Most people often starve themselves in an effort to lose weight and keep it off. Studies show that people who lose weight at a moderate pace are more successful at keeping it off unlike those who lose it fast. Eating 1,200 calories a day assists most people to lose weight safely and efficiently. On the other hand, if you are feeling hungry on the 1200 calorie diet or shedding more than 2 pounds every week, it is time to boost your calorie intake. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stipulates that losing weight at a rate of 1-2 pounds weekly is healthy and sustainable. This moderate rate of losing weight helps you avoid hunger and starvation which often leads to frustration when dieting.

According to National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, women require about 1,000- 1,200 calories daily to lose weight effectively, heavier or active women and men need about 1,200 -1,600 calories daily during weight loss. Active or heavier men require additional calories to lose 1-2 pounds weekly. Your individualized weight-loss energy needs are 500-1,000 fewer calories compared to your usual intake.

Losing weight does not mean that you starve yourself. So if you are feeling hungry most of the time, it is recommended that you increase your calorie intake to ward off the symptoms of malnutrition and starvation such as dizziness, fatigue, and hair loss. According to Weight-Control Information Network (WIN), shedding weight quickly is known to have adverse effects on the body such as gallstone formation.WIN stipulates that regaining weight is common with low-calorie diet especially diets that contain about 800 calories daily or less. These diets should be avoided unless you are under medical supervision.

Rather than believing that twelve hundred calories can work for them, most people get involved in complex calculations using their body mass index (BMI) basal metabolic rate and body- fat percentage. While knowing your BMI and body-fat percentage is important, the problem is that not many people understand these complex calculations. Rather than keep scratching your head as you try to figure out your BMI and basal metabolic rate, you are better off sticking to this calorie diet to lose weight. To put it simply, if you stick to your standard calories, you will never go wrong.

The calorie meal plan works effectively for most people because it is the minimum number of calories that you can eat in a day while still ensuring that you have all the nutrients your body needs to function effectively. Though this principle holds true, you should also be aware that the effectiveness of the twelve hundred meal plan depends on what you eat. Cutting back your meal plan while eating over a thousand calories of fries, sugar treats, and chocolates will not work in spite of your best efforts. If you try this, you will soon feel lethargic, lose concentration and experience hair loss. In addition, you would be exposing your body to all manner of health complications.

So what should you include in the 1200-calorie meal plan? To ensure that you succeed in losing weight and keeping it off effectively, you need a meal that gives you the nutrients required by the body to function optimally. The ideal meal plan should have lots of fibers, proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Having a practical meal plan that takes your nutritional needs into consideration is critical for long-term weight loss and maintenance. Basically, the 1200-calorie meal plan works best with women. For men seeking to lose weight, the ideal figure is about 1800 calories daily. Men have more muscle compared to women and less fat, unlike women. As a result, they burn more calories even when resting. In spite of this, men still need a plan that applies similar principles in terms of eating foods that give them essential nutrients to sustain their bodies and keep them feeling satiated for longer.

So which foods should be included in the 1200 calorie diet plan?

The twelve hundred calorie meal plan should be constructed as follows:
3 main meals comprising of about 300 calories each, this should include breakfast, dinner and lunch.

Snacks that total 300 calories spread throughout the day. The snacks should include healthy drinks such as clean water flavored with a squeeze of lime or herbal teas. If you love coffee or tea, go for alternatives that contain low amounts of milk. Choose skimmed milk and save those large lattes with full-bodied milk for occasional treats.

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