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1200 Calorie Diet Plan

Written by Diet Bites

Information & Recommendations, Low Calorie Dieting for Fat Loss Results

1200 Calories Per Day, a Dangerous Dieting Method for Losing Weight

The 1200 Calorie Diet is too low in nutritional value to support the body's needs and may pose significant health risks, including death.

In addition, because the eating plan is too low in energy values to support optimum health, it is significantly lacking in vital minerals and vitamins which are required by the human body in order to even process [or register] weight loss.

Because the amount of energy contained in this plan is too restrictive it should never be attempted without a doctor's supervision.

Note how restrictive this method of losing fat can be:

1200 Calorie Diet, Food Group Serving Recommendations

The USDA recommends the following Food Group Servings based on a 1,200 calorie daily diet plan:

Fruit Group- 1 cup. This is equal to a small banana or apple or pear or a cup of cubed pineapple.

Grain Group - 4 ounces which is equal to 1/2 cup of steamed white, brown or wild rice.

Vegetable Group - 1 cups. Example: 1 cup of wax beans and one large raw carrot.

Proteins - 3 ounces. Proteins can be animal or vegetable based. A serving is equal to 1/2 cup of most beans.

Milk & Dairy- 2 cups of milk or yogurt OR one ounce of cheese.

Oil - 4 teaspoons.

Personal Discretionary Calories - 171 calories. This is defined as the amount of calories which is left over [approximate amount] after all the five basic food groups have been satisfied.

To put the above information into context, throughout the day the entire eating plan would consist of the following, thus equaling 1200 calories: 1 banana, 1/2 of white rice, 1/2 cup of pinto beans, 1 cup of wax beans, a carrot, 2 cups of milk and for our discretionary calories we'll opt for 2 slices of bread. Not much food, is it?


With savvy planning, we can fit more foods into this plan. Our example is as follows.

1200 Calorie Diet, Breakfast Menu

1 serving of whole grain cereal (110 calories)
banana OR 1 cup of fresh whole strawberries
1/2 cup of skim milk
Also enjoy a cup of coffee or tea using no more than 50 calories worth of sugar and creamer.

Mid-Morning Snack

Enjoy the other half of the banana OR 1 cup of strawberries. 1 Fruit Group Serving.

Lunch Menu for 1200 Calorie Diet

1 serving of deli ham (50 calories)
1 slice of low fat cheese (50 calories) between two slices of whole grain bread (60 calories each slice)
Opt for mustard over Mayo and enjoy a good amount of fresh lettuce and tomato on the sandwich.
Also enjoy 1 serving of low fat cottage cheese (110 calories).
Enjoy an assortment of carrot sticks, cucumber slices and celery sticks.
Also enjoy water OR a glass of unsweetened tea.


Mid-Afternoon Snack

1 rice cake. 1 Grain Group Serving.

1200 Calorie Dinner Menu

3 ounces of broiled salmon - To prepare, sprinkle with a little lemon pepper, then place in the oven until flaky.
1 cup of green beans
1 slice of whole grain bread (60 calories)
1 pat of margarine
1/2 cup rice (100 calories)
Also enjoy water OR unsweetened tea.

Evening or Bedtime Snack

Enjoy 3/4 cup of skim milk blended with 1/2 cup of your favorite frozen fruit. 1 Fruit Group Serving. About 100 calories based on use of strawberries.

In Summary

When the body doesn't receive the amount of calories it requires to function in a healthy manner, the metabolism works at a slower pace than normal. The result is a slower rate of weight loss.

When the dieter incorporates activity and exercise into their day, the body requires even more calories to properly function. While fat is pulled from storage out of the fat cells, a daily diet too restrictive isn't able to meet the needs of the body, therefore placing it at great risk for health issues.

Before starting on any reduced eating plan you should meet with your doctor to discuss your personal situation.

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