The Original 1200 Calorie Diet:
Many diet plans for weight loss that are developed by nutritionists and health professionals are based on 1200 calories daily.
When creating 1200 calorie menus, the USDA recommends choosing foods based on the nutritional food pyramid which meets the requirements of most American adults.
A 1200-calorie diet using the pyramid as a guide includes:
- 6 ounces of lean meat or other protein
- 5 servings of bread or other starch
- 4 or more servings of vegetables
- 3 servings of fruit
- 3 servings of fat
- 2 servings of low fat dairy
The 1200 Calorie Diet – is it a Good Way to Lose Weight?
As you may already know, the restriction of calories to an amount that lies below the amount of calories you burn day in and day out, will eventually lead to weight loss. This is because your body will still need energy to function properly, even if it does not get it through the food you eat.
If you do not consume enough calories.. you body will create energy from fat that is stored in the fat deposits all over your body.. the exact fat deposits you want to lose while on a diet.
To lose weight.. you will have to create a 3,500 calorie deficit in your weekly diet plan. Simply put, this means that if you body burns 2,200 calories a day and you start eating a diet that consists of only 1,700 calories, you will create a deficit of 500 calories a day. Since 3500 calories = 1 pound, this would lead to a loss of 1 pound each week.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, you might think that losing just one pound a day is not going to be fast enough for you.. and you may consider eating a lot less to speed up your fat loss. However, you need to keep in mind that you must supply your body with enough essential nutrients for it to function properly and for you to remain healthy.
A diet consisting of 1,200 calories a day is really as low as you should go. Anything less than that will probably not allow for all the nutrients your body really needs.
Apart from the amount of calories.. you will have to take a close look at where those calories come from. If you keep eating products that are high in sugars for example, you could wind up feeling hungry all day because the amount of food is a lot less than you are used to.
On the other hand, if you maintain a healthy diet plan consisting of a lot of fresh vegetables and foods prepared in your own kitchen, without hidden additives.. plus a good amount of protein to support your muscle structure, you may well lose 2 pounds a week on a 1,200 calorie diet plan, without ever feeling hungry.
As with all diets, it is extremely important that you are aware of the effect some nutrients have on your body. For example, foods high in sugar can cause you to feel hungry only a short while after you have finished a meal, while studies show that foods higher in protein will actually help you curb your appetite, making it easier to maintain your low calorie diet.