Adjusting the Meal Plan (June 2012)

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. Our One Day Meal Plan may not exactly fit your individual needs, so we’ve provided some ideas for how to adjust 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 and keep calories about the same (make it closer to 40% of calories), make the following adjustments to our original meal plan:

  • Skip 8 fluid ounces of milk at breakfast. Add 1 tablespoon of fat-free half-and-half to your coffee if desired.
  • At lunchtime, turn your pita sandwich into a salad by skipping the pita bread. Add ½ cup of tuna salad, use ½ cup of freshly chopped tomato instead of tomato slices, add more romaine lettuce (about 1.5 cups total), and use reduced-fat provolone cheese. Also, leave out the frozen yogurt since it adds 15 grams of carb to the meal.
  • For your afternoon snack, have 1/2 cup of blueberries instead of 1 whole cup.
  • At dinner, add 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds to your green beans instead of just one.

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 our One Day Meal Plan. It may be easier than you think!

To cut about 200 calories:

  • Have ½ cup of milk at breakfast instead of a whole cup. (This saves about 40 calories.)
  • Skip the frozen yogurt at lunch. (This saves about 75 calories.)
  • Spread 1 teaspoon of low-sugar jam or jelly on your English muffin at nighttime snack instead of peanut butter. (This saves about 95 calories.)

To add about 200 calories:

  • At dinner, add 1 whole wheat dinner roll and 1 teaspoon margarine spread. (This adds about 105 calories.)
  • Add 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds to your afternoon snack. (This adds about 95 calories.)

How Many Calories?

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

Please select an option before you continue.
Calculate My Calories

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.

Calculate My Calories

*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.

Seasonal Summer Meals

Take advantage of the many fruits and vegetables that are in season now. See how easy it is to fit them into your daily meal plan!

See Meal Plan

About Our Meal Plans

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

Read More

Grocery List

A complete list of groceries needed for this month's Seasonal Summer Meal Plan.

View List