2 Sample Menus for a 1,200 Calorie Diet

Oatmeal with raisins, honey and walnuts
James Baigrie/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Are you in a hurry to lose some extra pounds? It's possible to lose weight quickly by following a low-calorie diet, as this 1,200 calorie-per-day diet, but you have to do it right to be sure you're getting all of the essential nutrients you need.

Following a low-calorie diet isn't difficult if you include lots of nutrient-dense foods. In fact, it's a necessity because there's no room for foods that aren't totally nutritious.

 

So what do you do? Choose plenty of low-calorie, high fiber fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein sources.  Here are two 1,200 calorie-per-day menus to get you started:

1,215 Calorie Menu With No Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

Breakfast

  • One cup oatmeal
  • One-half cup non-fat milk
  • One tablespoon honey
  • One-half cup blueberries
  • One cup plain coffee or tea as a beverage

Lunch

  • Two slices 100-percent whole grain bread, deli sliced turkey breast, tomato slice, lettuce and one tablespoon mustard
  • One-half cup sliced carrots
  • Water as a beverage

Dinner

  • Three ounces baked salmon
  • One cup green beans
  • Salad with one cup raw spinach, five cherry tomatoes and one-half cup broccoli florets with lemon juice as a dressing
  • Water with a slice of lemon as a beverage

Snacks

  • One apple with 12 almonds
  • Several glasses of water
  • One cup non-fat milk
  • One-half cup plain yogurt with one tablespoon honey
  • One cup strawberries.

Nutrition Information

  • Total Calories - 1,215
  • Total Fat - 17.7 percent (25 grams)
  • Total Protein - 23 percent (72 grams)
  • Total Carbohydrates - 59.3 percent (185 grams)
  • Sodium - 1,402 milligrams
  • Sugar - 107 grams
  • Cholesterol - 94 milligrams
  • Saturated Fat - 5.0 grams
  • Fiber - 28 grams

1,218 Calorie Menu With Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

Breakfast

  • One cup whole-grain corn cereal
  • One packet Sucralose
  • One-half cup non-fat milk
  • One cup 100-percent orange juice as a beverage

Lunch

  • Salad made with two cups field greens, two ounces albacore tuna (packed in water), one-half cup cherry tomatoes with two tablespoons balsamic vinegar as a dressing.
  • Diet soda as a beverage

Dinner

  • One three-ounce pork chop
  • One baked sweet potato
  • One cup steamed asparagus
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • One small glass of white wine

Snacks

  • One small pita bread with two tablespoons hummus
  • One pear
  • One serving low-fat, sugar-free fruit-flavored yogurt
  • One cup blueberries
  • Two-thirds cup baby carrots with one ounce fat-free vegetable dip
  • Several glasses of water with slices of lemon or lime

Nutrition Information

  • Total Calories - 1,218
  • Total Fat - 14.6 percent (20 grams)
  • Total Protein - 22.6 percent (70 grams)
  • Total Carbohydrates - 56.8 percent (176 grams)
  • Sodium - 1,615 milligrams
  • Sugar - 86 grams
  • Cholesterol - 116 milligrams
  • Saturated Fat - 5.0 grams
  • Fiber - 24 grams

Portion and serving sizes are key to dieting success, so you'll need a good set of measuring cups and measuring spoons, plus a kitchen scale until you get used to estimating your serving sizes.

I created these menus by using Calorie Count, where you can track your calories, find friendship and support with other dieters and even analyze your own recipes. I also have menus for 1,500 calorie-per-day and 1,700 calorie-per-day diets.

Please note: before starting a low-calorie diet, you should see your doctor. 

Continue Reading