What the 1,200-Calorie Diet Looks Like (Infographic)

Danielle Omar
by Danielle Omar
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What the 1,200-Calorie Diet Looks Like (Infographic)

OK, first things first: 1,200 calories per day is not a lot. If your goal is weight loss, it’s close to the minimum the National Institutes of Health recommends for women, and it is literally the lowest count recommended for men. Dipping too far below this range isn’t safe or healthy, and MyFitnessPal follows suit when you’re setting your weight-loss program. So if this is your target, the idea of eating 1,200 calories per day can seem pretty daunting.

The good news is it doesn’t mean you have to survive on rice cakes and boiled chicken, either — you really can eat a variety of satiating and nutrient-rich foods. Here’s a sample menu that illustrates how delicious and satisfying 1,200 calories can be. (Scroll to the bottom for how to make lunch and dinner.)

Here’s a Sample Menu For a Satisfying 1200-Calorie Diet

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN SALAD: Combine 2 cups spinach, 1/3 cup chickpeas, 1/2 cup chopped cucumber, 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes, 3 oz. chicken breast and 1 tbsp. feta cheese. Top with 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon olive oil.

SHRIMP TACOS: Place 4 oz. shrimp, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce, 1/4 cup chopped tomato, 2 tbsp. salsa and 1/4 avocado into 2 corn tortillas.

About the Author

Danielle Omar
Danielle Omar

Danielle is an integrative dietitian, culinary nutritionist, author and consultant, frequently lending her love of creating to high-profile food and nutrition media outlets. She’s a regularly featured blogger and founder of foodconfidence.comwhere she inspires men and women on their journey to become their healthiest self. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

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258 responses to “What the 1,200-Calorie Diet Looks Like (Infographic)”

  1. Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

    Talk about a carb heavy diet. That looks horrible for health.

    • Avatar Rachel says:

      Oh my lord no it is not. It’s got only 150 carbs for the day. There are worse things they could be eating.

    • Avatar Southofsomewhere says:

      Healthy carbs are not unhealthy.

      • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

        I eat less than 50 grams of carbs per day and feel better than I ever have in my life. I have seen many classically trained dietians. Their advice has never helped me. I started eating less carbs and I feel a million times better!

        • Avatar Southofsomewhere says:

          That works for you so great but that doesn’t mean carbs are unhealthy. A protein heavy diet makes me feel terrible and gives me lot digestion issues. Everyone is different.

          • Avatar joeldinis says:

            Have less protein. Not more carbs.

          • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

            A Ketogenic diet is NOT a high protein diet.

          • Avatar Teri Williams says:

            This is so true. My adult daughter doesn’t lose weight at all on a low carb diet and has digestive issues but I only lose on a low carb diet. Find what works for you. I also don’t do well on 1200 calories either but have found I lose on 1800-2000. Everyone is different. One dietician told me to remember that you didn’t gain weight in 3 months so don’t expect to lose it in that short a time.

          • Avatar Jennifer Miller says:

            Agreed Teri Williams

        • Avatar Mickey M. says:

          I eat less than 50 grams of carbs per meal and I feel better than ever. It’s amazing what not over obsessing about every gram of food you digest does for you…

          • Avatar Agak says:

            50g carbs “per meal”?? Or am I reading it wrongly. Isn’t that way too much in carbs?

        • Avatar Gregory Le Grand says:

          Absolutely.

        • Avatar Corey Colson says:

          Are you able to sustain your diet long term?

        • Avatar Lydia Scott says:

          That’s excellent! It’s wonderful you’ve found the WOE of that works best for you! Mine is different from yours (not low carb), but isn’t so nice to be able to eat and have it make you feel good, not bad? It’s fantastic!

        • Avatar Agak says:

          Hello Stephanie, If that’s not too much to ask, could you share your typical day of meals on the 50g carb diet. I am just starting to shed my lbs and am on the lookout for ideas on what to eat. Thanks.

          • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

            general outline:

            Breakfast: coffee with cream
            Lunch: salad with meat, olive oil and vinegar dressing
            Dinner: protein (chicken, pork, fish, etc) and vegetables (green beans, Brussels sprouts, spinach, etc) with butter.

            When I am lifting quite a bit, I add Isopure Zero Carb protein shake.

            I like to keep it simple

          • Avatar Agak says:

            Thanks so much. I think I can do that. It sounds common sense and real to me. All the things I normally eat, just have to pull out rice and bread, that I’m very fond of. Ok, gonna start with this lunch. Thanks again for these ideas!

          • Avatar Agak says:

            One more question: How about dairy?: Greek yogurt (Plain), Kefir, Milk? great sources of calcium; do you eat those?

          • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

            Dairy doesn’t agree with me. I don’t add much dairy to my diet because of it. Everyone is different. It might agree with you.

            I have had my vitamin D and bone density checked. I have very dense bones. I am not worried about dairy or my bones.

          • Avatar Agak says:

            Got it. Thanks!

        • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

          A general outline:

          Breakfast: coffee with cream
          Lunch: salad with meat, olive oil and vinegar dressing
          Dinner: protein (chicken, pork, fish, etc) and vegetables (green beans, Brussels sprouts, spinach, etc) with butter.

          When I am lifting quite a bit, I add Isopure Zero Carb protein shake.

          I like to keep it simple

      • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

        Crackers, oatmeal and tortillas are all processed garbage.

      • Avatar samueladamsfan says:

        too many of them are, whether from sweet potatoes or potato chips or rice or onions or sugar — they are basically all broken down to glucose in order to be used or stored by the body. Keep to under 20 or 30 a day (some people may be able to go as high as 50, but only if otherwise healthy).

    • Avatar Ian says:

      Agreed. My current diet has me at about 1800 cals/day, but only 8 net carbs per day. Never felt better than when I’m on keto!

      • Avatar ?Everything says:

        Unfortunately, ketosis is an unhealthy state for your kidneys, and the fat that tends to be prevalent in a no or low carb diet stresses the liver. Best to eat healthy carbs and fats in moderation, lean proteins, lots of veggies and some fruit.

        • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

          Ketosis is a very happy state for your kidneys. Ask Dr Jason Fung…a kidney doctor. Google home for better information.

          Your information is ill informed and out dated.

    • Avatar James says:

      Stephanie I seen your pics your not even fit or in shape to pass judgement on other people’s diet. Please! Spare the BS! What ever ‘diet’ plan you are on, seems to not be working. I eat carbs and so do many runners and athletes and they are way more fit then you!

  2. Avatar Steve Martinson says:

    Oh the comedy of carb errors… Permeating everything, including MyFitnessPal…

  3. Avatar Andrew Sargent says:

    Skip those snacks and you could have a much more balanced main meal in the evening. We are not designed to snack.

    • Avatar Rachel says:

      There is no one size fits all. I do better with 6 small meals a day than 3 large ones. Everyone is different but you are right. If they do not want to snack, having a larger meal at dinner is an alternative option.

