1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Weight Loss –Low calorie Indian diet

1200 Calories DietAs we discussed before, Weight loss Depends 70% on what and how much you eat, means on your diet. There are many diets out there according to their specific abilities.

In this article we will discuss one of the famous 1200 calorie diet plans. But before we proceed, it is imperative to understand that the game of weight loss is all about the amount of calories intake as well as calories burnt. So now that we got a little insight, let’s try to understand what this low calorie diet is all about!

So, what is 1200 calories diet plan?

This healthy diet is a low-calorie plan loaded with the essential minerals, fats, vitamins and other healthy nutrients. Controlling the portions and opting for whole nutritious foods does the magical trick here.

The 1200 calorie diet in a day is perfect for those looking for a quick and effective Indian diet that can help them get rid of the extra kilos.

Simple Principle Behind the Diet

Boosting metabolism rate and induce fat burning. The 1200 calorie plan can never go wrong when you are eating the right in right proportions with low calorie yet nutritious foods. In a nutshell, it is recommended to eat fewer calories than you burn so that your body can resort to burning your fat stores.

The rule of thumb is to stick to the diet and avoid deviation. Also, one cannot consume stipulated 1200 calories from junk and expect to see results. Gorging on fries, sugary treats and savories can hamper the process of losing weight and the ill-effects can show up in the form of fatigues, limp hair, rough skin and lethargy to name a few.

Now that we got an idea, let’s look at the count.

How many calories in a kilo of fat?

As we know 3500 Calories is equivalent to  1/2kg or 1 pound of Fat. So assuming, elimination of 500 calories from your daily diet, means 3500 calories in a week will result in a loss of ½ kg per week.

But don’t go below that…

Why not go below 1200 calories?

A standard 1200 calories/ day is important while dieting below that can get into starvation mode. It is not recommended that a person go under 1,200 calories a day since it is very hard to get enough mandatory nutrients like calcium, protein, magnesium and others. That can make you sick.

When your body realizes this scenario of not getting enough food and nutrition intake, it protects from starvation by slowing down the metabolism which eventually raises a red flag. So cutting down calorie intake causes the basal metabolic rate to slow down. This is one of the prime reasons that many nutritionists suggest to maintain minimum 1200 calorie intake.

Further, there is also an important metric to consider – MACRO-NUTRIENTS


Right Proportions of Macro-Nutrients for weight loss

The most important part of our low calorie diet is the macro-nutrients which are nothing but – Carbs, proteins and fats.

Although the diet experts continue to debate the optimal ratio of the three main macro-nutrients, here is the list of the suggested amount which I got to gist down after some thorough research:

Carbohydrates: Carbs generally are sourced from plants with minimally processed carbohydrates like cereals, beans, green veggies, blueberries and ample fiber. Generally, 45% to 55% of calories is what is suggested.

Fats: Minimal supplement of fats is advised as they provide around 9 calories per gram which can boost the count. No more than 30 percent is what is recommended.

 Proteins: An important nutrient for normal cellular function, protein will constitute the 20% -30% of the intake. Ideally, high protein consumption works for weight loss and repairing blood tissues. But let’s not go loose here as intake above par can also lead to heart problems and diabetes.

Simple 1200 Calorie Diet Chart

Keeping a track on what you eat and how much can be nerve-wrecking. But not anymore, as this comprehensive Indian vegetarian diet chart can help you map out a schedule for a healthy lifestyle:

Morning – 7’O Clock : Start with a cup of warm water with a tinge of lemon, cinnamon and honey or Fenugreek seeds water. Later a cup of tea with skimmed milk and no added sugar along with 2 biscuits (90 cal)

Calorie intake: 90-100

8’O Clock : 2 rotis (wheat) + 1/2 cup paneer or tofu gravy  OR Brwon bread upma with a cup of skimmed milk

Alternatives: Upma, Uttapam, Poha, idli

Note: There are no strict limitations on the breakfast as it is one of the prime meal hours to keep you active all day. So choose your breakfast as per your cravings only making sure it offers enough proteins to sustain.

Calorie intake: 300-350

10.30 AM : A follow up with some light snacks – A banana (50 cal) OR 20 grapes(50 cal) OR ½ cup melon (50 cal)

Calorie intake: 50

Lunch – 1-2 PM : 1 cup brown rice/1 Bowl Sprouted moong + ½ mixed veggies + 1 small bowl raita + Veg salad – 1 bowl

Alternative: Khichdi + Roasted Papad + Dahi + Salad

Calorie intake: 350

 Evening – 4 pm : A glass of buttermilk (35 cal) Or Khandvi Or Dhokla or Bhel Poori (with tomatoes and cucumber) or 1 tbsp Pumpkin seeds

Calorie intake: 35

Dinner – 8PM to 9PM : 2 chapatis or (1 bowl oats + 2 tbsp pumpkin Seeds)+ 1 bowl veg soup + 1 bowl salad

Alternative: Plate of boiled veg Pulao + Raita + Salad

Calorie intake: 350 – 370

Bed Time : (30 minutes before bedtime) A glass of Almond milk

Hope you know, I also lost 28 kg weight and in my diet I listed many other low calorie food options here, I am sure you will not find them anywhere else.

