The results can usually be seen after a few weeks of dieting. It’s important to be creative with meal planning and eat foods that are rich in nutrients so you don’t feel hungry at the end of the day. Below is a meal plan for five days on the 1200-calorie diet which offers healthy and creative choices.

One of the best ways to lose weight is to cut back on calories. Many people will opt for a 1200-calorie diet to help them shed unwanted pounds. However, it can be hard to be creative with meal planning when you’re on a restricted diet. It’s also important to make sure you get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in your diet, which can easily be overlooked if you’re focusing on just cutting calories.

Like most diets, you’ll experience more success if you focus your meals on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, and whole grains. When you choose nutrient-rich products you’ll be less likely to experience hunger throughout the day.

If you’re planning cutting calories make a list of your favorite foods and meals you eat on a regular basis. Try to figure out where you can cut back the calories for each of your favorite meals, for example: if you love scrambled eggs for breakfast switch over to scrambled egg whites which only contain 17 calories (one whole egg contains 72 calories). Make sure to use a calorie friendly cooking spray since adding butter and oil can up your calorie intake even in small amounts. The 1200-calorie diet menu is great since it allows you to eat foods you love as long as you don’t exceed 1200 calories each day.

Below is an example meal plan for five days on the 1200-calorie diet. Over the weekend you can treat yourself and indulge in some of your favorite, calorie-high foods but remember, moderation is key and will be most effective if you’re trying to lose weight.

1200 Calorie Diet Menu Plan

Day One

Breakfast

1 cup of fat free plain yogurt

½ tbsp of honey

½ cup of granola

12 ounces

of coffee

Total Calories: 441

Snack

1 Apple

Total Calories: 81

Lunch

Sandwich

2 slices of whole grain bread

1 tsp of mustard as spread

2 slices of turkey

½ cup of lettuce

¼ cup of almonds

Total Calories: 364

Dinner

1 tilapia filet

1 tbsp of butter

2 cups of cooked zucchini

and squash

Total Calories: 330

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the tilapia with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp of butter. Wrap in foil and bake for about 40 minutes.

Quarter the squash and zucchini and place into boiling water. Cover with a lid and let simmer. Boil squash for 45 minutes to an hour, when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork it’s done. Season with salt and pepper.

Total Daily Calories

Day Two

Breakfast

1 cup of oatmeal prepared with water

12 ounces of coffee

Total Calories: 69

Snack

1 ounce (14 halves) of walnuts

Total Calories: 185 calories

Lunch

Salad

1 cup of sliced avocado-235 calories

10 cherry tomatoes- 40 calories

½ tsp of olive oil- 60 calories

½ cup of mozzarella cheese- 200 calories

Salt and Pepper to taste

Total Calories: 535

Mix avocado, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and olive together. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

Dinner

Tuscan Chicken Salad (makes four servings)

1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast

1 1/2 cups diced celery

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil,

Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)

2 cups torn escarole or romaine lettuce

2 cups torn radicchio leaves

Vinaigrette:

1 medium clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Total Calories: 428 calories (per serving)

To prepare vinaigrette: Peel the garlic and chop finely. Whisk in 5 tablespoons oil. Add vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended. Season with salt and set aside.

To prepare salad: Combine beans, chicken, celery, cheese in a large bowl until well blended. Add chopped basil and 3/4 cup vinaigrette; toss until combined. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper, if desired. Add in salad greens at the end to prevent wilting.

Total Daily Calories: 1,217

Day Three

Breakfast

3 scrambled egg whites

½ raw, red pepper sliced on the side

12 ounces of coffee

Total Calories- 82

Use a cooking spray when scrambling your eggs.

Lunch

Leftover Tuscan Chicken Salad

Total: 428 Calories

Snack

Apple- 81 calories

Dinner:

Taco Night

½ cup of black beans (drained and rinsed)

2 small flour tortillas

1 cup of shredded lettuce

½ cup of feta cheese

½ cup of salsa

1 cup of sliced avocado

Total Calories: 697

Total Daily Calories: 1,207

Day Four

Breakfast

1 cup of oatmeal prepared with water

12 ounces of coffee

Total Calories: 69

Snack:

½ cup of almonds

Total Calories: 204

Lunch:

Tuna Wrap

4 ounces tuna, packed in water

2 tbsp. of olive oil

1 cup of shredded carrots

1 cup sliced cucumbers

2 whole-grain tortillas

Salt and Pepper to taste

Total Calories: 400

Mix tuna and veggies with olive oil. Place filling into the tortillas and garnish with salt and pepper.

Dinner:

Whole Grain Pasta with Creamy Ricotta

2 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti noodles

3/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

1 cup zucchini, chopped

1/2 cup fresh herbs: oregano basil and parsley

Total Calories: 498

Cook the noodles in lightly salted water (check package for cooking times) Drain and return to the pot. Add the ricotta, zucchini, and fresh herbs to the pot. Stir until the pasta is thoroughly coated and let heat until everything is warm.

