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Adjusting the Meal Plan (July 2014)

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 sources of lean protein or healthy fats for those higher carbohydrate foods.

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

  • At breakfast, swap the glass of milk out for ½ cup of 1% low-fat cottage cheese.
  • At lunch, swap the beans in your salad out for 2 ounces of canned tuna. 
  • At dinner, have a slightly bigger portion of chicken (4 ounces instead of three) and skip the peach.

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 while keeping the calorie level about the same, replace some of the high protein and high fat foods with healthy sources of carbohydrate.

To increase carbohydrate intake for the day (closer to 55% of calories) while keeping calories about the same, make the following adjustments to our original meal plan:

  • At lunch, replace the hardboiled egg in your salad with 1/3 cup corn.
  • For your afternoon snack, swap out the string cheese for 4 whole wheat crackers.
  • At dinner, decrease your serving of chicken slightly and add a kiwi that has been peeled and sliced to have with your peach.
  • For your evening snack, skip the peanuts and have 4 ounces of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt.

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 ways you could adjust the calories in our original meal plan.

To cut about 200 calories:

  • At lunch, add just ¼ cup diced avocado to your salad instead of ½ cup. (This saves about 60 calories.)
  • At dinner, have just 1 serving of Crispy Baked Broccoli. (This saves about 60 calories.)
  • For your nighttime snack, skip the apricots. (This saves about 80 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • Add a mid-morning snack to your meal plan. Try ½ cup 2% low-fat cottage cheese mixed with ½ cup blueberries.  (This adds about 140 calories.)
  • At lunch, use 2 tablespoons of regular Italian dressing on your salad instead of fat-free Italian dressing. (This adds about 60 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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Budget-Friendly Meals

Usually, produce is at its lowest price when it is in season. Here are some tasty meals that include a variety of seasonal and budget-friendly foods.

See Meal Plan

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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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