Ready for another healthy and tasty menu? This is already our third weekly Fit With Diabetes Meal Plan so I think it’s fair to say that we are on a roll 😀
Remember, no matter what your health and diabetes goals are, your nutrition is probably the most important factor deciding if you’ll be successful or not. Nutrition can be tricky, so I’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation in this Fit With Diabetes Meal Plan.
If you have read Fit With Diabetes Meal Plan #1 and know how to calculate your daily calorie need, you can skip the next section and go straight to the meal plan.
We all have different calorie needs. Your daily calorie need depends on your size, fitness level, daily activity, gender, etc. When you are creating a healthy diabetes meal plan, your first step should therefore always be to calculate your “calorie equilibrium”, or how many calories you need each day to maintain your current weight. You can learn exactly how to find you calorie equilibrium with 5 easy steps in this post: “How to Find Your Daily Calorie Need“.
Once you know your calorie equilibrium, you can adjust your daily calories up or down to meet your goals. If your goal is to lose weight, I recommend that you eat up to 500 calories less than your equilibrium each day. That should lead to a steady and healthy weight loss.
If you want to gain muscle, start out with 300-500 calories more than your equilibrium each day and see what happens. If you find that you are also putting on a little too much fat, decrease your calories slightly.
The Fit with Diabetes meal plan
Now that you know how to calculate your daily calorie need, you are ready to create a healthy diabetes meal plan. Well, I say create, but you can really just use the plan in this post as it is. I have already calculated all the macronutrients (calories, carbs, protein, and fat), so you just need to choose the calorie level that is right for you.
The example below is for a 1,600 calorie/day plan, but you can download the meal plan as a PDF with many different calorie levels. The download also includes a version with grams instead of ounces for my international friends.
This meal plan has a calorie split of 30% carbs, 40% protein, and 30% fat, which is what I generally recommend for weight loss (you can read “How to Lose Weight When You Live with Diabetes” for more details).
If your goal is to build muscle, I would recommend that you increase the carbs to 35-40% of your daily calories and decrease the fat to 20-25%.
I know that healthy nutrition (and especially how many carbs to eat) is a topic that causes a great deal of discussion in the diabetes community. I make no claim that my approach is the only right way to do it, but it’s what works for me and the clients I work with. If you are doing something different that works for you, then definitely keep doing it!
This is a 1,600-calorie example. You can see other calorie levels in the image at the end of this post or download them here.
Meal 1 – Egg white omelet with toast and avocado
- 1.5 slices whole wheat toast (I used Nature’s Own – Double Fiber Wheat but if you can’t find that, try to find toast with 50 calories, 11 g carb and 1 g fat per slice)
- 5.3 oz. egg whites
- 2.7 oz. avocado
- Cooking spray
- Salt & pepper
- Ketchup or hot sauce(optional)
Instructions: Coat a pan with cooking spray and pour in egg whites when hot. Bake until golden on each side (about 5 minutes total). Place on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Top off with avocado slices and (optional) condiment
Pro tip: Buy liquid egg whites so you don’t have to crack any eggs.
Nutrients: 279 calories, 23 g protein, 23 g carbs, 12 g fat
Meal 2 – Greek yogurt with almonds and berries
- 6.7 oz. plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 0.7 oz. almonds
- 2 oz. blueberries
- 1 tbsp. Stevia (optional)
Instructions: Sprinkle stevia on yogurt and finish with washed berries and chopped almonds.
Nutrients: 245 calories, 23 g protein, 20 g carbs, 10 g fat
Meal 3 – Turkey & avocado patty over spaghetti squash
- 4 oz. ground turkey (99%)
- 1.3 oz. avocado
- 1 whole egg
- Salt & pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 oz. spaghetti Squash (cooked)
- 4 oz. tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. parsley
- Salt & pepper
- Cooking spray
Instructions: Cut the spaghetti squash in quarts and scoop out the seeds. Bake for 40 minutes at 400 F (200 C), skin side up. Let it cool for minimum 10 minutes before scooping out the flesh with a fork.
Mix turkey and egg together in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chopped avocado and fold it all together (will be a little runny). Coat a pan with cooking spray and add the meat mixture to the hot pan. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side.
