Diet, Weight Loss

What A 1200 Calorie Diet Looks Like

Learn exactly what a 1200-calorie diet looks like. Losing weight and staying healthy cannot be accomplished without sticking to a low-calorie diet plan along with at least 4 hours per week of exercise. Using the meal plan below can help you lose a lot of weight but is it safe? Let’s find out!

Well, it actually depends on your weight, to begin with. You see, counting calories for weight loss is calculated by your weight and height. People with higher BMI will need to eat fewer calories daily to lose weight while people with lower BMI may eat more calories and still lose weight.

What A 1200 Calorie Diet Looks Like

What A 1200 Calorie Diet Looks Like

Before embarking on your weight loss journey, please know that if you have a BMI of 24, you will need to consume 2000 calories daily (female) and 2500 calories daily (male) to maintain your weight and stay healthy. People with a higher BMI will need to cut those figures in a little more than half in order to lose weight. 

BMI Body Mass Index Infographic

Here is an infographic of different BMIs to help you understand where you stand:

body mass index for 1200 calorie diet

To calculate how many calories you need to lose weight, you can try this free BMI checker before deciding if a 1200-calorie diet plan is right for you. If you need a good diet plan that works check out my free diet plan that I use to lose weight and keep it off.

1,200 Calorie Diet Menu

Okay, so I may be cheating here a little bit because the menu below is actually 1245 calories and not 1,200. Just wanted to be upfront. Also, I really want to make sure that you understand that a 1,200-calorie diet is NOT recommended! Reducing your calorie intake to the minimum will NOT help you lose weight!

It is not healthy and definitely not recommended. If you do decide to try this diet anyway, you will need to take multivitamins and consume a variety of protein-rich foods. Without further ado, here is your menu.

1,200 calories diet


  • 145 grams (1/4 cup) all bran cereal
  • 1 cup of zero-fat milk
  • 1 medium banana

Mid-Morning Snack

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of avocado dip


  • 1 grilled cheese + a slice of smoked turkey + tomatoes sandwich
  • 1 bowl of green salad + 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Afternoon Snack

  • 9 halves walnuts


  • 100 grams of grilled chicken
  • 200 grams of grilled Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup of cooked Quinoa 

Calorie Intake To Lose Weight Infographic

To lose weight with calorie counting, you will need to understand how many calories you are required to eat daily to lose weight on a weekly basis depending on your current weight and activity level. Here is an infographic to help you understand.

calories needed to lose weight by weight and activity level

Is Eating 1200 Calories A Day Healthy?

Yes and no. A 1200-calorie diet is only healthy if you consume protein-rich foods and you don’t do much during the day. People with high activity routines should refrain from sticking to a 1200-calorie diet. This is because your body already burns calories even while you sit so it needs the fuel to function.

Eating a very low-calorie diet such as a 1200-calorie diet can have a negative impact on your weight loss goal especially if you are active. It can also lead to side effects such as nausea, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, headaches, and dizziness.

How Many Calories Do You Burn A Day?

Research shows that if you lie around doing nothing all day, your body will burn about 1,800 calories per day. This is if you are doing absolutely nothing. Adding exercise and eating fewer calories will help you burn soo much more. Here is an infographic on how much you can burn by doing different types of exercises.

Calories burned from common exercises

How Many Calories Do You Need To Burn To Lose Weight?

Studies show that you will need to burn up to 3,500 calories more than you eat to actually lose one pound of fat. This simply means that you will need to consume 500 calories less daily to lose a pound per week. eating 1,500 fewer calories per day will help you lose 3 pounds per week. 

So if you eat a high-fat diet of 3,000 calories and begin reducing your calorie intake gradually daily, you will reach your goal weight eventually. 

Is 1,200 Calories Enough To Lose Weight?

The short answer is yes, the 1,200 calories diet is enough to lose weight but is it healthy? Well, according to Medical News Today, the 1,200-calorie diet is only effective for people who are obese. The long answer is that you have to measure your weight plus height to know how many calories your body needs to lose weight.

This is because if you consume fewer calories than your body requires to function properly, you will not lose weight, instead, you will be doing more harm than good. It is always recommended to check your BMI before embarking on a low-calorie diet.


There you go! You now know what a 1200-calorie diet plan looks like! No more excuses to start losing weight! If you liked this post or found it helpful, please share it with your friends and also take a moment to follow me on Pinterest for more helpful weight loss tips.