One way to maintain good health is to be at a healthy weight. 1200 calories a day will help you do that, but you have to be sure that every one of those calories count by eating nutrient dense food.
Foods like lean protein tend to be nutrient dense yet low in calories, while carbohydrates such as white bread have more calories and fewer nutrients, so you have to plan what you eat.
Here are recipes and a sample meal plan for a day, which contain 1200 calories:
Breakfast: Between 250 and 300 calories
Oats with Blueberry and Banana – 285 calories
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- ½ banana, mashed
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
Simply combine coconut milk, oats, chia seeds (if using), banana, maple syrup and salt in a pint-sized jar and stir. Top with blueberries. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Morning Snack: Between 50 and 100 calories
1 cup cucumber slices-16 calories
3 Tbsp hummus-78 calories
Total of 93 calories
Lunch: Between 300 and 350 calories
Easy Salad – 330 calories
Combine a bag of salad mix with 1 cup shredded chicken. Top with 2 tbsp of your favorite dressing.
Use up the remainder of your daily calories in your afternoon snack
1 Medium Orange – 65 calories
Dinner: Between 400 and 500 calories
Poached Salmon with Asparagus – 206 calories (recipe follows)
¾ cup basic quinoa – 156 calories (recipe follows)
1 tbsp dark chocolate for dessert – 80 calories
Poached Salmon with Asparagus – 206 calories
(Note: 206 calories for 1 serving. Recipe makes 4 servings)
- 4 4-ounce fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound asparagus spears
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Thaw fish, if frozen and rinse. Pat dry. Grate 1 tsp peel from lemon and set aside. Squeeze juice from the lemon and orange and combine juices. Measure ¼ juice for dressing and set aside.
Pour the remaining juice into a large skillet and add water. Bring to a boil. Add salmon and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, covered, for 4 minutes. Lay asparagus on top of the salmon. Simmer 4 to 8 minutes more or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork and asparagus is crisp tender.
In a small bowl combine reserved ¼ cup juices, parsley, butter, reserved lemon peel, salt and pepper.
To serve, drizzle dressing mixture over salmon and asparagus.
- 2 cups water or broth
- 1 cup quinoa
Combine water (or broth) and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
Making meal plans will keep you within your 1200 calories and will ensure that you eat healthy foods that taste delicious.