If you are looking for a lower carb meal plan with a little structure to get started with blood sugar or weight management, this is a plan I have used.
This lower carb meal plan can help you get on track for weight loss, PLUS help get your blood sugars in target. You can use it every day or just to give you a jump start!
The 2-5-6 Plan
2-5-6 means that you eat 2 carbohydrate choices – 5 times a day – 6 days a week.
This will keep your daily carb total at 10 carb servings or 150 grams. You may find it easier to count grams, since that is how carbs are listed on food packages.
This plan is not extremely low like a keto diet. It’s more of a start that helps you cut out some extra carbs but not so much that you feel sluggish, deprived, or have a hard time sticking with it. It can also be helpful if you still need to eat frequently to manage hunger or keep energy level up while you start a new exercise program.
Be sure to add enough protein and vegetables to keep hunger controlled. If you need more for breakfast do 3 carb choices (45 grams) and then 1 (15 grams) for a snack instead of 2 choices (30 grams).
What is a carb choice?
Starches: 1 carb choice or serving equals 15 grams carbohydrate, or any of the following: ½ cup potatoes, corn, green peas, casserole, pasta salad, 1 thin crust slice of pizza, 1/3 cup cooked pasta or rice.
Sweets: Examples of 1 carb choice = 1 snack size candy bar, ½ cup ice cream, 2 Oreo size cookies, or a 2 inch by 2 inch brownie square unfrosted.
Milk includes only milk and yogurt.
Fruit: 1 cup melon, ½ cup canned fruit, 1 small to medium apple or orange, ½ banana, ½ cup juice.
Foods that are NOT carb foods are meats, vegetables and fats/oils. This includes fish, cheese, peanut butter and cottage cheese.
To figure carbs from packages look at the Serving Size and Total Carbohydrate amount. Remember, every 15 grams = 1 carb serving.
For example 1 cup Cheerios has about 26 grams total carbohydrate. That counts as almost 2 choices. If you have 8 oz milk that is another 12 grams so 26 +12 = 38 or about 2.5 carb choices. (38 divided by 15)
Your 7th day can be a free day if you want or you can give yourself an extra 3-4 carb choices that day.
Breakfast: 2 whole grain toast with peanut butter or eggs, coffee black, and water
Snack: Small to medium piece of fruit or 1 cup berries or melon
Lunch: Salad greens with sunflower seeds, cheese, strawberry or mandarin orange slices, croutons and salad dressing.
Dinner: Lean meat, broccoli and 1 cup roasted potatoes
Snack: Tea and 1-2 carb choices of chocolate. You could also go with 1 carb choice such as 1 serving fruit with nuts OR cheese with 1 serving (15 grams crackers.
Note how hungry you feel between meals. You should start to get hungry between meals and snacks and remember that feeling means it is working! Eating 5 times a day allows you to eat frequently enough to not get too hungry but the smaller portions help with weight control.
If you need recipe ideas you can check out some of these from Eating Well. If you would like to work with me on a customized meal plan, click here to book a call and we can chat about what you are looking for and how I can help you reach your goals.
Looking for more information on prediabetes? Click here to read my article Top 7 Questions about Prediabetes.
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Need a more detailed step-by-step guide to cutting back on carbs? You can purchase my Diabetes Food Fix Start workbook here for only $7.00!