Author Topic: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan  (Read 5279 times)

Dezrah

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1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« on: January 20, 2017, 01:14:12 PM »
I'm trying to lose weight by going on a restricted calorie diet.  Based on my BMR, it looks like 1200 calories per day would allow me to lose about a pound a week responsibly. 

Googling around, I found this meal plan that purports to do just that.  I was especially attracted to the plan's balanced approach.  Nothing is strictly forbidden, it's just reasonably portioned.http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_meal_plans/7_day_diet_meal_plan_to_lose_weight_1200_calories

I'm now about halfway through Day 6 of 7.  After almost a week following the plan (with about 90% accuracy), I am actually up 2 lbs from where I was a week ago.  Two pounds could probably be explained by changes in water weight, difference in clothing, cheap scale, natural fluctuations, et cetera, but I "feel" like I have either gained a little or maintained.

Frankly I'm not surprised because I have felt so full moment to moment.  I usually skip breakfast and don't typically snack until I get home from work.  Now I have been eating throughout the day.  Furthermore, the dinners are not that much different from what I might typically make for myself except the portion size seems even greater than I would typically serve myself.

(Full disclosure: I additionally consume coffee with skim milk and artificial sweetener throughout the work day.  I did have some wine this week but less than I typically consume.  I hope to abstain from booze entirely during the next few weeks.)

So here are my thoughts/questions:

1) Is this meal plan fundamentally flawed?  Should I just throw away any meal plan that has cheese/pasta/meat/dairy in sight?  I have not felt deprived at any point this week but maybe that's just a sign this isn't a big enough adjustment to see any results.

2) Is snacking throughout the day just a bad idea for me or will my body adjust and be better for it given more time?  Would it be better to follow my internal sense of hunger and skip a snack or reduce a meal size if I just don't want it?  Or does skipping a snack set me up to overeat later?

3) I suspect my sense of serving size is skewed too large.  Would it be worth it to buy a cheap kitchen scale, convert the volume units to an equivalent mass, and then weigh my food instead?  Or should I just "round down" when I approximate how much veggies to chop.

4) I don't have an exercise routine.  I walk short distances regularly and always take the stairs, but nothing that maintains an elevated heart rate.  I hate exercise and I will never like it as long as I live.  I was hoping to achieve weight loss with diet alone but this may not be possible.  I can trick myself into doing it with gamification and the right routine.  Does anyone have any good recommendations on this front?

Thank you so much for your time.

Melisande

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 02:03:43 PM »
Some suggestions:

Yes, buy a kitchen scale. Some of the items on the menu (like the 3oz of chicken suggested for a lunch) are going to be impossible to quantify otherwise. Even for foodstuffs items w/ cup measurements, weighing is going to be more accurate. It would be best to take this menu, which looks good then verify w/ weight using Kcal per oz data you can find on-line (google "fatsecret food," for example).

You are right -- our typical American portion sizes are totally out-of-whack. If you try to guesstimate, it will probably be too much.

If you are preparing your own food, be careful not to snack at all while you are cooking. Or if you need to taste something to adjust seasonings or whatever, eat that many bites less during the meal.

It's possible that everything is fine and you just need to be patient to see the pounds come off especially if you are older. I'm 53 and really pretty good about maintaining my weight (currently 5' 5.5" and 114). I was up to 122 in mid-October after along vacation (with lots of delicious food) and it took me 10 weeks to lose the 8 pounds -- and I was exercising.

If you are concerned, you can always start lower than 1,200 Kcal per day to jumpstart the diet. I know that it is not recommended to consume less than 1200 Kcal per day, but I believe this is on a long-term basis. If you are otherwise healthy I think there is no reason you couldn't do 1000 Kcal for a few days (I mean people do fast completely after all).

You might also consider switching to a low-carb diet (although this diet seems pretty low carb already).

Another thing I do when I think that my target Kcal for the day might be too high is only eat when I have been hungry once, then waited an hour and am still hungry.

If you don't like to exercise, maybe you can find some fun way to move, like you were suggesting. I'm really into birding and sometimes I'll be in a park moving around for hours trying to get good looks at birds and I'll get quite a bit of exercise without that being the focus of the outing.

