1,200-Calorie Diet: What to Know
This article looks at a 1,200-calorie diet, including its potential benefits and challenges. It also provides a sample menu.
Consuming 1,200 calories per day may create a deficit in some people.
Calories are the energy units you absorb when your body digests food. These energy units exist in varying amounts in different foods.
When you eat more calories than your body burns, you store the extra as fat. So, eating too many calories may contribute to weight gain.
Fitness coaches may recommend inducing a calorie deficit if you want to lose weight. A calorie deficit is when you use up more calories than you consume.
You can typically create this metabolic state by exercising or adopting a low calorie diet.
However, not everyone needs the 1,200-calorie diet specifically to be in the deficit. Individual factors such as sex, activity level, and body size can influence results, which is why a personalized approach may be necessary.
Still, most nutritionists consider around
There are many ways to check how many calories you typically burn daily. You can calculate your daily calorie needs using an online calculator.
Learn about how many calories you should eat in a day.
Here are some claimed benefits of restricting your calorie intake to 1,200 calories per day.
By creating an energy deficit, a low calorie diet may contribute to weight loss. A
Maintaining energy balance by burning as many calories as you consume can help prevent weight gain.
Reduces the risk of diabetes
Maintaining a moderate weight through a lower calorie diet may help reduce diabetes risk factors.
Reduces the risk of other conditions
Gaining extra fat from excessive calorie intake can raise the risk of health problems,
A low calorie diet can help reduce these risks.
Eating 1,200 calories per day may not be enough for many adults. It may also have numerous risks.
Nutrient deficiency and reduced energy levels
Severely limiting calories may lead to insufficient intake of essential nutrients, according to a 2020 review. For example, you may not get enough iron, folate, or vitamin B12.
When you limit your calorie intake significantly, your body adapts to conserve energy. This may slow your metabolism and reduce your ability to lose weight consistently.
Bone and muscle weakness
In some cases, eating a low calorie diet may cause the bones to lose strength.
A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the link between calorie restriction and bone strength. The paper found that weight loss related to calorie restriction may reduce hip and lower spine bone density. It also found that exercise-induced weight loss does not reduce bone density.
Also, weight loss associated with calorie restriction
It is important to moderate your calorie restriction. It also helps to ensure that your diet remains well-balanced and provides all essential nutrients. It is best to contact a doctor or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes.
A balanced 1,200-calorie diet could include:
- lean proteins, such as skinless chicken or fish
- fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, and carrots
- whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal
- healthy fats from sources like nuts or olive oil
Limiting the intake of certain foods may help someone aiming for 1,200 calories per day consume a nutritious diet.
Examples of foods a person may limit or avoid include:
- sugary snacks and those with added sugars
- high calorie beverages
- refined carbohydrates, such as pasta and pizza
- high fat foods, such as cakes and muffins
- other processed foods, such as crackers or chips
The 1,200-calorie diet can help some people lose weight by creating a calorie deficit.
However, not everyone needs a 1,200-calorie diet to create a calorie deficit. Individual factors like activity level can influence results, so a personalized approach is necessary.
It is best to contact a doctor or registered dietitian before making any significant dietary changes. They can advise whether they recommend 1,200 calories per day based on your circumstances, and help you create a suitable eating plan.