Millions of people are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to improve their health, slim down, and tone up. Those who are new to the world of weight loss often fall victim to various fad diets that promise amazing results in record time. But what they don’t tell you is the aftermath of such dieting can gravely affect your overall health. Experts state that rapid weight loss is extremely harmful, and can lead to various health issues, such as migraines, constipation and gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, slower metabolism, muscle loss, and others (5).
Besides that, popular fad diets are usually poorly balanced, failing to provide you with essential nutrients, which results in nutritional deficiencies. That is why it is important to know which diet can help you reach your weight loss goal in a healthy way. So, when choosing a diet, pay attention to the expert’s opinion, your personal needs, what scientific evidence backs up its claims and whether it provides you with various types of food, which in turn ensure that you get all the essential nutrients (2, 7). A good example of a popular weight loss diet is 1200-calorie paleo meal plans. Read on to find out how a 1200 calories a day paleo meal plan works.
How Do 1200-Calorie Paleo Meal Plans Work?
As you may already know, any weight loss comes down to consuming fewer calories than you burn (3, 8). This is called a caloric deficit, and it is reached with the help of dieting and regular physical activity. However, not any caloric deficit is safe and effective. If you slightly reduce your energy intake, your weight loss will be too insignificant and slow to notice, and if you starve yourself, consuming insufficient calories, you will significantly harm your health and even hinder the process of weight loss by inducing the survival mode in your body (11). That is why you need to choose a diet that would create an adequate caloric deficit, like 1200-calorie paleo meal plans.
Experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds (0.45-1kg) a week (4). Such a weight loss pace is the safest and the most sustainable. Since 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories, to successfully slim down you will need to reduce your daily caloric intake by 500-1000 calories (10). And since an average adult man requires 2,500 calories a day to maintain weight, and for an average adult woman this number is 2,000 calories (9), paleo 1200 to 1500 calorie meal plans are exactly what you need to shed 1-2 pounds a week.
Another factor that makes 1200-calorie paleo meal plans safe and effective for weight loss is the Paleo diet itself. As you may already know, a Paleo diet, known as Paleolithic diet, is a nutritional plan which requires you to consume foods that were available during the Paleolithic era. So, you are to eat everything that could have been gathered, caught, or hunted by your ancestors, for example, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, and lean meats (1). This diet is overall healthy and nutrient-rich. It encourages healthy eating habits, such as the consumption of plenty of plant-based food, and reduction of unhealthy components.
1200-Calorie Paleo Meal Plans
Now that you know how the 1200 calorie paleo meal plans work, it is time to take a look at a couple of easy 1200 calorie paleo meal plan samples, with the help of which you can create your own 1200 calorie paleo meal plan for a month:
1200 Calorie Paleo Meal Plans Sample 1 (6):
This meal plan is pretty rich in protein, which is great for muscle building and weight loss. It can prolong your feeling of fullness while helping you preserve your muscle mass, which in turn maintains your metabolism rate.
- Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled, 3 cups spinach, 2 oz roasted wild salmon
- Calories: 371, carbs: 4g, fats: 19.6g, protein: 46.6g
- Lunch: 4.5 oz roasted chicken breast, 1 cup boiled cauliflower, 1 cup boiled Brussels sprouts
- Calories: 307, carbs: 16.2g, fats: 10.1g, protein: 39.9g
- Snack: 1 cup raw carrots, 1 tsp tahini, ½ tsp flaxseeds
- Calories: 81, carbs: 12.2g, fats: 3.1g, protein: 2g
- Dinner: 4 oz roasted tenderloin, 1 cup broccoli, 1 medium apple, 2 tsp peanut butter
- Calories: 448, carbs: 38.9g, fats: 17.7g, protein: 37.1g
- Total calories: 1207, carbs: 72.3g, fats: 50.5g, protein: 125.6g
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1200 Calorie Paleo Meal Plans Sample 2:
This meal plan is less rich in protein compared to the previous one but is nevertheless extremely effective for helping you slim down and get back in shape. It offers you a rich choice of delicious meals and allows two snacks. So, if you often find yourself feeling hungry when following a meal plan with only one snack, then this plan can be exactly what you have been looking for.