      • Avatar Andrew Sargent says:

        Actually (and sorry to be pedantic) but physiologically one size does fit all. We are all the same metabolically. Sure, you can condition yourself to have snacks and then feel rough if you go for a long period without food but that is not a healthy approach. In fact, that is exactly the same mechanism that causes overeating in the first place.
        We are designed to eat well but only periodically. Any excess carbohydrate is stored for later use as glycogen. The processes by which we store excess and then liberate that stored energy become more efficient as we use them.
        Having lots of small meals does not properly utilise the processes by which we free up stored glycogen, making them less efficient. Hence, it takes longer to bring your blood sugar up and you feel unwell if you don’t eat for several hours.
        To lose weight, you have to recondition yourself to eating less often (no snacks) and eating good portions of food.

        • Avatar jo says:

          Perfect reply.

          • Avatar Andrew Sargent says:

            Thank you 🙂

          • Avatar Shawn says:

            Ya we are all the same metabolically, that’s why I’m twice the size of my buddy at work and he eats more then me but I’m far stronger then him. The reality is that it is not one size fits all, and you need to listen to your body plain and simple. People get too hung up on the science and ignore what gets them results. Sure maybe the numbers say one thing in a study but it wouldn’t be the first stidy that was incomplete or just plain wrong.

          • Avatar Andrew Sargent says:

            The physiological processes are identical, it is only your basal metabolic rate that is different.

          • Avatar Bruce Wayne says:

            Well said throughout. What do you feel is the downside to intermittent fasting? I am in the middle of a weight loss period of my life and I have evolved into fasting for best results. I have never been hungry in the morning anyway.

          • Avatar Rachel Kain says:

            This is exactly what I started doing. It’s how I ate when I was at my thinnest. I don’t like to eat breakfast!

        • Avatar Dean Zweck says:

          What about the people with the FTO gene that genetically are more hungry than someone without the gene. Are they the same physiologically? No of course not! For them snacking may be a beneficial strategy for diet adherence. We are not all the same metabolically!

          • Avatar Andrew Sargent says:

            Being hungry (whether it be because of habit or a chromosonal disorder) and needing to eat (because you are becoming hypoglycaemic) are not the same thing.

        • Avatar Ragenation says:

          Sorry to butt in, but hey, I have a chronic auto immune disorder that makes me hypoglycaemic (not diabetic) and my body can’t actually store glycogen properly, so I don’t get a long term release from sugars. I also have Crohn’s disease, so I don’t absorb nutrients as much as I should. So I do have to eat every two hours, or I start to feel my sugars drop. In an ideal world where people didn’t have disorders and illnesses, and digestive problems, yeah sure, one size might fit all. But it actually doesn’t because of reality.

          • Avatar Andrew Sargent says:

            Of course there will always be specific alternate cases here. But I was referring to normal physiology which is what the original post was aiming at. The article is promoting a ‘normal’ diet of <1200Kcal that is actually abnormal according to normal physiological processes.
            I agree that we are not ALL the same metabolically, but (disorders aside) there are general principles here.

    • Avatar shawnlawn says:

      hey andrew its too bad you dont snack because if you did i’d tell you to eat shit

    • Avatar PRK says:

      We’re not “designed” to do anything. We evolved over millennia in a multitude of different environments, each with its own dietary challenges. Some people groups were vegetarian and others survived entirely on fish. Some have raised dairy cattle for centuries and others have never had non-human milk. Do you really think they’ve all remained physiologically identical? Why is it that, all other things being equal, people from some ethnicities have a greater tendency to develop diabetes on a standard American diet than others do?

  4. Avatar Greenegirl says:

    This portion sizes in the graphic are misleading and should be pulled because those 1/2 cup containers are way bigger than 1/2 a cup. If this is supposed to teach us what a proper portion size looks like why lie and misrepresent? It is doing the members a disservice when so many people already have a hard time determine serving sizes. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/264b1ed6f253be763e15c0dcd3c08e8e3284b3e8b29ed2d59a263ddef767142a.jpg

    • Avatar robinbishop34 says:

      Everything should be measured with a scale… in grams or 1/10ths of ounces.

    • Avatar Paula Brunt says:

      I have 1/2 cup dishes and if I took a photo of them by themselves they would not look like dishes that small because there would be nothing to compare the size to. I’m realistic and know this. For me, common sense tells me what a 1/2 cup looks like. I think it photos in the original article are very realistic. Just depends on whether you’re trying to discredit a sensible eating pattern or not.

      • Avatar Greenegirl says:

        It isn’t a matter of common sense. Simply put, many people have a hard time determining portion sizes. If this graphic is trying to show what a half a cup portion looks like, then provide a realistic depiction.

  5. Avatar sarahannelily says:

    But 1200cal is maintenance for a toddler, nowhere near enough food for an adult.

    • Avatar WTFReally? says:

      Horseshit

    • Avatar HelloLeland says:

      Agreed. But I’m creating a deficit on purpose. My maintenance is 2600 lbs. I weigh 315. My body has plenty of fat stores to supply the needed calories. Now, if I were ever to get down to my recommended weight of 200, then, yes, my body would go into starvation mode but I have quite a while for that.

      • Avatar Debbie Russell says:

        I believe you mean 2600 calories!!! lol

      • Avatar Ricky Cue says:

        If your goal weight is 200 then you should calculate your calories as a 200 pound person instead of 315. Good luck with the weight loss, I’d recommend trying a ketogenic diet.

        • Avatar Amber Poginy says:

          ketogenic diet is unhealthy and not sustainable. It is a short term fix with long term issues, Eating a healthy balance of protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats in moderation with correct portions in mind will teach you how to eat properly and give your body all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to function effectively. losing weight is about learning how to eat healthy so you can obtain long term.

  6. Avatar Mr Cailer says:

    This helps so much when you see pictuees the diet and the numbers side by side..makes it real

  7. Avatar brochali says:

    1200 calories daily is well below a persons required intake to stay alive.

    • Avatar WTFReally? says:

      lol no

    • Avatar Julia Sophia Soares Varra says:

      Considering some people in concentration camps survived (barely) on 500-800 cal a day I’m pretty sure that’s false….

      • Avatar brochali says:

        Julia, if your intake calories are below your basal metabolic calorie requirements ,ultimately you are going to be in a very ill state. The body will try to compensate initially by burning fat , but as fat resources run out protein will be utilised to provide energy and ultimately severe health problems will be inevitable.

        • Avatar La Bandita says:

          Untrue. False. Nope. That’s too many calories for some people and too little for others. Dont speak in generalities.

    • Avatar yesilovemylife says:

      I’ve survived–and thrived–on 1,200 calories daily for a year. And lost weight, too.

    • Avatar HelloLeland says:

      Only if you have no fat stores.

  8. Avatar WTFReally? says:

    All those carbs.

  9. Avatar Johnny Pho says:

    Horrible. You only have 1200kcals and you are still eating 130g of carbs and only 90g of protein.

    At such a low caloric intake I would propose to up the protein significantly and aim for something like 150g Protein and 70g carbs.

  10. Avatar Lo Compriendo says:

    ”Mediterranean chicken salad” 24 carb 11 fat?
    what a hell is dat shit salad? are u sure mediterranean? Dude, here we dont cook dat shit like this.
    So, if i add salad and fresh tomatoes at my fried bacon, i got Mediterranean Bacon?
    Damn americans.

  11. Avatar joeldinis says:

    For many this is an example of a healthy diet. And if you’re counting calories, 1200 will put you at a deficit and, according to calories in/calories out rule, it would allow you to lose weight.

