Unless you follow a 1200 Calories diet plan like this one, you will need to plan and track your diet. This will save you time and money, especially if you are new to it. Below are a few tips before you get started:
Don’t Start a 1200 Calorie Diet Plan Until You Read This:
This article reviews everything you need to know before getting started, including a sample 1200 calorie meal plan and considerations for those with diabetes.
Who Needs a 1200 Calorie Diet?
A 1,200 calorie diet is a plan that restricts food intake, creating a calorie deficit to promote weight loss. Unlike other diet strategies that focus on a particular food group (such as the ketogenic diet cutting carbs or the 3-day military diet which cuts several foods), there are no specific modifications for the 1,200 calorie diet. Overall quantity is limited in whatever way is easiest for you.
Given the average woman requires 2100 calories to maintain a healthy weight, the 1,200 calorie diet should be a sizeable yet manageable caloric deficit for most. That said, eating 1,200 calories may mean a mild reduction in calorie intake for some, yet quite drastic and unhealthy for others. It simply depends on your current calorie intake as well as your metabolic rate. To find your current metabolic rate, use this equation.
For instance, a smaller, sedentary postmenopausal woman may only require 1,500 calories to maintain her current weight. Restricting to 1,200 calories may produce mild weight loss.
Meanwhile, a larger, active young man may require 2,500 calories to maintain his current weight. This means, restricting to 1,200 calories would cut his food intake by over 50%.
So, while restricting calories to 1,200 will help you lose weight, the rate and sustainability of this diet depends on individual characteristics like age, gender, activity level and health status.
Considerations for Diabetes
Those with diabetes may consider following a low calorie diet to not only lose weight, but potentially reverse this chronic health condition.
Traditionally, diabetics are trained to count the carbohydrates they eat at each meal (30 to 45 grams) and snack (15 to 20 grams) to gain control over blood sugar regulation. However, a low calorie diet or very low calorie diet (VLCD) may be another useful strategy for diabetics if used under medical supervision.
Researchers conducted an 8-week study of 30 people with type 2 diabetes following a VLCD (624 to 700 calories per day from 3 nutrition shakes and non-starchy vegetables).
The study found that diabetic remission was achieved for at least six months in 40% of participants who responded to the diet. Some argue that what is truly beneficial is not only the calorie reduction, but the reduction in carbs as well, also known as a low carb diet. It certainly seems a viable option as well. Keep in mind that medication and insulin requirements for diabetics following a low calorie diet can rapidly change, so it’s vital to regularly check blood sugar levels and notify your healthcare professional about the diet.
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