Breakfast: 2 avocado sweet potato toasts with poached eggs (½ sweet potato, 2 eggs, ½ avocado, red pepper flakes, microgreens for garnish)
- Calories: 294, carbs: 20g, fats: 18g, protein: 14g
- Snack: 3 raw date and pecan energy bars
- Calories: 138, carbs: 25.5g, fats: 4.5g, protein: 1.5g
- Lunch: balsamic herb chicken with vegetables (4 oz chicken breast, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 cup vegetable mix (red bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus, cauliflower, red onion), herbs)
- Calories: 212, carbs: 8g, fats: 10g, protein: 24g
- Snack: ¼ cup raw almonds, 1 tsp spice mix
- Calories: 170, carbs: 7g, fats: 15g, protein: 7g
- Dinner: shrimp and asparagus zoodle pasta (8oz asparagus, 8oz shrimp, 1 medium zucchini spiralized into noodles)
- Calories: 352, carbs: 21g, fats: 10g, protein: 48g
- Total calories: 1166, carbs: 81.5g, fats: 57.5g, protein: 94.5g
1200 Calorie Paleo Meal Plans Sample 3:
Do you like sweets? Say no more! This nutrient-rich paleo meal plan will satisfy even the most demanding sweet tooth while maintaining a healthy caloric deficit that will help you successfully drop a couple of pounds.
- Breakfast: 2 grain-free carrot waffles (2oz chestnut flour, 1/3 medium carrot, 2 eggs, 2oz coconut milk, 1 ½ tbsp coconut cream)
- Calories: 306, carbs: 28g, fats: 16g, protein: 12g
- Snack: 2 halves of baked pear with walnuts and honey (1 large ripe pear, 1 tsp honey, 1/8 cup crushed walnuts, optional yogurt)
- Calories: 221, carbs: 34g, fats: 10g, protein: 3g
- Lunch: Butternut squash soup (8oz butternut squash, 1/6 cup shallots, ½ tsp olive oil, 1/6 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 1/6 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, 2.5oz light coconut milk)
- Calories: 235, carbs: 22g, fats: 16g, protein: 4g
- Snack: Cashew cream and fruit parfait (1/4 cup cashews, 1 tsp maple syrup, ¼ cup fresh fruit mix)
- Calories: 217, carbs: 21.6g, fats: 13g, protein: 5g
- Dinner: Baked tilapia with radish relish (8oz tilapia fillet, ¼ bunch radishes, ¼ green onion, ½ tsp lemon juice)
- Calories: 230, carbs: 2.4g, fats: 4g, protein: 47g
- Total calories: 1209, carbs: 111g, fats: 59g, protein: 71g
The Bottom Line
It may be extremely difficult to choose a nutritional plan that is both effective and safe at the same time when there are thousands of fad diets out there that all claim to be a revolution in the fitness world. That is why it is recommended that you stick to diets that have proven to be effective and have a vast amount of research to back them up. One of such diets is the Paleo diet. It is a nutritional plan that encourages healthy eating habits, such as the consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean meats.
If your goal is weight loss, then 1200-calorie paleo meal plans could be the right fit for you. They create an adequate caloric deficit and provide you with all the vital nutrients. There are different variations of these nutritional plans, so you can choose the one that you like the best. However, before starting to follow any new nutritional plan, please consult with a dietician.
If you want to do even more for your body, why don’t you supplement a healthy diet with some exercise? Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
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. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
Reviewed by: Soraya Ziou
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- Choosing a Weight Loss Program (2020, webmd.com)
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- This Is What 1,200 Calories On A Paleo Diet Looks Like (2017, womenshealthmag.com)
- Weight loss: Choosing a diet that’s right for you (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Weight-loss basics (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- What should my daily intake of calories be? (nhs.uk)
- What to know about calories and body fat (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why Am I Losing Weight But Not Body Fat? (2019, livestrong.com)