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Adjusting the Meal Plan (March 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.

To Adjust Carbohydrates

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 the milk at breakfast. Use just 2 tablespoons in your coffee if you want
  • Substitute the barley in your salad at lunchtime with grilled chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • At your afternoon snack, have a regular string cheese instead of a light string cheese

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 around 200 calories:

  • Have just ¼ cup of barley in your salad at lunch. (This saves about 50 calories.)
  • Skip the string cheese at your afternoon snack. (This saves about 50 calories.)
  • Have just 2 tablespoons of almonds for your nighttime snack. (This saves about 100 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • Sprinkle an extra tablespoon of chopped walnuts to your waffles at breakfast. (This adds about 50 calories.)
  • Add 1/3 cup of diced avocado to your salad at lunch. (This adds about 75 calories.)
  • Add 4 ounces of light yogurt to your nighttime snack. (This adds about 50 calories.)

About Our Meal Plans

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

Read More

Lean and Tasty Meals

A sample plan with quick and easy meals that you and your family will love!

See Meal Plan

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.

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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.