    But for the majority, however, the carb centric meals and the frequency will eventually make actually make you gain weight. Either by the promoting insulin resistance and/or by forcing your body to reduce metabolism to compensate for lack of calories and/or by not satiating hunger and therefore hard to stick to it.

    Most of us have eaten this way or know someone that still does. And for some that may be fine, for most it is misleading. There’s so much sugar in this example, and so little fat.

    • Avatar C. says:

      Walnuts, cottage cheese, eggs, avocado, and chickpeas all have loads of fat in them. There’s literally fat at every meal. What are you on about? It may not be a fat-centric diet (which some people cannot eat and do not do well with), but there’s sufficient fat at every meal and snack to reach daily goals (or stay under them, depending on diet).

  12. Avatar AussieEevee says:

    Thats 800 calories too many

  13. Avatar Reese says:

    Wow, reading all these negative comments… It seems you think you are experts. Do what works for you, I think it’s a great meal plan. So much so, that I have been eating this way for the last year and have lost 55 lbs. and have reached my goal weight. Again – do what works for you and stop being so negative. 😀

    • Avatar Shawn says:

      You hit the nail on the head. Do what gets you results!

    • Avatar Amanda Fojtik says:

      So very True and !! Isnt it great to reach goals Congrats stay positive:) Dont understand why these people bother with the sight if they dont agree with the diet :/

    • Avatar TunaonRye says:

      That’s awesome, congratulations!!

    • Avatar MJ77 says:

      I found the 1200isplenty reddit forum and was inspired by the delicious meals shared there, and for the last 3 weeks I’ve been eating 1200 – 1500 a day and have lost 7 lbs. I feel great, I’m not hungry, and I don’t feel overwhelmed or anxious about what I’m eating either.

    • Avatar Jessica says:

      AGREE!

    • Avatar lamusatumusa . says:

      Me too I lost 43lbs in 9 months eating this way

    • Avatar LEANNE MARIE says:

      RIGHT ON DOLL, STAY POSITIVE, I AGREE!!

    • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

      I am an expert, I am a personal trainer and coach. I have seen too many athletes, including myself, who have been negatively effected by poor advice, like Danielle’s. Personally, I am very sick and tired of the damaging advice given my “experts” that are based in faulty science (Google Ancel Keys and Lipid Hypothsis).

      • Avatar Nik says:

        Just wondering. What’s poor about the advice? Is it the low calorie count?

        • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

          Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones—in everyone—and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss.

          Danielle’s diet recommends 6 meals a day with a total of 120 grams of carbohydrates per day. That is not a good diet for weight loss. In order to lose weight sustainably, there needs to be an absence of carbohydrates in the blood stream.

          The body can not access its fat stores with more than 8 grams (1 teaspoon) of carbohydrates in the blood stream at one time. The body releases insulin to lower the blood sugar if there is more 8 grams of carbohydrates in the blood stream. As long as insulin is present, glucagon is low the body does not like to burn fat for fuel, it burns mostly carbohydrates. You only have about 2000 calories of carbohydrates stored in the liver and the muscles. Once you run out of the glycogen your body will lower leptin and signal your body to be hungry.

          When you limit carbohydrates to approximately 20 grams per day the body does not release insulin because their is not enough carbohydrates in the bloodstream to signal an insulin response. When there is an abstinence of insulin in the bloodstream, glucagon rises and signals the body to burn fat its fat stores.

          If you try to burn lose weight with a steady supply of carbohydrates that raise insulin levels the body will lower leptin and send a signal to the body that it is hungry. Thus, no amount of will power will help you outrun your hormone signals. You can try to not overeat by weighing and measuring everything, but the body is designed to stay alive.

          Eventually the hunger will win and you will overeat. You can not outrun your hormones.

          • Avatar Jennifer Miller says:

            I got way more cut eating Danielle’s diet plan than cutting out carbs. I actually had a 6 pack and still ate plenty of carbs and felt full and wasn’t brain dead. Was actually down to 15% body fat eating this way, but not with the low carb diet. I was doing the same amount and types of exercise with both diets.

          • Avatar Kitten says:

            Depends on body types, too. I’ve seen the same results from people who do the low carbs. If you’re an endomorph, you can basically look at a carb and gain weight haha!

      • Avatar Nancy S Rymer says:

        Please be more specific. What exactly are you disagreeing with. The calorie count? Some of the example menu? Please share what you consider damaging.

        • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

          Nancy,

          Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones—in everyone—and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss.

          Danielle’s diet recommends 6 meals a day with a total of 120 grams of carbohydrates per day. That is not a good diet for weight loss. In order to lose weight sustainably, there needs to be an absence of carbohydrates in the blood stream.

          The body can not access its fat stores with more than 8 grams (1 teaspoon) of carbohydrates in the blood stream at one time. The body releases insulin to lower the blood sugar if there is more 8 grams of carbohydrates in the blood stream. As long as insulin is present, glucagon is low the body does not like to burn fat for fuel, it burns mostly carbohydrates. You only have about 2000 calories of carbohydrates stored in the liver and the muscles. Once you run out of the glycogen your body will lower leptin and signal your body to be hungry.

          When you limit carbohydrates to approximately 20 grams per day the body does not release insulin because their is not enough carbohydrates in the bloodstream to signal an insulin response. When there is an abstinence of insulin in the bloodstream, glucagon rises and signals the body to burn fat its fat stores.

          If you try to burn lose weight with a steady supply of carbohydrates that raise insulin levels the body will lower leptin and send a signal to the body that it is hungry. Thus, no amount of will power will help you outrun your hormone signals. You can try to not overeat by weighing and measuring everything, but the body is designed to stay alive.

          Eventually the hunger will win and you will overeat. You can not outrun your hormones.

          • Avatar SHays says:

            Hi Stephanie,
            What about those of us who have Type 2 Diabetes? Is your answer the same for us? I was told by my doc to eat about 45 carbs per meal (three meals a day)…

          • Avatar samueladamsfan says:

            ketogenic diet or banting diet. No more than 20 carbs a day. do your research, you’re causing your own type 2 diabetes by eating that many carbs at each meal. In times before insulin, banting, keto was what people used to live. Look into how damaging insulin is to the heart. You really dont’ want your body producing enough insulin to deal with that many carbs per meal.

          • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

            Please read Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution or Dr Jason Fung’s work. Both are diabetes doctors with sensible solutions for Type II diabetics.

          • Avatar Megan Trotter-Bissett says:

            “When you limit carbohydrates to approximately 20 grams per day the body does not release insulin because their is not enough carbohydrates in the bloodstream to signal an insulin response. When there is an abstinence of insulin in the bloodstream, glucagon rises and signals the body to burn fat its fat stores.” – you are joking right? You body need insulin for more than just eating carbs. Your body is always producing insulin to allow glucose into your cells and then uses it to lower glucose levels at about 4am when your liver naturally dumps a whole lot of glucose into your system .Also known as the dawn phenomenon in a type one diabetic. I ate low carb for a year, and I still needed insulin – more so since any carbs I did eat digestion got slowed down by the fat content.

