1200 Calorie High Protein Low Carb Diet Plan {with printable}

    This 1200 calorie weight loss meal plan is high in protein, low in carbs, and low in dietary fat. Get the free printable high protein template, the 7 day meal plan, and the shopping list here.

    A critical habit in being successful with weight loss is to meal plan. This doesn’t need to be complicated, and is the best way to set you up for sticking to your calories. (you can read my weight loss story here)

    Most mornings, I’ll sit down with MyFitnessPal and plug in the foods I’m going to eat for the day, until the calories and macros come out to my match my goals.

    This week, my goals have been to plan for a daily target of 1200 calories with high protein, and low carbs. The low fat piece is comes naturally, because I prefer foods that are low in fat.

    What are the total calories and macros for this weight loss meal plan

    A low calorie diet has been shown to result in weight loss, despite the distribution of macros. However, for this 1200 calorie that is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and low in fats, the totals are: 1151 cal / 153 g protein, 86 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat. If you count macros, that is close to: 55% protein, 30% carbs, and 15% fat

    When I create calorie focused meal plans, I meal plan in a way that the calories are a little under, rather than over. I go under on the planned calories for a few reasons.

    For one, it’s difficult to get accurate measurements for calories of the foods you eat. Different tools, different reporting methods, and different products vary in calorie range.

    But the biggest reason the plan is slightly under 1200 calories is because there is plenty of things we eat that often go untracked. Bites, nibbles, sauces, veggies, vitamins, gum, and even sugar free foods actually do carry calories.

    So, at the end of the day, you’ll likely be closer to 1200 calories, even if you think you are eating less.

    IMPORTANT: Products will vary on nutrition information. The nutrient counts for the calories, carbs, and protein, as I am reporting them are taken from a report in MyFitnessPal, that you can see here.

    Why you might eat high protein

    While it’s important to have a balanced diet (which I discuss a lot on my Choose MyPlate articles like this one) protein is often the most difficult micronutrient to get in your diet. (But if you need help, this is my list of favorite high protein foods)

    If your goal is fat loss, protein has been shown in research to be important. I’ve noticed with a higher protein diet, that:

    • I’m more satiated. I did NOT think this was possible. I always thought it didn’t matter if I was satiated or not, because I rarely ate out of hunger. Turns out, I was wrong. Higher protein really did have me thinking about food less often!
    • Protein builds muscle! This is what I tell all the kids I teach nutrition to. If you want to build muscle, you need protein.
    • The more protein you can eat, the more efficient your metabolism is.

    Why you need carbs

    There isn’t really a need to eliminate carbs, even when you are trying to lose weight.

    • Carbs fuel your workouts,
    • Give you energy,
    • and make you feel better!

    Why you need fats

    Fats, while my diet has been low in fat for a very long time, are also critical for weight loss. Dietary Fats have been shown benefits, such as

    • support your hormones
    • Give you energy
    • Support cell growth.

    So, no need to eliminate them. Although this 1200 calorie high protein plan is low in fat, they are still there!

    What does 1200 calories look like

    This week, after planning a 1200 calorie day, I decided to take some pictures! So, here’s what a 1200 calorie day looked like for me. I like to eat 3 meals a day, with one dessert, so this is picture of what I ate in a day:

    1200 calorie low carb high protein diet meal plan

    1200 Calorie Daily High Protein Template

    After eating the foods I planned for, I then went through and modified slightly the fruits and veggies each day to add variety to the meals, but keep the calories and macros constant.

    Minimize the groceries, but keep variety in!

    While I like variety in a diet, I don’t like to get groceries for every meal being different. I’ll only change up my meal plan weekly, rather than daily. Much less expensive that way!

    The Daily 1200 Calorie High Protein Meal Ideas:


    373 calories, 52 g protein, 31 g carbs, 0 g fat

    • 1 cup Egg whites,
    • 1 ounce low fat mozzarella cheese, or fat free cheese
    • 1 cup Plain Greek nonfat yogurt (this must be plain, nonfat, at 100 calories per 140 grams)
    • fruit


    328 calories, 51 g protein, 21 g carbs, 5 g fat

    • 8 ounces of Chicken (must be chicken breasts for the calories to match mine)
    • 2 cups greens (can be any variety- romaine, iceberg, spinach, or a mix)
    • 2 cups extra veggies (I included a variety in the printable 7 day meal plan)
    • 2 TBL Light dressing. I like Bolthouse dressings for 45 calories per two tablespoons, or the Light Olive Garden Italian for 35 calories.


