Adjusting the Meal Plan (February 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, skip the soy milk and add 2 links of veggie breakfast sausage. 
  • At lunch, dip cucumber slices (1/2 cup) in your baba ghanoush instead of using pita bread. Also, add 2 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese to your salad.
  • At dinner, skip the mandarin oranges.
  • For your nighttime snack, skip the popcorn and have 2 tablespoons of dry roasted peanuts instead.

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:

  • Omit the soymilk at breakfast. (This saves about 80 calories.)
  • At lunch, have just 2 tablespoons of almonds on your salad. (This saves about 40 calories.)
  • Skip the string cheese at your afternoon snack. (This saves about 70 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • At breakfast, add 2 links of veggie breakfast sausage. (This adds about 80 calories.)
  • Add a mid-morning snack to your day. Try 6 ounces of non-fat flavored Greek yogurt. (This adds about 120 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.

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.

See More Meal Plans

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


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About Our Meal Plans

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

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