1200 Calorie Diet Meals

Low Carb

If you are working towards weight loss goals, get this free printable 1200 calorie meal plan here!

A 1200 calorie diet may not be easy to stick to. But, when you are short and have a low resting metabolic rate, 1200 calories may be the only way to keep your weight in maintenance.

I was listening to a podcast this morning from a Bodybuilding nutritionist, who gets asked how she can stick with her diet when she is in a calorie deficit.

I expected her to say she adds volume with veggies or low calorie foods, or she fills up on diet soda, but she said something SO MUCH BETTER! (check out my article: can you get full by eating less)

My paraphrase of what she said was, “you have to love your life between meals more than you love food. If the BEST part of your day is your oatmeal, than you need to make some changes.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I love reframing this way. When I’m busy with things I love and enjoy, I don’t have time to focus on food, and I don’t care if what I’m eating is boring.

There is a time and place to LOVE food. Of course there is. We all love food. But, if you are in bikini contest prep, or you are dieting, find other things in life that fill the void. Don’t let it be your food.

My goal is always to hit 1200 calories per day, which gives me a little wiggle room for impulsive and mindless eating. I generally hit 1500 calories by the end of the day.

Regardless, I think it’s so helpful to have a plan for 1200 calories, and let the rest of the food be unplanned. Although I don’t always eat the same thing each day, it’s usually some variation of these meals.

My 1200 calorie day

  • 8:00 am Breakfast Eggs with Mushrooms and avocado (protein with veggies)
  • 12:00 pm Lunch Chicken Salad with cucumber, romaine lettuce, cilantro cream dressing, and grapes (protein, veggies, and fruit)
  • 3:00 pm Snack Blueberries and yogurt with cucumber and ranch (fruit, protein, and veggies)
  • 6:00 pm Dinner Bunless burger with lettuce, zucchini, mushrooms, and dressing. (protein and veggies)

Anyway- this is just a quick sample of what 1200 calories looks like on a typical day for me! These meals were eaten while I was following the Bright Line Eating last summer!

Breakfast on a 1200 calorie day

  • 3/4 cup Egg whites 65 calories
  • 2 whole egg 146 calories
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • 30 grams of Avocado 48 calories
Egg breakfast with mushrooms and avocado

Lunch on a 1200 calorie day

  • 6 ounces cucumber 12 calories
  • 4 ounces rotisserie chicken 168 calories
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro cream dressing 40 calories
  • 2 ounces romaine lettuce 4 calories
  • 3 ounces grapes 46 calories

Snack on a 1200 calorie day

  • 6 ounces blueberries 97 calories
  • 6 ounce cucumber 12 calories
  • 1 tablespoon ranch 70 calories
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt 100 calories

Dinner on a 1200 calorie day

  • 1/3 lb Hamburger Patty 330 calorie
  • 6 ounces lettuce, 26 calories
  • 3 ounces zucchini 14 calories
  • 3 ounces mushrooms, 20 calories
  • 2 tablespoons Bolthouse dressing, 45 calories

Total for the 1200 calorie day:

  • 1257 Calories, 116 g Protein, 73 g carbs, and 55 g fat .
  • Percentage breakdown 36 % protein, 23 % carbs, 39% fat

I have several 1200 calorie meal plans, like this printable one below. Check out all the diet meal plans on the Healthy Meal Plans Category page!


1200 calorie diet meals for one day updated
Low carb 1200 calorie diet day

READ NEXT– > 1200 Calorie High protein meal plan with printable!


  • hi sorry but 6 oz of grapes are DEFINITELY not 46 calories haha they’re around 114 calories

    • Hi Rachel! Dang! You are right. When I checked in my fitness pal, it looks like I selected “6 fl.oz”, which gave me 46 calories! I’ll fix it! Thanks so much.

  • I see you have a cup of egg whites — what does that equivalent to for using fresh egg whites? (3 or 4 eggs)? I see you use white rice in the plan.. isn’t brown rice better for you? On your protein shakes — how much? what kind?

    • Hi Clair!
      1 cup of egg whites should be 6 egg whites.
      Yes, brown rice has more nutrients and fiber! White rice though is gentler on the stomach if too much fiber is a problem. Also, I just love white rice.
      I like protein powder that is around 100-140 calories for one scoop. I like ISO100 and Combat!

  • Question, whenever u have chicken tenders or ground beef/chicken for the dinner meal, how do you cook it? Do u bake it and add spices?

    • Hi Bethany!
      I do it a variety of ways to keep things interesting. Most often, I’ll chop it up into bite sized pieces and just throw it in a skillet with cooking spray and salt. Then, I can throw it on whatever else I’m eating. Like a salad, over zero calorie pasta, or just mixed with cooked veggies. I also put some on a cookie sheet and cook at 425 for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick the meat is. But this is about perfect for it not to dry out. I use a thermometer to make sure it gets cooked just right. Then, just salt! Hope that helps!


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