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1200 Calorie Low Carb Meal Plan

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This printable 1200 calorie low carb meal plan should help you with ideas on what to eat if you are trying to follow a low calorie, low carb plan for weight loss!

If you are like me, you love printable meal plans! I have been collecting healthy meal plans from magazines for at least 2 decades. Whenever I see a meal plan in a fitness magazine, I rip it out and save it. I don’t always use them, but for some reason, I love collecting them!

So, I wanted to create as many meal plans as I could for my blog to add to my collection.

This 1200 calorie low carb meal plan is the actual meals I’m currently eating to get ready for a bodybuilding/ bikini show this summer! (UPDATE: see my weight loss results from the bikini show here!)

before and after with amy roskelley

I went through a recent few weeks worth of tracking in MyFitnessPal and created this 1200 calorie low carb plan. The nutrients here average:

  • 1200 calories
  • 45% protein (about 130 grams)
  • 30% carbs (around 80 grams)
  • and 25% fat (around 35 grams)

It was unbelievable some of the low carb meal plans out there, because most of them were NOT low carb! My goal the last few months has been to get more than 100 grams of protein, and around 100 grams or less of carbs. (Check this post for a list of high protein foods I’ve been eating) Doing this, I’ve been able to drop 15 pounds in the last 3 months. I feel great where I am!

Who is 1200 calories appropriate for

There isn’t usually a reason to drop your calories to 1200. However, if you are small (I’m 5’1 and under 110 pounds), than 1200 calories is probably plenty. In fact, I’m not hungry most of the time.

If you are trying to create a calorie deficit, and your normal calories are around 1500, than 1200 calories would be appropriate.

Most experts recommend not going below 1200 calories, which is why increasing the protein and decreasing the carbs is a great way to get you closer to your physique goals.

What are the meals for 1200 calories

This list actually took me several weeks to put together. I was documenting everything I ate in MyFitnessPal. I was increasing the protein for some foods to hit these macro goals. I don’t have photos for everything, but I did get a few!

I have Amazon links for products I used when I calculated the nutrition info. For example, the syrup was zero calories, and I used the Walden Farms. The protein powder was 130 calories and low in carbs, so I used Optimum protein powder. And the tortillas were the 80 calorie Maya tortillas.

Get the 1200 Calorie low carb printable meal plan here:

1200 calorie low carb high protein low fat meal plan

Monday: 1183 calories, 145 g protein, 90 g carbs, 27 g fat

8:00 AM (scrambled eggs with cheese and a banana)
Egg Whites – 1 cup,
Egg, 1 large
Mozzarella Cheese, 1 ounce
Banana, 100 g
10:00 AM (IG pic of Peanut butter yogurt)
Greek Plain Nonfat Yogurt, 1 cup
Walden Farms – Sugar Free Pancake Syrup, 2 tablespoons
Peanut Butter Powder, 2 tbsp
12:00 PM (Rice with beef and mushrooms)
Jasmine Rice, 80 gram
Mushrooms – 1 cup
Beef Ground – 95% Lean Ground Beef, 4 oz cooked
3:00 PM
Optimum Protein Powder – Protein Powder, 1 scoop
Jello – Sugar Free Jello Cup, 1 snack
5:00 PM (Chicken with sweet potatoes and sauteed zucchini in butter)
Butter – 2 tsp
Zucchini, 1 cup, sliced
Chicken – Tenders, 4 oz
Sweet potato, mashed 100 grams

Tuesday: 1148 calories 130 grams protein, 85 grams carbs, 32 grams fat

8:00 AM (scrambled eggs and oatmeal)
Egg, 2 large
Egg Whites – 1 cup
Oats – 1/3 cup dry
10:00 AM (Berries in yogurt)
Greek Plain Nonfat Yogurt, 1 cup
Frozen Mixed Berries, 100 g
12:00 PM
Chicken-Ground, 4.5 oz(s)
Sweet Potato, 100 gram
Cucumber – 1 medium
3:00 PM
Optimum Protein Powder – Protein Powder, 1 scoop
5:00 PM
Chicken Thighs, 4.5 ounce
Jasmine Rice, 75 gram
Mushrooms – 1 cup