          • Avatar RaBonn says:

            I was also told that, plus two 15-20 g carb snacks for a total of about 160-170 per day for healthy cell and brain function. Stick with what your doc says, some people this would work for but not for everyone. 🙂 I’m using Mayo Clinic diabetic diet plan + exercise and so far in 1 1/2 weeks lost 5 lbs. Goal is another 30 taking it slow and my blood sugar is spot on.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            jjjOur brain and red blood cells rely on the plentiful glucose in carbohydrates. Through gradual adaptation, the brain can learn to use fat in the form of ketone bodies, but our blood cells will always rely on glucose. In fact, our body fights really hard to keep our blood glucose levels within a narrow window. Once you dip below the minimum threshold of 20mg glucose/dL of blood you risk slipping into coma or having a seizure. This biological fact is partly what drives the daily recommendations for carbohydrates by major health organizations (see below).

          • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

            You don’t know human biology very well. Ketones are the preferred fuel for the heart and the brain.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            I’ll take a dietitian over so stranger on the internets.

          • Avatar Kitten says:

            Keep in mind that you are just a stranger on the internet too. Neither of you know what the other does for a living.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            i know I looked up advice from a registered dietitian and I quoted it

          • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

            The heart and the brain actually do better on ketones.

            The very reason that epilepsy is treated with a Ketogenic diet.

            The food industry and phamacuital companies have not interest in this way of eating because it makes people healthy.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            I like your hat — reynolds wrap???

          • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

            One more thing…if humans HAD TO HAVE glucose to survive the human race would have died out long ago. Use just a little bit of logic!!!

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            so stupid

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            why? would the human race have died out ???

          • Avatar E says:

            You’re so condescending.

          • Avatar Tracey Taylor says:

            bullcrap. you lose weight in a caloric deficit. I eat a lot of carbs and lost weight and a lot of fat,because I was and am in a deficit of calories. I eat more than 1200 though. weight gain and obesity is driven by eating more than your body burns. I know thats how I got fat. it has nothing to do with insulin. insulin spiked and response ios a normal bodily function. even a large amount of protein can trigger and insulin response. I lost weight eating over 200 g or more of carbs per day. now hormones can play a small part and so can health issues. I have a metabolic issue and guess what? yep lost weight eating a lot of carbs. carbs do NOT make you fat. anything you eat will get stored as fat if you are in a surplus of calories.

        • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

          My general menu outline:

          Breakfast: coffee with cream
          Lunch: salad with meat, olive oil and vinegar dressing
          Dinner: protein (chicken, pork, fish, etc) and vegetables (green beans, Brussels sprouts, spinach, etc) with butter.

          When I am lifting quite a bit, I add Isopure Zero Carb protein shake.

          I like to keep it simple

          • Avatar Anniegator says:

            Stephanie, I am curious about a few things:
            1. What is the breakdown of portion sizes in the meals you consume?
            2. How long do you maintain a diet like this? is it an everyday all the time or only when you are lifting?
            3. How do you keep a diet like this from getting dull or boring? How much wiggle room do you give yourself for changing it up a bit with fruit or dairy like yogurt and cottage cheese?

            I’m looking for simple guidelines to follow for my weight loss goals and docs and nutritionists don’t seem to be very forthcoming. I like the idea you’ve laid out here and wouldn’t mind more information.

          • Avatar Stephanie Blair Holbrook says:

            Hi Annie,

            There are tons of recipes online. No it does not get boring. I don’t eat fruit because it wrecks me for days. I am very sensitive to fructose.

            There is no reason you can’t eat cottage cheese or sugar free yogurt. They don’t have a lot of carbs.

            I don’t do much dairy, but that is a personal preference.

            I have maintained this diet for years. I stick to it because I feel the best on it. When I deviate from the diet I feel like crap. It is a good feedback loop.

            I eat this diet everyday.

          • Avatar Anniegator says:

            Thanks Stephanie. I appreciate your response 🙂

          • Avatar Katrina Samuel Garrison says:

            You need to see an allergist or other specialist because fruit shouldn’t wreck you for days.

          • Avatar Mark Smith says:

            You can get protein from other foods as well (besides meat). Ask yourself what a thoroughbred horse lives on. And you won’t find bigger muscles around anywhere.

          • Avatar Brendan Patterson says:

            Excellent point, where can I sign up for the Mark Smith 9kg of grass/day diet plan?

    • Avatar Al Toons says:

      different people different lifestyles, genetic health issues. Could go on. No way that diet will be good for all. Great suggestion, hope to see alternatives suggested.

    • Avatar Carrie Rainwater says:

      I second that. On a 1200 calorie diet you need anywhere from 135-180 in carbs. You need carbs to exercise which is what you need to do to lose weight.

      • Avatar samueladamsfan says:

        There is no nutritional need for carbs. Check out ketogenic diet. Banting diet. Dr. Peter Attia (Medical doctor — his website or youtube). No, carbs are not needed for exercise or to lose weight.

        • Avatar davedave12 says:

          from Mayo Clinic (not some anonymous nut on internet) Because of their numerous health benefits, carbohydrates have a rightful place in your diet. In fact, your body needs carbohydrates to function well.

          • Avatar Kitten says:

            You’re a nut if you think keto is about NO carbs. It’s about lower carbs. You still get them, and you eat them around your exercise time to use them as energy.

          • Avatar RaBonn says:

            Thanks DaveDave12, I am currently following the Mayo Clinic Diabetic Diet plan and while it is LOW in carbs it does not eliminate them. Even as a diabetic I am supposed to have between 130-160 g carbs a day for healthy brain and cell function. 🙂

          • Avatar Angela Williamson says:

            Vegetables are carbs. If you eat vegetable and you should that is a carb. There are good carbs, not so good carbs, and bad carbs. Anything with color (greens, leafy salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, string beans, spinach these are all good carbs) and should be consumed in diets.

        • Avatar RaBonn says:

          Yes there is a nutritional need for carbs…for healthy cell function. Per my dietician and physician and diabetic nurse…three health professionals. You also need a small amount of fats. All nutrients balance to provide energy. All carbs convert to sugar to fuel the body regardless of the source…breads, pasta, rice, fruit, some vegetables, sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup…doesn’t matter. There is NO 100% healthy diet where total elimination of any food group is healthy in the long term.

        • Avatar pumped up kicks says:

          Your wrong about that veggies are carbs and you need that a balanced diet.. you can’t maintain that way of eating forever you will gain the wieght back

      • Avatar Dorothy says:

        Not true. If you eat a very low carb diet and then exercise your body will use your body fat as fuel. You will lose much more weight when your body uses fat as fuel instead of carbs.

    • Avatar Cynthia Meridith says:

      I have about 30 pounds to lose – realistically. I want to be healthy. No longer am I trying to be a size ??? or 140 lbs. I want to lower blood sugar, cholesterol, triglyceride, as well as weight #! I am taking the step and this time is for real! I’m going to do this!

      • Avatar jenby1 says:

        You are definitely focused on the right thing. My weight was always up and down but when I finally got clear that I cared more about health than being skinny for some upcoming event, I finally lost weight and kept it off. Skinny is a nice side effect but I no longer eat sugar, lost my cravings, lost my up and down energy, I work out more and I know I’m so much healthier. Good luck on your journey.