Now that we planned our daily low calorie diet plan, further, it’s very important to choose the right ingredient that can boost the healthy routine. But how? Don’t fret as I have listed down well-researched ingredients to get you in best shape.

5 Ways to make Diet more Nutritious and Healthy

1. Eat Colorful Foods:

Rainbow colors preferably! Eating variety of colorful food will enhance the body’s ability to heal daily and prevent against all forms of diseases. These colorful veggies and fruits are necessary to equip your body will all the essential nutrients, strengthen the immune system and help in reducing LDL cholesterol.

2. Eat more Vegetables and Fruits For Fiber

Speaking of fruits and vegetables, one more staple nutrient is the fiber. Fiber rich Vegetables and fruits contain 5 grams of fiber per reference amount i.e. 20% or more of the daily ref amount.

Include: Pear, blackberries, apple, Spinach, broccoli, view more fiber rich foods here.

3. Eat Pulses for Protein

Beans, lentils, peas, horse gram etc. comes under pulses which are the rich sources of protein and a mandatory for low calorie vegetarian diet. They are recommended five daily portions of fruits and veggies. They are also starchy food which also constitutes for the fiber.  View 35 more Indian Protein foods here.

4. Eat Cereals for Carbs

Cereals are rich source of complex carbohydrates provides you with ample energy and help to prevent constipation, cancer, colon disorders, and high blood sugar levels. Breakfast cereals are often taken with milk making way for a protein-rich meal.

5. Eat Good fat – Use coconut oil

Coconut oil is the best deal as they have unique combination of fatty acids, which help in burning extra fat. Use them for cooking which can help in preventing heart diseases, kidney infections, high blood pressure and reduces inflammation.

Do not ignore the calorie count while you dig into your favorite food. There are many ways to analyze but let’s make it simple with the following steps:

How to Calculate Food Calories:

If you are wondering how to keep the calorie count in check there are various ways to do that. One such effective way is as follows:

  • Write down the ingredients of the dish. Make sure to note down the number of each individual ingredient.
  • Look for the calorie content of each of them. Take help of USDA National Nutrient Database for the standard amount.
  • Add all of them and if you want, maintain an excel sheet to track the count.
  • Finally, divide the total calories of the dish by the number of its servings to determine the amount of calories in each serving.

Voila! You got the count.

Wondering what to eat what not to? The following sections will clear all your doubt. Skim through for the most effective recipes, dos / don’ts and more!

Low Calorie Vegetarian Diet Recipes

Breakfast Options: Dalia, Spicy oatmeal, Multigrain roti with Low fat Yogurt, Sprout Poha, view 16 more breakfast Ideas here.

Lunch  Options : Pulao with falxseed raita, broccoli paratha, 2 Roti and Dal

Dinner Options: Brown Rice/Roti with Paneer, Tomato pasta, beetroot+pepper+carrot salad, Pumpkin Soup/ spinach soup. View 19 more low calorie dinner Ideas.

Snacks Options: Sweet Potato Chaat, Popcorn, Roasted chana, 2o piece of dark chocolate etc.

Salad options: cabbage salad, fresh fig salad, rainbow salad, tofu salad, view more veg salad recipes here.

3 Drinks To Increase Fat Burning Process

Which comes in effective home remedies, these are not miracles but they do help in enhance the weight loss process. Lets checkout 3 best drinks.

Fenugreek seeds water :

Fenugreek (methi) is a powerful natural weight loss ingredient providing a myriad of health benefits from supporting digestion, controlling blood pressure, increasing metabolic rate to maintaining the blood sugar levels.

Simple and Effective Recipe: soaking fenugreek seeds in water, leave them overnight, filter the seeds and drink its water on an empty stomach. If you can also swallow those soaked seeds for best results.

You can also use sprouted Methi and Kasuri methi for weight loss, view the right way here.

Cinnamon and Honey tea :

Shedding pounds with the help of honey and cinnamon is one of the popular recipes to root for. Cinnamon helps to cleanse the bacteria and fungi in the digestive system, increases metabolism, keeps you full and helps in reducing belly fat.

