The simplest explanation for how to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume every day. To that end, many would argue that what you eat as part of your diet isn’t as important as the quantity you’re eating. Setting a strict daily calorie limit is one way to put this philosophy to the test.

One could choose any number lower than the daily amount of calories they currently eat as their benchmark, but 1,200 has caught on with many modern dieters. Is a 1,200-calorie diet a safe and effective way for most of them to lose weight, however? Let’s find out.

Following the Diet

There’s only one rule for sticking to a 1,200-calorie diet: Consume no more than 1,200 calories each day. Theoretically, you can eat whatever you want as long as your caloric intake doesn’t go over the limit. In practice, you’ll need to be careful with everything you eat and drink to have any chance of success.

You can’t eat much without going over 1,200 calories, so it’s important for the foods you do have throughout the day to be rich in nutrients so you don’t go hungry. Emphasize lean proteins like nuts, fish, and eggs, along with fruits and raw vegetables, to stay nourished on fewer items. There’s no room for empty calories in a 1,200-calorie regimen, so cut out soda, alcohol, white bread, pasta, and other sugary culprits.

The Risks

The United States Department of Health & Human Services recommends that adults consume between 1,600 and 3,000 calories per day, depending on their age, sex, and level of physical activity. For adults at the lower end of this caloric range, dropping to 1,200 is not a significant reduction, and they may be able to lose weight on such a diet successfully without putting themselves in danger. People at the higher end, on the other hand, risk malnourishment if they cut their calorie intake severely.

Low-calorie diets make it difficult to get enough of certain vital nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and fats. You should not attempt a 1,200-calorie diet if you’re too far overweight or underweight, if you’re pregnant, or if you have a nutritional deficiency resulting from a medical condition. Check with a doctor before setting rigid calorie restrictions for yourself.

Can You Handle a 1,200-calorie diet?

If your current daily calorie intake is reasonably close to 1,200 and you don’t have any prohibitive health issues, bringing your calorie consumption down to this number can be a healthy, effective way to control your weight. Otherwise, there are likely better options.
The best way to find your ideal diet plan is to request a consultation with one of the medical professionals at Diet Doc. They’ll review your habits and medical history and discuss your weight loss goals to develop a treatment plan that will help you get results safely.