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Adjusting the Meal Plan (April 2014)

Our One Day Meal Plan may not exactly fit your individual needs, so we’ve provided some ways you can adjust 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, swap in sources of protein or healthy fats for those higher carbohydrate foods.

To lower carbohydrate intake for the day (around 30% of calories from carbohydrates) while keeping calories about the same, make these simple swaps from the original meal plan:

  • At breakfast, have just half of an English muffin and scramble up two eggs instead of one. 
  • At lunch, reduce the amount of beans in your bean salad to ½ cup and add 3 ounces of tuna (canned in water and drained) to the salad. 
  • For your afternoon snack, swap the Greek yogurt out for a piece of string cheese. 
  • At dinner, sprinkle 1 tablespoon chopped pecans over your sweet potato.


For More Carbohydrate…

You may follow a plan that allows more carbohydrate per meal than our meal plan suggests. To keep the calorie level about the same but increase the carbohydrate content in your plan, replace some of the foods that provide protein and fat with healthy sources of carbohydrate.

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

  • At breakfast, skip the scrambled egg and add 1 cup 1% low fat milk. 
  • At lunch, decrease the amount of olive oil in your dressing to just 1 teaspoon. Add ½ cup corn to your bean salad. 
  • At dinner, have closer to ¾ of your sweet potato, but use about half the margarine on it. To add more flavor to your sweet potato, sprinkle on some cinnamon.
  • For your nighttime snack, have 1/4 cup dried apricots and decrease your serving size of almonds to 2 tablespoons.


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, skip the scrambled egg. (This saves about 80 calories.) 
  • At lunch, decrease the amount of beans in your salad to ½ cup. (This saves about 50 calories.) 
  • At dinner, skip the strawberries. (This saves about 70 calories.)

To add around 200 calories: 

  • Add a small mid-morning snack of 15 baby carrots and 1 ½ tablespoons peanut butter for dipping.

*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.

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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