1200 Calorie Whole-Food Diet

1200 calories per day is about the lowest a woman should go when aiming for fat loss. For men this figure is around the 1500-1700 calorie mark.

To ensure appropriate calorie levels, please check the Calorie needs calculator.

These meal plans are intended for gradual, and healthy, weight-loss in the context of pleasurable eating as an important part of an enjoyable lifestyle.

A vegetarian 1200 calorie meal plan is also included below for dieters that don't eat animal products.

Print Meal Plans

Meal Plan 1

TOTAL CALORIES ~1209

Breakfast

  • Fruit smoothie - blend:
    • 1 cup nonfat/low fat milk (90)
    • 1/4 cup blueberries (21)
    • 1/4 cup strawberries (12)
    • 1/2 cup orange juice (56)
    • 1/2 cup ice (0)
    • Protein powder 1/2 scoop (50)
  • 1/2 English muffin with 1 tablespoon apple butter (156)

Morning Snack

  • 20 shelled pistachio kernels (88)

Lunch

  • Avocado wrap:
    • 1/4 avocado, sliced (80)
    • 1 whole wheat low fat tortilla (130)
    • 1 medium size tomato, sliced (22)
    • 1 cup lettuce & alfalfa sprouts (7)
    • 1 slice (1 oz.) low fat cheddar cheese (48)
  • 6 oz. V-8 or tomato juice (low sodium) (36)

Afternoon Snack

  • Celery filled with cottage cheese:
    • 3 or 4 stalks celery (4)
    • 1/2 cup (4.4 oz) nonfat/low fat cottage cheese (80)
    • 1/4 cup salsa to season (17)

Dinner

  • Burger (turkey):
    • 3 oz. ground lean patty (seasoned with salt, pepper & minced garlic, cooked on nonstick skillet or grill. (128)
    • 1 whole-wheat burger bun (120)
    • 1 cup lettuce & tomatoes garnish (with pickles, ketchup & mustard to taste) (20)

Meal Plan 2

TOTAL CALORIES ~1209

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with 1/2 cup nonfat/low fat milk (120)
  • 1/2 Cup sliced strawberries (24)
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts chopped (96)
  • Coffee or tea with 1/2 cup nonfat/low fat milk (45)

Morning Snack

  • 1/2 cup nonfat/low fat plain yogurt with 2 tsp. 100% fruit spread (102)

Lunch

  • Hummus & vegetable pita sandwich
    • 1/2 piece whole-wheat pita bread (80)
    • 1/4 cup hummus (46)
    • 1 cup lettuce, tomato, sprouts (add red peppers, lemon juice, salt/pepper to taste) (20)
    • 3/4 oz. Feta cheese (56)
  • Handful (1 oz.) Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Brazil nuts)(168)
  • 1 Medium Fruit (Apple, Peach, Plum, Pear, etc) (59)

Afternoon Snack

  • 1 medium orange (62)

Dinner

  • Broiled chicken with rice & green beans
    • 3 oz. broiled chicken breast (spray with olive oil, season with minced garlic, rosemary, salt & pepper, remove skin before eating) (162)
    • 1 cup green string beans (boiled in slightly salted water 3 minutes, drained, drizzled with 1 tsp. olive oil, seasoned with salt & pepper) (61)
    • 1/2 cup brown rice (108)

Meal Plan 3

TOTAL CALORIES ~1197

Breakfast

  • 1 large egg poached or boiled (78)
  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon apple butter (129)
  • Coffee or tea (0)

Morning Snack

  • 1 almond nut, 1 tangerine (48)

Lunch

  • Greek salad with chicken
    • 2 cups Romaine (16)
    • 1 oz. Red Onion (9)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette (30)
    • 1 oz. cubed, broiled chicken (47)
    • 3/4 oz. Feta cheese (56)
  • 1 whole piece whole-wheat pita bread (160)
  • 5 Kalamata olives (optional) (45)

Afternoon Snack

  • 1 cup nonfat/low fat plain yogurt (144)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) (42)

Dinner

  • Black bean burritos (1 cup filling) (210)
  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla (130)
  • Served with 1 tablespoon fat free sour cream and 1/4 cup fresh salsa (17)
  • 6 oz. V-8 juice (low sodium) (36)

Vegetarian 1200 Calorie Meal Plan

TOTAL CALORIES ~1205

Breakfast

  • 1/3 cup steal cut oats (dry) cooked with 1 1/2 cups water. (200)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (33)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (40)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (6)

Lunch

Chick Pea Salad

  • 3 cups salad mix (24)
  • 1/2 a cucumber sliced (22)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (18)
  • 1/2 cup canned chick peas (105)
  • 3 mini sweet peppers sliced (12)
  • 7 walnut halves (93)
  • 2 tablespoon lite honey mustard vinaigrette dressing (40)

Snack

  • 1 medium apple (93)
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (105)

Dinner

Vegetable Kabobs

  • 10 button mushrooms (20)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes (30)
  • 1/2 red onion quartered (24)
  • 10 Mini sweet peppers (40)
  • 1/2 an eggplant quartered (44)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (80)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (40)
  • Salt and pepper

With Lemon Garlic Couscous

  • 3/4 cup cooked couscous (132)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (4)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt.

Ensure you drink plenty of water which is 8-10 glasses a day.

References

  • Finer, N. (2001). Low-Calorie Diets and Sustained Weight Loss. Obesity Research, 9(S11), 290S-294S. Link
  • Seim, H. C., & Holtmeier, K. B. (1992). Effects of a six-week, low-fat diet on serum cholesterol, body weight, and body measurements. Family practice research journal, 12(4), 411-419. Link
  • Graffagnino, C. L., Falko, J. M., Londe, M., Schaumburg, J., Hyek, M. F., Shaffer, L. E., ... & Caulin-Glaser, T. (2006). Effect of a Community-Based Weight Management Program on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors. Obesity, 14(2), 280-288.Link
Last Updated 31 Dec 2014