1200 Calorie Meal Plan

It’s one thing to know your daily caloric limit, but if you don’t have a meal plan that breaks down how to get 1,200 calories in three meals and one or two snacks for a day’s worth of calories, it will be hard to stay within your daily calorie goals. While it may be hard to plan your meals, it’s best to have a template of how many calories you need at each meal, as well as how many servings of each food group you should have. By making a day’s worth of meals for 1,200 calories, you can modify it to build upon to create a weekly or monthly meal plan. Here’s how to go about creating a menu for a 1,200 calorie diet.

Know Your Food Groups

While you don’t have to have food from every food group each meal, it’s a good practice to try and balance the amount of food you eat from different groups so that you get the recommended amounts daily. Here is a list of the daily allowances for each food group.

2 to 3 servings of Vegetables

2-3 servings of Fruit

4-6 ounces of Meat/Protein

5 ounces of Grains/Starches (half of which should come from whole grains)

2 servings of Fat-Free or Low-fat Dairy

3 servings Oils/Fats (These may be acquired through food depending on how the food is prepared.)

What is a Serving? Calories Per Meal and Snack

With the 1,200 calorie meal plan, if you eat three meals a day and two snacks, you’ll need an average of 300-350 calories per meal, and 100 calories per snack. You could also aim for 4 meals per day, at no more than 300 calories per meal, and have no snacks. Here’s how your 1,200 calorie day should pan out:

Meal Food Group Servings Menu Choice Amount Calories
Breakfast Grain Equivalent 1 Whole wheat toast 1 slice 75

Fruit 1 Banana 1 small 90

Milk 1/2 Low-fat milk 4 ounces 40

Oils/Fats 1 Peanut butter 1 tablespoon 90


Lunch Grain Equivalent 2 Whole wheat bread 2 slices 150

Meat Equivalent 2 Turkey, lean 2 ounces 95

Vegetables 0 Lettuce and tomato Garnish 5

Milk 1/2 Low-fat yogurt 4 ounces 60

Oils/Fats 1 Mayonnaise, lite 1 tablespoon 50


Snack Meat Equivalent 1 ounce Hummus 2 tablespoons 50

Vegetables 1 Baby carrots, raw 1/2 cup 40


Dinner Grain Equivalent 1 Whole wheat pasta, cooked 1/2 cup 90

Meat Equivalent 3 Chicken, cooked 3 ounces 140

Vegetables 2 Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 55

Salad, tossed
2 cups 45

Oils/Fats 2 Olive oil 2 teaspoons 120

Vinegar, seasoning





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