1200 Calorie Bariatric Diet

Wondering what a 1200 calorie bariatric diet looks like? Look no further.

Here's an example of a 1200 calorie balanced diet you might use for the weight maintenance stage or for getting back on track if you've started to regain some weight.

Sample Menu

1200 calorie bariatric diet menu

1200 Calorie Bariatric Diet Planning: Helpful Hints

If you want to plan your own 1200 calorie menus, here are 4 simple ways to divide the calories:

  • 6 meals per day, each 200 calories = 1200
  • 3 meals per day, each 300 calories + 3 snacks per day, each 100 calories = 1200
  • 3 meals per day, each 400 calories = 1200
  • Breakfast 300 calories, Lunch 400 calories, Dinner 500 calories = 1200 calories

Get the idea? Having a calorie budget in mind before you begin each meal and/or snack will help guide your choices and portions.

Quality of Calories Matters

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Food is more than numbers. Eating quality foods will help control quantity.

At first glance, assigning a simple calorie goal for each meal might lead you to believe it’s ok to eat anything if it fits the calorie budget. Definitely not true. Eating 200 calories worth of snack foods, 6 times per day = 1200 calories. But this is obviously not the goal!

How the Bariatric Plate Method Can Help

The proportion of the bariatric plate provides a good visual of how to divvy up calories.

Spend the bulk of your calories at each meal on protein and vegetables, and smaller amounts on quality carbs (and healthy added fats/flavorings).


If you have 200 calories to spend at a meal, try this:

  • 100 on protein: ~ ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 50 on produce: ~ 1/2 cup mixed berries
  • 50 on fat/flavor: ~1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds

If you have 300 calories to spend at a meal, try this :

  • 100-150 calories on protein: ~3-4 ounces of chicken
  • 100 on vegetables: ~1 cup of broccoli, 1 ½ cups salad + 1 tsp olive oil for dressing
  • 50 on healthy carbs: ~2 ounce baked sweet potato; sprinkle with cinnamon

 Get it?!

Bariatric Macros

If you like numbers, these bariatric macros may be useful. A calorie distribution of 40/30/30 (carbs/protein/fat) is considered a low carb, healthy diet.

On a 1200 calorie bariatric diet, this translates to:

  • 120 grams of quality carbs 
  • 90 grams of protein
  • 40 grams of fat

The Bottom Line

There are many ways to follow a 1200 calorie bariatric diet. 

  • Decide on the number of meals you're planning to eat every day.
  • Decide in advance how you'll divide up the calories between each of the meals.
  • Eat balanced meals- mostly protein and vegetables, and smaller amounts of quality carbs and/or added fats and flavor.

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