  14. Avatar Jo Gillespie says:

    Great ideas!! I wish you would do more like this. Very helpful, thanks.

  15. Avatar Gregory Le Grand says:

    Much too heavy on the carbs. Post some with high protein and very few carbs than you’ll have the right balance. Have to get rid of the carbs to really lose weight. And lots of water.

    • Avatar Heather Thompson says:

      I eat over 300g carbs a day, 125g of protein and over 79g of fat and Have lost over 35 in and added lots of muscle. Carbs are not the enemy. You need to fuel your body to workout.

      • Avatar Gregory Le Grand says:

        I’m pleased for you. I’m on a high protein diet and I’ve lost 40 lbs. If you’re going to include building muscle, you need more protein in your diet. Not as a body builder, which I’m not, just for all around good health.

  16. Avatar Ashley Wells says:

    lol this isnt the best example, More days needed. Plus crackers? why would you waste precious calories on rubbish food like crackers??

    wow

    who writes this crap

  17. this is a great post – thanks!

  18. Avatar Alan says:

    I came to the comments section to ‘keto-educate’ but it looks like everyone has already beaten me to it. Its a good sight to see 🙂

  19. Avatar Mihir Shah says:

    Appreciate if you can suggest a similar infographic for vegetarian?

  20. Avatar Florin Anton says:

    Intermittent fasting is the best way to lose body fat alternating with the idea to eat 1200 calories in the one meal and excluding carbs and sugar from your diet .I was starting this diet two weeks ago and loss 15 kg and I feel great and happy ! on my first 3 days I was using 3 hours window to eat my meal and then I change it to one hour window and I realize that I loss all most 1 kg a day without to feel weaker but more stronger and with more energy ! If I knew this I was doing this 20 years ago but better late then never !

  21. Avatar nicky .ywilliams says:

    Everybody is an expert. Not… like many have said do what works for you. Period.

  22. Avatar Justin says:

    “Dipping too far below this range isn’t safe or healthy” – what about all the practitioners losing weight, cleansing their bodies, and improving health on fasting diets?

  23. Avatar Johnny Crawford says:

    I like this post. What does 1500 calories look like?

  24. Avatar bigsmiles says:

    So that’s all fine and dandy but what about when you have allergies?! I’d love – just ONCE for someone to show how to eat on a ” diet ” and not have gluten or dairy because that’s where I’m stuck as well as most of my family. Mrs Danielle Omar- got one for that???

  25. Avatar Stephanie Tate Hynds says:

    I love this! I hope to see more like it soon, along with the easy recipes. Thanks so much!

  26. Avatar Dee says:

    The truth of the matter is this… to each his or her own. I really believe it depends on your body chemistry and what works best with your own metabolism or lack there of etc. I myself was on the low carb atkins and did lose 30lbs but it made me dizzy and light headed. That can’t be healthy. So I switched it up to low calorie but not so stuck just on the 1200 limit. Toggle it between 1200 and 1500. With light exercise too. And that works for me, “for me” is the key statement. OH but hey…. I will take some of that “Leffe Blonde” brews anyday!!!! ahahahahaha! You go Thurber Mingus!

  27. Avatar Bruce Wayne says:

    Thanks for this. I am doing 1200 a day myself. Could you now do 364 more of these daily meal suggestions? 🙂

  28. Avatar Marlene Foust says:

    I have deluxe app love it but wish it had space for several snacks during day which I need to do as diabetic

  29. Avatar Olivia S says:

    Why are you telling us to waste our precious calories on a very low 1200 diet with stupid things like crackers and tortillas. Those are not satisfying for the amount of calories they take up. Eat more protein. Have a string cheese. Have a giant plate of veggies. Not a stupid yuck tortilla.

  30. Avatar Nancy Reilly says:

    If you all gave up meat and ate fruit, veg, whole grains, etc., you could eat as much as you wanted. You’d probably also be healthier.

  31. Avatar Sharon Koehler says:

    This looks like a great sample menu! There are so many combinations to hit 1200, but this looks like a realistic example. Eating right is hard for many people. This looks so much better than what most people are eating these days. We need a good combination of healthy fat, protein, good carbs, good sugars from fruit, etc. Most American diets are high in all the bad fats, carbs, and sugars, and so low in nutrition. I think this is very encouraging. As someone who’s looking for a boost to hit my goals, this seems like a great option. Thanks for the post and all the positive comments!

  32. Avatar Todd Martineau says:

    Nice job with this Danielle. Thanks for putting it together.

  33. Avatar Brooke Witham says:

    This is great. Love to see an option for users to put in foods they like and then come up with 1200, 1300, 1400 and 1500 versions.
    For instance due to my busy schedule I teed to prep the same breakfast for the entire week (lunch too) and dinners somewhat. I like to interchange from one week to the next. Also the food Database needs to be cleaned up. (that is the catloging librarian in me ) .THanks
    Brooke

  34. Avatar Brian Fisher says:

    I really wish you’d show the sodium also since that figures greatly into my diet!

  35. Avatar Barbara Straub says:

    I love the Fitness Pal tracker. Stay around 1000 calories a day but still do not lose weight. Gets a bit depressing but with the tracker it has been eye`opening to learn about calories in the food we eat and especially quantity.

    • Avatar Nat says:

      You aren’t losing weight because 1000 calories is not enough. You have essentially messed up your metabolism by not eating enough. I would see a dietician about getting back on track.

      • Avatar Barbara Straub says:

        Probably right, Nat. Initially I lost 20 pounds which was great. I do know I should eat something for breakfast but just don’t do it. Coffee is about it with an occasional peanut butter cracker. Seem to have plateaued at my current weight which stays pretty much the same. I also know I am not quite as careful now that I hit my target weight as I was earlier.

  36. Avatar Van Hammersly says:

    Been doing a 50/25/25(Carb/Prot/Fat) diet since Jan, and not exactly eating clean or “the best”, but I’ve lost 36+ lbs. Been alternating 1600/1500/1400 cals every couple weeks. Carbs are not the enemy, as long as you choose wisely and balance everything else. Snacking is good too – 3 times daily. Add in a couple weekly workouts, a gallon of ice water daily, nightly 30 min walks, and good sleep – I’ve never felt better/worked for me. It’s been a welcome lifestyle change.

    • Avatar Teresa Champion says:

      Yes, exactly…. a “life style” change. Why diet (suffer, stress) and hopefully lose weight just to gain it back and then some?
      You need to learn to live a way of life that works best for you and maintain it…happily. Healthier.
      You can’t think once you’ve reached your goal that Twinkies are ever coming back.
      Find new, healthful choices in all kinds of foods, spices and even they way you cook/prepare your favorites.
      Becoming bored is common, so I love trying new things, New recipes.
      I liked the pictures with caloric value handy in the beginning.
      With true life style changes, you’ll know pretty much the calories/carbs/protein/sugar/fiber all most foods.
      Being diabetic, I made my life style changes, stuck with it.
      I followed the American Diabetes association “diet” … lost 125lbs in about 2 years.
      Kept it off and then began exercising.
      I’m down more and have so much more energy, being fit.
      Being consistent is very important.
      As is portion control.

