Why a 1200-calorie Diet works?
Good news girls!! You can now lose up to a pound per week by eating your favorite foods. Yes, it sounds too good to be true but it is possible. All you need to do is to restrict your daily calorie intake to 1200 calories. It works wonders in losing those stubborn extra pounds that has been bothering you for a long time.
Every activity of your body including sleeping and breathing burns calories. However the number of calories burnt would depend on your daily activity level. This number can be calculated using this Daily Calorie Needs Calculator. This calculator provides us with the number of calories required by your body to just maintain your current weight.
However, if you want to lose weight, your calorie intake should be lower than the calories needed by your body. If you make a reduction of 500 calories in your daily calorie intake, it amounts to a reduction of 3500 calories per week, which would result in one pound of weight loss; while a reduction of 1000 calories would help you lose up to two pounds per week. However it is suggested not to cut more than 1000 calories per day as such drastic measures cannot be continued in the long run and is unsustainable. The recommended minimum number of calories for women is 1200-1300 calories per day while for men its 1700-1800. The number is higher for men as they generally tend to have more muscle and less fat than women, hence their resting metabolic rate is higher due to which they burn more calories even while resting. This calorie intake should be enough to provide you with adequate nutrition and is a healthy way to lose weight.
Is the 1200-calorie diet for you?
If you practice strenuous physical activity and you daily calorie intake needed is above 2200 (using the above calculator), this diet isn’t meant for you. Ideally you should aim at reducing your calorie intake gradually to 1200 so that it’s easier to maintain.
Why is 1200 calories considered the magic number for weight loss? The reason is it is the minimum number of calories you can consume in a day while still having all the basic nutrients required by your body. While you can consume whatever you want, you should still plan your meals with nutrient packed foods with abundant proteins, fibre, vitamins, complex carbohydrates and minerals. They will keep you satiated longer and would boost your energy levels.
How to plan for 1200-calorie diet?
While you can eat whatever you want in this diet as long as you stay within the calorie limit, it is recommended to follow the below mentioned guidelines for this diet-
Have three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) of 300 calories each
Snacks (including juices, smoothies etc) should not exceed 300 calories and should be spread across the entire day.
Try to consume unprocessed food wherever possible.
Benefits of 1200-calorie diet plan
You can eat whatever you like till the time you are within your daily calorie limit.
Quick weight loss is a big motivation for beginners in the long run.
Safe way to lose weight
Can be done in combination with other special diets and habits.
Risks associated with 1200-calorie diet
If you are a very active person, this diet will cause more harm than good
You have to be disciplined to achieve desired results.
Limiting the number of calories may cause nutrient deficiency, weakness, confusion and loss of appetite accompanied with fatigue, hunger and stress.
Things to note-
Consult your doctor before starting any diet.
You can increase your calorie intake by the number of calories you are burning through exercise.
Counting calories is very easy these days with applications like MyFitnessPal and Weightwatchers.com etc.
Stay tuned for recipes and sample meal plans for 1200-calorie diet.