    240 calories, 23 g protein, 10 g carbs, 9 g fat

    • 4 ounces 93% Ground turkey,
    • About 2 cups of a variety of cooked vegetables
    • A low calorie pasta (this one called Healthy Noodle I found at Costco, and it’s my NEW FAVORITE!) But I also like the Liviva Brand. I do not like the brand Magic Noodles. If you don’t have low calorie pasta, sub for spiralized zucchini (zoodles) or spaghetti squash!


    210 calories, 27 g protein, 19 g carbs, 2 g fat

    • Protein ice cream!! I look forward to this after dinner so much! To keep the macros and calories similar to mine, aim for a protein powder that is close to 100 calories per scoop. I used ISOProtein (all the flavors are delish!) Here’s a recipe for strawberry protein ice cream, but I subbed vanilla almond milk for this meal plan.
    • I do have a day on the plan that I used peanut butter powder. I love it for a low calorie way to eat peanut butter!

    Print the 1200 Calorie High Protein Template here

    one day of meals for 1200 calorie high protein low carb meal plan

    The 7 Day High protein outline:

    Print the Free 7 Day 1200 Calorie High Protein Meal Plan here

    7 day 1200 calorie high protein low carb meal plan free printable from healthbeet

    Which foods to prep

    As with any successful weight loss meal plan, prepping food can help you stick with it! (check out my high protein meal prep post here).

    This prep was actually super simple. This was all the food for a 1200 calorie day. This is how I prepped:

    • I added my fruit to my yogurt. I’m using frozen blueberries here, so putting it in the yogurt and then in my fridge made it so the blueberries weren’t frozen the next morning.
    • I made the strawberry protein ice cream so I could get it in the freezer.
    • I cooked all the ground turkey for the week, and then measured it into 7 days. then, I just added the veggies raw to the meal prep containers. I didn’t bother cooking them.
    • Then I cooked all the chicken on my George Foreman grill!
    • Then, I portioned out my salad!

    That’s it! Don’t over complicate meal prep!

    1200 calorie day meal prep with text

    The 1200 Calorie Diet Shopping List!

    And finally, we’re to the shopping list!

    I didn’t include seasonings or sauces or anything like that. I’ve been eating things like fat free sour cream and mustard on some of my food, but you do you!

    Print the 1200 calorie 7 Day High Protein Shopping List here

    1200 calorie high protein meal plan shopping list from health beet

    All 3 Free Printables for the 1200 Calorie meal plan and shopping list:


    1200 calorie high protein low carb meal plan for pinterest


    • Amy, I’m excited to start your 1200 calorie diet! If I replace the nonfat Greek yogurt with cottage cheese does it have to be fat free or can I substitute 1% low-fat cottage cheese? Thank you!

      • Hi Wendy! I’m excited for you too.
        You can use 1%, but stick to 1/2 cup!

    • Thank you so much for this!!! As a working mom of two, this will help me get back on track!!! Do you put anything or any seasonings on your noodles with veggies for dinner?

      • So glad you found me Elizabeth!
        It’s probably weird, but I like fat free sour cream and mustard! LOL. Otherwise, just some salt and sour cream!

    • Thanks for this! This is what I was looking for, an easy, printable plan I can stick with. I just ordered a food scale. I am a male, 58 years old, and weigh 243 lbs. I’d like to use this plan to drop 50 lbs. and then continue with the plan, maybe every other day to maintain. My problem is mostly carbs. I love bread, rolls, pasta, etc. I know at my age my current eating habits isn’t healthy and need to change. That’s the first step, right?

      • Hi Fred! Welcome, I’m glad you found thi.
        I love my carbs too! A food scale and following a plan is going to help tremendously! Good luck to you, and let me know how you’re doing!

    • Amy, I love your website. But this by far has made me so Happy -I screamed. I have a 4 year old who is as of now at 1 seizure in 5 months. And a 6 year old. I love working out, and i do, when baby naps. I love eating healthy but getting the right amount of food, I got as far as downloading the my fitness app. So with all that being said, I will take this plan and weight my food out to reach my goal. Thank you, thank you. By the way most of the foods on the meal plan i already eat. But I needed all the macros calculated ???????

      • Patricia!!
        I’m so happy that you need this!! Thanks for letting me know and keep me updated on your health journey!!


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