1200 Calorie Diet: 6 Lunch Ideas

While restrictive, a 1200 calorie diet can still be nutritious if properly followed. When following this diet, you need to make sure you’re eating a proper balance of nutrients, fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Eating well-balanced and nutritional meals while on this diet will make you feel better, have more energy and feel hungry less often.  

On the 1200 calorie diet, it is typically recommended that you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. Breakfast and lunch should be 300 calories, snacks should be 100 calories and dinner should be approximately 400 calories. Below are several lunch ideas already measured out to help make following this diet simpler for you.

Soup and Sandwich

  • 1 cup vegetable soup (aim for a soup with 50-60 calories per serving)
  • 1 slice 100% whole wheat bread
  • 6 slices deli meat
  • 1 slice reduced fat cheese
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 slice tomato

This basic lunch allows for you to adjust the ingredients to your taste preferences.  There are several brands and styles of soups readily available that fall within the above calorie limits. Choose turkey, ham or roast beef for your deli meat.  Choose the reduced fat cheese of your liking, if it be mozzarella, provolone or cheddar. Simply toast the bread, heat the soup and enjoy this filling lunch.

Fast Food Lunch

  • Martha Vineyard’s Salad from Arby’s
  • 4 oz skim milk

This is a fantastic lunch option for those individuals on the go. You will get fiber, protein, fats and an array of nutrients and vitamins in this quick and easy meal.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit

  • 1 cup low fat (1%) cottage cheese
  • ½ blueberries (or berries of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 whole grain crackers (aim for 70-75 calories)

This meal is great to pack and take with your to work. Simply measure out the cottage cheese, slice the fruit, and combine. Top the mixture with maple syrup and enjoy with whole grain crackers.

Pasta and Broccoli

  • 1 cup frozen whole wheat ravioli (or other pasta equaling approximately 250 calories)
  • ¼ cup low-sugar or splenda sweetened marinara sauce
  • ½ cup steamed broccoli

This meal is filling thanks to the fiber in both the ravioli and broccoli, which will keep you full for hours. Top with vitamin rich marinara sauce, and you have yourself a meal!

Vegetable Pita

  • 6 ½ inch whole wheat pita
  • 4 tbsp hummus
  • ½ cup cucumber slices
  • 2 leaves of lettuce or spinach
  • ½ cup broccoli
  • ½ slice reduced fat cheese

This portable lunch is quick and easy. Simple combine all the above ingredients and stuff them into the pocket of a pita. To add extra flavor, season with salt, pepper, herbs and spices!

Shrimp and Salad

  • 6 large shrimp
  • 2 tbsp cocktail sauce
  • 2 cups of lettuce or spinach
  • 2 tbsp Italian dressing
  • ½ cup broccoli

Simply steam both the broccoli and shrimp until done. Serve shrimp with a side of cocktail sauce for dipping. Enjoy a small side salad of lettuce and dressing, along with broccoli seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

All the above meals will make it simple to stay on the 1200 calorie diet. These meal options include portable, pre-made and fast food options.

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