If you don't like birds, maybe you can try Pokťmon Go on foot or by bike. If you like social sports, how about something easy and fun like pickleball? Do you like cleaning up? Personally I hate housework, but I have an acquaintance who just loves tidying things up -- she has even volunteered to clean up people's garages for them. Or maybe you have a major decluttering project around your house? How about gardening?

Just some ideas ...

iris lily

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 02:11:10 PM »
I do a Weight Watchers program, and their proprietary data (the "points" system, just a shorthand for calorie counting) always gives  measurement of a portion of any food.

Some general ways to meaisure: Rice is also one cup. Pasta is one cup. Cheese is a 1inch cube.Meat is the size of a deck of cards. Etc. Probably other websites give similar information.

 I have found that the portion sizes listed on packages give you good guidelines.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 02:19:58 PM by iris lily »

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 02:31:26 PM »
A pound a week is pretty aggressive unless you are hundreds of pounds over weight.  I've found I can maintain (with some up and down weeks) an average of 0.4 pounds per week without experiencing suffering.  That's about 21 pounds a year and it adds up.  I've been at it since 2015 and have dropped from 250 to 212.  Progress is slowing a tiny bit (diminishing marginal returns?) but I fell like I'll get down to target weight in another 18 to 20 months.  Most important thing is losing it slow from a permanent lifestyle changes means you keep it off.

I hear you about hating exercise.  I've managed to get my step count up and walk an average of 7.5 miles a day per iPhone health app.  I notice the lack of progress in weeks when my step count is too low.

darknight

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 02:51:39 PM »
Dezrah:
You're on the right track!!! Keep it up! I love fitness/nutrition/health etc. So much fun.
Calculating BMR is step 1. You need to really measure and track calories and you must buy a kitchen scale. No way around it. $20ish bucks at walmart goes a long way for one. Another thing, measure condiments. So many people think it won't matter. It really does. Get the app "myfitnesspal", it will change your life! I tracked diligently for 5 weeks, losing 12 pounds during that time (I do workout quite a bit).
So to-do list:
-get myfitnesspal app
-buy food scale
-Drink 3-4 liters water every day
-Weigh yourself weekly at most
-Just manage your calories at first, say for a month
---At 1200 calories, you'll lost weight, give it a little time.
After a month or so, you'll naturally want to start moving more. I like lifting weights, my younger sister likes doing interpretive dance for workout (dancing for a couple of hours at a time), and my older sister does Instagram yoga training with over 40k followers. Find what you like doing that gets YOU moving. Weight comes off.

Dezrah

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 03:13:08 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

FWIW, I'm mostly looking to lose weight for vanity reasons.  My doctor has seen my numbers (weight, cholesterol, glucose, etc.) and is not concerned, but I know it's only going to get harder to change the longer I leave it.


Yes, buy a kitchen scale.

...

You are right -- our typical American portion sizes are totally out-of-whack. If you try to guesstimate, it will probably be too much.

I agree.  Day 1 had 1 Cup of roasted brussel sprouts.  I measured (2) 1/2 cup scoops (I let it overflow because, hey, there are gaps in that cup) and it basically filled the whole plate with sprouts.  I love vegetables but that was just way too much.  I think a scale will help me gauge much better with a little practice.


I do a Weight Watchers program, and their proprietary data (the "points" system, just a shorthand for calorie counting) always gives  measurement of a portion of any food.

Some general ways to meaisure: Rice is also one cup. Pasta is one cup. Cheese is a 1inch cube.Meat is the size of a deck of cards. Etc. Probably other websites give similar information.

 I have found that the portion sizes listed on packages give you good guidelines.

I've seen these guidelines before as well.  I will definitely use them if we're out and about.

If I may ask, what component of the Weight Watchers program was the most effective?  Was it just the points system?  Personal coach?  Group accountability/support?  If my personal efforts fail by themselves, I'd be willing to try escalating measures if they actually work.