Simple Recipe: Boil 250ml water, and then mix 1tbsp cinnamon powder. Let it boil for few more minutes. Then let it cool and add 1 tbsp honey. Best time to drink this is in morning with empty stomach.

Many more ways you can use cinnamon powder for weight loss, view here.

Amla juice :

This Ayurvedic medicinal food used for various health benefits and one such benefit includes shedding weight and fighting obesity. With many antioxidant properties, it is also packed with Vitamin C which is responsible for a number of health benefits.

Simple Recipe: All you have to do is cut 3-4 Amlas in small pieces, put them in a blender add water. Now filter the pulp and discard it, Add salt, pepper and honey as per your needs. Enjoy your fresh Amla drink!

Another famous fat burning drink is amla and aloe vera juice, you can view its recipe and benefits here.

Such Drinks helps to detox your body and prepare it for more weight loss, you can view 40 fat burning drinks, including  detox water, teas, vegetable juices etc.

7 Best Indian foods for Low Calorie Diet

1. Cucumber Tomato Best part is, it salad – This combination stimulates weight loss by helping get rid of excess accumulated toxins. This is mainly because of the high water content. Another reason of tomato and cucumber being a great combo is because of the high fiber content which contributes to feeling full all day.

2. Sprouted Moong – Moong dal is high-fiber and nutrient-filled. It is also a popular nutritional choice and plays a key role in almost every diet. Dieting is eating fewer calories and sprouted moong is the best possible choice. The best part is, it can be prepared very easily, view simple recipe here.

 3. Oats – Oatmeal is undoubtedly a weight-loss miracle food. The fiber oatmeal may help you control your hunger and eat less and this keeps you away from gorging. Since all types of oats are similar in calories per serving but not in nutrient content, so choose the right oats carefully. Know the best Indian oats for weight loss here.

4. Almond Milk – Drinking almond milk does not magically make you lose weight, but they can help you lose weight if you use it to replace a higher-calorie beverage.

 5. Vegetable Soup – Veggie soup is not only loaded with flavor, it helps to fill your belly and is naturally low in fat and calories. So make sure to get a bowl of hot soup daily.

 6. Tofu – Tofu, which is made of soybean, is best replacement of animal-based protein sources. This Vegetarian food helps you lower your daily caloric intake with quality protein.

 7. Seeds (1tbsp) – Seeds are highly nutritious. Most seeds constitute more fiber and minerals as well as quality protein, while still having the healthy monounsaturated fats.

Eg: pumpkin seeds, Quinoa seeds, Sesame seeds, flax seeds etc.

Eat them throughout the day and discover nature’s most powerful little weight loss secrets.

Now let’s shift our focus towards some of the dreadful aspects, but trust me you will be astounded by the level of improvement you will experience until you don’t ignore any of the points mentioned below:

STRICTLY AVOID these high calorie foods:

1. Sugary Foods (drinks, Indian Mithaiyan):

Remember, anything consumed too much is a health hazard! Taking sugar in excess causes a fast release of glucose into the bloodstream this causes an insulin spike that encourages a larger fat storage.

If you eliminate sugar-laden foods, you eliminate a lot of kilojoules/Calories from fat and refined starches too.

 2. Fruit Juices:

Drinks such as diet sodas and even your super healthy fruit juices are laden with calories.

Drinking them lead to a blood sugar spike and when the spike drops, you tend to find yourself craving sugar. Also, fruit juice contains little fiber, so it’s better to stick with eating the whole fruit.

3.  Deep Fried Foods:

Two reasons to avoid fried food – 1) eating them in excess can cause numerous health conditions and 2) they are full of calories from the fat that they absorb, which means consuming them can most definitely thwart your efforts to shed weight.

4.  Ice creams:

 Ice cream is incredibly delicious, but is it healthy?

The answer is no, It is high in calories and most types are laden with sugar.

But there is a solution: You can consider making your own ice cream with less sugar and healthier ingredients which may include fruits and yoghurt.

Another aspect to swear by is to swear out either in the morning or evening, as per your convenience.

Exercises to Swear by:

With burning fat, exercises help you to get in shape, which is a dream for every obese person. Hitting the gym is not the only plain solution to overweight situation. One can burn fats even at their home itself. Here are some of the suggestions that can help you to kick start your weight losing efforts:

Flatten that Belly:

Crunches: Lie down flat with your knees bent and feet on the ground, lift your legs off the floor at a 90-degree angle, inhale deeply as you lift the upper torso off the floor. Start from 5 times and eventually increase it to 15 times.

I listed 36 exercises to reduce belly fat, view them here.

Thighs Workouts:

There are many but Squats are best one. Squats 15 times, wall sit (30- 60 seconds), squat with ball and lunges can make a smear beginner workouts.

