You decide to follow a 1200 calorie diet plan because you want to lose one pound every week, without sacrificing the tasty food you’ve grown used to. What can you do?
Well, without restricting yourself too much, you can still lose weight while sticking to a 1200 calorie diet which is a safe and healthy way to shed those extra pounds.
All you have to do is stick to your diet plan with discipline and persistence.
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How Does Your 1200 Calorie Diet Work?
Everything you do burns calories. The key to losing weight is to burn more calories every day than you consume. The amount of calories your body burns up is related to the amount of activity you perform. And this energy is provided from the food you eat.
Using a weight loss calculator, you can easily compute the calorie count of your typical daily diet. Compare this against your recommended daily calorie requirement and you’ll see if you’re currently in excess or deficit. When you cut your daily dietary intake to 500 calories less than what you burn off, you will lose 1 pound every week.
Slashing your calorie count by over 1000 calories is unhealthy and potentially even dangerous to your health. The minimum safe calorie intake per day for a healthy female is around 1200 calories, and for men the corresponding figure is 1500. This will give you sufficient nutrition at no compromise to your health. (Get a 1200 Calorie Diet meal plan – click here)
Is a 1200 Calorie Diet Right For You?
Not everyone can tolerate the drastic caloric restriction recommended in a 1200 calorie diet. If your regular daily intake is higher than 2200 calories, then you should not cut down at one stage to such a low level. Those involved in heavy physical activity that requires more energy cannot afford to cut down their intake to 1200 calories.
For those who feel it will be hard to stick with a 1200 calorie diet, it is recommended that you take a staged approach by initially cutting down to 1500 calories, and then going down by 100 calories every week until you reach 1200 calories.
What Are The Pros and Cons of a 1200 Calorie Diet?
The advantages of this strict diet are the you lose weight while eating your favorite foods, and can combine it with any other special nutrition needs
you have. The early changes in weight that you’ll notice will encourage you to keep with the diet. Scientifically proven, reduced calorie intake is one of the safest and most effective weight loss methods.
The dangers of low calorie diets (especially very low intake versions) are nutritional deficiency, weakness, tiredness, lack of concentration and longer term metabolic changes in your body. Physical activity may be curtailed and the discipline required to stick with the diet is often hard to sustain.
What Is Significant About 1200 Calories?
Many people think a 1200 calorie diet is the absolute minimum level at which weight loss is guaranteed for anyone. This works as a rule of thumb, but that isn’t what makes the figure significant.
In fact, a 1200 calorie diet is the minimum level at which your diet will meet all the nutrient requirements of your body. This means you can continue to thrive and perform at peak levels without feeling tired or weak as the day progresses.
The other thing some beginners make a mistake about is the nature of food that makes up the 1200 calories. You can’t just consume chocolate, fried foods and sugary treats to make up the daily calorie count and expect to lose weight healthily. You’ll only end up feeling tired, bloated and unable to concentrate.
An Ideal 1200 Calorie Diet Meal Plan
You need a mix of carbs, protein and fat as well as fiber and minerals in your 1200 calorie diet. The best way to break up your intake is:
- * Breakfast – 300 calories
- * Lunch – 300 calories
- * Dinner – 300 calories
- * Snacks – to total 300 calories
Try and ensure that all meals and snacks are prepared from whole grain and unprocessed foods.
A sample menu for one day might look like this:
- Breakfast: a cup of cottage cheese, and a cup of berries or sliced fruit
- Lunch: a large salad of leafy vegetables, 3 ounces of grilled chicken
- Snack: 1 ounce of walnuts or almonds, 1 fresh apple
- Dinner: 4 ounces of grilled salmon, 2 cups of baked beans or 150 grams of steamed brown rice
Other low calorie foods that you can weave into your menu include:
- untoasted muesli
- low fat yoghurt
- skimmed milk
- baked green beans
- boiled eggs
- scrambled eggs on toast
- wholemeal toast
- sliced banana
There are several pre-done low calorie meal plans you can download and follow. And if you’re looking for longer term programs for rapid fat loss that you can follow with benefit, then check out Shaun Hadsall’s “14 Day Rapid Fat Loss Plan”.
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