Everyone's different - but here's what worked for me (lost 1/3 of my body weight and holding for several months now):

That's amazing!  I've heard statistics that just losing 7% weight significantly reduces the chance of developing diabetes.  You've probably extended your life by years.

I like the rest of your advice as well.


Lots of other responses.  Thank you all so much.  Looks like consensus is definitely get a food scale.  I'll check out the fitness app as well.  I'm on wifi data only, so hopefully that doesn't matter.

mm1970

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Dezrah

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 06:13:12 PM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophia-herbst/1200-calories_b_4816597.html

I appreciate this article. There's a lot to say about culture.

Once the meal planning is second nature, I'll probably look into a strength training regimen. One thing at a time for now.

iris lily

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 11:01:33 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

FWIW, I'm mostly looking to lose weight for vanity reasons.  My doctor has seen my numbers (weight, cholesterol, glucose, etc.) and is not concerned, but I know it's only going to get harder to change the longer I leave it.


Yes, buy a kitchen scale.

...

You are right -- our typical American portion sizes are totally out-of-whack. If you try to guesstimate, it will probably be too much.

I agree.  Day 1 had 1 Cup of roasted brussel sprouts.  I measured (2) 1/2 cup scoops (I let it overflow because, hey, there are gaps in that cup) and it basically filled the whole plate with sprouts.  I love vegetables but that was just way too much.  I think a scale will help me gauge much better with a little practice.


I do a Weight Watchers program, and their proprietary data (the "points" system, just a shorthand for calorie counting) always gives  measurement of a portion of any food.

Some general ways to meaisure: Rice is also one cup. Pasta is one cup. Cheese is a 1inch cube.Meat is the size of a deck of cards. Etc. Probably other websites give similar information.

 I have found that the portion sizes listed on packages give you good guidelines.

I've seen these guidelines before as well.  I will definitely use them if we're out and about.

If I may ask, what component of the Weight Watchers program was the most effective?  Was it just the points system?  Personal coach?  Group accountability/support?  If my personal efforts fail by themselves, I'd be willing to try escalating measures if they actually work.


Everyone's different - but here's what worked for me (lost 1/3 of my body weight and holding for several months now):

That's amazing!  I've heard statistics that just losing 7% weight significantly reduces the chance of developing diabetes.  You've probably extended your life by years.

I like the rest of your advice as well.


Lots of other responses.  Thank you all so much.  Looks like consensus is definitely get a food scale.  I'll check out the fitness app as well.  I'm on wifi data only, so hopefully that doesn't matter.

Re:weight Watchers

I want access to their high quality, stationary scale, I dont want to weigh in on a small, inaccurate scale that moves around. Being  accountable once a week to weigh in does a job on my head. I also like meetings, generally.

There are all kinds of tricks to change eating habits and those are discussed at meetings.

I'm sure Weight Watchers is having a touvh times these days with all of the online tools. Any rducing diet that forbids certain foods is rubbish.

Eat fruits and veg, some protein, a bit of carb, and avoid fats and sugars as much as possible. portion control. Ramp up exercise. Those are the basics.

Otherwise, their program of "you can eat anything, you just have to account for it" is great.


LeRainDrop

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2017, 11:24:18 PM »
I do a Weight Watchers program, and their proprietary data (the "points" system, just a shorthand for calorie counting) always gives  measurement of a portion of any food.

Some general ways to meaisure: Rice is also one cup. Pasta is one cup. Cheese is a 1inch cube.Meat is the size of a deck of cards. Etc. Probably other websites give similar information.

 I have found that the portion sizes listed on packages give you good guidelines.

I've seen these guidelines before as well.  I will definitely use them if we're out and about.

If I may ask, what component of the Weight Watchers program was the most effective?  Was it just the points system?  Personal coach?  Group accountability/support?  If my personal efforts fail by themselves, I'd be willing to try escalating measures if they actually work.
 

Re:weight Watchers

I want access to their high quality, stationary scale, I dont want to weigh in on a small, inaccurate scale that moves around. Being  accountable once a week to weigh in does a job on my head. I also like meetings, generally.

There are all kinds of tricks to change eating habits and those are discussed at meetings.