Hips don’t lie:

You can start with 10 minutes of Side kick, leg raise, hip raise and side jump.

I also listed 32 Exercises for reducing thighs and hips fat, view them all here.


Pros and Cons of 1200 calorie diet

All diets have their benefits and side effects, this applies to 1200 calorie diet plan too, check them before accepting the diet.

You can eat any healthy food as long as you stay within the range.As the calorie intake is reduced there is a possible chance of decreasing the amount of nutrients as well. So plan wisely to balance this out.
No particular type of diet to stick to. You can follow the kind of plan that suits your interests and which you think can suffice you. Counting and tracking the amount of calorie intake can be a task and can get annoying at times.
Customization of the diet is absolutely acceptable.1200 calories may not be fine with every other body type. So consult a doctor.
Nothing particular to take care of. This one of the easiest diet to stick to.


Q. How much weight will I lose with 1200 calories plan?

Ans. On an average, active 30 years woman burns up to 2200 calories per day. On trimming down to 1200 calories, it will create a total deficit of 1000 calories per day i.e. 7000 calories per week which are around 2 pounds, approx 1 kilo. Also, it amounts to 30,000 calories per month, which means up to 4 kilos.

A sedentary woman burns up to 1600 calories per day on an average. Hence on trimming down to 1200 calories, the deficit is merely 400 calories per day, 2800 calories per week and 12,000 calories per month, which means approx 4 pounds or 2 kg’s in a month.

The above calculations can, of course, differ from body to body as this diet depends on various factors such as activity level, weight, sex, height and medical conditions.

Q. What if I feel hungry during the day?

Ans. This diet can often leave you into starvation and to deal those hunger pangs it is best to feed yourself with fruits like apple or a banana, here you can find many Indian Snacks options for weight loss. Choose food that provides good sustaining power. If you are doing a big work out, replenish yourself with some plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.

Q. What if I feel tired?

Ans. With this low calorie diet, If you feel tired. You can tweak your intake a little. A simple rule is to adjust the diet plan to balance out the workout and other physical activities. If heavy it is okay to add a little more than 1200 calories to your diet, you can increase those up to 1500 calories.

Q. Should I consult a doctor before using this diet plan? 

Ans. Most of the time the diets work well unless you have any particular medical condition to take care of. But again, it is undoubtedly a healthy practice to consult with an expert to ensure that the program you undertake will be suitable for your own combination current physical health, age, genetics, current prescriptions, family history and more.

Q. Is cheat meal is allowed? How often?

Ans. Treating yourself occasionally can never hurt you provided, you watch the proportion. 1200 cal should be the bottom range, so eating near the top isn’t really cheating. Setting aside a specific day to binge won’t derail your diet but this can be a challenge to mentally recover.

Our body will store fat regardless of cheat days or not. If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll end up gaining an extra pound. So, if you have a day off and eat 1800 calories instead of 1200, this will not affect that much as you are still maintaining the range.

Remember, cheat day is just making a decision to reach your goals a little later and not completely flouting it.

Remember, cheat day is just making a decision to reach your goals a little later and not completely flouting it.

Alternative Diet Options

Q. Not for me.. Is there any Tasty way to lose Weight: D

Ans. There are various ways to lose weight without getting rid of mouth-watering food. 1200 calories diet plan is a savior for those who want to lose good weight but again the range is quite restrictive and at times can be hard to follow.

Diets like Keto Plan is a  good option, they allow high fat foods like paneer pakoras etc, but there are othe restrictions with keto diet, like you need to take very less carbs like cereals. Check yourself if Indian Keto Diet Plan suits your lifestyle.

Q. Is there any Quick Weight Loss Diet plan?

Ans. There is no reliable shortcuts for long-term results but alternatives that can bring about changes instantly. I came across the GM diet plan developed by general motors to increase workforce productivity. An impressive result of 3-5 kg’s weight loss was observed just in a week. This is probably why the diet is gaining popularity.

You can get a better idea of the Vegetarian GM diet plan’s Indian version here.

Q. What is the Healthiest diet plan for weight loss, I am not in hurry.

Ans. If you are one of those who believe in taking one step at a time, the Balanced diet plan can be of great help. The systematic approach makes it reliable and can be followed without distorting your timing and comfort much. It is all about eating healthy foods and maintaining the right proportions when it comes to a balanced diet.

View the Healthy and Nutritious Balanced Diet Plan here.

NOTE - Friends, I am not dietitian or Doctor, I write information here on the basis of my own 25 kilo weight loss experience and sometimes from online research. Please take doctor advice before applying any tip, as each and every human body is different.

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