This easy and simple 1200 calorie meal plan is just what you need to kickstart your weightloss journey and shed those extra pounds. Here we focus on wholesome meals that are high in volume and low in calories to make you feel full and satisfied all throughout the day.
If you’ve been struggling with your weight for a long time then this might just be what changes the game for you.
How to be in caloric deficit?
When you try to lose weight you should try to keep a calorie deficit, which means more calories are burned than they are consumed. This is the basic concept of losing weight,
This can be achieved in 4 different ways:
Muscle burns 3 times more calories than fat does. So by converting your fat to lean muscle you’ll be automatically burning 3 times more calories than you used to, therefore you’ll be in a caloric deficit without even trying. This is why weight lifters can eat so much and still stay lean.
When you have no time to hit the gym and do weight lifting you can opt to eat a lot less.
By eating less calories you’ll burn more calories than you consume, therefore you’ll be in caloric deficit. This may be too difficult and ruin your metabolism in the long run, so please don’t use this as a long term solution!
Improving your metabolism
Your metabolism is what helps you burn calories. If you have a high metabolism you’ll burn more calories than someone with a slow metabolism.
This can be achieved in many ways, however, they’re not always easy to stick to. For example: sleeping better, drinking more water, paying attention to your hunger levels, gaining muscle mass, getting your body used to eating more intuitively, and even investing in light exercise like walking every day.
Burn more calories
Or you could simply try to burn more calories than you consume. You can do this by adding in an outdoor run or long walk in the morning, trying out dance classes, or even joining a group sport.
Then again, there are so many ways to stay on top of your health that it’s easy to get lost in the process. The minimum recommended by doctors is around 1200 calories a day. However this should only be done in the short term as it can damage your metabolism, making it harder for you to lose weight in the long run. I would never recommend that you go below this amount.
So, I’ve created a 1200 calorie meal plan with recipes that leave you full and satisfied, but at the same time are low in calories.
What we want here is a good division of you daily calorie allowance throughout the day so that you have the energy you need to carry on with your day.
There should be 5 meals in your day, consisting of breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.
For breakfast you should eat around 300 calories, have a 150 calorie morning snack, consume around 400 calories for lunch, have a 150 calorie afternoon snack and finish dinner with 200 calories.
Too many numbers right? Nope, it’s easy!
Breakfast: 300 Calories
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You’ll get the most out of your mornings if you fuel yourself the right way.
Always try to include a good source of protein and carbs in your breakfast to give you the energy you need to start the day.
Adding protein is especially important, since protein prevents you from having a sugar spike and having an energy crash right after.
When we talk about carbs, these should be loaded with fiber so to make the same effect.
Fiber makes you take more time to digest your food so it’ll leave you fuller for longer periods of time. Examples of this are: oats, chia seeds, whole wheat bread, etc.
Here are some recipes you could try:
This Berries & Granola Chia Seed Pudding is totally delicious, super healthy, vegan and dairy-free! This is a perfect recipe for any breakfast, middle of the afternoon snack, or even dessert.
Calories: 280 kcal
There is nothing better than a creamy cheesy quiche with loads of vegetables to make my day! This Crustless Vegetable Quiche is just that. Creamy, savoury, and low in calories. Totally delicious and super healthy!
Calories: 130 kcal
Calories: 282 kcal
Calories: 220 kcal
Morning Snacks: 150 Calories
With a small snack such as 150 calories, you can keep your energy levels without binging on food and ruining your weight loss.
Here are a few tasty low-calorie snack ideas:
You can make these blueberry muffins in advance and have one every morning throughout the week.
Calories: 160 kcal per serving.
These baked zucchini chips are the best weight loss chips you can find. These are tasty, crunchy and low in calories.
Calories: 99 kcal per serving.
These healthy fruit & nut granola bars are to die for! Super easy to take with you everywhere you go and super delicious.
Calories: 164 kcal
Lunch: 400 Calories
Lunch time is extremely important because the time you need a pick-me-up energy dose the most is after lunch when the afternoon starts to set in. It’s also the next step in our 1200 calorie meal plan.
Having a 400 calorie lunch will give you what you need to keep going. If you want to find more recipes check out our post about 12 Lunch Ideas Under 400 Calories.
This hawaiian chicken noodle bowl has got it all, it’s fun and inviting without having too many calories.
Calories: 342 kcal
Simple yet delicious, this avocado chicken salad is my latest obsession! Sliced grilled chicken fillets, diced tomatoes, sweet corn and creamy avocado, topped with a mix of seeds and an easy tasty vinaigrette dressing! ll in a bed of shredded romaine lettuce!
Calories: 380 kcal
This easy Shrimp Fried Rice is so much better than takeout and so much healthier! It’s super delicious and quick to make. Made with fresh shrimp, frozen peas and carrots, sesame oil, soy sauce and a lot of garlic to get the tastiest results.
Calories: 410 kcal per serving.
These Spicy Chicken & Avocado Wraps are full of flavour, super easy to make and incredibly delicious! They’re such a versatile dish to make, you can add all kinds of toppings and easily make ahead for meal prep. Have these wraps in your freezer everytime you need a quick healthy lunch.
Calories: 370 kcal per serving.
Afternoon Snack: 150 Calories
If you love your pumpkin spiced latte over ice, then this is your quick fix. These pumpkin energy balls are just what you need to pump yourself up in the afternoon.
You can make these in advance and enjoy throughout the week. You’ll need a powerful food processor to get the best results, like this one.
Calories: 75 kcal
These summer-inspired Mango & Berry Ice Pops are super refreshing, sugar free and delicious! The sweetness in these popsicles rely heavily on a fresh ripe mango and a mix of berries. All in different layers! To make these you’ll need ice pop molds, I really like the Ikea ones, I use these a lot: Ikea ice pop molds.
Calories: 75 kcal
Dinner: 200 Calories
For dinner in this 1200 calorie meal plan, you can choose to go for a simple soup or a salad.
If you want to see more salad recipes check out our post about 10 Summer Salads to Try Today. I can’t guarantee all of them are under 200 calories but you can always get some inspiration to make your own.
Here are a few tried and true recipes you can try:
This is one of those easy dinner recipes. For the longest time, I’ve always loved pasta salads so this Spinach Pasta Salad is the perfect ending to my day.
Calories: 210 kcal per serving.
This amazing summer corn salad is just what you need to bring when invited to a BBQ or summer party. It’s super light and fresh, simple to make and doesn’t have too many calories!
Calories: 212 kcal per serving.
This soup can be made on the weekends to enjoy during the week. It can be served hot or cold, with a side of ezekiel bread (80 calories per slice). If you want to stay in the 200 kcal range you can either eat 2 slices of ezekiel bread and 1 serving of soup, or 2 servings of soup and 1 slice of ezekiel bread. Your choice!
Calories: 140 kcal per serving.
The most comforting winter food should be this carrot pumpkin soup. Bursting with flavour, sweet silky carrot & pumpkin puree, a hint of pumpkin spice and a dash of sour cream. It’s exactly what you need to make for dinner tonight!
Calories: 120 kcal per serving.
I hope you enjoyed our 1200 calorie meal plan, and it has given you new awesome ideas! If you are already dieting and not getting enough results, then something mustn’t be adding up right. Check out our post about 15 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight to find out what’s going on and what you can do about it.
1200 Calorie Meal Plan for Weight Loss
Hi there, I'm Maria! Stachio is my personal corner of the internet where I share my healthy-ish recipes that make me feel good and taste even better. Let's bake cookies together shall we?