I'm sure Weight Watchers is having a touvh times these days with all of the online tools. Any rducing diet that forbids certain foods is rubbish.

Eat fruits and veg, some protein, a bit of carb, and avoid fats and sugars as much as possible. portion control. Ramp up exercise. Those are the basics.

Otherwise, their program of "you can eat anything, you just have to account for it" is great.

The Weight Watchers SmartPoints system starts with calorie-counting as a base, but it goes beyond that to take into account more current nutritional science research.  So, after the caloric value, sugars and saturated fats add to the points value (to disincentivize consumption) and protein helps lower the points value (to encourage consumption of lean proteins).  Nearly all fruits and veggies count as zero points, so that you always have something healthy to fall back on if youíre still legitimately hungry, without making yourself go over your daily points.  (There are also weekly points, but Iím leaving that aside for now.)  I would recommend you watch the movie "Fed Up," which is available on Netflix, if you haven't yet seen it.

Anyhow, Iíve personally found great success with WW, and while being able to track points easily on my phone is a great tool, probably the best accountability factor is going in for the weekly weigh-in and, most importantly, staying to participate in the group meeting.  Iíve gotten tons of ideas from other members in the meetings for healthy foods, snacks, habits, and tips for getting through tricky food situations, not to mention the good sense of support that you get there.  Granted, my meeting leader is a kind, smart, inspiring woman, and I really think the quality of the leader can make a big difference.

Oh, and to echo all the others, YES, a food scale is an excellent tool to help with making sure your portions really are what you think they are.  I certainly was surprised when I first started weighing things to see how far off my conception of the portion was!

ETA:  I love that there's a huge diversity of people at my WW meetings.  Some are very overweight, some are at their personal goal weight, and there are a bunch of people in between; some are just starting to lose weight, and others have finished losing so are just maintaining their goal weight; some started very heavy, and some were just losing like 10-15 pounds for vanity.  There are many of us lifetime members who continue to go to meetings anyway because it helps us keep our minds in the right place and not stray too far from the healthy lifestyle.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 11:32:01 PM by LeRainDrop »

wienerdog

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2017, 08:16:05 AM »
Calorie in / out diets never work because they are wrong. I shouldn't say never but they are much harder to be successful than they need to be.  Your body will actually start to adjust and use energy you feed it more efficiently when you starve it and that is exactly what you are doing.  Plus being hungry all the time is a road to failure. 

Try looking up Vinnie Tortorich.  It goes against what Health.gov pushes but how long have they been pushing calorie in/out low fat diets and people continue to get more fat?  He doesn't really push anything like Weight Watchers and all the other diet fads that are out to just make a buck.  You might look at the failure rate of WW type diets.  They are much higher than even people trying to stop smoking and alcohol which are harder to manage than food.

Vinnie has a website and podcast where you can learn much about his method NSNG (no sugar no grain). He has trademarked the term but he doesn't sell any type of diet fad stuff using the name.  Warning there is some cussing in his podcast but he has plenty of good information in there also.  You can probably just poke around the website or join his Facebook group and learn everything you need.  I don't do Facebook so I have never looked at the group but it seems to be the place they post now instead of the website forum.

If you don't mind spending $10 (Kindle) you can buy his book Fitness Confidential which really isn't a diet book.  It describes what NSNG is and how it works but that is about it.  It also touches on best "bang for the buck" exercises and gives tips about joining a gym if that is what you want.  It really talks about who Vinnie is and where he came from.  It is an interesting story which I am not into working out at all.  His story about trying to tame the Adirondack 540 a 544 mile bike race that you have to complete in 54 hours, just insane type endurance racing.  Even after being diagnosed with leukemia he was still determined to beat that race.  This guy is at his peak even at 54 years old but he tells the average person how to loose weight and what works and what doesn't.

