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I have 1200 calories/day & set to sedentary 2 lb loss per week - food ideas??

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Hey!

I am looking for a full-day meal plan under 1200 calories. Does anybody have any good ideas for food where I won't be starving?? Breakfast is usually Better Oats oatmeal package or poached eggs with multigrain toast. So, that meal is pretty much set. I also snack on cucumbers a lot. I am on a tight budget since I am a full-time student.

I need help with lunch and dinner ideas as well as low-calorie, low-fat snacks that I can bring with me to work. I was originally set to active and I am losing weight, but not at the pace I would like so I changed my stuff to sedentary.

I feel like 1200 calories is really low!! I am 5' 5" and 185 pounds at the moment. I run, jog, walk, and do random burpees, push-ups, planks, etc.

Please help!
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Replies

  • juggernaut1974
    juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212 Member
    edited July 2015
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    I don't...other than to say that if 'starving' on only 1200 calories is a concern, I'd recommend maybe adjusting your weight loss goals to 1 lb or maybe 1.5 lbs per week instead of 2 lbs. You'll have more calories to play with, and in the end, if it makes it easier to stick to your plan, you'll probably be more successful in the long run.
  • jvs125
    jvs125 Posts: 223 Member
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    keep the lean protein high; the calories are relatively low and food is filling - that way you won't feel like you're starving on 1200 cals.
  • ambersanford204
    ambersanford204 Posts: 37 Member
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    Chicken breast will do the trick then? I use a lot of ground turkey in my cooking. I also supplement with a protein powder after my runs.

    Thanks for the comments.
  • iwantmydenimback
    iwantmydenimback Posts: 194 Member
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    So if you don't want to be starving and you think 1200 calories is too low AND you were losing weight with a higher activity setting, why not just eat more?
  • Lleldiranne
    Lleldiranne Posts: 5,516 Member
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    I agree with PP. You have 50 pounds or less to lose, so 1 pound a week is probably a better option. Also remember that, with the MFP system, you should eat back at least 1/2 of your exercise calories.

    I won't give you any "meal plans," but foods that will help you feel full are those higher in fiber, or with protein or fat. Make sure you are measuring and weighing everything properly. Fruits and vegetables are great, but don't sacrifice other essential nutrients by cutting out something with some fat, either :wink: You may have to play around a bit to find what works best for you, if you're used to a lot more.

    Best of luck!
  • Pbrookf
    Pbrookf Posts: 13 Member
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    I'm a little shorter and wouldn't have found 1200 calories really really hard esp. with all the activity you are doing. Agree with the protein ideas--greek yogurt maybe?
  • Plooty222
    Plooty222 Posts: 76 Member
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    Watermelon I find to be very filling and tasty and low calorie! Apples too. Lemon water to stay hydrated - most of the time we think we're hungry we're actually thirsty. More veggies, fresh if possible, but I usually buy frozen when they go on sale because they are cheaper and I am on a budget. And beans, the magical fruit (: cheap and filling! I don't like soda, but seltzer / the bubbles would likely help to give you the "full" feeling you may be missing.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited July 2015
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    I'd recommend just eating more and accepting a lower rate of loss. Better to preserve muscle mass anyway.

    But if you want to do 1200, I did 1250 when I first started and my diary (which is open) from March 2014 through sometime in the summer 2014 reflects that calorie goal (not sure when I started to increase calories quite a bit due to exercise calories). I was generally not hungry at all eating lean protein (pretty varied, though, not just chicken breast) and lots of veggies as well as smaller servings of other foods. I mostly stuck to three meals, no snacks, but would include low or no fat greek yogurt and cottage cheese, and those foods, as well as fruits and veggies, also make for a good, reasonably low calorie snack that for me is filling due to the protein content. I think it was keeping my volume and protein up that made how I was eating satisfying for me (for a period of time, and then I really wanted more variety and more extras).
  • lauramcsawyerTIU
    lauramcsawyerTIU Posts: 3 Member
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    I'm on 1200 calories a day also, and i'm rarely ever hungry. I just split my meals into 5 a day.

    Drinking lots and lots of water helps. Also, sweet potatoes are cheap and are very filling. Try a protein shake and add chia seeds. You're welcome to look at my diary for ideas!
  • sweetdixie92
    sweetdixie92 Posts: 655 Member
    edited July 2015
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    Eating 1200 calories a day is relatively easy once your body adjusts to it.

    Your breakfast sounds great, although I'm addicted to my Special K cereals with almond milk for breakfast.

    Eat lots of veggies and proteins. Chicken, turkey, fish, beef (the leaner cuts).

    Buy wraps to make sandwiches with instead of bread. The ones I get are only 110 calories and are pretty big...so right there you are saving probably 100 calories depending on the bread you buy! I can make BLT wraps for less than 300 calories (wrap, 2 slices oven baked bacon, 1 tbsp. olive oil mayonnaise [ I buy Hellmann's which is 60, Kraft is 30 I believe], 4 thin slices of tomato and 1 or 2 leaves of romaine depending on size.)

    Make your own chicken salad. I don't like store bought anyway...but shred up your chicken breast and add just enough mayo to make it stick together (I use the olive oil mayo for everything). Start with a tsp. of mustard and add to taste, depending on the amount. Season or add finely chopped veggies/herbs to your liking...salt, pepper, basil, red pepper, garlic, onion, etc. It's a fraction of the calories, a hundred times the taste, and you can really keep track.

