Adjusting the Meal Plan (May 2013)

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 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.
To lower carbohydrate intake for the day (to about 35% of calories) while keeping calories about the same, make the following adjustments to our original meal plan:

  • At breakfast, decrease the portion size of your blueberries to ½ cup.
  • At lunch, skip the cous cous and add 3 ounces of grilled chicken.
  • At dinner, skip the cranberries on your salad and slice up ¼ of an avocado to add instead. 
  • For your night time snack, skip the figs and have 4 ounces of light vanilla Greek yogurt with your walnuts.

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:

  • At lunch, skip the whole wheat cous cous. (This saves about 90 calories.)
  • At dinner, skip the cheese on your salad. (This saves about 30 calories.)
  • Cut the serving size of your walnuts in half at your night time snack. (This saves about 80 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • At breakfast, increase your serving size of oats to ½ cup dried oats. (This adds about 45 calories.)
  • Add an 8 fluid ounce glass of 1% reduced fat milk to your lunch. (This adds about 100 calories.)
  • Add 1/2 serving of whole wheat pita chips (about 6 chips) to your afternoon snack. (This adds about 60 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.

Photo: Eggplant and Chickpea Stew from The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook. PNC Photography: Photographer: Peter Papoulakos

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.

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Less sodium doesn’t have to mean less flavor. Check out this month’s low-sodium meal plan.

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