Finding the best meal plan for weight loss is something that many on the “healthy weight healthy life” journey have a hard time figuring out. The 1200-calorie diet has long been praised for helping many shed some excess pounds quickly. Keep in mind that 1200 calories is not enough for everyone, even if weight loss is the goal. Talk to your doctor or dietitian before making any major changes to your diet. If you are interested in trying it, here is how to go about making and completing a 1200-calorie diet meal plan 14 days trial plan.
What Is A 1200-Calorie Diet Plan For Weight Loss?
This is a hypocaloric or low-calorie eating plan that requires a person to decrease their daily caloric intake to 1200 kcals. While this eating plan can be undertaken by anyone, a 1200-calorie meal plan is better suited for women.
According to a study published in the Healthcare Journal, most hypocaloric diets require persons to reduce their calorie intake by 500–750 kcal a day. This usually translates to women consuming about 1200 to 1500 kcal a day, while men consume anywhere between 1500 to 1800 calories a day (3). However, individual needs vary based on a variety of factors.
To put it simply, if you are looking to start a 1200-calorie diet meal plan 14 days weight loss plan, you will have to restrict your daily food energy intake to just 1200 kcals for two consecutive weeks.
How To Start A 1200-Calorie Meal Plan?
Starting this low-calorie diet is actually much easier than you think. Here are a few things that you will need to do to ensure that you successfully complete all 14 days of your diet:
Get A Calorie Counting App
As the diet clearly states, your daily food energy intake is limited to just 1200 kilocalories. While you could manually count every calorie taken per meal, snack, or drink, this is a lot of work and can get very tedious very quickly. Instead, get a reputable calorie counting app to help you keep track of how much you are eating per day.
Swap Out Your Unhealthy Foods For Healthier Options
We are not going to deny it, junk foods and highly processed snacks are incredibly mouth-watering and delicious. However, not only are they unhealthy due to the excessive amounts of refined carbs, sugars, and salt in them, but they are, more often than not, incredibly high in calories.
1200 calories are not as much as you think. If you choose to waste all of them by consuming junk foods, you will find yourself either starving by nighttime with no extra calories to spare, which leads to overeating or starving yourself. With the right preparation and flavorings like spices, healthy foods can be just as delicious as junk food. They are also lower in calories and very filling due to fiber and will not lead to overeating.
Choose Your Preferred Diet
When it comes to weight loss, we cannot begin to list down all the diets that exist today; all promising to help you lose weight. With that being said, having a specific type of diet to follow often helps people feel structured with their eating plan.
For your 1200-calorie diet meal plan 14 days trial, you could choose to go with a simple option such as a balanced diet, or more tailored options such as vegetarian or veganism, paleo diet, a 1200-calorie keto meal plan, OMAD, etc. These options we’ve stated are limitless, so pick one that works for you and find the foods/groceries that go with it.
Read More: How Much Fat Should I Eat Per Day On A 1200-Calorie Diet
Try Meal/Food Prep
Having already cooked meals or prepped ingredients ready for cooking decreases your chances of deviating from the preferred meal plan, especially on days when you feel too tired to cook. If you choose to do this, be sure to store all the food/ingredients properly to avoid food waste.
Have A Workout Plan
While this has nothing to do with your meal plan for weight loss, it has a lot to do with weight loss in general. Please note that while a proper calorie deficit diet is crucial for losing weight, the process is often much slower than if you combined the healthy diet with a simple yet effective exercise plan. Try something simple such as walking, swimming, or even jumping rope; as long as it burns calories, it will help with shedding off those extra pounds.
What Can You Eat On A 1200-Calorie Diet Meal Plan 14 Days Gluten Free Eating Plan?
Gluten is a family of proteins that are naturally found in many cereal grains such as wheat, barley, spelt, and rye (2, 6).
The proteins are what make flour sticky when it mixes with water, make the dough elastic when kneaded, help bread rise while baking, and even give it its chewy texture. It should also be noted that the main gluten proteins are gliadin and glutenin, and the latter is responsible for most intolerances to gluten (8). These intolerances are mainly celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy, gluten ataxia, and dermatitis herpetiformis (5).