Wednesday: 1147 calories, 127 g protein, 81 g carbs, 35 g fat

8:00 AM (Scrambled eggs with cheese, on toast)
Egg Whites – 1 cup
Egg, 1 large
Mozzarella Cheese, 28 gram
Whole wheat Bread, 1 slice
10:00 AM
String Cheese, 1 stick (28g)
Grapefruit, 1 medium
12:00 PM (A lettuce wrap with cheese and turkey inside)
Strawberries – 200g Strawberries, 0.5 cup
Laughing Cow – Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese Wedges, 21 g (1 Wedge)
Lettuce Leaf, 1 leaf
Deli Turkey, 4 oz
3:00 PM
Protein Bar – High Protein Bar – S’mores, 1 bar (50 g/1.76 oz)
5:00 PM (Spaghetti squash with chicken and cheese – IG PIC)
Chicken – Tenders, 4.5 oz
spray butter, 1 spray
Parmesan Cheese, 1 oz
Spaghetti squash, 1 cup

Thursday: 1167 calories, 126 grams protein, 87 grams carbs, 35 grams fat

8:00 AM
1 tortilla (80 calories tortilla)
Egg Whites, 1 cup
Mozzarella Cheese, 28 gram
10:00 AM
Walden farms calorie free Syrup, 1 tbsp
Peanut Butter Powder, 2 tablespoon
Greek Yogurt, plain, non fat 1 cup (Kirkland or Great Value)
12:00 PM
Jasmine Rice, 80 gram
Mushrooms, 1 cup
Beef Ground – 95% Lean Ground Beef, 4 oz cooked
3:00 PM
Deli Turkey, 3 oz
String Cheese – 1 String Cheese, 1 stick
Quaker Rice Cake – Rice Cake – Lightly Salted, 1 cake
5:00 PM
Steak, 4 oz
Bolthouse – Ranch, 2 tbsp
1 Tossed Green Salad or 2 cups
Sweet Potato, 100 grams

Friday: 1146 calories, 137 grams protein, 73 grams carbs, 34 grams fat

8:00 AM
Cheese, 1/2 oz
Egg, 1 large
Egg Whites – Egg Whites, 1 cup
10:00 AM (see recipe for this pink salad snack here)
Low fat Cottage Cheese, 1 cup
Jello – Sugar Free – Fat Free – Chocolate – Packet Only, 0.25 Package (10g)
Berries, 1 cup
12:00 PM (Chicken wrap)
Canned Chicken, 5 oz
1 tortilla (80 calorie)
Light Mayo, 1 tbs
3:00 PM
Optimum Protein Powder – Protein Powder, 1 scoop
5:00 PM (Taco salad, IG Pic)
Ground Beef – Ground Beef 96%, 4 oz
Cheese – Cheese, 1/2 oz
Corn – 1/2 cup
Bolthouse – Ranch, 2 tbsp
1 Tossed Green Salad – Salad, 2 cups
1200 calorie high protein low carb low fat day

Prepping your 1200 calorie meals

People love meal prepping, and I don’t blame them. If you plan ahead, you can make sure you’ll eat what you have on your meal plan. I prep two things. My proteins, and I will put a sweet potato in the oven in the morning if it’s on my plan for the day. The proteins I prep include:

  • Cooking chicken tenders
  • Cook the ground beef
  • Cook ground chicken
  • Cook chicken thighs

I will also plan on making:

  • Rice
  • and the sweet potatoes.

THAT’S IT!!

Below are some of the meals I posted to my Instagram that match up with the low carb meal ideas above… head over to my Instagram to connect as well!

More Meal Plans here!!

1200 calorie low carb meal plan

Other Recipes You Might Like

85 Comments

  1. Hi Amy!
    Have you any dietplan for vegetarians or some tips what to eat instead of chicken and meat?

  2. I like your 1200 cal high protein low carb low fat..45%p 30%c 25%f menu. I like variety each day. I am diabetic with gastroparesis and the 6 meal day is perfect. I have 2 questions
    1) spices, condiment restrictions?
    2) why is menu only 5 days..vs your other 1200 cal diet is 7 days ?
    Thank you
    David

    1. Hi David,Different times in the last few years I’ve created different meal plans.  5 days, 7 days, 2 weeks, 30 days, a single day. There’s no rhyme or reason for it. LOLI don’t have any spice or condiment restrictions as long as they are low or no calorie.  Mustard, Feast Mode Seasonings, light mayo, light sour cream, ketchup, etc. are all ok!

  3. Hi I’ve just come across your blog! I’m 4ft 11 and 9st 6 but trying to reach my target of 8.4. I was wondering instead of scrambled eggs could I substitute with poached egg on whole meal toast?