I think you will find it simple and it works.  For instance you mention coffee with sweetner and skim milk.  That is okay but you need to ditch the sweetner.  It tricks your body just the same as sugar.  Vinnie would have you use heavy whipping cream instead of skim milk.  Your body needs the fat for energy if you are going to skip breakfast.  When you eliminate the grains and sugar your body will burn fat as it was meant to do for energy.  I use to be a big Coke Zero in the morning drinker for the caffeine. Now I use tea and heavy whipping cream.  I am amazed how long I can go without getting hungry.  Coconut oil is another one I will use in my tea.

I will warn you if you decide to try NSNG the first week you will feel bad.  Almost like the flu but you aren't really sick with a fever.  After the first week you will notice you have more energy and will start to feel better.  I have noticed I have been even sleeping better and seem to need less sleep.  I don't care for exercise but stay active by walking when I can much like you.  I have lost 12 lbs and my belt is 2 notches down where it use to be on Dec 6th.  I made it through Christmas no problem.  I even traveled for the first 2 and 1/2 weeks so I didn't exactly follow it perfectly.   Vinnie says you have to put some life into living so the the desert every once in a while is still doable.  I also like that he said it isn't what you do between Thanksgiving to Christmas that counts.  It is what you do between Christmas and Thanksgiving that matters.

It is no miracle diet but if you begin to follow it you will gradually lose weight and it doesn't seem like you are trying.  I ended up buying his cohost's book from the podcast.   Eat Happy has given me plenty of meals / snacks and even deserts to eat that have been excellent.  When I bought his book I hadn't done my homework and I thought I was buying a "diet plan" type book.  Instead I got an interesting book to read and it taught me the basics.  Over the years I have put on 50 extra pounds but I am confident by the end of this year I will be at my goal of 190 lbs.  12 lbs are down already and I haven't really done anything besides changing what I eat and spent $20 on some Kindle books.  With more energy and just feeling all around better I think NSNG has been a win win for me.


LeRainDrop

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2017, 12:42:38 PM »
Calorie in / out diets never work because they are wrong. I shouldn't say never but they are much harder to be successful than they need to be.  Your body will actually start to adjust and use energy you feed it more efficiently when you starve it and that is exactly what you are doing.  Plus being hungry all the time is a road to failure. 

Try looking up Vinnie Tortorich.  It goes against what Health.gov pushes but how long have they been pushing calorie in/out low fat diets and people continue to get more fat?  He doesn't really push anything like Weight Watchers and all the other diet fads that are out to just make a buck.  You might look at the failure rate of WW type diets.  They are much higher than even people trying to stop smoking and alcohol which are harder to manage than food.

It doesn't really sound like you're familiar with the Weight Watchers program of the last several years because it is not based on calorie-in/calorie-out.  Indeed, as I tried to explain above, it is completely consistent with the research showing that a calorie is not a calorie (aka, not all calories are the same, counting calories in versus out does not work).  Weight Watches agrees with what you are saying.  In meetings, we have talked about how great the movie "Fed Up" is at explaining the science here.  If you've seen this movie, you'd know it talks about how sugar calories, especially processed sugar, are significantly worse for your body than calories from whole foods like vegetables.  We talk about how there are healthy fats and oils that your body needs to consume.  Anyway, it just seems like you are thinking of the Weight Watchers program from the 80s/90s/before, where the calorie-counting and fat avoidance was truly part of the program, even though that's not representative of what it is today.

LeRainDrop

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2017, 03:46:26 PM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophia-herbst/1200-calories_b_4816597.html

I appreciate this article. There's a lot to say about culture.

Wow, this article was great!  Thanks for sharing it, mm1970!

wienerdog

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2017, 06:10:38 PM »
Calorie in / out diets never work because they are wrong. I shouldn't say never but they are much harder to be successful than they need to be.  Your body will actually start to adjust and use energy you feed it more efficiently when you starve it and that is exactly what you are doing.  Plus being hungry all the time is a road to failure. 

Try looking up Vinnie Tortorich.  It goes against what Health.gov pushes but how long have they been pushing calorie in/out low fat diets and people continue to get more fat?  He doesn't really push anything like Weight Watchers and all the other diet fads that are out to just make a buck.  You might look at the failure rate of WW type diets.  They are much higher than even people trying to stop smoking and alcohol which are harder to manage than food.
Anyway, it just seems like you are thinking of the Weight Watchers program from the 80s/90s/before, where the calorie-counting and fat avoidance was truly part of the program, even though that's not representative of what it is today.