      Fasting? I would not be able to do that.
      And having to do that as a maintenance plan?
      Nah…

      Good luck everyone!
      You can do it!!!

  37. Avatar patstar5 says:

    Reduce calories in and your body reduces calories out. You don’t lose weight and you wreck your metabolism.

  38. Avatar Jessica says:

    Wow. People get so fired up about their preference/experience and therefore this MUST be a crap article. Just do what works for you and quit telling others what they are doing is wrong. SMH

  39. Avatar David says:

    I would be STARVING

  40. Avatar Dizzie Ferguson says:

    Yeah. No, 1200kcals is just no.

  41. Avatar Pat Perry says:

    What works best for me is to first set the protein at 1-1.5g per lb of body weight. then fats at .25 g per lb of body weight. then fill the rest in with carbs.. This will maintain the Muscle and shed fat.

  42. Avatar Luana says:

    I lost 31 lbs. within 3 months on a 1200 calorie diet and never felt deprived.

  43. Avatar donna clagett says:

    I have MS and I am 70 years old but need to lose some weight. Exercise is difficult for me because walking is, so what do you suggest?

  44. Avatar Ellen Tejan says:

    Its bad advice like this that got me abandon Myfitness pal for better apps, that calculate your BMR and use that as a baseline. You should never dip below your basal metabolic rate. 1200 calories is below that most people. 1200 C is not what fitness apps should provide as a calorie target.
    Its simple. Calculate your BMR – you should eat AT LEAST this. this is the amount of calories your body uses in a day for metabolic function, just to keep you alive and healthy. Now, do enough activities during the day to burn and additional 500 calories. You will lose 1 lb a week. Do enough to have a 1000 calorie deficit and you will lose 2 lb a week. But to not hit your gap by eating less than your BMR.

  45. Avatar marcelina pineda says:

    I’m on a gluten/dairy/sugar free diet.
    Need help with recipe meals

  46. Avatar Carl Feyh says:

    I keep seeing all these foods you can eat while on a diet, but in my case I can basically eat none of them. I am on a zero Carb diet. I have a list from my doctor of the types of items I am permitted to eat, the problem is that most of what I am permitted to eat I wouldn’t let pass my lips.

    To keep things simple for myself I basically eat the exact same things everyday.

    Breakfast – 2 scrambled eggs

    Lunch – Green Salad with oil & vinegar

    Dinner – 2 Chicken thighs and a green vegetable

    My main problem is I could be called a picky eater, I will not eat any type of fish, the smell makes me sick top the point of barfing. I can’t imagine someone putting things like cottage cheese in their mouth. I’m at the point where I’d almost kill for something that has a little taste to it. Cannot eat cooked tomatoes, carrots, corn or anything that will turn to sugar during the cooking process.

    Anyone have any suggestion or should I just jump off a cliff?

    • Avatar Nat says:

      A lot of seasoning are carb free. Start with finding one with a flavor you love. You won’t be adding any carbs.

      If you like some cheeses, you can add a little cheese in, too.

    • Avatar saveourskills says:

      just google search keytogenic diet, buy some cookbooks on amazon

  47. Avatar Virginia Blair says:

    Can I exchange bisson in place of shrimp in the taco?

  48. Avatar SBC says:

    I often struggle to eat 1,200 Calories in a day, and as such, I have an incredibly hard time losing weight! I’m not anorexic – I simply have no appetite. And looking at this menu leaves me with a decidedly lower appetite! I HATE cottage cheese with a passion & carrots are in that same vein. Please create a menu that includes Greek Yogurt/normal yogurt, and at least something sweet, even if it’s just raspberries!!!

    • Avatar saveourskills says:

      why can’t you simply just eat those things. Why do they have to create a new menu for you to make a few substitutions?

  49. Avatar Wanda Robertson says:

    PLEASE DO MORE OF THESE!! A picture is worth a 1000 words, I want to print the pictures and try to follow them!! Looks like it would be plenty for me!!

  50. Avatar blakstoneranger says:

    Who eats cottage cheese? What does that taste like? Who eats shrimp with tacos? One of the reasons why it is so hard to loose weight is because of the bad low cal menus that are full of food that tastes nasty! Shouldn’t have to suffer to loose weight. Because once you loose the weight, you’ll go back to eating really tasty foods!

  51. Avatar Al Toons says:

    Or, Skip the lunch and snacks and have a 900 dinner of 16oz center cut pork chops and a 16oz of brocolli.(no butter)

  52. Avatar Ricky Cue says:

    Everyone’s an expert nowadays. People need to understand that this meal plan is geared for women. 130g of carbs is not a lot but more than enough for women. Unless you’re doing some variation of paleo or keto, you need carbs. This meal plan is not a diet like keto, its a lifestyle way of eating. Yes, you might feel good eating less carbs but that is not sustainable over a long period of time. I personally do 50/25/25 (C,P,F). With keto type fad diets, you’ll need to cycle carbs back after 3-4 months.

  53. Avatar Daryl Bright says:

    Not very helpful for low carb dieters I am afraid. =(

  54. Avatar JohnnyooBravo says:

    Let me tell everyone here that some people can not lose weight on 1200 and yes they meed to drop it even lower. If I ate 1200 calories Id stay the weight I am because constant dieting over the last three decades the way we were told to diet by the “experts” has ruined the metabolism of anyone who had a good amount of weight to lose. If I want to lose weight I now have to drop to 800 calories or lower but what works best for me is fasting. Anyone who doesn’t know this is either new to dieting or never had a lot of weight to lose. People who are the most over weight have the best will power and that’s what got them into the situation their in. The facts here are even wrong for women who need to lose just 5 lbs. Don’t ever drop your calories or you’ll also be raising your base weight which is the weight the body will fight to get back to after dieting. Everytime you diet raises your base weight. It’s why they say after a diet you’ll gain all the weight back and then some. Best way to lose “fat” is to fast eitherintermittent or 2-3 day fast and one day eat. Continue to do so till you hit your goal weight. This will lower your base weight and end the gaining it all back. Want more true dieting facts check out Dr. Jason Fong. He’s also on youtube. I lost 268 lbs and I don’t have lose skin. He’ll explain that too. Or just keep doing these stupid diets people are selling the country.

  55. Avatar Felix says:

    How unhealthy! Guaranteed yoyo diet.

  56. Avatar Heather Jo Nowell says:

    This is an extremely unhealthy menu selection. It’s full of foods known through scientific research to be carcinogenic, artery clogging, and hormone destabilizing. It is just flat out irresponsible given the vast amount of legitimate medical data and studies, including ones done by the NIH and WHO, to include dairy, eggs, and any meat in something that is supposed to be considered “healthy”.

