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1,200 calories a day meal plan for women

If you want to lose weight, a meal plan can be a useful way to do so.

Many people choose to take on a calorie-controlled diet to help them lose weight and manage their food intake. But it’s important to make sure it’s the right option for you first. Try out alpilean.

Our 1,200 calorie meal plan is only suitable for women, as men generally have higher energy requirements than women. This means a plan that provides more calories a day would be more appropriate for men.

It’s both calorie and carb counted for your convenience, and contains at least five portions of fruit and veg per day.

We’ve included the value for fibre too, to help you make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements. We know lots of people in the UK aren’t eating enough fibre, so it’s important to try and include good sources in your diet every day.

Some of the recipes within this plan serve anywhere from 1-6 people. You can either reduce the quantities to serve as many people as needed or look at the chef’s tips to see if the recipe can be made in bulk and frozen for a later date. This will also help reduce waste. Check these Red boost customer reviews.

 “I went online and found a phone app that suggested I should only eat 1,200 calories a day. I still stick to that most of the time. I didn’t follow any diet. I loved my potatoes, but, slowly, I started eating smaller portions. If I wasn’t full up, I still wouldn’t take another portion.

I threw away my deep-frying pan and cut out all sugary sweets and snacks, having a handful of nuts instead.”

Fatima has lost almost 20kg (3 stone) and her type 2 diabetes is now in remission. Read Fatima’s story.

Before you begin this meal plan

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, research shows that the best diet is one you can stick to. So think about how the meal plan would fit in with your daily life and diabetes management.

Before starting any healthy eating programme, please read how to choose your meal plan to make sure you follow the plan that’s right for you.

Please speak to your diabetes health care team before making significant changes to your diet.

This is especially important if you treat your diabetes with insulin or other diabetes medications that increase the risk of hypos. Reducing your carbohydrate intake and changes to your body weight may mean your medication needs adjusting.

Important points about this meal plan

  1. This meal plan has taken nutritional information from our recipes and the sixth edition of Carbs and Cals, unless otherwise stated.
  2. Semi-skimmed milk has been used, but please use whichever you prefer. Any dairy alternative should be unsweetened and fortified with calcium.
  3. These meal plans meet your recommended amount of fibre across the week. It’s important to note that children under 16 years of age need less fibre than adults.

Disclaimer: every effort has been taken to make these meal plans as accurate as possible, but there will be some variation in nutritional values. Speak to a dietitian or your diabetes healthcare team if you have questions about your individual dietary needs.

Read more information and tips on following this meal planner.

Your 1,200-calorie meal plan

You can also download our 1,200 calorie meal plan as a pdf (PDF, 85KB), which contains a full breakdown of the nutritional information per day.


Breakfast: Bircher muesli
Lunch: Cauliflower and leek soup
Dinner: Chilli con carne served with cauliflower pilaf
Pudding: Low fat Greek yogurt

Snacks: one pear, carrot sticks with houmous, one medium banana
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk


Breakfast: Very Berry porridge
Lunch: Chilli bean soup with avocado salsa
Dinner: Cod Portugaise with boiled new potatoes and side salad
Pudding: Cherry and chocolate dessert pot

Snacks: Two clementines, cottage cheese with cucumber and tomato, one orange
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk


Breakfast: Very berry porridge
Lunch: Cauliflower and leek soup
Dinner: Chicken tikka masala served with cauliflower pilaf
Pudding: Natural yogurt

Snacks: Two pears and an orange
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk


Breakfast: Summerberry smoothie
Lunch: Chickpea and tuna salad
Dinner: Smoked mackerel on one medium slice of granary toast with vegetable oil-based spread, a handful of rocket, a sliced tomato and cucumber
Pudding: Two clementines

Snacks: One pear, cottage cheese and four cherry tomatoes, a wholemeal fruit bar
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk


Breakfast: Welsh leek rarebit with tomato
Lunch: Butterbean pâté served with one small wholemeal pitta bread, carrots and tomato
Dinner: Crisp salmon salad served with kidney beans
Pudding: Natural yogurt

Snacks: One orange, portion of almonds, one pear
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk


Breakfast: Two oat biscuits with 150ml semi-skimmed milk
Lunch: Two slices of medium wholemeal bread with grated cheddar, vegetable oil-based spread, tomato and cucumber
Dinner: Aubergine and courgette parmesan bake served with kidney beans
Pudding: A pear

Snacks: Portion of grapes, low fat Greek yogurt, a wholemeal fruit bar
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk


Breakfast: Summerberry smoothie
Lunch: Smoked mackerel on one medium slice of granary toast with vegetable oil-based spread, a handful of rocket, a sliced tomato and cucumber
Dinner: Grilled roast chicken with broccoli, cabbage, carrots and sweet potato
Pudding: Warm exotic fruit salad

Snacks: One fruit and nut bar, two satsumas or clementines, a small pear
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

How much weight will I lose on a 1,200-calorie meal plan?

How much you lose from following this meal plan will vary depending on your age, weight, body composition, how active you are and more. Losing one to two pounds a week is a safe and realistic target for most people.

The NHS BMI calculator is a useful tool that can tell you whether your current weight is within the healthy range and whether you need to consider losing some weight.

It is important to set yourself realistic goals for weight loss. Speaking to your healthcare team may be helpful starting point in setting a target that is achievable and can be maintained in the long term to help improve your health and diabetes management. Even small amounts of weight loss (around 5% body weight) can make a real difference.

It’s also important to combine a healthy diet with physical activity. This can increase the number of calories you burn each day, as well as having many other benefits to your physical and mental health