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The 1,200 calorie diet: How to lose weight the healthy way
By Virgilio Marin // Aug 10, 2020

One of the better ways to lose weight is through reducing calorie intake. One low-calorie diet, in particular, requires cutting consumption to 1,200 calories.


Called the 1,200 calorie diet, this diet option is not like other diet strategies such as the ketogenic diet -- it targets no specific food group. Instead, what matters is that you keep within the 1,200 calorie mark.

But this is not to say that you can eat whatever is around. The quality of foods on your plate will still play a role in weight loss and in any potential side effects. It is thus important to know which foods are the best to eat while on the 1,200 calorie diet.

Doing the 1,200 calorie diet the healthy way

Because you're consuming fewer calories, there is the tendency to feel hungry many times during the day. Eating nutrient-packed foods will help you avoid constant hunger as well as malnutrition. Lean proteins are very dense in nutrients and low in calories. White carbohydrates, on the other hand, contain more calories and fewer nutrients.

To further guide you, below are some food ideas to follow:


  • Half a cup of shredded wheat cereal with a cup of one percent milk
  • Reduced-fat yogurt with berries
  • Berry and banana smoothie
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • One slice of whole-grain toast with peanut butter
  • One cup of fat-free cottage cheese with pineapple or strawberries
  • One cup of oatmeal with berries or a banana
  • Half an avocado with one cup fat-free cottage cheese


  • A can of tuna, flavored with lemon juice or pepper
  • Arugula salad with cranberries, walnuts, lemon juice, balsamic vinaigrette and a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese
  • A cup of Greek yogurt with honey, berries and almonds
  • Almond butter on a whole-grain English muffin
  • One avocado with salsa
  • Roast beef sandwich with low-calorie mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato on whole-wheat bread


  • Two ounces of salmon cooked in vegetable oil, with pepper or lemon juice
  • Avocado toast on whole wheat bread with a side of green beans
  • Sweet potato with butter and four ounces of grilled chicken
  • Half a cup brown rice with one cup steamed vegetables and low fat cottage cheese
  • One cup of whole-wheat pasta with marinara sauce and three turkey or soy meatballs

You can also add snacks and treats as long as you keep below the prescribed calorie mark. Some of the best snacks are fruits and vegetables, nuts and toast. You could also occasionally treat yourself to some chips, kettle corn, popcorn or whole wheat crackers. This way, it becomes easier to stick to your diet given the allowances you make.

What to consider before trying the 1,200 calorie diet

The 1,200 calorie diet is not for everyone. First, the average adult needs 1,600 to 2,300 calories a day to maintain body weight. Cutting your calorie intake to 1,200 might lead to drastic and unhealthy weight loss, burning not only fat but also muscle tissue.

Several factors determine how many calories a person needs each day, such as age, sex, activity level, body size and medical conditions. The following individuals, for example, are recommended to skip this diet:

  • Underweight and malnourished individuals
  • Females whose menstrual cycles stopped due to eating a very low-calorie diet or due to being underweight
  • People with eating disorders
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Children
  • People with specific nutritional deficiencies or imbalances

It is therefore important to check whether your body can respond well to this highly restrictive diet. Consulting a nutritionist can help you decide what diet options are best suited for you.

Once you're cleared of any setbacks, however, the 1,200 calorie diet might be a welcome choice.

Learn more about different diets for weight loss at Slender.news.

Sources include:



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