Adjusting the Meal Plan (March 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 below.

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 in their place. Here’s an example:

To lower carbohydrate intake for the day (to about 37% of calories) while keeping calories about the same, make the following adjustments to our original meal plan:

  • Have just 1 Buckwheat Banana Pancake instead of two, and have two vegetarian sausage patties instead of just one. Also, switch out the milk in your coffee for 1 tablespoon of half-and-half.
  • At lunch, add 2 ounces of low-sodium oven-roasted turkey deli meat to your sandwich. Also, have just a small clementine instead of the larger orange.
  • For your afternoon snack, switch out the hummus for 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing.
  • At dinner, add another teaspoon of sliced almonds to your broccoli for a total of 1 tablespoon.
  • For your nighttime snack, switch the English muffin out for a plain rice cake and skip the honey.

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 One Day Meal Plan.

To cut about 200 calories:

  • At breakfast, skip the blueberries. (This saves about 50 calories.)
  • At dinner, have just 1 cup of Garlic Chicken Scampi. (This saves about 130 calories.)
  • At your nighttime snack, omit the honey. (This saves about 20 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • At breakfast, make your serving of blueberries a whole cup and have an extra sausage patty. (This adds about 100 calories). 
  • Add 2 ounces of low-sodium oven-roasted deli turkey to your panini at lunch. (This adds about 50 calories.)
  • Increase your portion of hummus at your afternoon snack to 1/3 cup. (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.

How Many Calories?

Calculate the number of calories you should eat each day to maintain your present body weight:

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I don't do any physical activity other than what I need to do for my usual activities, such as going to work or school, grocery shopping, or doing chores around the house.

I do some moderate exercise every day in addition to doing my usual activities. For example, I walk about 1.5 to 3 miles a day at about 3 to 4 miles an hour. Or I do something else that's moderately active.

I am very active every day in addition to doing my usual activities. For example, I walk more than 3 miles a day at about 3 to 4 miles an hour. Or I do something else that's very active.

How Many Calories?

This number estimates how many calories you should eat per day to keep your body weight where it is now.

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.

All-Natural Diabetes Meals

This month’s sample meal plan focuses on including natural, whole foods throughout the day.

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


About Our Meal Plans

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

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