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What Are the Pros and Cons of a 1200 Calorie Meal Plan?

By Kathleen Howard
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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People who want to lose weight are commonly told to follow a 1200 calorie meal plan. There are both pros and cons to consuming only 1200 calories each day. These meal plans are easily customizable, effective, and help many dieters lose weight in a safe and healthy manner. Still, some dieters run into problems with this weight loss meal plan. For some, 1200 calories might not be enough to fuel their daily activities, which could lead to fatigue, hunger or illness.

One of the greatest advantages of following a 1200 calorie meal plan is that dieters can customize the plan to fit their needs. Unlike meal plans that prohibit the consumption of carbohydrates or fat, dieters are not forced to avoid foods containing certain nutrients when planning meals. While dieters are encouraged to consume nutritious foods, they are allowed to make their own food choices. Dieters who need help planning meals can consult a physician or dietitian for advice on creating a specialized meal plan. Children should also consult a physician before designing a meal plan to stimulate weight loss.

In addition to being an easy meal plan to follow, the effects of a 1200 calorie meal plan are often positive. If a healthy adult dieter limits his or her caloric intake to 1200 calories each day, weight loss should occur. Dieters who are not losing weight on this meal plan might want to consult their physician to determine whether a health problem is inhibiting their weight loss.

The last benefit of following a 1200 calorie meal plan is that these plans help dieters lose weight safely. Severely limiting one’s calories or food choices can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other health problems. When following a 1200 calorie meal plan, dieters are usually able to lose weight while fueling their bodies with the calories and nutrients they need.

Although, in some cases, 1200 calories might not be enough to sustain all dieters. Men, active women, and larger women might not be able to sustain their bodily functions with only 1200 calories. These meal plans are also not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.

If 1200 calories is inadequate, dieters might feel excessively famished or fatigued. This will make it very difficult to stick to the meal plan without cheating or giving up entirely. Dieters who follow a severely restrictive diet for long periods of time might also suffer nutritional deficiencies, lowered immune system function, and additional health problems. Before beginning a 1200 calorie meal plan, dieters should determine whether this plan will provide enough energy to sustain their size and activity level.

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