1200-calorie diet plan
Diets,  Nutrition

Understanding The 1200- Calorie Diet: How Does It Work?

1200- calorie diet provides you with the smallest amount of calories you can consume in a day to lose weight without hurting your health.

What is a 1200 Calorie Diet?

This type of diet is one of the most popular and effective ways to lose up to 20 pounds within 90 days. This is not categorized as fad diet. It offers a 7-day diet plan that encourages you to follow and eat healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and fats not more than 1,200 calories everyday. This diet plan should also be paired with regular exercise and changed lifestyle for fast weight loss process.

This 1200-calorie diet can be followed by anyone, but the amount of weight you lose should depend on several important factors: current weight, age, genes and medical history,

It is best to consult your doctor first or dietitian before following this diet, or any diet.

Do you need a 1200-calorie diet?

Unlike other diet plans that highlights on certain food groups (like ketogenic diet that encourages dieters to reduce carbs), there is no particular modifications for this 1200-calorie diet. The total quantity is restricted in whatever and however way is easy for individuals.

An average woman needs 2,100 calories to maintain a healthy weight. This means that the 1200-calorie diet should be sizeable but manageable caloric deficit for many. In short, eating a 1200-calorie meal may mean a mild decrease intake for some individuals, and may be too drastic, unhealthy for others. It merely depends on the dieter’s current calorie consumption and metabolic rate. You may use this computation to know your current metabolic rate.

According to Spano, there are several factors in estimating the amount of calories that you burn every day, and how many that you need to keep your current healthy weight:

  • If you are a lightly active individual (like strolling or doing some house chores for most days per week), multiple your weight (in pounds) by 17 (if you are a man), or by 16 (if you are a woman).
  • If you are a moderately active individual (like you do walking workouts, dance, or cycle for 5 or more times every week), multiply your weight (in pounds) by 19 (if you are a man), and by 17 (if you are a woman).
  • If you are a heavily active individual (like doing high-intensity strength training or playing team sports with plenty of running at least 5 times every week), multiply your weight by 23 (if you are a man), and by 20 (if you are a woman).

What foods are allowed in the 1200-Calorie Diet?

The 1200-calorie diet plan is about a conscientious evaluation of the amount and nature of food to be eaten to meet the required nutrition. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates (flour, bread, pasta) sugary products, and foods with high fat content should be avoided because these foods have more calories that can cause weight gain.

  • Non-starchy fruits and veggie should be eaten more because they are low in calories and carbs but rich in vitamins compared to other foods. Best vegetables for this diet are leafy veggies, fruits (bananas, grapes, cherries, peaches, apples),  cucumber, tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, beets, mushrooms, and peppers.
  • Eat a good amount of protein for maintaining lean tissue and for burning fat. It also helps improve blood sugar level and prevent hunger pangs. Opt for beans and lentils, fish, tofu, chicken breast, beef lean cuts, turkey, soy, and mushrooms.
  • Carbs should be in lesser amounts. Complex carbs (whole grain bread, bran, pasta, and more) that help keep you full for a longer time because they are digested slowly. To fulfil your weight loss goals, eat complex carbs.
  • Use vegetable oil, olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, rice bran oil, and mustard oil because they contain fewer calories and saturated fat.
  • Eat five or six small meals for the whole day, instead of three big meals. This will help keep your metabolism active and burn more fat.
  • Have a heavy breakfast. Avoid skipping breakfast. Depending on the amount of calories that you consume during breakfast, keep your lunch low or high in calories, but ensure that you avoid eating a heavy lunch. Balance your meals so you will not be depriving yourself of essential nutrients while keeping your calories low. Your meal plate should contain four parts: protein, non-starchy foods, and the rest should contain starchy foods and dairy products.

What foods are not allowed in 1200-calorie diet?

  • Limit or avoid eating simple carbs because they offer little nutritional value that they are digested quickly, making you hungry after a short time. Simple carbs are candies, sugar, soda, desserts, pastries, breakfast cereals, sweet syrup, white rice, white bread, and white pasta.
  • Limit your red meat intake because it has a high content of saturated fat that can increase your cholesterol level, leading to heart disease.
  • Shun away from eating fried  foods (potato fries, fried chicken, and other deep fried foods).
  • Avoid oxygenated and artificially sweetened beverages, packaged fruit juices because of their additives and artificial sweeteners, causing you to gain more weight.
  • It’s a “no-no” for alcohol while you are on the 1200-calorie diet. This is because alcohol breaks down into sugar and easily absorbed into your blood, causing an increase of blood sugar level. And if enough insulin is not present to use the sugar as an energy, the sugar gets stored as fat.

Importance of exercise while on a 1200-calorie diet

Although there is a particular exercise is suggested while following the 1200-calorie diet, it is a very important part of the weight loss program. We also do not recommend excessive forms of physical activity because this diet follows a low in caloric and nutritional intake. Exercises and workouts should be performed in moderation. You may go for a brisk walking or working out in the gym for about one hour everyday.

Pros of 1200-Calorie Diet

  • As long as you follow the calorie limits, you can consume anything that you want. Add up and manage your calories properly.
  • There are many diet plans available and if you need support over simple, easy calorie counting, you can follow any of a set diet and food that you believe can help you stay on track.
  • You can customize your chosen diet plan that will cater to your weight loss goals. If you have to follow a high-protein diet, or if you are trying to lower your blood sugar levels, you can still follow a 1200-calorie diet plan.
  • There are hundreds of menus and eating plans where you can choose. This means that whatever your goals, your personal eating habits, cooking ability or nutritional needs, it will be easy for you to find the right menus that will meet your health and weight loss goals.

Cons of 1200-Calorie Diet

  • When you lower your calorie intake, it is possible that you are also reducing your intake of essential nutrients that your body needs. It is important that you balance this diet and continue taking the necessary essential nutrients that you body requires.
  • Counting calories may be difficult and irritating at times. Some may dislike this and in the end, give up.
  • This 1200-calorie diet may not be suitable to everybody. Active people will need more calories. Consult first with your doctor or dietitian before choosing this diet or any diet plan for weight loss.
  • Dieting is truly stressful, regardless of the type of diet plan you choose to follow.

By seeing the pros and cons of this diet plan, you should now have a broader and better idea of the difficulties and potential results ahead. The question is: do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for you? How committed are you on following a weight loss diet for a healthier you?

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