    1. Hi Leah!The scrambled eggs I use is 1 cup of egg whites, which  has only 100 calories and over 20 grams of protein. The probably with a poached egg as a substitute, is that it has close to the same calories (72), but only 6 grams of protein!  It would be ideal to have the full cup of egg whites for the protein. 

      1. Thank you for the reply! Amazing I’ll just use the egg whites instead. I’m down 7lbs in 3 and 1/2 weeks 😱

  4. I really appreciated how easy it was to prepare my meals for the week. I also liked the fact that I could incorporate rice. I never felt deprived and my sugar cravings were much less intense.
    My 1st week in the books with an almost 2 lb. weight loss.

  5. Hi Amy. I just bumped into your blog. I will try it out. I am tired of trying different diets and they all seem to work out, the problem is keeping the weight off. I find the 7 day meal doable for me. My only issue is I am a rice and pasta person. Can you help out here?

    1. Hi Sylvia!I’m a rice and pasta girl too!  I actually have found enjoyment  in cauliflower rice and fake pastas like “Healthy Noodle”.Otherwise, you can totally keep the real thing in your life, just get used to having about 1/3 cup rice, and 1 ounce of pasta in a sitting.  I have to measure rice and pasta ALWAYS!You got this!

      1. Thank you! Is there any way you could stick with the same type of measurements (metric or imperial)? Annoying that I have to look up or weigh how many mushrooms equal 3 oz.

        1. Hi star!
          I actually thought everyone weighed their veggies in grams. Do you know how much 3 ounces of mushrooms would be without weighing it? If you’re weighing anyway, just toggle your scale to grams!

  6. I stumbled upon your blog and webpage. Thank you! I found it very useful and intriguing. I have been trying to rid 10 pounds for years and just never make the progress I want, long term. I am 55 and extremely active so I am not “fat” but it’s just not where I want to be. And as you know, the older we get, the harder it is to lose! I dream and invision that leaner body where I don’t have to worry about what I pullout of my closet…it will all fit! I’m hoping that these high protein low-carb plans will be my solution. Thanks again! Carey

  7. Hi, question about the Tuesday breakfast recipe, I’m confused about the oatmeal and the eggs I don’t know how to make it, the oatmeal goes in side the egg 🤦🏽‍♀️

  8. Hi Amy,
    I’m following your 1200 cal low carb meal plan. I logged the meals in MyFitnessPal and Carb Manager apps and neither them give me 1200 cal. It is around 1500 cal. I appreciate your help. Thank you!

  9. Thinking go a low calorie diet I was wondering Hi love this I notice doesn’t look like any of theses meats have seasoning can we season it

  10. Hi Amy,
    i’m in the second week of this diet plan ! Works very good for summer bikini cut prep for me.
    if i want to replace rice for Chickpea pasta Can i measure 40g of chickpea pasta dry for the same amount of 80g. white cooked rice? Also, for the 3 or 4oz of turkey deli what is the swap ?
    Can i swap the whole egg in the morning for almond butter (15ml) if i make oat cream meal bowl ?
    thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Amelie!
      If you used only 1 ounce of chickepea pasta (about 25 grams), it would be equivalent in calories.
      The deli meat can be swapped for any 100% protein, such as chicken tenders.
      And yes! Whole egg for almond butter is a great swap.

  11. I cant wait to try this out, with the whole quarantine thing ive been trying to find a good low calorie meal plan.
    But there are a few things I cannot have in this so.
    What can I replace the mushrooms, zucchini and squash with? I’m deathly allergic to them. Also, can I replace the beef and turkey with fish? And one more, I am lactose intolerant, what can I replace with the cheese and cottage cheese with? (I already eat lactose free yogurts)

    1. Hi! It definitely sounds like you have lots of challenges. For the veggies, you can swap the same amount with any veggies. I would try broccoli, asparagus and brussels sprouts.
      You definitely can use fish in place of beef and turkey.
      And the cheese and cottage cheese, I would either just leave it out, or replace it with a vegan protein shake.

  12. Hi Amy,
    I love your 1200 calorie meal plan. I find it has very practical.
    How do I create a 1200 calorie meal plan with Indian meals? I do Chloe Ting workouts 3-4 times/week. How can I include sufficient protein for my workouts?

  13. When you show Carbs in a recipe are you deducting Fiber from them for a Net Carb content, or are they actual Carbs? Thank you so much. Love this site. So helpful and knowledgeable.

