1200 Calorie Diet Plan

Sometime back I covered a few sample 1500 calorie diets to act as guidelines for anyone who was thinking about targeting 1500 calories as a maximum. Today I’m looking at a 1200 calorie diet, now honestly, if you are thinking about pairing this with any serious physical activity, please be careful as I think this is as low as you should ever go in terms of your daily total calorie intake.

1200 calorie diet sample 1

Small Bowl breakfast cereal with skimmed milk – 200 calories
Fruit Juice unsweetened – 60 cals

1 Banana – 107 calories
1 Orange – 23 calories

Non fat yogurt small pot – 50 cals
Fruit – 40 calories

Vegetable Curry with Fried Rice “Take away meal” – 700 calories

Total calories = 1180 Calorie Diet

1200 calorie diet sample 2

1 large hard boiled egg – 90 calories
2 slices wholemeal toast with thin smear butter – 200 cals
Large slice melon – 47 calories

Baked potato with 100g “Heinz” baked beans – 300 cals
Cottage Cheese with chives reduced fat 100g – 80 calories

Muesli meal replacement bar “Boots” – 200 calories

Pasta Salad made with a little olive oil & a little sauce to flavour – 200 – 300 calories ( 250 average )
50g Tinned Tuna in brine – 50 cals

Total calories = 1217 Calorie Diet

1200 calorie diet sample 3

2 rashers leanest bacon grilled – 200 cals
Tinned Tomatoes 100g – 16 calories
2 slices wholemeal bread/toast with little butter & jam – 220 calories
Piece of fruit or fruit juice 50 cals

Cream of Mushroom soup – 96 calories
Slice of bread with butter- 108 calories

Packet of low fat chips (crisps UK) – 110 calories
Fruit – 80 calories

Chicken Chow Mein “St Michael” 280g – 240 calories
vegetables – 100 calories

Total calories = 1220 Calorie Diet

1200 calorie diet sample Day 4

Small Bowl breakfast cereal with skimmed milk – 200 calories
Fruit Juice unsweetened – 60 cals

“Ross” Cod bake frozen meal 300g – 320 calories
Fresh Vegetables – 150 cals

Caribbean Rice & Peas recipe – 434 cals

low fat Yogurt – 60 calories
piece of fruit – 50 cals

Total calories = 1274 Calorie Diet

Additional Resources


  1. Nimra says:

    hi, i was hoping to follow these examples, but I am vegetarian and would like to incorporate whey protien into the diet, when would be the best time to take that? and how many times a day?

  2. BananaLucie says:

    I’m wondering if there’re other recipes containing lower calories dinner than lunch as, to lose weight, dinner should be less than lunch. =^_^=

    • kahthan says:

      actually dinner doesn’t have to contain less calories than lunch, because it depends on 1. what time you eat dinner (the earlier the better, I eat dinner at 6) as there is more active time between then and sleep, and 2. how you had the previous meals, the whole point is to stick to a daily calorie total. You don’t have to go as detailed as a per meal requirement.

      Anyway I will locate some sample diets for you that have lighter dinners.

  3. Kitty says:

    not very creative. A banana and and orange for lunch…Really? thats not going to last long and you will only gain back all the weight from these unsatisfying and ridiculous meal ideas. You need at least 14 days of a varying menu so you wont freak out or just give up. This is so unrealistic. Ladies stick to 1500 calories a day at first. I also recommend a cheat day where you can maybe have 1800 or 2000 calories one a week. Ive seen woman work out 3 days a week on a 1200 diet and they stop having periods. Scary. Also, yogurt is so passe. Most are filled with crap and calories and the ones that arnt dont satisfy. Remember that small changes in your diet can make a huge difference. Start slow and dont think the only way to be HEALTHY is to starve yourself. Shame on you Diet School there should be more of a warning for this article.

  4. Kublakhan says:

    Hi all,
    I agree completely that NO ONE should be starving themselves! However, I think that 1200 is a bare minimum in-take that is doable while working out several times a week – at least for me (everybody is different). I’m a 36yr old woman, 5’5 and 160lbs, reasonably athletic, in very good health and I am aiming to lose 10lbs.

    I would like to offer another version of a 1200 calorie diet that allows for snacking through out the day. I have tried to keep an eye on high fiber, high protein and good general nutrition. (TIP 1: Psyllium fiber is a great supplement which I’ve found is great for the digestive track and heart and gives your next meal a head start on making you feel satisfied. TIP 2: drinking a warm herbal tea through out the day also helps to extend the satisfaction level of your snacks and meals. ) I also take 2 multivitamins everyday. I’ve also researched about eating in the evening and learned that as long as your eating a healthy calorie-sensible meal or snack that would be part of your daily diet anyway, late-day eating does not impact weight loss. It’s all about how many calories you eat in a given day v. how much energy you expend in a give day. If you’re more prone to succumb to Ben and Jerry’s late at night – that can become a late-night eating problem:

    7:30 – glass of water and Psyllium fiber (15 cals)

    8:30 – BREAKFAST – 1/2 serving of high protein cereal and soy or 3oz skim milk (about 150 cals)

    10:00 – SNACK – a low calorie/high protein/ high fiber cereal bar (140 cals) – in the US they have Kashi brand that like a lot.

