Adjusting the Meal Plan (May 2012)

Adjusting the Meal Plan

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.

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 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:

  • At breakfast, have your eggs without the tortillas and increase the amount of egg substitute you use to 1 cup.
  • At lunch, add another ounce of chicken to your salad and decrease the amount of beans from 3/4 cup to 1/3 cup.
  • At dinner, omit the corn on the cob. Top your Vegetable Paella with 4 ounces of shrimp that has been boiled and add a side of avocado to your dinner (about 1/4 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 our One Day Meal Plan. It may be easier than you think!

To cut around 200 calories:

  • Omit the queso fresco in your breakfast wrap. (This saves about 85 calories)
  • Add just 2 ounces of chicken to your salad at lunch instead of 3 ounces. (This saves about 40 calories.)
  • Omit the trans-free margarine at dinner and use just a squeeze of fresh lime juice and freshly ground pepper to season your corn. (This saves about 75 calories)

To add around 200 calories:

  • Add a mid-morning snack to your meal plan that consists of 4 ounces of light non-fat yogurt and 1 cup of papaya. (This adds about 120 calories.)
  • Add an extra ounce of chicken to your salad at lunch. (This adds about 40 calories.)
  • Have a whole cob of corn (medium-sized) at dinner instead of just half. (This adds about 40 calories.)

How Many Calories?

Calculate the number of calories you should eat each day to maintain your present body weight:

Please select an option before you continue.
Calculate My Calories

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

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