Adjusting the Meal Plan (June 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, split your smoothie with someone else at home. Increase your serving of mixed nuts to 3 tablespoons and add a hard-boiled egg.
  • At lunch, make your tuna salad with light mayo instead of plain yogurt. Then, skip the bread and use the Bibb lettuce leaves to make tuna salad lettuce wraps. Top your lettuce wraps with about ¼ cup diced avocado.
  • At dinner, skip the corn. Then, add 2 tablespoons of toasted sliced almonds to your orzo salad.

For More Carbohydrate…

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

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

  • At breakfast, skip the nuts and have a slice of whole wheat toast topped with 1 teaspoon of trans-free margarine and 1 teaspoon of fruit preserves.
  • At lunch, reduce the amount of tuna in your salad by half. Then, mash ¼ cup of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) into your tuna salad. Add ¾ cup strawberries to your lunch as well.
  • For your afternoon snack, skip the veggies and dip. Substitute in 4 ounces of light vanilla yogurt (a scant ½ cup).
  • At dinner, have 1 whole ear of corn.
  • For your nighttime snack, decrease the amount of cottage cheese to about 1/3 cup.

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 tortilla chips and bean dip at lunch and have 1 cup strawberries on the side instead. (This saves about 130 calories.)
  • At dinner, skip the corn. (This saves about 40 calories.)
  • For your nighttime snack, decrease your serving of cottage cheese to just 1/3 cup. (This saves about 30 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • At breakfast, increase your serving of nuts to ¼ cup. (This adds about 100 calories.)
  • At lunch, add 1 cup of strawberries as a side. (This adds about 45 calories.)
  • For your afternoon snack, increase the amount of ranch dressing to 2 tablespoons. (This adds about 55 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.

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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.

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