This Is What a 1200-Calorie Meal Plan Looks Like

Looking to try a 1200-calorie diet? Here's what you need to know.

This Is What a 1200-Calorie Meal Plan Looks Like

By Reina Berger

Whether you are looking to jumpstart weight loss or you simply want to improve your health and wellness, a 1200-calorie meal plan is a great place to start. With the help of registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, you can choose from two different options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. As always, consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss plan to make sure it suits your needs. Once you get the hang of these food plans, you can mix and match different ingredients and come up with more meal inspiration to keep you from getting flavor fatigue. By eating well-balanced meals full of protein, fiber, and healthy fat, you will stay satisfied and avoid giving in to those pesky cravings.


More: What 1200 Calories a Day Looks Like

Dinner

For dinner, try to stick to 400-500 calories. You can go with a tofu wrap, which only has 380 calories so you can add a bit more tofu if you want to hit the 400-calorie mark. Use a whole-wheat tortilla wrap to avoid refined carbohydrates, add a boiled egg for an extra protein kick, and add cheese to keep your wrap satisfying. In the mood for seafood? You can try salmon and veggies instead. This 402-calorie meal is packed with fiber thanks to the variety of beans, healthy carbs in the form of satisfying sweet potato, and healthy fat and protein from the salmon.

More: How to Calculate Your Daily Calorie Limit

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

Keep Reading Show less