Take the patty off the pan and set aside. Add tomatoes to the warm pan and let it cook for a minute before adding spaghetti squash. Season with salt and pepper before folding chopped parsley into the veggies. Let if cook for a minute. Serve the turkey patty on top of the spaghetti squash.
Pro tip #1: You can keep cooked spaghetti squash in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container.
Pro tip #2: This dish is also great cold or reheated.
Nutrients: 309 calories, 34 g protein, 16 g carbs, 12 g fat
Meal 4 – Shrimp & quinoa pilaf
- 4 oz. cooked and de-veined shrimp
- 2.7 oz. cooked quinoa
- 4 oz. mixed veggies (tomato, cucumber, pepper)
- Salt & pepper
Instructions: Mix quinoa with veggies, salt, and pepper. Fold in shrimp.
Pro tip: Buy the shrimp frozen to save money
Pro tip #2: Always cook quinoa (and rice) in chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. It tastes MUCH better that way.
Nutrients: 210 calories, 27 g protein, 20 g carbs, 3 g fat
Meal 5 – Marinated steak with brown rice and broccoli
- 4.7 oz. lean beef (sirloin, plank steak, etc.)
- 4 oz. brown rice (cooked)
- 4.7 oz. broccoli
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Instructions: Mix soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a zip-lock bag to create the marinade. Slice the steak into strips and add to the bag. Place in the fridge for minimum a few hours.
Cook the rice and set aside. Clean the broccoli and divide it into little “clusters” of broccoli.
Fry the steak and broccoli in the marinade for 2-4 minutes on high heat, depending on how well done you like it. Fold in the rice, mix thoroughly, and serve
Pro tip: Marinate enough meat for several days. Then just pull out what you need each day.
Nutrients: 313 calories, 32 g protein, 33 g carbs, 4 g fat
Meal 6 – Egg white & flaxseed omelet
- 4 oz. Egg white
- 1.3 oz. Flaxseed meal
- 1 tsp. sugar-free strawberry jam
- 1 tsp. Stevia (optional)
Instructions: Whisk egg whites, flaxseed meal, and Stevia together in a mixing bowl. Coat a pan with cooking spray. Bake the egg white omelet until golden (about 4-5 min. total). Serve with the jam on top.
Nutrients: 237 calories, 21 g protein, 15 g carbs, 10 g fat
Daily totals: 1,594 calories, 159 g protein, 127 g carbs, and 51 g fat.
If you don’t like (or can’t get) and of the ingredients in this plan, there are healthy alternatives you can use instead. Here are my favorite substitutes for the main ingredients. All of them can be substituted on a 1-to-1 basis (1 oz. chicken can be substituted with 1 oz. of turkey). If you prefer to use other ingredients than the ones listed below, you will have to look up their macronutrients yourself.
Ground Turkey: Lean ground chicken, white fish (tilapia, cod, haddock, and halibut), canned tuna (in water), shrimp
Egg whites: Protein powder (min. 20 g protein and max.5 carbs. per scoop), white fish (tilapia, cod, haddock, and halibut), canned tuna (in water), shrimp
Steak: Salmon, ground beef
Almonds: Almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower butter, nuts, avocado
Low-fat Greek yogurt: Low-fat cottage cheese
Blueberries: Other berries (fresh or frozen)
Spaghetti squash: Zucchini, squash, pumpkin
Brown rice: potato, lentils, beans, sweet potato
Changing up the plan
I like to eat the same foods several days in a row with only minor changes and then change the plan every week or so. I would suggest that you follow this plan for a week and then start on the next plan (which I will post in a week from now). You can also go back and follow my Fit With Diabetes Meal Plan #1 or Fit With Diabetes Meal Plan #2 for another week.
If you click the image below, you will get the option to download the meal plan as a document that also has a version with grams instead of ounces.
Medical Disclaimer: All information provided on TheFitBlog is based on my own and our expert’s personal experience. We are not medical professionals and no adjustments to care should be made without consulting your medical team. If you are new to exercise, haven’t exercised in a while and/or haven’t seen your medical team in the last 3 months, it is advised to do so before engaging in any kind of physical activities. You must not rely on the information on TheFitBlog as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.