  14. Hi Amy,
    What a great site. Thank you so much for your time. Couple of questions. I am a 70 yr old female weighing over 200#. I want to obviously lose weight and rather quickly if I can. What is best the plan to use: 1200 calorie 55% protein 30% carb 15% fat or the 1200 calorie 45% protein 30% carb 25% fat. Also, I really dislike yogurt. Is there a substitute I could use. I’m not a real big fan of almond milk either. Thank you so much. And you are an inspiration. I do use the My Fitness Pal and love the visual of seeing what I eat.

    1. Thank you Cherine!
      I think 55% protein is going to get you closer to your goals in my opinion!
      Also, do you like cottage cheese? I think that’s a great substitute!

  15. Hi! I just started following this meal plan today! I am wondering if you measure rice cooked or uncooked? Thanks!!!

    1. It really depends where you are coming from, and your history. I do workout on 1200 calories, but my workouts have always been very low intensity. In fact, I don’t even break a sweat!
      So, if you do want to exercise, I would do walking and maybe some body weight exercises!

  16. Thanks for this plan! What can I have in place of protein shakes & protein bars?

    Also, can I put the banana in the peanut butter yogurt and omit the syrup?

    1. Hi Ellen!
      If you don’t like protein shakes or bars, I love replacing it with Greek yogurt, nonfat. There is the same number of protein grams per cup of Greek yogurt.
      And for sure, use the banana with the yogurt and peanut butter! YUM!!

  17. I can not thank you enough for all the information and links you have provided, especially the meal plans. I have trouble sticking to a calorie deficit because I’m uncertain of my macros and fail to plan out my meals ahead of time. This is SUCH a huge help and relief!!!

    Just a few questions:
    1.) Any thoughts on Kroger’s “carbmaster” milk?

    2.) Dave’s killer bread (power seed) is listing at 100 calories per slice, did they change the recipe by chance?

    3.) How many days a week are you doing cardio? Are you doing HIIT?

    1. Hi Trisha! So glad the meal plan is helping!
      1) I have never heard of it till you mentioned it, but it looks awesome! I totally approve of the ingredients and calories/macros of the carbmaster milk.
      2) Are you using the Dave’s Killer Bread Thin Sliced? It should be 70 calories. Where do you see it at 100?
      3) I do cardio almost daily, with the understanding that my cardio is super low intensity. In fact, my heart rate rarely goes above 130. I was doing HIIT last spring when I was trying to lose the last few pounds, but I haven’t kept it up.

  18. First thing thank you for this meal plan. I find it easy to stick to and prep. Quick question on the measurements. Do you measure your egg whites, oats and meats before or after they’re cooked?

  19. Amy I want to congratulate you for your accomplishment towards your weight lose journey. All my life I have been heavy and tried everything that is out there to lose weight. I have 30 more lbs to lose and feel like I have plateaued myself. I am very active in my walking but my problem is eating habit. I love food and I cannot control myself in eating but I came across your 1200 calories meal plan for 5 days which I will use to continue my journey of weight loss. Hoping that I succeed in losing these last 30 lbs and develop health eating habits for life long. I want to thank you for sharing your story and meal plan with high protein and low crab and low fat which would help me to control my cholesterol and sugar level to prevent myself becoming heavy diabetic. It’s the beginning of new year 2021 and I feel God blessed me to come across your article and weight lose journey of yours to motivate myself to accomplish my goals. Thanks Amy you are truly helping people like me who are wanting to lose weight and be on the ideal weight since their teenage years.

    1. Zohra!I’m so happy you reached out to me and that you found my blog! I understand what a challenge it is to lose weight!!Please keep me updated on your journey and let me know if you have any questions or need advice!

      1. Zohra!I’m so happy you reached out to me and that you found my blog! I understand what a challenge it is to lose weight!!Please keep me updated on your journey and let me know if you have any questions or need advice!

    1. I just use water, cinnamon, and either sugar free syrup or monk sugar.
      I use double water to oats. If I can let the oats sit for a few hours, I’ll use triple the water. If it can sit on the counter, it grows and the more water you can use, the more volume you get!

  20. Hi Amy,
    I’m excited to start this ASAP but I have to ask, what condiments can I use? Is hot sauce ok? Monk fruit? I just am a flavor person and thought I’d ask.

    Thanks!

  21. When I put this meal plan into a calorie counter it is well over the amount it says. Even with skipping some of the things each day is over what it says it should be. Why is this?

