1200-Calorie Low-Carb Diet Meal Plan

1200-Calorie Low-Carb Diet Meal Plan

Weight loss is one of the most concerned issues world-wide seen not only in adults but in the teenage generation as well. 1200-calorie low-carb diet is the one diet that is now being followed throughout the world among the people who don’t find ketogenic diet suitable. This diet accounts for the daily intake of 1200 calories with carbohydrates as low as 25 grams per day. In some of the meals, the levels of carbohydrates could be lower than 25 grams because the fiber is also considered carbohydrate in terms of nutritional value but fibers, unlike carbohydrates, do not increase the blood sugar levels.

Calorie Low-Carb Diet Meal Plan
Calorie Low-Carb Diet Meal Plan

Below is some of the detail regarding the low-calorie diet and how to stick to that diet, followed by the updated diet plan comprising of low-calorie low-carbohydrate content.

Two Parts of Every Diet

The diet plan formed by every dietician or clinic is the outcome of several clinical experiences and testing. The diet focuses on bringing some healthy yet tasty food to the table along with some exercises being made part of everyday life. It is also the most appropriate way to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle and can be modified according to your health history and body needs. It is based on a fit-all approach. There are two parts to ensure a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.

  • Lose It

This phase of the diet comprises of two week dietary and lifestyle changes which may at ease make you lose 6-10 pounds initially. This duration is enough to eradicate five unhealthy activities, can make you habitual of new five healthy habits and adapt to five more bonus considered healthy habits. In this phase, the focus is more on the lifestyle changes that are linked to weight. The weight loss in this phase gives you a psychological boost and you tend to practice those habits more in order to enter the next phase and rock that too.

  • Live It

This phase of diet lasts throughout life and it is all about learning about menu planning, portion sizes, exercises, food choices, physical activity, and healthy habits. The weight loss in this phase is steady and is around 1-2 pounds per week until you reach your set goal. This a way of maintaining your weight permanently at this desired weight.

Healthy Weight Pyramid

A healthy weight pyramid was formed by the Mayo Clinic set up to ensure the healthy eating of the individuals. The reason behind creating the food pyramid is not to calculate every single calorie intake of your diet rather be precise by choosing what is right for you. In a pyramid, the food items at the base are considered healthy and you should most of your meal from them and less from the top thereby getting a full but healthy meal. Through this pyramid, you can make smart and healthy eating choices by considering it as a guide.

Healthy Weight Pyramid
Healthy Weight Pyramid
  • Eat Healthy

The pyramid base teaches you about the healthy food choices available that provide you with the least calories and still can give you a feeling of a full stomach. You should go for low-energy-calorie food items listed at the base of the healthy weight pyramid to provide you with healthy options. The regions above the base are the ones from which moderate amounts of food must be opted to account for the remaining calories. This includes carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, proteins in the form of lean meat, low-fat dairy and legumes, and unsaturated unhealthy fats. The purpose of this activity to practice the estimation of portion sizes and healthy choices without removing any food portion.

  • Physical Activity

The diet provides for such ideas for exercise which are not only realistic but also practical and can be incorporated in daily life easily by means of a plan. The least recommended exercise for the day has been set to 30 minutes but it can be increased for various health benefits and to further lose weight. The diet also incorporates more ways to include walk in your daily routine by climbing the stairs instead of getting on the elevator. Certain health conditions like asthma or COPD can limit the exercise duration and it should only be done after consulting your physician who can allow you to start from 5 or 10 minutes per day.

Foods to be Included and Avoided in Low-Carb Diet

  • Foods to be INCLUDED in Low-Carb Diet

Food items that must be made part of your diet plan include: eggs (pastured eggs or omega-3 rich eggs), fish (haddock, trout, salmon, wild-caught fish), meat(lamb, pork, beef, chicken, grass-fed), fruits (strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, oranges), vegetables (cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, carrots), nuts and seeds(sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds), high-fat dairy(butter, heavy cream, cheese, yogurt), and fats and oils (olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil).

  • Foods to be AVOIDED in Low-Carb Diet

Food items that might alter the calorie and carbohydrates measured intake include: refined grains (barley, rye, wheat, rice, pasta, bread), sugar (juices, soft drinks, ice cream, candy, agave), trans fats (oils either hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated), starchy vegetables (all vegetables having starch), highly processed foods (factory-made items), and diet and low-fat products (cereals or dairy products or crackers which even though are processed but contain sugars).

Typical Menu For a 1200-Calorie Diet Plan

Several calorie level meals can be prepared but the most widely used 1200-calorie diet plan as prepared by the Mayo Clinic is as follows:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal (half cup) cooked in milk (one cup) with raisins (two tablespoons), mangoes (quarter cup) and calorie-free drink or beverage
  • Lunch: Sweet potato and quinoa cakes, salad tossed in dressing (fat-free) and calorie-free drink or beverage
  • Snack: Bell peppers (half cup and sliced) and hummus (two tablespoons)
  • Dinner: Pita pizza (one whole), mixed fruit (three-fourth cup) and calorie-free drink or beverage

You can think of a sweet if you can limit your calories for it to 75 calories daily, but you should not intake sweets on a daily basis instead once weekly is a much profound option. You can have dark chocolate or frozen low-fat yogurt once a week and then should wait till the next week.

