Healthy Low Calorie Menu 1200 Calories

There are lots of possible combinations of food you might choose for a 1200 calorie diet. But to make it work nutritionally, you will want to follow the basic guidelines I provide as closely as you can. It does take a little juggling with food choices to get the numbers to work.

For example, fortified breakfast cereals can often add a significant source of some much needed nutrients on a low calorie diet. On the other hand, depending on your age and needs, you do want to choose cereals carefully. For example, a cereal that provides 100% of the DV for iron has more iron than women over the age of 50 need. One bowl of cereal in and of itself is not a problem. But if the overall diet is already providing plenty of iron, eating a high-iron cereal on a regular basis is not a good choice.

Sample Menu for 1200 Calories #12


1 cup Oatmeal Crisp Hearty Raisin cereal (General Mills – 230 calories)

8 oz. Skim Milk

4 oz. Cranberry Apple Juice (65 calories)


1 container Yoplait Creamy Mixed Berry yogurt (100 calories)


1 cup Organic Lentil Soup (no salt added soup by Health Valley, I’ve recommended this soup before because it is nutritious and low sodium but you will want to spice it up a little with possibly some lemon juice or Mrs. Dash seasoning.) – 100 calories, 2.7 mg iron

One open-faced sandwich:

1 Slice Flax & Fiber Bread (80 calories, 4 grams fiber)

6 slices Oscar Mayer Shaved Turkey Slices (50 calories)

2 slices Sargento Reduced Fat Provolone Cheese

1/4 cup or so of Sliced Cucumbers with peel

water, unsweetened tea or coffee, or diet soda


1/2 cup Mixed Fruit Chunky Lite (Del Monte – 60 calories)

3 Sunflower Seeds Petite cookies (Grace’s Best – 65 calories)


3 oz. Salmon (bake with a little butter)

1/2 tbsp. Butter, standard OR 1 tbsp Land O’Lakes Light Butter with Canola (50 calories)

Small Salad with 1 cup mixed salad greens and 1/2 cup or so of chopped fresh tomato

1/2 cup Couscous (88 calories)

water, unsweetened tea or coffee, or diet soda

(Always remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.)

Total Calories = 1196

Total Fiber = 19.8

Fat = 32%

Carbs = 48%

Protein = 19%

Calcium = 1044 mg (Women between 19 and 50 years need approximately 1,000 mg a day, 51+ need 1,200 mg a day)

Iron = 15.4 mg (Women 19 to 50 years need 18 mg of iron, 51+ need 8 mg)

1500 Calorie Diet Menu

Modify the 1200 Calorie Diet Menu to fit your needs.

The iron count is a little low if you are between the ages of 19 and 50. You could have a second cup of the soup for lunch. That will add 100 calories and 2.7 mg more iron. Or you might choose a different cereal for breakfast that has more iron such as Smart Start by Kellog. Or have a second slice of bread with the sandwich for lunch (80 calories plus 2.7 mg of iron and 4.0 grams of fiber). Choose what you would like for the additional calories.

If you are over 50 and needing a little more calcium you may want to add another half cup serving of skim milk. Otherwise choose what you like for the additional 200-300 calories.

Need more 1200 or 1500 calorie diet menus for ideas? (Scroll to the bottom of each page for links):

1200 Calorie Diet Plan

1500 Calorie Diet Plan

Questions? Be sure to ask. Comments? Feel free to share. Have a great week, watch those calories, and most importantly, stay healthy!