Guilty!  I haven't really looked at it in years.  Sounds like they are on the right track now from what you have said. 

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2017, 07:27:01 AM »
Calorie in / out diets never work because they are wrong.

LOL, whatever.

I lost around 150lbs and have kept it off with just calorie counting. No other magic, just calories in/calories out. Learning how to portion size, stop eating as much as my husband does when he has nearly 100lbs and almost a foot on me. He is overweight himself so I was really doing myself no favors portioning out the same size for me as for him. I use much smaller dishes, pre-portion and weigh most of my foods. I eat whatever I want. Maintaining my weight is really no different than maintaining a budget. You are given X amount of calories/dollars a day and it is up to you how you are going to spend or save them.

Just because lots of people aren't disciplined doesn't mean budgeting is bullshit either for calories or finances.

Melisande

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2017, 07:44:11 AM »
Calorie in / out diets never work because they are wrong.

LOL, whatever.

I lost around 150lbs and have kept it off with just calorie counting. No other magic, just calories in/calories out. Learning how to portion size, stop eating as much as my husband does when he has nearly 100lbs and almost a foot on me. He is overweight himself so I was really doing myself no favors portioning out the same size for me as for him. I use much smaller dishes, pre-portion and weigh most of my foods. I eat whatever I want. Maintaining my weight is really no different than maintaining a budget. You are given X amount of calories/dollars a day and it is up to you how you are going to spend or save them.

Just because lots of people aren't disciplined doesn't mean budgeting is bullshit either for calories or finances.

I like the dieting:budget analogy. So true.

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2017, 07:51:36 AM »
My husband is ridiculously disciplined and calorie in/calorie out is working well for him.  He's lost 35 pounds in 5 months.  Still has about 15 to go. 

Now he may be accidentally doing something else right in addition to calorie in/calorie out.  He's basically eating vegetables/yogurt/small meat portions every day.  Nuts and cheese on occasion - bread/carbs in very limited quantities compared to before he decided to lose the weight. 

golden1

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2017, 09:03:09 AM »
I am not a big fan of reduced calorie diets, but if you are going to do them, you NEED a food scale.  You will amazed at how much you are underestimating portion sizes. 

if you actually do stick to 1200 calories a day, you will lose weight unless you are extremely petite or have some sort of thyroid problem.  I tried this a few years back and at 1200 calories with a food scale, I was constantly just a little bit hungry all the time except for maybe a half hour after meals.  That wasn't sustainable for me in the long run, and while I lost 15 lbs doing that over about 3-4 months, it didn't take long after stopping to regain 10lbs of it.  However, one good thing that resulted was that it really educated me on what a normal portion size looks like, and it also put me in tune with my body's hunger signals so I know when I am just munchy, and when I am actually hungry.  That is probably part of why I stabilized my weight and kept the last 5 lbs off for the last few years. 

I really think the key to long term weight loss is setting yourself up for success for developing a healthy mindset and healthy habits.  Stock up your house with healthy foods, bring lunch to work, keep water at your desk.  Walk or bike to work if you can.  Walk at lunch.  Basically make all the healthy choices easy so that you really have to work to be unhealthy.  Make healthy choices the default.  IF you screw up and eat unhealthy for awhile, don't beat yourself up.  Tomorrow is a brand new day.  Just try again. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2017, 03:32:48 PM »
Now he may be accidentally doing something else right in addition to calorie in/calorie out.  He's basically eating vegetables/yogurt/small meat portions every day.  Nuts and cheese on occasion - bread/carbs in very limited quantities compared to before he decided to lose the weight.

Yes, what you are describing of your husband is NOT a pure calorie-in/calorie-out diet.  It sounds like he is feeding himself a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins, and other proteins that are essential for his body.  On the calorie-only rationale, it would not matter whether you eat 300 calories of vegetables or 300 calories of chocolate; after all, the theory only depends on number of calories.

mm1970

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2017, 06:40:20 PM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophia-herbst/1200-calories_b_4816597.html

I appreciate this article. There's a lot to say about culture.

