Sample 1200 Calorie Diet Menu

Ah yes, the challenges of coming up with nutritionally balanced meals and snacks with only 1200 calories! It doesn’t always work out just right. This is the ninth 1200 calorie diet sample menu that I have shared so far. The menu is low fat (only 15%, which is less than the recommended 20-35%**), however the good news is that it is balanced with good carbs and a healthy dose of protein.

What I mean by good carbs is that most of the carbohydrates are not coming from sugar or highly refined and processed foods. The nonfat vanilla yogurt and Jell-O vanilla pudding snack are the two main sources of “added” sugar. You could choose plain yogurt and reduce the sugar by about a half. Or you might choose a sugar-free pudding. I don’t like to use or buy products with artificial sweeteners. There are numerous studies that seem to support the safety of many sweeteners, however, there are still too many unanswered questions and concerns in my opinion.

Despite the inclusion of the yogurt and pudding, this menu comes up short for calcium. If you give this menu a try consider taking a basic vitamin and mineral supplement (that includes calcium) or a calcium supplement to round out the nutrition for the day.

For breakfast I suggest having 2 clementines instead of orange juice. Or you might elect to have an orange. Yes, it will require more time to eat. But the benefit of this choice is that you gain about 4 grams of fiber over getting little to none with the juice.

(**Please note: I don’t recommend following a regular diet this low in fat but an occasional day now and then won’t hurt. Getting enough fat is important for obtaining sufficient essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. However, the truth of the matter is that our everyday diets (when we are not vigilant about making the best choices) are far from balanced despite our best efforts. Our bodies are designed for the most part to handle an uneven influx of nutrients if we are eating enough calories and a variety of food. What we do not handle well is a barrage of unhealthy refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods particularly those rich in fat and/or sugar.)


2 Clementines

Scrambled Eggs (4 Tbsp. egg substitute)

1/2 Tbsp. Light Butter (Land O’Lakes with canola oil)

Water, unsweetened tea or coffee

Morning Snack

1 Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt


1 Honey Wheat Pita (Kronos Pita Bakery – 180 calories)

3/4-cup chunk light tuna

1 Tbsp. light mayonnaise

1/2 cup Blueberries

Water, unsweetened tea or coffee

Afternoon Snack

1 pear


3 oz. Lean Ham

1/2 cup of Bush Vegetarian Baked Beans (1 serving is a little more than 1/2 cup – 130 calories)

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup tomato chunks

Water, unsweetened tea or coffee


1 Vanilla Pudding Snack Cup (Jell-O 110 calories)

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

Total Calories = 1214

Total Fiber = 22.1 grams

Fat = 15%

Carbs = 61%

Protein = 24%

Calcium = 733 mg (Women between 19 and 50 years need approximately 1,000 mg a day – the calcium in a basic vitamin and mineral supplement might be sufficient to get your total closer to the recommended level.)
(Women 51+ need 1,200 mg a day – a calcium supplement would be the best choice for meeting your calcium needs with this menu.)

Iron = 8.6 mg (Women 51+ need 8 mg)
(Women 19 to 50 years need 18 mg of iron – a basic vitamin and mineral supplement would be plenty to boost iron intake.)

Vitamin C: 209 mg

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.

As always, have a great week, watch those calories, and stay healthy!

  • amanda August 11, 2011, 7:16 pm

    take a look at this sample menu for women weight loss