    I love buying plain Greek yogurt and adding fruit jam to it. I buy juice sweetened so there's no additional sugar.
  • lynn1982
    lynn1982 Posts: 1,439 Member
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    Egg whites, chicken breast, fish, and if you eat dairy, cottage cheese... lots of veggies... I find eating protein at every meal helps keep me satiated for longer. And then I munch on raw veggies throughout the day. I guess that's my "trick" for sticking to a 1200 calorie plan.
  • DKG28
    DKG28 Posts: 299 Member
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    i'm 5'5" and started at 196, now at 160. I've been eating 1200 cal for 5 months b/c I am sedentary. I pack a serving of baby carrots, a fruit (usually grapes or stawberries), one slice of whole grain 35 cal/slice bread with a serving of turkey or chicken or eggs, and a slice of low-fat cheese for lunch almost every day. Add a pickle or cucumber for volume. Dinner - turkey hot dog and a serving of beans/lentils. Another fruit and Cottage cheese. Whatever is in my fridge that will meet my calorie goals. I love just sauteeing canned chicken, diced green apple, onion together and seasoning with lots of curry and some paprika.
  • ambersanford204
    ambersanford204 Posts: 37 Member
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    So if you don't want to be starving and you think 1200 calories is too low AND you were losing weight with a higher activity setting, why not just eat more?

    I think it is too low, I don't know for sure that it is because I have yet to try it. Which is why I was asking for some ideas on foods from people that follow that calorie intake.

    I am not losing weight like I would. I have lost 9 pounds in 4 or 5 weeks and even that fluctuates so much that I am not positive I have even lost that much. Sometimes when I weigh myself I have put on 3 pounds which I am assuming is water weight, but I don't know for sure. Then a few days later I will be 1 pound less than my lowest weight. Basically my scale is all over the place.

    I want to lose as much weight as possible before August 7th when my dad comes to visit us. He is dying from HCC and was given 6 months to live so I would really like some photos of us without me being overweight. So yeah, maybe I'm rushing it but I have my reasoning.

  • ambersanford204
    ambersanford204 Posts: 37 Member
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    Thank you all for the ideas. Looks like I just need to buy some fresh veggies and watermelon sounds delicious as well.
  • kami3006
    kami3006 Posts: 4,978 Member
    edited July 2015
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    You can also set your own calorie goal. Instead of changing from light to sedentary or 1 to 2 pound/week loss, you can just tack an extra 150 cals the goal manually. You'll still be losing more than before but you'll have some extra room to eat. Worked well for me when I was losing.
  • jaga13
    jaga13 Posts: 1,149 Member
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    I just wanted to say I'm sorry about your dad.
  • Steff46
    Steff46 Posts: 516 Member
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    Lots of raw veggies, lean protein and water. I'm on about 1260 a day and I don't eat breakfast but here is what I do for most of my work week lunch and dinners: Lunch - fresh cut up veggies (bell peppers and baby carrots right now), fruits (strawberries right now), a can of Rotel (or can of diced tomatoes) with a can of chicken or tuna. I choose canned protein during the work week for lunch because it keeps well in my desk. And sometimes I eat those veggies with just peanut butter. For dinner - I usually have chicken or beef from the crock pot and serve it on a bed of cut up veggies, or ground turkey, spaghetti sauce, low calorie creamette noodles (or even spaghetti squash) served on top of cut up veggies, or ground turkey, salsa, onions, tomatoes on a Romaine Lettuce leaf.
  • ambersanford204
    ambersanford204 Posts: 37 Member
    edited July 2015
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    Thank you to everyone else for the great ideas. I really appreciate the help from those following the same plan. I think I have what I need to switch and see how it goes!

    [Edited by MFP Mods]
  • ambersanford204
    ambersanford204 Posts: 37 Member
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    Steff46 wrote: »
    Lots of raw veggies, lean protein and water. I'm on about 1260 a day and I don't eat breakfast but here is what I do for most of my work week lunch and dinners: Lunch - fresh cut up veggies (bell peppers and baby carrots right now), fruits (strawberries right now), a can of Rotel (or can of diced tomatoes) with a can of chicken or tuna. I choose canned protein during the work week for lunch because it keeps well in my desk. And sometimes I eat those veggies with just peanut butter. For dinner - I usually have chicken or beef from the crock pot and serve it on a bed of cut up veggies, or ground turkey, spaghetti sauce, low calorie creamette noodles (or even spaghetti squash) served on top of cut up veggies, or ground turkey, salsa, onions, tomatoes on a Romaine Lettuce leaf.

    See, this is why I asked this question. I would have never thought of having Rotel with a canned meat but that sounds yummy!

    Thank you for all of the suggestions!
  • LavenderLeaves
    LavenderLeaves Posts: 195 Member
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    Just as a note, OP, 9 lbs in 4-5 weeks is really good. Please don't set your goals to be something that are unsustainable, because it'll only end up in you feeling inadequate and disappointed. You lost 9 pounds! That's awesome! 1200 for someone who weighs 185 is honestly probably going to be pretty difficult. I know people have a hard time hearing slow and steady, but for weight loss, it's TRUE, because then we aren't necessarily depriving ourselves of every single food we just love to eat that might be more calorie dense. You shouldn't feel like you're on "a" diet, you just should be trying to find a lifestyle diet.

    For 1200 calories, it'll be hard to really eat really nourishing, satisfying meals unless you're making majority of your food from scratch using whole foods. If you adjust your weight loss to 1.5 or 1 lb a week that calorie goal will likely seem MUCH less daunting and intimidating. And seriously, pat yourself on the back for that 9 pounds! That amount in 5 weeks is no small feat!