Total Daily Calories: 1,171

Day Five

Breakfast

Slice of low-calorie bread

1 tbsp of peanut butter

1 apple

12 ounces of coffee

Total Calories: 289

Lunch:

Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato and Turkey

2 slices whole grain bread

1 slice cheddar cheese

2 oz. sliced turkey

1 slice tomato

Total Calories: 349

When grilling your sandwich make sure to use a low calorie cooking spray.

Snack:

1 Orange

Total Calories: 86

Dinner:

Brown Rice Salad with Fresh Basil

1 cup brown rice -218

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tsp  sugar - 32

1 tbsp olive oil -119

Pepper

2 large tomatoes, diced- 66

1 cup packed basil leaves, chopped

Total Calories: 435

Bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil and add the rice and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Return to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Transfer the rice to a bowl.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, remaining teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Pour the dressing over the rice. Add the tomatoes and basil. Mix well and check the seasonings.

Dessert:

2 squares of dark chocolate

Total Calories: 44

Total Daily Calories: 1,203


31 Responses to The 1200 Calorie Diet Plan

  1. sally says:

    gonna start this diet, am exercising 4 x per week now, lets see the results

  2. abood says:

    me too !

    currently im in a below 1000 diet but will go to this one and try ..
    im exercising 5*a week .. so lets ..
    sally let me know what happend with u :D

  3. Preeti says:

    Abood - You should be under the supervision of a doctor if you are going below 1000 calories a day. It is a recommend calorie intake for a grown person.

  4. Majandra says:

    I've been eating less than 800 calories the last three days. I want to stay under one thousand for the next few days and then maybe go and do a vegetarian version of this, without the coffee.
    I'm not overweight, therefore losing weight is actually so hard. To lose 1lb of body fat you need a deficit of 3,5OO calories, so if you want to lose 1kg/wk you need to have a deficit of 7,7OOcalories/week - thats a significant deficit.
    The only way to do that is to get TOUGH.

    • ReneeR says:

      Hi Majandra,
      Consuming too few calories could actually hurt your weight loss goals and slow down your metabolism. The body is smart and its main goal is to keep the body alive. Consuming too few calories will cause the body to think it is starving and therefore more likely to store the food you consume rather than use it or burn it up.
      Consuming fewer than 1200 calories a day also puts you at risk for not consuming an adequate amount of essential vitamins and minerals.
      Remember a deficit of calories can come both from cutting down calories in your diet and using up calories through exercise. Good Luck!

  5. Janet says:

    Hi,
    I have my own calorie-counting menu and try not to exceed 1400 a day. I am 53 years old, menopausal, and finally decided it was my time to do something about my weight. Junk food was my drug of choice. Anyway, I have been doing this since April 20 and have lost 11 pounds...and I basically eat throughout the day.

    • Fariha says:

      Hi Janet! I wanted to know if you exercised the month where you lost 11 pounds with 1400 calories a day. thanks

  6. Jen says:

    Is there any subs for some of the foods as i dont eat or no what some of them are?

  7. Carla says:

    I have been doing 1200 Calorie diet since May 3 and I have lost 7 pounds. I exercise and eat enough to satisfy me and I am so pleased with the results. I have energy and its a life change for me. I use to eat chips/donuts/candy for breakfast with a pepsi, so you can imagine what my lunch and dinner had consist of. I am 42 and weighed 230 pounds. I look forward to more weight loss.

  8. Alena says:

    hi there! I am 15 years old , 5'4 and weigh 50kg , i want to get to at least 46, How much weight could i lose with this diet plan, a few days ago , i got really sick and lost 3 kilos but 2 kilos came back :( someone help me :D

    • no one says:

      you silly little girl, you should be double that size, my daughter is 4ft 6ins and weighs about 5 stone. your tiny compared to her, but when looking again, your not much bigger than me, i'm 5 ft 6 and weigh 58kg. your still going girl.....

  9. Preeti says:

    @Alena - You are at the low end of the BMI. Because you are a growing person and within your weight limit, we do not recommend dieting.

    If you want to build up your stamina, go for more walks.

    @Carla - That's great to hear! Keep up the good work.

    @Jen - Can you be specific? What foods do you want to substitute?

  10. Sara M- says:

    Alena, do not go below 50 kg, it depends on your hight, but generally when you're still in puberty trying to loose weight when you're already clearly not overweight can severally damage your body. Also when you're so young your body burns way more calories than an adult body. Eating healthy and exercising is good for everyone, but a calorie restricted diet is not good for you until your body is fully developed (around 18 years old for girls, and 20 for guys).

    I'm 5'8ft/172cm tall weighing 130lbs/60kg, I'm a dancer so I want to reach about 120lbs/54kg. But I'll NEVER go below that.

  11. AT says:

    What should I substitute avocado and tomato for ? I don't eat either of those things.

