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 The Bodybuilding Dietitans Podcast, 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! 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 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.
1200 calorie day summary
8:00 am Breakfast Eggs with Mushrooms and avocado
12:00 pm Lunch Chicken Salad with cucumber, romaine lettuce, cilantro cream dressing, and grapes
3:00 pm Snack Blueberries and yogurt with cucumber and ranch
6:00 pm Dinner Bunless burger with lettuce, zucchini, mushrooms, and dressing.
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 3/4 cup 65 calories
- 2 whole egg 146 calories
- Handful of mushrooms
- 30 grams of Avocado 48 calories
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
- 6 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