New to MFP... 1200 calories per day

I setup my diet/fitness profile and it shows that my target is 1200 calories per day. Is that reasonable? What does a 1200 calorie day look like? I am brand new here and need some help.



  • MalineVD
    MalineVD Posts: 649 Member
    Hi Dianne,
    I'm also on 1200 kcal a day. It's doable, but hard work!
    You can add me as a friend and check out my diary if you want!
    Greets, Maline
  • fobs13
    fobs13 Posts: 1,080 Member
    I am also 1200 calories a day. Boost them with excercise. Feel it's plenty for me and don't go to bed hungry. Definitely found portion sizes important.
  • martisure
    martisure Posts: 11 Member
    Me too! Yes, add exercise and plan everything in advance so you don't fall into temptation! Please do not just look at calories, ok? be sure to include all the nutrients!
  • melaniecheeks
    melaniecheeks Posts: 6,348 Member
    A typical 1200 calorie day:
    Breakfast - 1 egg, 1 egg white, scrambled with some veg (mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach) 150 cals
    Lunch - salad leaves with a tin of tuna or grilled chicken 250 cals
    Dinner- jacket potato with chicken curry or chilli 400 cals
    Snacks - string cheese, 2 rice cakes with a laughing cow triangle, a satsuma, Options hot choclate - 50 cals each.
  • lexbubbles
    lexbubbles Posts: 465 Member
    edited November 2014
    I'm also on 1200 but I make sure to get an extra bunch through exercise.

    On Mon/Wed/Fri I go to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (and also walk there and back a mile each way). MFP claims I burn 900+ on those days but I doubt it so I only eat back around 300-400. Sadly wearing a HRM during BJJ is just not feasible so I can't check.

    On Tue/Thur I walk to and from uni at a brisk pace, which is just over 5 miles round trip. I burn about 450-500 doing that, and again I can eat back 300 or so if I want (best to leave a buffer)

    Saturday or Sunday is a 3 mile+ run again with a burn of 400-500. The other weekend day I don't do anything.

    So really my 1200 calorie allowance is closer to a 1600 calorie allowance (and leaving buffers throughout the week allows me to not worry about that rest day if I go over)

    You can look at my diary, but this week has been hella weird. I've had 2 essays due and it's really messed with my food. Typically:

    30g bran flakes with 125ml semi-skim milk and 30g dried dates
    50g oatmeal prepared with water with some fruit

    A can of tuna with half a cucumber and about 20-30g light salad cream
    About 100g cooked weight chicken breast with same
    A salmon fillet with same

    Some form of salad or vegetables (ex. couscous with veg) that typically contain some feta cheese with, normally, protein (ex. chicken or salmon). Sometimes a frozen veggie thing like a beetroot and goat's cheese roast.

    Low-fat greek yogurt (I genuinely just prefer the taste and texture of low or non-fat)
    Hard boiled egg
    One of the many varieties of low-cal cake I make
    Sometimes some toasted danish bread with low-fat soft cheese, or ryvita and goat's cheese

    Primarily water or green tea
    Options Hot Chocolate sachets 39cal each
    BJJ days: protein shake
    Uni days: tall skinny seasonal latte from starbucks (toffee nut at the moment)

    On Tuesdays I get a couple of vodka lime sodas after class with my coursemates.
  • lexbubbles
    lexbubbles Posts: 465 Member
    edited November 2014
    whoops double post
  • ViolaLeeBlueberry
    ViolaLeeBlueberry Posts: 182 Member
    edited November 2014
    Hi Dianne, I'm about the same age as you and doing 1200 calories too. When I first saw that number, I thought, "No way. This is insane! What does that mean? Dinner is air au gratin?" But I've actually found it's not hard at all. I cook from scratch anyway and avoid processed foods, so it's easy to control, and I even manage to fit in cheesecake and wine pretty regularly :smile:

    Typical day ... well, today's fairly typical. It's time to cook dinner on my side of the globe, and so far I'm up to only 470 calories while feeling perfectly well-fed. That's pretty usual.

    Breakfast: egg-white omelette (2 egg whites + half a yolk ... I make an omelette of 4 whites and 1 full egg to split with my husband), stuffed with greens (dill and nettle today, but sometimes omelettes are stuffed with chicken or mushrooms or whatever)

    I don't do an official "lunch," just grazing, but over the course of today that was dried strawberries, kumquats, chips with homemade guacamole, and carrot sticks with smoked trout-yogurt dip.

    Dinner will be buffalo chili with salad.

    I exercised, so I can eat up to 1643 today if I want, although I probably will stick pretty close to the 1200 anyway. And I'm not suffering :smile: You can do it! It's actually weirdly fun!!!

  • Lasmartchika
    Lasmartchika Posts: 3,440 Member
    Like you might not eat enough... Read this and it'll show you how you can lose weight without depriving yourself from food.
  • danabpennington
    danabpennington Posts: 14 Member
    i think almost everyone is 1200 cals, but I looked my TDEE and stuff and it says I should eat 1360, so I just try to keep in the middle-ish with about 1275
  • LazyButHealthy
    LazyButHealthy Posts: 257 Member
    It assigned me 1250/day, and I was worried for a while being a lover of good food (as opposed to junk) but it's actually manageable. I exercise almost daily but try not to eat those calories unless I'm really very hungry.