    11:00 – SNACK – ½ an apple (40 cals)

    12:30 – LUNCH – a natural or organic ingredient frozen meal (or by all means cook your own!) (300 cals) & mixed green salad w/ a little bit of low calorie dressing (20 cals) – Once I get closer to my goal weight I plan to start researching calorie content in home cooked recipes. But right now buying the zero preservative meals with the calories listed on the back is much easier.

    2:00 – SNACK – glass of water and Psyllium fiber (15 cals) & 4 oz of a greek yogurt (100 cals)

    4:30 – 1 pc low cal bread and low cal swiss cheese (130 cals)

    6:30 – DINNER – a natural or organic ingredient frozen meal (250 cals)

    8:00 – SNACK – glass of water and Psyllium fiber (15 cals) & ½ an apple (40 cals)

    TOTAL = 1215 cals

    I’ve already been doing 1200cal/day diet for about a month now while working out at least 4 times a week (already I’ve been losing about 1.5lbs a week) and I feel very fine. If I felt that my physical performance was lacking at all, I would immediately add about 100 (healthy) cals or so until I felt more balanced.

    For sure it’s not a cakewalk. The sacrifice for me is not feeling full (I usually take a lot of pleasure is feeling well-satiated – maybe that’s why I’m a little plump!). With this diet I am forced to cope with feeling hungry a number of times during the day (not STARVING — just kinda hungry). Feeling hungry sucks (…but feeling sore after a hard workout sucks too.) However, neither conditions are the end of the world and I haven’t had an uncontrollable, calorie-busting craving yet. A 50-100 cal snack is usually enough to take the edge off until its time for the next meal. AND it’s only a temporary routine. I haven’t felt any sort of physical weakness over the past month; however, if I did, I know that its not the end of the world if I have a 1300, 1400 or 1500 calorie day (…and yes I did factor in some freebie 2000 cal days in my diet). If you don’t think you can handle EVER feeling a moment of hunger, throw in a few more sensible, healthy, low-calorie snacks and lose your weight at a rate that is comfortable for you.

    I have about a one more month to go. And as long as I don’t go on vacation or do something to upset my routine, I think I’ll make my goal. Nevertheless my problem in the past has been that once I’m at my goal weight I completely stop keeping track of my calories and start eating like one of the boys. This time as I get closer to my goal weight, I will slowly and deliberately start to add back calories. I know my next big challenge will be to really understand what a 2000 cal diet really looks and feels like (even when I’m on vacation!)

  5. Kublakhan says:

    By the way…I forgot to mention that I definitely switch up the above menu a little bit pretty much every day to suite my tastes. I incorporate Tuna, turkey, almond butter, oatmeal, even waffles and a glass of wine or two (okay – maybe that was a 1500 cal day!). You just have to be aware of portion size and how many calories your putting into your mouth and know that if one meal or one day is a little calorie-rich, you’ll need to be more diligent next time.

  6. Linda says:

    I love your post, Kublakhan. You sound just like me! I am going to follow this plan! I am the same height and weight
    (almost) as you. I have been wanting to lose about 5 or 10 pounds and have currently been eating around 1300 calories. I have not been working out but I hope to start doing it ( I started today). Thank you for giving me a lot more inspiration!

  7. Peggy Woliver says:

    thank you for the diet plan im gonna try it im shorter than you and much heavier…but my goal is to try it

  8. anjelica says:

    I’m just starting to count my calories, trying to lose weight as well as eating more fruit and veg e.t.c
    the time I eat the meals changes each day, but generally I’ll eat this:
    Breakfast – 290 calories – beans on toast
    Lunch 320- a wrap with a bit of hummus, paprika, tomatoes, peppers, feta, olives, courgette, aubergine and mushrooms
    I roast the veg, feta and olives in the oven with no oil, the juice from the veg keeps in moist

    Dinner 430- home made falafel, wrap and greek salad

    Dessert 180- blended banana and raspberries with an apple and strawberries

    Snacks about 50 each- rice crackers with hummus and tomatoes or olives

    My boyfriend is a veggie so I eat quorn instead of meat, which is also a lot healthier and has less calories, obviously not the same as a steak but with chili, green curry and what not it tastes really nice!
    not everyone will like the same diet as me, but I’ve lost about 3 pounds over the last couple of weeks.
    I also don’t like exercising in front of people, so about 3 times a week I jog on the spot for around 10 or so minutes, and use some weights for a bit, always fun to do whilst watching an episode on t.v!

    Hope that helps people with ideas!

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