When you want to lose a few pounds quickly, a low calorie diet at 1,200 calories a day can be a good solution. At least when we scrupulously respect the number of calories allowed until the last phase of the diet …

The main principles of the diet at 1200 calories per day

On average, an active woman needs 2,000 calories a day. By consuming only 1,200 calories, the body is forced to draw heavily on its reserves to compensate, resulting in weight loss. Generally, this low calorie diet can lose between 1.5 and 2 pounds per week when it is well respected. It usually lasts 3 weeks: it is not recommended to continue for longer (unless medical advice to the contrary) to avoid tiring the body. A “classic” 1200 calorie diet of 3 weeks can be divided into 3 phases, one phase per week. Each of them requires consuming 1200 calories per day. The first phase is the strictest in terms of “forbidden foods”, but new foods are reintroduced during the other two phases.

The 1st phase

During the first phase, it is necessary to limit as much as possible carbohydrates (sugars) and lipids (fats) in order to encourage the body to draw on its fat reserves. Sample menus for a day:

Breakfast: a hot drink (tea or coffee without milk or sugar), accompanied by complete rusks.
Lunch: white meat (or fish) with boiled potatoes. Lightened yogurt is allowed for dessert.
Dinner: a boiled egg with green vegetables at will (steam cooking). You can eat a seasonal fruit for dessert.

The 2nd phase

During this phase, lipids and sugar are a little more present, but always in small quantities. Concrete example :

Breakfast: a hot drink (tea or coffee possibly “sweet” with a sweetener) accompanied by slices of whole bread lightly spread with lightened butter.
Lunch: white meat or fish with steamed vegetables at will. For dessert, a light yogurt and a seasonal fruit are allowed.
Dinner: white ham with raw vegetables, followed by white cheese at 0% m.g. and a seasonal fruit.

The 3rd phase

During this phase, new foods need to be reintroduced, including red meat (but as lean as possible to start). Example:

Breakfast: a bowl of cereals and a seasonal fruit.
Lunch: low-fat ground beef, followed by light yogurt.
Dinner: two eggs with steamed vegetables at will. A fresh seasonal fruit will serve as a dessert.

Progressive recovery of a “normal” diet

diet for beginners

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Do not start eating “normally” at the end of the 1200 calorie diet: gradually find a caloric diet over several days, keeping the good habits acquired during the diet (example: cooking without added fat, sugar replacement by sweeteners).

Advantages and disadvantages of the “1200 calories per day” diet

First advantage: this diet allows you to lose several pounds quickly. Moreover, as long as you take care to diversify your menus, it does not present a great risk of food deficiencies, because it does not exclude any family of foods. This diet also teaches you to eat healthier: it gives good eating habits that limit the risk of gaining weight when the diet stops. At least, if we do not “crack” completely along the way, because there is one of the big drawbacks of the 1200 calorie diet: it is not easy to follow …

The low caloric intake can indeed lead to fatigue, a decline in morale and demotivation. However, who says “cracking” also often says “yo-yo effect” on the scale … Another disadvantage: this regime must really be respected scrupulously to function properly. But it is not always easy to know the number of calories of each dish … One solution is to follow pre-established menus by a nutritionist, but there are also applications calculating the number of calories of your meals … Last point to note: this diet is contraindicated during pregnancy.

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Published by Adriana Smith

Hi there friends! My name is Adriana Smith, I'm 35 years old. I’ve been a Certified Diet & Nutrition Specialist in Toms River, New Jersey Since 2014. I which you all the best.

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