Menu For a 1200-Calorie Diet Plan
Menu For a 1200-Calorie Diet Plan

The diet plan provided by the Mayo Clinic makes you lose around 6-10 pounds in the first two weeks of the diet by relying mainly on healthy diet options. After this transition period when you enter the second phase of the diet, incorporation of exercise along with other lifestyle modifications puts you in a steady weight of 1-2 pounds every week unless you attain the desired weight. This diet plan due to its healthy lifestyle and food habits makes you get through various difficulties pertaining to your body and also protects you from various illnesses like heart diseases, insomnia, diabetes, inflammation, and cognitive impairment. Though the diet helps you ingest healthy amounts of fruit and vegetables which may not affect healthier individuals but could affect certain people due to the non-familiarity of their body towards these food items causing bloating and abdominal discomfort.

Benefits Associated with Low-Calorie Low-Carb Meal Plan

Combining two approaches i.e., low-calorie intake and low-carbohydrate intake can create miraculous results by accelerating weight loss and also facilitating in getting rid of various health conditions. According to a study published in 2011, consumption of a low-carb diet provides for the best results if hunger is suppressed in this low-calorie intake of 1200 calories in a day, as you will stay loyal to your diet plan and won’t crash on sugars to satisfy your cravings. One key to stick to your diet plan to keep yourself motivated through which you can do wonders with this diet plan.

How to Follow the Low-Calorie Low-Carb Meal Plan

To make the diet plan easy to follow, divide your meals. Three main meals of the day having 300 calories each and then add three snacks in between the meals of 100 calories each. This continuous intake, though of less calories, gives you a sense of fuller stomach and lesser appetite. Measure your food portion carefully to get yourself stick to the appropriate calories and carbohydrate intake. Snacks are an important trick to keep in your mind that you just had food every two hours and it stops you from getting to a point where you can feel that you are starving or draining out of energy. In order to get the most out of the 1200 calorie diet plan, make sure that every calorie counts as you have come to this low intake of calories. You should not have any room to incorporate any more calories to your diet plan.

Low-Calorie Low-Carb Meal Plan
Low-Calorie Low-Carb Meal Plan

1200-Calorie Low-Carb Diet Plan Updated Version

A variety of fruits, vegetables, and other food items are available in the market which can help you vary you are everyday meals to stop you from getting bored from similar everyday meals. By adding more and different colors to your meals by switching different vegetables and fruits can help you in sticking to the diet plan and can also ensure the appropriate intake of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Since the meal is of low carbohydrates instead of no or zero carbohydrates, it must include some quantity of carbohydrates in it to facilitate healthy metabolism. But this diet along with low carbohydrates asks for low-calories, green leafy vegetables are the most suitable candidate to serve the purpose.

Breakfast Diet Plan

Breakfast # Food Ingredients Calories Carbs
1 Veggie Scrambled Eggs Whole egg, egg white, red pepper, mushrooms, swiss cheese 240 8.8 g
2 Open Face Canadian Bacon Sandwich Ezekiel 4:9 bread, Canadian bacon, avocado, tomato, cheddar cheese 327 22.4 g
3 Hard-Boiled Egg and Blueberries Eggs, blueberries, walnuts 286 13.2 g
4 Berry Chia Smoothie Blackberries, chia seeds, coconut milk, stevia 274 24.8 g
5 Breakfast Burrito Egg whites, low-fat tortilla, turkey sausage, salsa 265 18.1 g


Low-Carb Breakfast Diet Plan
Low-Carb Breakfast Diet Plan

Lunch Diet Plan

Lunch # Food Ingredients Calories Carbs
1 Tuna Melt Tuna, celery, scallions, mustard, Ezekiel 4:9 bread, swiss cheese 316 19.5 g
2 Kale and Turkey Wrap Club Kale, turkey, Neufchatel cheese, bacon, tomato, sprouts 253 14.4 g
3 Spicy Egg Salad Eggs, yogurt, sriracha, pepper, scallions, Ezekiel 4:9 bread 290 22.8 g
4 Chef’s Salad Lettuce, spinach, chicken, bacon, vinegar, olive oil, garlic 303 8.4 g
5 Mexican Chopped Salad Chicken, cheddar cheese, scallions, bell pepper, avocado, salsa, lettuce, tomato, yogurt 257 20.9 g

Dinner Diet plan

Dinner # Food Ingredients Calories Carbs
1 Pork Tenderloin and Apple Slaw Pork tenderloin, brine, apple, yogurt, ginger root, cabbage 309 25 g
2 Salmon and Artichokes Salmon, artichoke 318 14 g
3 Chicken and Mashed Cauliflower with Asparagus Chicken, cauliflower, yogurt, cheddar cheese, asparagus 324 14.2 g
4 Bacon Burger, Protein Style Hamburger patty, turkey bacon, lettuce, dill pickle, mustard, swiss cheese 289 6.15 g
5 Warm Spinach Salad with Shrimp Shrimp, olive oil, turkey bacon, vinegar, shallot, spinach 284 6.9 g

Meals listed above lie in between 200 to 300 calories range and the total is build up to 1200 calories with three snacks in between. The purpose of providing the various options for the main course meals is to make yourself at ease to switch from one option to another to remain stuck to the diet meal plan. For each day, you have to select one meal from breakfast, one from lunch and one from dinner from the above available options.

Mayo Clinic site has provided the exact amounts of the ingredients and the method to prepare the meal in a scrumptious way in their updated version. The link to the chart has been attached below to clear any ambiguity.


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