If you are planning on starting a gluten-free 1200 calorie meal plan because you have an intolerance to gluten, then you should avoid anything wheat-based and foods or drinks that contain ingredients such as rye, barley, spelt, triticale, farro, kamut, and couscous among others. This means that popular foods such as pasta, bread, cereals, some alcoholic beverages, baked goods, and snacks will not be a part of your eating plan.
On a 1200-calorie diet meal plan 14 days gluten-free diet, you are instead encouraged to consume the following:
- A lot of fruits and all kinds of vegetables
- Lean meats, fish, and poultry
- Legumes and lentils
- Dairy products like cheese, butter, and milk
- All nuts and seeds
- Cooking oils
- Herbs and spices to flavor your foods
- All beverages except beer (unless the beer in question is labeled gluten-free)
- Gluten-free grains like quinoa, rice, buckwheat, tapioca, sorghum, corn, millet, amaranth, arrowroot, etc. (Please note that while oats are naturally gluten-free, you are encouraged to check if they are labeled as gluten-free, mostly because they can encounter wheat and be contaminated in the factory during processing.)
- Baking/Cooking flours from potatoes, almonds, chickpeas, soy coconuts, etc.
When it comes to sauces and condiments, always read the label to see if they contain these proteins or not.
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What Does A 1200-Calorie Diet Meal Plan 14 Days Eating Plan Look Like?
When it comes to this particular eating plan, all the instructions needed are in the name. You have to consume a maximum of 1200 kilocalories a day for 14 days straight. If you are concerned about your macronutrients for the eating plan, it is recommended that approximately 30% of them should be from fat, 50% from carbohydrates, and 20% from proteins (3, 7). This composition is often fine with almost all diets except the ketogenic diet. On a keto diet, your fat intake takes the highest macros (70%), while carbs should be limited to just 5%.
Is A 1200-Calorie Diet Plan Healthy?
Yes and no.
According to Medicalnewstoday and Healthline, the 1200-calorie meal plan is generally considered a safe and effective weight loss eating plan for many. However, it is not safe for all and may lead to malnutrition in some. Remember that the number of calories you need a day is dependent on several factors like your age, sex, height, body size, and daily activity levels (1).
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services Dietary Guidelines (1), the average human requires anywhere between 1600 and 3000 calories every day to sustain their body weight. If we use this number and subtract the 500 calories from it, then we can see that for some people a 1200 calorie meal plan for weight loss is more than okay, while for others this number would be far too low.
If you subtract the recommended calorie deficit and realize that this meal plan would provide too few calories for you please do not attempt it. If you do, you will be exposing yourself to negative side effects such as dizziness, extreme hunger, nausea, micronutrient deficiencies, fatigue, headaches, and gallstones (4).
Read More: 1200-Calorie Diet Weight Loss Calculator: From Creating A Caloric Deficit To Tracking Your Results
How Much Weight Can I Lose In 2 Weeks?
Gradual, steady, and healthy weight loss involves losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. If you find that you are losing more weight than this per week, then you are most likely losing water weight – not fat. In light of this, you can only lose at most 4 pounds in two weeks.
The Bottom Line
A 1200-calorie diet meal plan 14 days eating plan is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a quick but healthy way to shed pounds quickly. However, as previously stated, this diet may not be the best option for everyone. We recommend first speaking to your doctor or nutritionist to ensure that this eating plan is right and healthy for you.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines (n.d., health.gov)
- Chemistry of gluten proteins (2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Defining the Optimal Dietary Approach for Safe, Effective and Sustainable Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Dietary Treatment of Obesity (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Gluten And Associated Medical Problems (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Properties of Gluten Intolerance: Gluten Structure, Evolution, Pathogenicity and Detoxification Capabilities (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Traditional American Cuisine: 1,200 Calories (n.d., nhlbi.nih.gov)
- What is gluten? (2017, onlinelibrary.wiley.com)