    It really is manageable - they key is to track as you go throughout the day so that you can adapt your cooking or eating.
  • DanaHerro
    DanaHerro Posts: 186 Member
    How tall are you, how old are you and what do you currently weigh?
    I used the TDEE minus 20% method and NEVER had to eat 1200/day. My starting daily intake was 2100 and at its lowest was 1650. Now I'm 1850-2000 to maintain.
  • fatcity66
    fatcity66 Posts: 1,544 Member
    i think almost everyone is 1200 cals, but I looked my TDEE and stuff and it says I should eat 1360, so I just try to keep in the middle-ish with about 1275

    Most people aren't, actually. 1600+exercise calories here, to lose 1.5 lbs/wk.

  • Judyboga
    Judyboga Posts: 2 Member
    I am a returning MFP. I go a few weeks and then start slipping into old habits. I just found message board and hope to rekindle motivation by connecting with others.
  • I'm at 1520 but naturally, regularly come in around 1,200-1,300 based on my nutrition plan :) there are so many great things you can put in your body that can account for each of them... I feel like if we just try to eat as healthy and clean as possible (little chemical, little refined sugar, etc.) if you're at 1,200 or 1,300 or even 1,500 - as long as it's the right stuff, you'll make your goal, and your body will thank you for the fuel!
  • sodakat
    sodakat Posts: 1,126 Member
    1200 is doable but 1350 to 1400 is much easier, IMO. Are you trying to lose 2 lbs per week... is that why your calorie goal is so low? If so, I strongly suggest you change it to 1.5 pounds a week to give yourself a few hundred more calories.

    I often eat 300/350 for breakfast, lunch and snacks then 400+ for dinner.

    My serious suggestion to you, Diane is to begin by eating as you normally do but logging all your food so you get an idea how many calories are in each thing you eat plus understand the portions you are eating right now. You really need to buy a food scale to get the greatest benefit from calorie counting. It is nearly impossible to guess how much a piece of meat or fruit weighs, and the calorie difference between 2 ounces and 6 ounces can be the difference between you eating at a deficit, or not.

    Once you get a good grip on weighing foods and measuring liquids, and master looking stuff up in the database and making the accurate choice to log, you can begin eating portions that allow you to stay within your daily calorie goals.

    I eat "normally", enjoying breakfasts of bacon and eggs, or cereal with yogurt, or oatmeal and milk, or peanut butter toast and fruit. Lunches and dinners are just regular food I usually make from scratch and my snacks are whatever I feel like that is within my calorie goal.

    Don't make too many changes at once or you may become overwhelmed. Take it slow, figure out the calories in your normal food choices, and cut back a little where needed.

    Best of luck!


  • stopdropandlose
    stopdropandlose Posts: 162 Member
    If you want, you can add me and look at my diary - I am supposed to eat 1290 a day.
  • beachinit46
    beachinit46 Posts: 7 Member
    im at 1200 also. I had always thought diet meant suffer and go without. I have struggled for many months well UNDER 1000 and in my head thinking it was too much. it has been a struggle to get up to 1200 as I love food and did not want to miss out on stuff. honestly 1200 does not have to feel like diet at all. great advice I see here. add ppl and check out the diaries for some inspiration. good luck!! you can do it
  • dejavuohlala
    dejavuohlala Posts: 1,823 Member
    Hi and welcome you have made the right decision to get onto mfp, you can get fantastic support from the right friends.

    I am on 1200 per day, mine is set up as sendatory, it will be different for different people. you may want to try at first just logging all your food and drinks on the mfp diary then see how many calories you actually consume.

    you are welcome to add me as a friend and you can them look at my diary. Sorry i can be much help just now but can help once you get more connected to us on her

    good luck on your journey
  • Hi Dianne, from another Dianne - 1200 seems difficult to begin with but it soon becomes the norm. I find if you don't eat processed foods or wheat products, you actually get a lot of food. I try to eat a couple of veggies with dinner and I love a small baked potato with just a half tsp of butter spread into it. Breakfast was the hardest for me because I used to eat a lot of breads, muffins etc for breakfast. I now have tried a few different 'pancake' recipes that i am finding filling. One of them - a ripe banana mashed with one egg and a bit of egg white, mix together and add a bit of cinnamon. Spray pan with Pam and make several small pancakes. You could top them with a bit of no sugar jam or even a tsp of maple syrup. The second one is 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree (not pie filling), mixed with one egg and some egg white and pumpkin pie spice to taste. Again cook with a bit of Pam Olive Oil spray and make several small pancakes. This is very nutritious. There are lots of tips and tricks and you will find what triggers your cravings. For me it is bread and bread products so if I stay away from them as much as possible, I find the rest okay. Also make sure you drink your water

    Good luck on this journey and don't give up if you have a bad day or days - just dig in and keep going!
  • oriole35
    oriole35 Posts: 40 Member
    I too got 1200 a day to loose just 1/2 pound per week. That is only 2 lbs per month, at that rate it will take me a couple of years to loose 30 pounds.
    Very discouraged from the start. I have exercise listed as 3 times a week. Is this taking the exercise into account in this 1200 calories?