If you want to lose weight and be successful for the long term, one method you can use is to lower the number of calories that you’re consuming. One way to do that is to follow a simple 1,200 calorie diet.
This kind of diet can help you lose a little or a lot of weight. One of the reasons that it’s so successful is because you can eat healthy foods, get full, and still be able to drop weight.
How Does The 1,200 Calorie Diet Work?
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The way that the diet works is by having users consume fewer calories than they’re going to burn in fuel. This usually means that if you’re an average eater who consumes 1,700 calories a day, you’re going to cut 500 calories from your diet and not eat over 1,200 calories.
By taking this step, you can expect to drop at least a pound a week, but usually more in the beginning. The diet is perfect for people who aren’t burning many calories. They’re not regular exercisers and they may even have developed a couch potato lifestyle.
Because most people who need to diet aren’t as physically active as they should be, cutting calories is the first step to successful weight loss. The diet is easy to follow. You just have to track the number of calories that you eat.
The Best Way To Track Calories On The 1,200 Calorie Diet
While tracking calories is generally not my favorite thing to do, I must admit I get good results 100% of the time when I do so. Therefore, I recommend using a calorie counting app (I use MyFitnessPal).
Of course, you could always try the pen and paper route. Take notes on what you consume throughout the day, then plug it all in later. Sometimes I’ll do this too, but in my experience using a calorie-counting app works better the longer you do it. Especially if you usually eat the same foods over and over.
One Caveat About The 1,200 Calorie Diet
One thing to watch out for on the 1,200 calorie diet is you must make sure that you don’t try to go any lower than 1,200 calories. Doing so is not healthy for your body.
Since most people consume a lot more than 1,200 calories, you’re going to get some resistance from your body. You may feel hungry – yes, but if you’re selecting the right you can avoid excessive hunger.
The Right Foods For The 1,200 Calorie Diet
The trick is to make sure that your foods are filling. Choose foods that are low in calories, but make you feel as if you ate a lot.
Lots of raw vegetables can do this, and so can certain types of fruit. Opt for big salads (go easy on the salad dressing and eliminate other high-calorie additives like croutons and cheese). Choose the leanest sources of meat you can find, like chicken breast, fish, and turkey. And opt for whole grains like oats for filler.
The 1,200 Calorie Diet Is Easy
It’s easy to get started on this diet. All you need to do is take the number of calories that you get to have and divide them up between your meals and snacks.
Save most of your calories for when you know you’re going to be hungrier. Use that to create your meal plan and stick to it.
One Great Thing To Remember
One thing to remember is if you exercise (which you should), you get to eat back some of those calories.
For example, you start every day with 1,200 calories. If you complete a total of an hour of brisk walking throughout the day, you’ve earned about another 300 calories – more if you jog or run. Throw in fifteen minutes of strength or resistance training, and you can round out another fifty calories or so. That would give you up to 1,550 calories for that day!
It’s 1,200 calories net, not gross. So the more you exercise, the more flexibility you have with your calories.
I love this aspect of the diet because cardio is my absolute favorite! I can throw on my rollerblades and zoom around for an hour, or take a high-intensity Zumba class, and come out with 500 additional calories in the day, and it feels really good!
Things To Avoid On The 1,200 Calorie Diet
If you’re going to be successful on the 1,200 calorie diet. Here are a few things to avoid.
1- Don’t snack.
You can easily add several hundred calories to your intake if you snack throughout the day – even on low-calorie foods. Don’t skip out on water. Water can help alleviate hunger pangs and keep you from overeating.
2- Don’t guess your calories.
If you guess you had a 100 calorie snack when it was closer to 300, you’re not really doing yourself any favors. Make sure you know the accurate count of every bite of food and log it faithfully. If you’re diligent, you will lose weight. If you’re eyeballing it, you won’t.
3- Don’t drink your calories.
If you’re used to caloric beverages like sodas, fruit juices, sugary/creamy coffee, alcohol, and even vegetable juice, you’re in for a big surprise. Even the healthiest fruit juices are all sugar. These drinks have so many calories. You’ll find yourself going over your caloric budget without eating much of anything at all if you’re not careful. Water will be your best friend on the 1,200 calorie diet. If you need extra flavor, try Mio Drops. I love them and use them every day to stay hydrated with a little extra taste.
4- Eat out as little as possible.
Finally, cook. Cook healthy meals and learn to measure everything you cook by tracking the entire batch in MyFitnessPal. That way when the time comes to log meals, you can do so quickly. There are some restaurants and fast-food chains that have lighter options. But in my experience, the weight doesn’t come off as fast even if I eat low-calorie meals from restaurants. It seems that any food I consume outside of the home harms my physique. Your mileage may vary, but probably not by much.
Final Thoughts On The 1,200 Calorie Diet
So, what do you think? Is the 1,200 calorie diet right for you? Share the idea with your doctor and see what they think. Then, consider giving it a go!
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