  12. Mitchi says:

    I am 4'11" in height and 34 years old. I weigh 112 lbs. huhuhuhuhu!.. How can I loose this 12 lbs and be 100 lbs? It seems I reached my rock bottom, their so called "plateu"? I do cardio 5 hours/week and weights 3 hours/week. Any suggestion?

    • ReneeR says:

      Hi Mitchi,

      It is hard to give suggestions without knowing your health history and diet assessment. Also your BMI is within a healthy range so I wouldn't necessarily recommend you need to lose any weight. Try keeping a food diary to bring more awareness to your eating habits and switching up your workouts. The body can get used to the same exercise over time and needs a change to see a change in results.

      • Mitchi says:

        Hi ReneeR,
        Thank you for the wonderful suggestion.. I would probably need to change my exercise routine every second week and maybe my eating habbit. Planning to really loose my stubborn 12 lbs now its up to 14 lbs. I really find it hard to avoid in eating junk foods like chips and cola...

  13. Angela says:

    I can not wait to see, and taste, and cook this for 30 days with out my man knowing he is on diet and then add it to my intense workout routine and his sitting on lazy boy...please send deals, new ideas to meals that are yummy and healthy and allow me to feed him well without the calories:)

  14. Susan says:

    Hi,
    Some of your calories are totally incorrect. For example, 1 cup of brown rice has closer to 700 calories, not the 218 you have shown.

    • Preeti says:

      Angela, good for you! Make those sneaky substitutions for better foods and your man won't know it.

      Hi Susan. The calories are correct. Perhaps you are thinking of 1 cup of uncooked brown rice. That will be much higher in calories than one 1 cup of cooked, edible rice. Thanks.

  15. tristeza says:

    hi.. im a filipino.. so i was just wondering if its ok to substitute other dishes in the menu plan for a filipino food? i mean.. will it still work?thanks.. :)

    • Preeti says:

      Hi Tristeza. Of course you can substitute your own home cooked cuisine.

      What is important is that when you cook use low amounts of oil/butter, and eat little to no fried food.

      • tristeza says:

        thanks.. :) i wanna try this diet..
        please wish me luck.. its my first time to focus on losing weights.. i dont really care about it before..

  16. Tristan says:

    A 1200 calorie diet plan should only be attempted with a skilled dietician overseeing your efforts. It is impossible for you to get enough micronutrients in your diet long term to sustain this level of calories for more than a week or two. for the active posters working out 5 days a week, eating this way would be suicide for your weight loss efforts. Anyone on here ever heard of starvation mode? Google it and educate yourself. If the body is calorie starved for too long (including more than about 45 mins to 60 mins of 1 workout) it will turn to your muscle mass over your fat stores. This in turn slows down your metabolism as each pound of muscle lost is 50 less calories per day you can eat without gaining weight. check out Muscle and Fitness Magazine if you want help achieving a healthy, trim physique. The men and women in those magazines are "real" people, not starved waifs like in most magazines. The lowest the average height female (5'3 to 5'5) eats and this is when training for fitness competitions is 1500 calories per day, again under strict supervision of a dietician.

    • ReneeR says:

      Hi Tristan,
      Great comment and information. Anytime anyone goes on a diet it is smart to be under the supervision of a dietitian or at least discuss with your doctor beforehand. Everyone has different caloric requirements which can change daily. However, feeling hungry all day or starving is never part of a healthy diet plan. Drinking plenty of water and tea can help curb appetite. Also, feel up on low calorie high nutrient veggies and snacks in between meals if you are feeling hungry. Reaching your weight goals should be about adding things into your life - energy, health benefits, and a slue of different nutritious foods!

  17. Linda says:

    Thanks for the 5 day sugesstion 1200 diet plan.

  18. Helena says:

    How many calories are in coffee? I don't drink coffee or tea, so it there anything I could substitute it with?

  19. Daly says:

    Hi:
    There is any substitution for nuts? Im alergic to them so i want to know ifthere is other foodthat i can use

  20. Iryna says:

    Hi im 15 going to 16 in 2013.. im 5'4" and i weigh 57kg.. my BMI is 21 and im an asian.. i dont eat rice and i avoid carbs like bread and noodles.. i like to snack on apples and i dont eat fast food at all.. my friends tease me about being a health freak but i like to take care of my body but im not satisfied with my body at all.. i run about 2-3km 5days a week, i also do circuit trainings but i cant loose my tummy flab or 'muffin top'.. i wanna try and see the results with this diet.. my goal is to get lean and shed a few kgs.

  21. amanda says:

    i am 21 and i have pecently put on a lottle over 40lbs due to a brith control method. but now im od the birth control method and was looking up diets and seen this one. im am going to start it on the 2nd week of march!!! hopefuly this will do some good!!!!

  22. larry says:

    Juicing removed the weight faster. This diet is a good maintenance program.

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