Adjusting the Meal Plan (October 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 (closer to 30% of calories) while keeping calories about the same, make the following adjustments to our original meal plan:

  • At breakfast, have just half of an English muffin and add a hard-boiled egg. 
  • At lunch, skip the snack mix made with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. Use regular balsamic vinaigrette rather than a light version.
  • For your afternoon snack, switch the orange out for a piece of string cheese.
  • At dinner, have a bit more pork (closer to 5 ounces). Skip the milk and have unsweetened iced tea instead.
  • For your night time snack, increase your portion of peanuts to ¼ cup and omit the grapes.

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 breakfast, use just 1 tablespoon of almond butter rather than 2 tablespoons. (This saves about 100 calories.)
  • At dinner, have water or another low-calorie drink rather than milk. (This saves about 100 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • Add a mid-morning snack of 1 cup whole strawberries and one piece of string cheese. (This adds about 125 calories.)
  • Add another tablespoon of guacamole and 8 baby carrots to your afternoon snack. (This adds about 75 calories.)

*Note: Our meal plans are developed based on the American Diabetes Association’s general nutrition guidelines. However, nutritional needs 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.

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.

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

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