    1. Hi Lexie!
      Can you send me a screen shot or download of the meals in myfitness pal. It’s likely we chose different listings for specific foods (I also used myfitness pal).
      I’d like to check where the discrepancies are!

      1. A few things I see right away.
        My ground beef is 93% lean,rather than 80.
        My egg whites (Kirkland brand) is 100 calories for one cup.
        Chicken breasts should be 110 for 4 ounces.
        Fat free Greek yogurt should be 80 calories.
        My string cheese is 80 calories (mozzarella).
        Those alone would change it quite a bit.

        I’ll rewrite the meal plan with more specifics.

        1. I cannot find any egg whites that low. I am finding 25 calories for 3tbs. That would be 400 calories for 1 cup

          1. Hi Dana!You have the right egg whites. I tried to take a photo, but the display would not capture.When I weigh the egg whites, it says 3 tablespoons should be 1/4 cup, but it’s 46 grams. When weighed and a measuring cup is almost full, it weighs 200 grams.So, 1 cup should be very close to 100 calories. 46 g/serving  X 4 servings = 184 grams, so it’s only 15 grams off.  I’m not sure where 400 calories per cup would make sense. Let me know if you have any questions!! Amy

  22. Note: This meal plan is controlled for calories, fiber, saturated fat, sodium and potassium. If another nutrient is of particular concern, speak with your health-care provider about altering this meal plan to better suit your individual health needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 75 million American adults have high blood pressure (that s 1 in 3 adults). Some people may not even know they re included in this statistic, because this condition usually presents with no symptoms. Untreated, high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) can lead to heart attack and stroke.

    1. I eat a variation of the same things each week. So, I’ll normally have eggs, for breakfast in a variety of ways. Salads and chicken for lunch. Cooked veggies and protein for dinner.

          1. Hi Amy 👋, First off I would like to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the abundance of free content that you are sharing. I’m on day 3 of your other 7 day HP LC meal plan 👍 so far, so good!….I was wondering if you happen to have the shopping list for the 7 day HP LC meal plan above on this page that includes bread, Cottage Cheese, Tortillas, steak, deli meat, sweet potatoes etc?

    1. Hi there! I’m on my first week and I have lost 4 lbs! One question… what do you do on the weekends?
      Thank you!

      1. Oh my goodness! That’s amazing.On the weekends, I stick with it.  Usually, I’ll repeat meals and it’s the exact same.  I’m getting good (although it’s taken a while to get here) with having one cheat meal (not cheat day, but cheat meal) a week, and NOT having it mess with my mind about “I screwed up, might as well binge.”. Now I can have a cheat meal on the weekend, and get right back on track with the next meal.
        Thanks for sharing!!  I’m excited you’re seeing progress.

    1. That’s tough Beatrice! Eggs are such a great source of protein!
      I would replace eggs with protein powder mixed into yogurt or oats. Do you like that?

  23. Of allergic to peanut butter or nut products what is your suggestion for substitute? Plan to start on Monday! Thank you for the plan!

    1. Hi Ashley! I’m so excited for you!
      For the day with the peanut butter powder, I also like mixing in other things to my yogurt, especially protein powder. Just use a tablespoon rather than a whole scoop.I think that was the only meal with nuts! Do you see any others?

  24. Hi Amy,
    Am preparing myself to start this program next week, while doing my shopping list, I found these items that don’t go well with me so am writing to ask what can be used as replacement:
    1- mushrooms
    2- zucchini
    3- spaghetti squash
    4- cottage cheese
    Please give me options for these 4 items
    Thanks and best regards

    1. Hello!

      Here are some good subs for you:
      1) Mushrooms (I would just leave these out. They don’t add very many calories, and you won’t miss them)
      2) Zucchini: Can you do other squashes like summer squash?
      3) Spaghetti squash: Can you find a zero calorie pasta like this one: https://amzn.to/2UVGCYJ
      4) cottage cheese, I’d sub out for yogurt.
      5) butter flavored cooking spray— not butter

  25. Hi Amy, this is great organization! Thanks so much, I am getting ready to copy and try this out, the organization makes it so easy to just assemble the items and get going! Thanks

  26. I love this meal plan. I eat all of this usually, but having it so organized is a dream. I can’t wait to do it! Could you recommend a good alternative for the grapefruit, though? Grapefruit negativity interacts with a prescription I’m on. Thank you!!

    1. Brittnee! I’m so glad you like it.
      I would replace the grapefruit with 1/2 cup of berries! They are both low in calories and low in sugar, so it should be a great swap!

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