Step 1: Seek Expert Advice
A 1,200-calorie diet is not inherently risky and may work well if this energy intake helps you achieve gradual, safe weight loss. But if following this plan makes you hungry or weak, you probably need to adjust your diet.
Also, if this low-calorie plan causes rapid weight loss — greater than 2 pounds a week on average — that means it’s too low in calories or not well balanced. That’s because weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is ideal, as people who lose at this rate are more likely to keep the weight off, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC).
If your goal is to lose weight or change your diet to manage another health condition, it’s wise to seek the input of your doctor and a dietitian, a professional with nutrition and health expertise. A dietitian can design a food plan to match your specific energy needs, health conditions and food preferences, and can provide guidance on any supplements that are needed to complement your low-calorie diet.