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Adjusting the Meal Plan (July 2013)

Our One Day Meal Plan may not exactly fit your individual needs, so we’ve provided some ideas for adjusting the amount of carbohydrates and calories.

For Less Carbohydrate…

Your healthcare provider may ask you to limit carbohydrates 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 carbohydrate foods with sources of lean protein or healthy fats.

To lower carbohydrate intake for the day (to about 35% of calories) while keeping calories about the same, make the following adjustments to our original meal plan :

  • At breakfast, skip the bran cereal on your parfait and decrease the serving of strawberries to just ½ cup. Then, replace the slivered almonds with 1 ounce of whole dry roasted almonds.
  • At lunch, skip the grapes and feel free to use a bit more mayo on your sandwich – about 1 tablespoon.
  • At your afternoon snack, savor half a serving of garlic pita chips. (Three chips instead of six.)
  • At dinner, skip the corn on your salad and add 3 tablespoons of shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese.


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:

  • At lunch, skip the sunflower seeds. (This saves about 95 calories.)
  • At your afternoon snack, skip the pita crisps. (This saves about 60 calories.)
  • At dinner, skip the corn on your salad. (This saves about 45 calories.)


To add around 200 calories:

  • At breakfast, add ½ cup of 100% orange juice. (This adds about 60 calories.)
  • At lunch, add 1 piece of reduced-fat American cheese to your sandwich. (This adds about 90 calories.)
  • Add 1 cup cubed cantaloupe to your afternoon snack. (This adds about 50 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.

Read More

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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.