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What does a 1,200-calorie day look like?

By Kerri-Ann Jennings, January 3, 2016 - 1:30pm

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Kerri-Ann asks: What are your favorite low-calorie meals and snacks?


How does that formula help you loose weight... If a 300 lbs person followed that it would mean they eat 3100 calories a day. That is preposterous. A 400 lbs person at 4300 calories a day would be dead in no time


08/20/2012 - 11:47pm

Couldn't agree more Kerri-Ann; meal planning has definitely helped my wife and me. It seems there is a lot of research that suggests 5 meals a day is preferred to keep the metabolism going. What do you think? @rvafitclub


08/22/2012 - 11:37am

You are correct, this formula definitely does NOT work for every person at every weight. I am a registered dietitian and this is one of the many ways to calculate how many calories a person needs. In general a women can lose weight eating between 1,200 and 1,500 calories a day and men 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day (possibly more if they are taller and/or more active). Or you can simply subtract 500 calories a day between exercise and excess calories (e.g. a can of soda = 150 calories). If you do this daily for a week you will lose 1 lb! 500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories which equal 1 pound of weight!
Hope this helps!


09/05/2012 - 2:32pm

1. "How much you need to eat each day varies based on your height, weight and activity level. (Find out how many calories you should be eating each day for weight loss by using this formula: [Your weight x 12] – 500 = Your daily calorie goal.)" = contradicting sentences.
2. Where are the citations for that formula??


09/18/2012 - 11:00pm

Dinner should always be your smallest meal and breakfast the biggest (breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a peasant). Why would you need 400-500 calories before going to bed?? Unless you work out in the middle of the night or work the night shift. Even though Americans/ Canadians are acustomed to eating dinner as their biggest meal, it is one of the factors of weight gain. Eating close to bed time= storing extra energy as fat. Better to eat lots of veggies for dinner and some lean protein. Save the whole grains like oatmeal, barley, etc for breakfast and lunch as they are high in carbohydrates and can be used as energy throughout the day and as per or post workout recovery foods.
Other wise, I stuck to a 1200 calorie diet for almost 2 years and was very physically active. They say it isn't healthy to go on for an extended period of tme on such a life style but once you take a week or two to get in the habit, allow your stomache to shrink so you arn't feeling hungry and learning to enjoy food in smaller portions, you may find you have a lot more energy, you're able to think sharper and more quickly, you are in a better mood and you feel good in and out. If you eat 1200 calories a day and exercise at least an hour (cardio+strenght training) 5 days a week you will feel better and look better. The truth is that most women don't need more then that to maintain a healthy body and life style. Unless you are exercising excessively or have a job where you are burnng 400+ calories a day, try 1200 calories a day.


09/19/2012 - 3:13am

soft boiled egg or chicken or salmon with salad
steel cut oatmeal with fruit and nuts
tuna on whole grain bread
cottage cheese or yogurt and fresh fruit
an apple with peanut butter


11/02/2012 - 10:23pm

My favorite low calorie snack is the south beach 100 calorie smoothies they r soo good and the protein keeps you full


02/17/2013 - 6:17pm

I do 1300 and I'm not even on a diet without even thinking. Not hard


02/28/2013 - 6:52pm

A 400 pound person probably consumes 5,000 calories a day to maintain that weight. So yes, 4,300 calories would prob be ok for a 400 pound person starting off. They would have to continue adjusting their caloric intake when they hit certain points, like once they lost 20 pounds, they prob need to chop 300 calories out in order to keep losing, and continue adjusting along the way.


04/02/2013 - 2:56pm

Nice plan... Being a fat person, I was looking for this kind of thing! Twelve years old, 4'9, 110 lb... Need to lose a bit! I eat about 1400 at the moment, going to cut about 400 calories I think! Along with about an hours cycling a day and going to be taking up at alley again... Hopefully will lose fifteen pounds by September... Hopefully...


04/03/2013 - 6:24pm

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