1200 Calorie Meal Plan to Lose Weight Fast (on a Budget)
1200 Calorie Meal Plan to Lose Weight Fast. This fat burning and low calorie meal plan is budget friendly with simple, clean recipes.
Have you wondered how much weight you can lose in 1 week or 30 days? Or maybe you are not sure how to prepare healthier meals when you’re on a budget.
Another obstacle that many of us face when it comes to healthy eating is the myth that goes around in society “healthy eating is expensive”.
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If any of these reasons is making your journey to a healthier life too complicated, then you are in the right place today!
When I create recipes and meal plans I follow the simple portion control system that has been around for years: The food pyramid. It is a well researched nutrition guide and called “myplate” today. It gives you an overview on how much to eat from each food group per day. The key is to enjoy a balanced diet.
For a fast weight loss without being malnourished a 1200 calorie meal plan works best. I used the MyPlate system to create this balanced meal plan and you can adjust it to your needs. All recipes are simple and budget friendly. You can pick vegetarian recipes if you like to.
Key points to a healthy diet
You can take simple steps toward a better diet, without completely changing your routine. Incorporate the tips below into your lifestyle step by step to make your transition easy.
Leave the sugar OUT
I can not tell you guys how important this part is! Quitting sugar is a important step for any diet plan. Hidden sugar is in everything packaged and to me it is the number one cause why people become obese, sick or even underweight. Start reading the label of everything you buy, you won’t believe how much sugar is added to everything you buy (ketchup, dressings, bread,pizza, burgers, other fast food…).
You can consume natural sugar from the fruits you eat, some of the vegetables, dried fruits, or dairy products.
Increase your vegetable intake
Experts state you should eat 2 1/2 servings of vegetables each day (on a 2000 calorie diet). One serving would be two cups of leafy greens, or 1 cup raw and cooked vegetables. They are full of vitamins, minerals, folates, protein, fiber and more. Increasing the vegetable intake will help you stay full longer and strengthen your immune system.
The number one cause of your sugar craving is a low protein intake. Protein is important for muscles, skin, bones, and more. Adding more protein to your diet will keep your energy level up for longer, which reduces cravings or dizziness. I try to include protein in every meal. Some easy ways to add protein to your diet is: yogurt with banana, seeds and nuts on your oatmeal, eggs as a snack, fish, meat or beans for dinner.
Drink more water
I know you’ve read this already somewhere, but drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day can actually help you lose up to 3 additional pounds a week. Other benefits of drinking more water are: increased energy levels, better skin, and less hunger feeling.
Key points to a budget friendly healthy diet
Eat less meat
You can substitute your meat easily with beans or lentils. You can add refried beans spiced with Mexican seasoning to your Mexican dishes instead of your chicken or beef. For lunch I like to mash beans with a little bit of water and seasoning (hot sauce) and add it to a veggie-rice bowl, a wrap, or salad.
When you eat out, your average meal contains sugar and white bread. Both items don’t fuel your body and can cause a wide range of disease. On top of that it will cost up to 6 times more than cooking at home.
When you meal plan, you create a plan for the whole week and a shopping list. Going grocery shopping with a list will help you to buy only the things you need, which will reduce the amount you spend and it will reduce food waste. During the week you know exactly what to eat, which will save time and help avoid the trip to the drive-through.
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1200 Calorie Meal Plan to Lose Weight Fast (on a Budget)
These tips above will help you to create a budget friendly 1200 calorie weight loss meal plan. To make it easy on you I have provided the 7-day diet plan for easy weight loss. Use the list below to create your shopping list.
Starting the day with protein and fruits will give you quick energy and long lasting energy. Make sure you read the label of the greek yogurt. It should say milk and cream in the ingredients list. Some greek yogurts add sugar, starch and other unhealthy ingredients and overprice the product on top of that. If you find this in your store, go with normal yogurt, if that list of ingredients is better.
You can eat this snack whenever you want and feel less hungry on this 1200 calorie meal plan. I like to add soy milk, because it has the same amount of protein as normal cow milk, but without the lactose. Pick the milk according to your desire and budget. The seeds and nuts add additional fiber and protein. Oatmeal is the better carb option than the bread, because it only contains one ingredient, which makes oatmeal less processed and healthier. I like to pick the quick whole oats and cook them with the milk for 1 minute on the microwave. If it turns out too thick you can add some water.
Spinach as your salad base is a great option. It contains important minerals and vitamins and is good for every part of your nutritional needs. Add 1 cup of chopped raw vegetables. I always buy seasonal veggies (because they are the cheapest) or the ones on sale. For the dressing mix olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic (fresh or powder).
You can simply put your own dinner plate together using one serving of meat (3 oz.) or beans (3/4 cup cooked), 1 cup vegetables, 1 cup grains. For the grains you can use brown rice, for the vegetables you can steam whatever vegetables you bought and season with salt, pepper and garlic. For the meat you can add chicken breast, pork chops, meatloaf and so on. I like to season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika powder. Make sure you get lean meat. If you want to add beans you can add Mexican seasoning. Use 1 T olive oil per serving to prepare your meat. Following these guidelines, one plate should equal about 500 calories.
Here are some recipe examples you can use for the 1200 calorie meal plan to add to your meal plan and shopping list.
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Mexican Zucchini Boats
- Ricotta Spinach penne
- Greek Pita with ground meat
- Vegetarian Tortillas
- Vegan Lentil Soup
Helpful Weight Loss Resources:
Cronometer.com: This is a free tool that will help you track your food intake and calories. Cronometer also shows you all the vitamins and minerals you consume which is great to make sure there are no deficiencies.
Vegan weight loss guide: Based on scientific methods that reverse and prevent common diseases, this guide will help you lose weight and find a healthy lifestyle in a non-restricting way. It provides vegan recipes that fuel and fill you, promote weight loss, without counting calories or starving. See what’s all included here.
At Home Workouts: Cardio workouts and light weight training are great to lose body fat, burn more calories, and feel better all together. If you don’t know where to start I personally enjoy the workouts from Beachbody. I stream their workouts and simply pick the one for my needs. I have been doing their workouts for years now and it is the easiest way to include fitness into a busy lifestyle. For cardio workouts I suggest Hip Hop Abs (dancing), 21 Day Fix (for anyone), or YouV2 (beginner, or elderly).