There is a huge variety of dietary plans available nowadays. Whether you wish to stick to a more or less restrictive plan, with or without certain foods, with a higher or lower calorie limit – everyone can find something to their taste. One of the most widespread types of diets are the high-protein and low-carb diets. A 1200 calorie high protein low-carb diet is one possible option. But can just 1200 calories per day satisfy all your needs? Let’s take a dive into the benefits and possible drawbacks of this approach.
What is a 1200 Calorie High Protein Low-Carb Diet?
First of all, there is a plethora of high-protein low-carb diet options, from the Atkins Diet to Sugarbusters. This approach, however, is not as specific – it simply recommends 1200 calories per day with certain particular recommendations for food. It is supposed that you’ll consume high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of healthy fats, and very little carbs.
Can this diet be considered balanced? According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, adult women need between 1600 and 2000 calories per day in order to perform basic functioning of her body, support immunity, and avoid any kinds of nutrient deficiencies. This implies that a 1200 calorie diet is significantly below the recommended range. While this does not mean that this number of calories can be considered harmful, it is important to be aware that you may feel that it’s not enough. Tiredness, fatigue, and decreased physical activity can be a consequence when 1200 calories are too little for you. If this is the case, consider boosting your calorie intake to meet the recommended range while still maintaining your caloric deficit for weight loss.
Aside from that, low-carb diets, in general, are pretty effective, since they activate one particular mechanism in your body. When there’s a lack of carbs to transform into energy, your body starts to use fat as fuel. This state, called ketosis, contributes to efficient weight loss.
What to eat on a 1200 calorie high protein low carb diet
If you’re unsure which foods are suitable for this diet, here’s a good list.
Most vegetables are not very high in protein, but they’re packed with vitamins and minerals essential for your health. Plus, they’re not really high in carbohydrates, so you won’t violate your dietary restrictions. Nutritious vegetables that fit this approach include leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, and Romaine lettuce. Other delicious and very low-carb vegetables include bell peppers, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, eggplants, cucumber, and Brussels sprouts.
Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are very high in protein, but also quite high in carbs. That’s why you need to consume them carefully in order not to break your ketosis.
Whatever your diet is, you’ll never go wrong if you add seafood. Salmon, tilapia, shrimp, cod all contain lots of protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood helps to maintain your eyesight, smoothen your skin, boost your intellectual abilities, and even lower the risk of falling into depression.
Lean cuts of beef
Although it is not recommended to consume too much red meat, lean cuts of beef can provide you with the necessary amount of protein you need for your day.
Chicken and turkey breasts
These are generally a better option for protein if you’re a meat-eater.
These are great sources of protein and should always be a part of your 1200 calorie high protein low carb diet (https://betterme.world/articles/1200-calorie-high-protein-low-carb-diet/).
Nuts and seeds
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or macadamia have a magnificent effect on your whole body. Most importantly, they provide you with polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3 and can protect you against diabetes and cancer.
Fruits and whole grains
Some fruits are high in carbs, some are less so. Recommended options include blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Since you’re on a low-carb diet, you can only consume whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat in small amounts.
Plant-based protein sources
Tofu, tempeh, pea and soy protein powders can be good alternatives if you’re a vegan or vegetarian.
Milk, cheese, and yogurt provide you with protein and calcium.
What to avoid on a 1200 calorie high protein low-carb diet
You should avoid refined carbs like those found in white rice, bagels, bread, pizza, and waffles. It is also necessary to minimize the consumption of foods high in saturated fat and fried foods. High-fat dairy foods such as sour cream, butter and ice cream should also be avoided. Needless to say, your consumption of sugar should also be minimized.
To sum up, 1200 calorie high protein low-carb diet is one of the more sustainable options for steady weight loss. Low-carb diets are generally seen as effective weight loss busters, and it is possible to consume all vital nutrients while sticking to this plan. Nevertheless, consuming just 1200 calories per day may be too little for some people. If you feel like that’s not enough for you, consider upping your intake while maintaining a caloric deficit. Also, you should not try this diet if you have kidney problems. It’s better to consult your doctor before sticking to this dietary plan.