If you have ever attempted to lose weight you certainly have heard about the 1200 calories diet plan. This diet is being marketed on nearly half of the health and fitness websites or even by fitness coaches and gyms.
So, the question arises: Why is there so much focus on 1200 calories diet plans by health and fitness professionals? What is the science behind this number and does it really work with concern to weight loss or overall health improvement?
In this article, I will narrate not only the science behind the 1200 calories diet plan, as well as whether it is effective or not. Lastly, a free 1200 calories diet plan for you that can be simply comprehended and also promotes to sustain good health and fitness or lose weight.
Science Behind 1200 Calories Diet Plan
1200 calories is a decent but low number of calories anyone can consume in a day. However, it may promote weight loss but scientifically is a low-calorie diet for an average individual.
Because, even if you are just sitting, sleeping, or awake and doing nothing you are still burning calories. As per your BMR (basal metabolic rate) which shows the amount of energy you will burn in the form of calories even if you are resting.
BMR varies for male, female, and as per age, weight, and height.
The BMR can be calculated by the formula below:
66 + (6.2 ✖ weight) + (12.7 ✖ height) – (6.76 ✖ age)
655.1 + (4.35 ✖ weight) + (4.7 ✖ height) – (4.7 ✖ age)
The Harvard Medical School analyzed the number of calories a person burns with certain activities so with those recommendations I will be calculating an example for you.
You are a 30 years old male with a height of 6 feet and weighing 180 pounds.
Your lifestyle is sedentary in which you are:
- Sleeping for 8 hours.
- Watching tv for 2 hours
- Sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours during your 9-5 job
- Doing some household work and activities for 6 hours, for instance, reading a newspaper, spending time with kids, doing light household work, etc.
As per the formula, your BMR will be approximately 1814 calories and as per your activity level, Your daily calories burned will be approximately 1600 – 1800 per day.
With this outcome now you have started following a plan with 1200 calories per day, which will not be enough for your body to work effectively even at rest. So, that is why the 1200 calorie diet plan is said to be a low-calorie diet plan for most people and in my opinion, should not be done in the long run.
What Is Weight Loss Science?
According to science, this diet plan works on a strategy to limit the number of calories consumed every day. It is a low-calorie diet that creates a deficit of 500-700 calories per day and that makes a weekly calorie deficit of 3500-4900.
For losing every week 1 pound of body fat = 3500 calories deficit.
Does This Strategy Work?
Yes, and favoring this I am cultivating 2 studies.
A study conducted that tested a 1200 calorie diet and its results show the average fat loss of people following the diet was 4.7% for 12 months.
Another study showed people taking an average of 1200 calories drop up to 6.8kg.
A Sample 1200 Calories Diet Plan
I am giving away a free sample 1200 calories diet plan anyone can follow easily. If you want you can make your own 1200 calories diet plan and stick to it for at least 6 weeks to start seeing results.
1 cup fat-free milk with ½ cup oatmeal.
1/2 cup Muesli with 1 cup fat-free milk.
2 slices of bran bread/multi-grain bread with 1 whole egg and 1 egg white.
1 tablespoon of peanut butter with 2 slices of bran bread/multi-grain bread.
Note: Add sugar-free tea or coffee.
You can choose only one option for each day or shuffle these options daily.
You can use honey or stevia as a sugar alternative in tea, coffee, or your cereal bowl.
Make a sandwich with shredded chicken 3oz and 2 slices of bran/multi-grain bread.
A wrap in medium-size flatbread with 3oz boiled or grilled chicken.
1 medium flatbread with ½ cup mixed lentils without oil.
½ cup lentils soup with grilled/boiled chicken 3oz.
Note: Add a bowl of raw vegetables before consuming lunch.
You can take 1 tablespoon of ketchup if needed.
Fish can be used instead of chicken or egg whites as well.
Mix and match lunch and dinner options.
One cup boiled rice without oil with vegetables and 3 oz boil chicken.
Sandwich with 3oz chicken or 2 eggs using 2 whole grain bread.
6oz Steam/grill chicken with 3-4 spoons of yogurt.
Note: Add 1 cup of raw vegetables before dinner.
You can take 1 tablespoon of ketchup if needed.
You can use fish instead of chicken or egg whites as well.
Mix and match lunch and dinner options and can be shuffled.
1 medium seasonal fruit.
A handful of dry fruits.
Steamed medium-sized sweet potato.
1 cup boiled chickpeas or red kidney beans.
Rice cakes/puffed rice 1 cup.
Greek yogurt 1 cup.
Raw vegetable bowl.
Note: Add 2 servings of snacks per day in between your meals.
Don’t use the same snack twice a day.
EXTRA TIPS IN ADDITION TO 1200 CALORIES DIET PLAN
- 3-5 days a week moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day.
- Sleep early and for 8 hours.
- Start your day with water and keep yourself adequately hydrated over the course of the day.
To conclude everything. This diet plan I mentioned above is based on more of a portion control method than food choices restrictions. While making this plan I kept in mind the flexibility and more easily available options at home.
But still, you can make a plan of your own if you want. The options I mentioned above are not the end of the list. There are many other readily available options available for you to follow. Keep in mind to increase your proteins, decrease your fats, and try to eat every 3-4 hours in this diet plan.