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Adjusting the Meal Plan (May 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 30% of calories from carbohydrates) while keeping calories about the same, make the following adjustments to our original meal plan:

  • At breakfast, skip the English muffin. Instead, whisk together your one egg with two egg whites and scramble. Mix 2 tablespoons of reduced-fat cheddar cheese in with your eggs too!
  • At lunch, skip the crackers and have ½ cup 1% cottage cheese.
  • For your afternoon snack, switch the apple slices out for a few celery sticks.
  • At dinner, switch the mango out for a spinach salad with tomatoes. Drizzle your salad with 2 tablespoons of homemade balsamic dressing made with 1 part balsamic vinegar and 1 part olive oil.
  • For your evening snack, skip the yogurt and have ¼ cup of almonds.

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, have a whole English muffin and make an egg sandwich.
  • For your afternoon snack, have just 1 tablespoon of peanut butter with your apple.
  • At dinner, add 1 cup of skim milk and skip the guacamole.
  • For your evening snack, switch the almonds out for ½ cup grapes.

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 ½ cup of “Hash Browns” at breakfast. (This saves about 50 calories.)
  • At lunch, skip the crackers. (This saves about 125 calories.)
  • At dinner, top your enchilada casserole with just 1 tablespoon of guacamole instead of 2 tablespoons. (This saves about 25 calories.)

To add around 200 calories:

  • At breakfast, top your eggs with a slice (about ¾ ounce) of reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Add another ½ cup of honeydew as well. (Together, these changes add about 95 calories.)
  • At dinner, add 1 cup 1% low-fat milk. (This adds about 105 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.

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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About Our Meal Plans

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

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Show your family that healthy eating can also taste delicious! This month’s sample plan works in just a few of our tasty and nutritious recipes.

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