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Adjusting the Meal Plan (March 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 (around 33% of calories from carbohydrates) while keeping calories about the same, make the following adjustments to our original meal plan:

  • At breakfast, skip the kiwi fruit.
  • At lunch, switch the black beans out for 2 ounces chicken breast. Also, decrease the amount of rice in your bowl to 1/3 cup.
  • At your afternoon snack, have just 1 cup of light popcorn instead of 3.
  • At dinner, cut your portion of Apricot Pine Nut Cous Cous from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup. Also, mix 2 tablespoons of toasted slivered almonds in with your green beans.

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 high protein and high fat foods with healthy sources of carbohydrate.

To increase carbohydrate intake for the day (slightly more than 50% of calories) while keeping calories about the same, make the following adjustments to our original meal plan:

  • At breakfast, increase your serving of strawberries to 1 ½ cups, enjoy 1 cup of 1% milk instead of just ¼ cup, and skip the almonds.
  • At lunch, increase the amount of black beans in your rice bowl to ½ cup. Meanwhile, decrease the amount of cheese in your rice bowl to 2 tablespoons.
  • For your afternoon snack, replace low-carbohydrate snap peas with ½ of a grapefruit.
  • Add another glass of 1% milk to your dinner meal.

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:

  • Have just a ½ ounce of almonds at breakfast - about 11 almonds. (This saves about 80 calories.)
  • At lunch, skip the avocado in your rice bowl. (This saves about 60 calories.)
  • For your afternoon snack, have just 1 cup of light popcorn instead of three. (This saves about 60 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • Add a small mid-morning snack of 1 string cheese stick and ½ cup of grapes.
  • At your afternoon snack, add 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing for dipping your snap peas. 

*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?

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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.

Sample Meal Plan

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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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