Wow, this article was great!  Thanks for sharing it, mm1970!
Sure!  I think I first came upon it from a link on FB from my friend the dietitian.  It was right around when I was trying to lose baby weight on 1200 cals a day.  (Dumb!)

DoubleDown

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2017, 10:27:31 AM »
If you find this particular diet or the calorie-counting difficult to follow, I'd suggest considering the 5-2 diet. This diet has you restricting calories only two days a week, and eating normally the other 5. Average weight loss is 1 lb./week. I found it really easy to do it since you don't have to be constantly deprived, you can eat whatever you want every day (as long as you are restricting calories on the two days), and it's easy to determine the calories on the two restricted days. This diet and similar diets with temporary, limited calories like fasting have shown some other pretty profound health benefits beyond just weight loss, such as lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and lower blood cholesterol levels.

As to exercise, some occasional strength training will really turbo-boost your weight loss, health, and appearance. Even just 5-10 minutes about three times a week will provide huge benefits. And get this, other recent research has shown that even just one minute of high intensity interval training (HIIT) provides as much benefit as 30-45 minutes of cardio exercise! MMM's most recent blog post is about strength training, you should check it out if you haven't already.

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2017, 12:44:57 PM »
Calorie restriction diets usually fail unless they fundamentally change the composition of what you eat. Some are better than others, but most are not great. Many of these diets will leave you chronically hungry, and will eventually fail for this reason. If it works for you, great, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't.

Diets that work long term do so by regulating your insulin and other hormonal levels so that you are not hungry. Hunger is what eventually kills most diets. Cutting back on refined carbohydrates and increasing healthy fat intake does amazing things. Combine this with weight training (high weight, low rep) and your body composition will change dramatically.

Good luck.

golden1

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2017, 01:09:53 PM »
Another thing to keep in mind is that you CAN lose weight on 1200 calories worth of twinkies a day, but you will feel awful.  The real key in a reduced calorie diet is fiber and water.  Fill yourself with fiber and water and you will be less full.  I am a particular fan of vegetable soups, or soups in general.  They will fill you up with few calories.  Lots of lean protein fills you up as well. 

stream26

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2017, 11:32:23 AM »
I really, really like sparkpeople.com I was stuck and my weight wasn’t moving. At the beginning of the week, I started using spark and have lost 2.5 pounds this week. You input the foods you eat and it has a pie chart that shows what % of your foods are from carbs, protein, fat, etc. It also shows you calories, calcium, protein, fat, etc. It really opened my eyes to what and how much I was eating. Except I this use elliptical http://jonsguide.org/best-proform-elliptical-reviews/ , its best stuff for me
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 11:37:35 AM by stream26 »

begood

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2017, 01:31:56 PM »
I really, really like sparkpeople.com I was stuck and my weight wasnít moving. At the beginning of the week, I started using spark and have lost 2.5 pounds this week. You input the foods you eat and it has a pie chart that shows what % of your foods are from carbs, protein, fat, etc. It also shows you calories, calcium, protein, fat, etc. It really opened my eyes to what and how much I was eating. Except I this use elliptical http://jonsguide.org/best-proform-elliptical-reviews/ , its best stuff for me

Thanks for the recommendation of SparkPeople! I have been using Lose It to track food, but hadn't explored enough to find if they do graphs like SP does. I put in my "typical" day and discovered that I'm pretty much on target for the carb/protein/fat proportions, which is really encouraging!

Landlady

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2017, 03:24:59 PM »
Calorie restriction diets do work, but they always make me feel uncomfortably hungry so I always quit. From my personal experience I can say that two things help me lose weight.
1. Working out in the morning before eating.
2. Eating a low carb diet and high fat diet.

The trick is to enjoy whatever you chose in my opinion. If you enjoy the goal of 1200 calories a day then that's what you should do. I just happen to LOVE high fat foods because they make me feel full and don't leave me hungry. I also love working out in the morning and there was one study that showed that doing moderate cardio in the morning before food aids weight loss.