  57. Avatar Anne_Frank_98007 says:

    I think the point the Dietician is trying to make is that 1200 calories adds up and you can realize that when you weigh and measure your food and are mindful of portions breaking it down to 6 small meals with the micro-nutrient ratios of 50% Carb, 10-30% Fat, and 20% Protein, plus or minus given your fitness/exercise demands…obviously if you are building muscle mass just keep your micro-nutrient ratios as you add calories minus the calories you burn to equal your net calories…it will be different for every body because different bodies need different amounts of calories and depending on daily exercise and fat-burning behavior…Also, the Dietician’s plan also keeps you on a consistent, regular food plan so you can know what to expect and your mind can gauge what a normal portion and way to eat looks like because so many people have been on this bigger, biggest portion and out of control eating that many don’t know what a normal healthy portion looks like, and that’s perhaps why all of the sudden they find fault with the Dietician’s explanations in this article at first sight…but, if you really think about it, many of us need to retrain our minds and expectations about what a normal portion looks like and by weighing and measuring 6 smalls meals over a long time we will begin to reshape our thinking and retrain our eating habits to be healthy and normal once again…also, stop the fast food eating and junk food binging,,,3 meals a day with maybe the snacks if you want the 6 small meal plan and nothing in+betwen except water and zero calorie drinks…then we will be having normal and healthy eating habits and minds once again as a society.

  58. Avatar Leslie says:

    Wow very helpful and I will definitely incorporate. Also where can I find a menu like this one for the week? I’m currently on a 1,200 calorie intake per day and I am not reaching my goal for weight loss, therefore making it discouraging for me. Please HELP!!! Thank you very much for some feedback
    Leslie

  59. Great way to put things! Maybe you should do more of this type of infographics. Myfitnesspal users might find it very helpful (including the recipe/s).

  60. Avatar Kathie Häusle says:

    Reading a “half cup” of something that doesn’t fit into a standard measuring cup is So frustrating! Can we get a weight measurement or a rough count? if we cop the carrot sticks up to fit into a measuring cup they’re not sticks any longer and are probably more calories per half cup.
    Also, how many blueberries and walnuts and how much chicken salad? This is next to useless.

  61. Avatar TF Beauty says:

    Okay so those bowls are not accurate. That’s not what a half of anything looks like. Those bowls are much too large! If you are going to show the calories then be honest please.

  62. Avatar Craig Wood says:

    Danielle, I have type 2 diabetes, but I am doing better since starting the Ketogenics Diet on May 1, 2017. For whatever reason my body/pancreas is not processing carbs well (Insulin resistant). I have restricted myself to 30 – 50 grams of carbs per day, but really keeping it at 30 grams and below. The oatmeal, blueberries (maybe eat 3 or 4 berries), pear, crackers and taco shells/tortillas I no longer eat. Honestly, I am too afraid to eat them because I don’t have to give myself any more injections of Insulin. I have been taking Novolog (fast acting) and Lantus (slow release) and I don’t want to live like this any more! I want rid of diabetes!!! I’ve only been on the Ketogenics Diet for 23 days and it’s working. Lost a little weight a blood sugar levels are coming down!!! Corn, peas, carrots and tomatoes I have to be careful and not eat too much of them. Occasionally, I will eat a small piece of a Fuji apple (my favorite) & a small piece not to ripe of a banana. I prayed, read and researched for a long time about various ways to eat and exercise. I think I finally found what I needed to be doing a long time a long. I have a bit of neuropathy in my big toe areas on both feet and it is getting better. An endocrinologist told me neuropathy can be improved if you can get the blood sugar under control. I also take a supplements for diabetes (Chromium) and neuropathy (Nerve Shield) among others. I would like to thank you for allowing me to use your forum to tell you and others what I have gone through with diabetes and consuming to many carbohydrates. Diabetes affects your kidneys, eye sight and can lead to amputations as well. Whenever, I start to feel sorry for myself about not eating a certain food I just look down and see I still have 10 toes and 2 feet.

  63. Avatar Annoyed says:

    1200 calories is very low and should not be prescribed outside of certain special circumstances. You are spreading a dangerous ideology. If a man or woman exercises, is active, is “healthy” in general, meaning no diseases and not morbidly obese, this diet will make them unhealthy in the end because it will lower their metabolism and set them up for yo-yo dieting. This is stupid. And VERY IRRESPONSIBLE! Ugh. #pleasestoptellingpeopletoeatthisway

  64. Avatar Michelle says:

    Ok for the chicken, it says 3 oz chicken. So do I weigh out 3 oz raw chicken and then cook it? Or is it 3 oz after it’s been cooked???

  65. Avatar Michelle says:

    What kind of crackers are those? It could be literally any cracker that’s on the market but they kind of look like Triscuits? Can anyone tell?

  66. Avatar Greg Dahlen says:

    well i’ve gone from 255 pounds to about 165. for about nine years now i’ve been living more than 90% on fluid milk products, cow milk and cow cream. every day more than 90% of my diet is some kind of milk–skim, 1%, 2%, whole–plus i occasionally buy pints of half-and-half or fluid whipping cream and drink them straight. i’m not certain but i think it might be easier to lose weight with this diet than with a solid food one…part of it might be that when you drink milk it gets into your system faster and nourishes you so your hunger is sated faster

    i want to stress that this diet has not been approved as safe or healthy for human beings by any medical authority. it has worked for me and as far as i know my body functions similarly to a lot of people’s…..

    i do think some days i only drink about a gallon of milk (3.75 liters), so that might be about the 1,200 calories the article mentions.

  67. Avatar Anna says:

    No amount of exercise helped me till I started watching my food intake. Small meals 5-6 times a day 1500 calories, it’s possible. ))

  68. Avatar Kelly Taylor says:

    Need for suggestions for meals, for a household that doesn’t do chicken, pork or shrimp..food allergies for other family members. Any ideas are appreciated.

  69. Avatar davedave12 says:

    Our brain and red blood cells rely on the plentiful glucose in carbohydrates. Through gradual adaptation, the brain can learn to use fat in the form of ketone bodies, but our blood cells will always rely on glucose. In fact, our body fights really hard to keep our blood glucose levels within a narrow window. Once you dip below the minimum threshold of 20mg glucose/dL of blood you risk slipping into coma or having a seizure. This biological fact is partly what drives the daily recommendations for carbohydrates by major health organizations (see below).

  70. Avatar Ressia Fortune says:

    I WOULD LIKE MORE 1200 CALORIE MEAL PLANS.

  71. Avatar My name is mel says:

    What should I use to substitute for the shrimp because I’m allergic to any and all types of fish. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  72. Avatar Nick Harlow says:

    It’s all in all good plan, but need ingredients in gramms! How the hell do i know what cups volume does author use?

  73. Avatar Parastoo says:

    Just started today to fight with fats 😉

  74. Avatar Grainshè Loedem says:

    This actually looks like a ton of food to me…
    How do people eat like this everyday

  75. Avatar Sean Webster says:

    How can finicky people eat healthy, so much of the healthy food seems to taste awful and there are some things I can’t bring myself to try a second time. Is the blender the solution?

  76. Avatar Brittany says:

    1200 cal is really low. This is about where obese people should be setting their caloric targets. 1200 cal is actually right around where starvation mode kicks in for the average woman, and usually about 1500 for men. 1200 cal is an appropriate target for some, but really only for the obese. Definitely don’t set this as your caloric targets I’d you’re not obese and are active. Most bikini competitors don’t even get down to 1200 cal during their peak week(end of contest prep).

  77. Avatar Katrina Samuel Garrison says:

    It’s clear some of the respondents have know idea about how the human body works. Take a nutrition biochemistry class before criticizing. This is a good meal plan. And yes, you DO need carbs!

