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How do you plan a "1200 calorie a day" diet?

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You can plan a 1,200-calorie-a-day diet by using meal-planning tools like those available from government agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture. The SuperTracker tool on its website helps plan meals within certain caloric limits. This site also helps make sure that your diet meets the required nutritional needs based on age and gender, reports the USDA.

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The Choose My Plate campaign, another government initiative, also provides 1,200-calorie meal plans on its website. The meal plans feature three daily meals plus snacks throughout the day, according to the USDA. Magazines such as Good Housekeeping offer 1,200-calorie meal plans as well. However, these meal plans are specifically designed for adult women looking to lose weight.

Eating 1,200 calories per day may not be suitable for everyone. Using tools such as online calorie calculators, calculate the amount of calories needed per day based on age, gender and activity level, suggests Mayo Clinic. This tool also offers a weight loss option and gives recommendations for a reduced-calorie diet that helps you lose weight at a safe pace — about 1 to 3 pounds per week. Use the Mayo Clinic's BMI calculator to see if you are at a healthy weight for height and age. If there are major concerns in this area, you should meet with a doctor.

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