Best of luck to you!

jim555

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2018, 11:34:15 AM »
1,200 is extreme.  1,500 is more sustainable. 

When counting be careful of packages that say "about 3" servings per package.  The "about" might actually be 3.3 when you divide the package weight by serving size in grams.

e34bb098

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2018, 12:20:03 PM »
1) Is this meal plan fundamentally flawed?  Should I just throw away any meal plan that has cheese/pasta/meat/dairy in sight?  I have not felt deprived at any point this week but maybe that's just a sign this isn't a big enough adjustment to see any results.

Not flawed as long as you have a high variety of foods.  Throwing away the meal plan is maybe a little extreme, but the fact is that cheese/pasta/meat/dairy have a very high caloric density.  E.g. a tablespoon of butter is 100 calories, which is about the same as an entire head of lettuce.  The fat does have a satiating effect that makes you feel fuller than an equivalent amount of carbs or protein, but fundamentally a tablespoon of anything isn't going to fill up your stomach very much.

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2) Is snacking throughout the day just a bad idea for me or will my body adjust and be better for it given more time?  Would it be better to follow my internal sense of hunger and skip a snack or reduce a meal size if I just don't want it?  Or does skipping a snack set me up to overeat later?

I would not snack throughout the day.  It makes your meal portions smaller and less satisfying.

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3) I suspect my sense of serving size is skewed too large.  Would it be worth it to buy a cheap kitchen scale, convert the volume units to an equivalent mass, and then weigh my food instead?  Or should I just "round down" when I approximate how much veggies to chop.

Buy a scale.  I have a digital one by OXO and have gotten a lot of use out of it.

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4) I don't have an exercise routine.  I walk short distances regularly and always take the stairs, but nothing that maintains an elevated heart rate.  I hate exercise and I will never like it as long as I live.  I was hoping to achieve weight loss with diet alone but this may not be possible.  I can trick myself into doing it with gamification and the right routine.  Does anyone have any good recommendations on this front?

Diet is key to weight loss, because exercise just increases your appetite.  But exercise is key to maximizing the quality of your years on the planet.  If you only diet, your muscle and bone density will starting plummeting (generally after age 40).  Who cares if you're skinny, if you're bedridden due to a broken bone, or you can't pick up your grandkids, or you can't get out of a chair without an assistance device?

I would recommend the Starting Strength program, or the basically-identical Stronglifts program.  If you really don't want to do that, then the Shovelglove program is free online and only takes 14 minutes a day.  But whatever you do, it should involve weights of some sort -- walking or calisthenics don't help with bone density.

I've done a variety of diet hacks over the years, including some fairly extreme ones.  Once I was trying to cut weight for a marathon, so I did a 1000-calorie/day deficit (that's 2lbs/week).  Challenging and not sustainable, but it got the job done.  But it taught me to go after foods with a low caloric density, and that's been a very helpful habit.  Raw fruits and veggies ended up being a cornerstone of my diet, which is what doctors tell everyone to eat more of anyway.

remizidae

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2018, 01:04:01 AM »
Care to share where your numbers came from? 1200 calories suggests you are either very small or very sedentary. If the former, great, if the latter, that needs to change. You can't say you don't like exercise until you've tried every exercise! Exercise is essential, not just for a healthy weight, but for general cardiovascular health, mortality, and (the big one for me) mental health.

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2) Is snacking throughout the day just a bad idea for me or will my body adjust and be better for it given more time?  Would it be better to follow my internal sense of hunger and skip a snack or reduce a meal size if I just don't want it?  Or does skipping a snack set me up to overeat later?

This is entirely dependent on your body. Some people eat every 2-3 hours; others eat once a day. Experiment and figure out what is satisfying for you. It's rarely a good idea to force yourself to eat, but if you know you'll be hungry later, at least have healthy choices available.

wenchsenior

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2018, 08:56:09 AM »
necro thread, it looks like

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: 1200 Calorie Meal Plan
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2018, 07:57:24 AM »
Try counting macros and eating a diet high in lean protein, low to moderate carbs, and low fat.