Adjusting the Meal Plan

Our one-day meal plan may not exactly fit your individual needs, so we’ve provided some ideas for adjusting the amount of carbohydrate and calories.

For Less Carbohydrate…

Our meal plans provide about 45% of calories from carbohydrate. However, your healthcare provider may ask you to limit carbohydrate more than our meal plan suggests. This means you should cut back on the carbohydrate foods that you eat throughout the day. To keep your calorie intake about the same, substitute sources of lean protein or healthy fats for those higher carbohydrate foods.

To lower carbohydrate intake, make the following adjustments to the original meal plan:

  • At breakfast, skip the whole wheat toast.
  • At lunch, replace the whole wheat wrap for a lettuce wrap.
  • At dinner, skip the brown rice and add another nonstarchy vegetable.

For More Carbohydrate…

You may follow a plan that allows more carbohydrate per meal than our meal plan suggests. To increase the carbohydrate content in your plan, replace some of the high protein and high fat foods with healthy sources of carbohydrate.

To increase carbohydrate intake for the day, make the following adjustments to the original meal plan:

  • At breakfast, add another slice of whole grain bread and increase the fruit.
  • At lunch, swap out the wrap for whole grain bread.
  • At dinner, add a whole grain roll or increase the brown rice.
  • For snack, add more fruit.

To Adjust Calories…

Depending on whether you are trying to lose, gain, or maintain your weight, you may have different calorie needs as well. Here are some ideas for adjusting the calories in our original meal plan.

To cut about 200 calories:

  • Skip the snack! (This saves about 100-200 calories.)
  • In the afternoon, reduce your serving of almonds to ½ ounce. (This saves about 80 calories.)

To add about 200 calories:

  • At lunch, add more nonstarchy vegetables. (This adds about 25 calories.)
  • At snack at 1 glass of milk. (This adds about 100 calories.)
  • At dinner, add a small side of fresh berries (This adds about 20-40 calories) and increase your serving of fish by 2 ounces (This adds about 80 calories).

*Note: Our meal plans are developed based on the American Diabetes Association's general nutrition guidelines. However, nutritional needs can vary from person to person. Your healthcare team can help you set up a meal plan that works for you and will help you meet your health goals.

About Our Meal Plans

Learn about the nutrition guidelines we follow to create our one-day meal plans.

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If you want to lose weight, you may need fewer calories. You should talk with your health care team for more personalized recommendations, but this calculator can help to get you started.

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*Estimates are rounded to the nearest 200 calories. An individual's calorie needs may be higher or lower than these average estimates. Developed from the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

See More Meal Plans

See all of the meal plans that we have published to date.

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