  78. Avatar Nevermind Me says:

    I know this is supposed to make me feel like “WOW! There’s so much food here!” but it really just kind of makes me feel like “man, that’s not very much food there.” Also how do you measure half a cup of carrot sticks? Half a cup of matchstick carrots maybe. Or shredded carrot. But half a cup of something in stick form is vague. Food scales help with this. To be honest, half a cup of oatmeal would just make me angry, and I don’t need four crackers with my dry carrot sticks and my dry hard boiled egg. Still, I understand this is just a guide and suggestions and the world isn’t going to end if we all modify for our own preferences and food needs. (P.S. when I’m training for a race 1200 calories is my post-run meal all by itself. LOL)

  79. Avatar David says:

    The health and diet advice, and amazing recipes for every occasion, on your site are excellent, but I wish the measurements weren’t so only ‘American’ (no insult intended )
    ‘Cups’ mixed with ozs and grams – and in the ‘Search’ facility it might show say 100g but then alternatives in the drop down box might be millilitres!
    Is a ‘cup’ always 8ozs? Various sites give various equivalents!

    Everything in frames or a conversion aspect for we Brits would be great!!

  80. Avatar Azra Hashmi says:

    So far I hv tried everything, but now will follow your way.

  81. Avatar Azra Hashmi says:

    I would love to loose my weight to target goal.

  82. Avatar saveourskills says:

    It’s better to lose weight eating 2000+ calories. Build some muscle and build a metabolism before dieting

  83. Avatar Ms Diane says:

    Looks great but not if your on the Keto diet.Way to many Carbs!!!! Show one for Keto. Thanks

  84. Avatar Elizabeth Aulino says:

    This is…bad advice. That link to the NIH website isn’t even active. The NIH classifies 1200 calories in most instances as a Very Low Calorie Diet and literally says on their website that most people shouldn’t follow this diet. Danielle Omar may be an Integrative Dietitian but to twist the statements of the NIH is unethical. “Getting results” isn’t really the most important thing with weight loss, it’s realistic and maintainable weight loss. I urge you to consider eating MORE and discussing choices like these with health professionals in person. Hormones, age, health conditions, and many other factors play into weight loss. If you’re having trouble, don’t just cut out most of your calories for the day, see a doctor.

  85. Avatar Velande Warner says:

    what can be substituted for cottage cheese?

  86. Avatar Chante Vd Merwe says:

    Good day Danielle Omar!
    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have always wanted to know what a 1200 calorie day must look like!
    But.. i am vegan.. is it maybe possible for you to help me out with a healthy and vegan 1200 calorie – “what to eat in a day” meal plan?
    I would really appreciate it!

    Thank you!
    Regards
    Chante

  87. Avatar Marilyn Moore Bell says:

    can you use chicken in place of shrimp?

  88. Avatar Connie Vaughn says:

    I would die on that little food.

  89. Avatar Alexi Balmuth says:

    Using the same scale for each meal and putting the meals on average sized plates and bowls would be helpful.

  90. Avatar Nicholas Green says:

    You don’t show drinks – milk contains significant calories and alcohol even more so this is most misleading for many if not most people.

  91. Avatar Andrea Bush says:

    I ate 800 – 1200 a day for a month. Minimum of 5 miles a day, usually 7 miles. I also do hiking with a 12 lb pack and poles. I lost nothing. It always was hard as my Thyroid is completely dead and I have given up on doctors. Once I hit Menopause it REALLY got bad. gained 10 lbs. Then I quit smoking and gained 15 lbs. I just hiked 25 miles the last few days and I gained 3 lbs. I guess I can survive on air. I have no idea what to do anymore. Cant understand how I can eat so little, work so hard and GAIN ! ( NO I dont cheat either) But seems I will never fit in my old clothes and tired of wearing the same rags every day.

    • Avatar Andrea Bush says:

      Oh, I had 6 kids and managed to stay between a size 0 and 6 even with a bad Thyroid but since menopause and no smoking its changed I guess. For those who say that is not eating ENOUGH I have also tried 1500, 2000 and even 2500 calories of healthy food per day. Doesnt seem to matter.

    • Avatar Jane domes says:

      you said no doctors. So you are’nt on any thyroid replacement? You need to be on them or you will have more problems than not being able to lose weight.

  92. Avatar Lil'missgamer4life says:

    I’m wondering if I should have less calories instead of the higher number i’m currently on. Also I wish the measurements used were ounces or grams instead of cups. I might just carry on how I am at the moment.

  93. Avatar Carol-Anne Neufeld says:

    I like the meal plan but I cannot eat porridge or cottage cheese it just will not go past my lips wish there were more alternatives laid out for you.

  94. Avatar maggiesmom2005 says:

    I love this program and app. Started in Dec 2016 and some days I do not even meet 1200 calories. My body had adjusted to the mindset. Have lost 2 dress sizes and one more to go. Thanks 🙂 myfitnesspal!!!

  95. Avatar Janie Bugg says:

    Hi l would love to join you with your journey and connect on face book.
    What is the cost factor

  96. Avatar Nancey says:

    I’ve been eating 1200 a day for the last 6 weeks and have lost nothing.

  97. Avatar Rina says:

    I lost half a stone, 7pounds in a week just following as random tesco diet, diets really do work, if you follow it properly!

  98. Avatar Rina says:

    I was not starving, but ate food that I wouldnt normally like a plain hard boiled egg with bread and butter tasted so good. Starvation does not work, just eating to live, rather then living to eat works

  99. Avatar Mika says:

    This so helpful! I wish They had a vegan version of this!

  100. Avatar Rallia Tp says:

    I start my fitnesspal tomorrow morning!!!

  101. Avatar Jack in Kona says:

    OMAD: One Meal A Day —– provided outstanding results for me.

  102. Lovely, I will have to try and keep track of my calories

  103. Avatar hitesh parmar says:

    can v have vegan meal plan for this diet

  104. Avatar Mango says:

    Is there something specific about the Ketogenic diet and how it can reverse type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance that you’re refuting or just knocking the fact that this information is readily available online?

    • Avatar Katrina Samuel Garrison says:

      a few seconds ago

      Specifically, the ketogenic diet doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to support a person with DMII. If your blood sugar drops too low, patients either drink 4 ounces of juice or a glucose tablet and repeat every 15 minutes until their blood sugar returns to normal. Meat won’t return blood sugars to normal. Fat won’t return blood sugars to normal. Non starchy vegetables won’t return blood sugars to normal. All these things may work if you have a normal functioning pancrease, but those with DM2 don’t. When they start doing long term studies about the effects of the ketogenic diet on DM2 and all the test show only positive results, then I’ll change my mind. Until then, I’ll rely on my nutrition and food science degree and my 5 + years experience of working with diabetic pts who have already tried to cut all carbs and have realized that method doesn’t work, and is in fact, dangerous.

  105. Avatar Suzanne says:

    Because of my age, MFP has allotted me 1280 calories a day (I got 1400 in my 40s!) to achieve a very modest weight loss goal. And that really isn’t much food if you’re trying to balance your macros! What is super awesome is “earning” more calories through getting my workouts in—so motivating. Has anyone found calorie counts in the MFP app for a circuit/CrossFit type workout that incorporates cardio and strength in one session?

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