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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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1,500 calories a day meal plan for men and women

If your goal is to lose weight, a meal plan can be a useful way to help. 

Many people choose to take on a calorie-controlled diet to help them lose weight and manage their food intake. But it’s important to make sure it’s the right option for you first. 

Our 1,500 calorie meal plan (PDF, 84KB) is both calorie and carb counted for your convenience, and contains at least five portions of fruit and veg per day. Across the week we’ve calculated an average of around 1500kcal per day to help you reach your goals. 

We’ve included the value for fibre too to help you make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements. We know lots of people in the UK aren’t eating enough fibre, so it’s important to try and include good sources in your diet every day.

The recipes within this plan serve anywhere from 1-6 people. You can either reduce the quantities to serve as many people as needed or look at the chef’s tips to see if the recipe can be made in bulk and frozen for a later date. This will also help reduce waste. 

Before you begin this meal plan

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, research shows that the best diet is one you can stick to. So, think about how the meal plan would fit in with your daily life and diabetes management. It is not easy starting the journey to losing weight but remember there is support out there to help you. 

Before starting any healthy eating programme, please read how to choose your meal plan to make sure you follow the plan that's right for you. 

Please speak to your diabetes health care team before making significant changes to your diet. 

This is especially important if you treat your diabetes with insulin or other diabetes medications that increase the risk of hypos. Reducing your carbohydrate intake and changes to your body weight may mean your medication needs adjusting.

Important points about this meal plan

  1. This meal plan has taken nutritional information from our recipes and the sixth edition of Carbs and Cals, unless otherwise stated.
  2. A mix of whole milk and semi skimmed has been used, but please use whichever you prefer. Any dairy alternative should be unsweetened and fortified with calcium. 
  3. These meal plans meet your recommended amount of fibre across the week. It's important to note that children under 16 years of age need less fibre than adults.
  4. These meal plans outline daily food intake, but it’s still important to remember to drink regular fluids. This includes plain water, plain milk, and tea or coffee without added sugar.

Disclaimer: every effort has been taken to make these meal plans as accurate as possible, but there will be some variation in nutritional values. Speak to a dietitian or your diabetes healthcare team if you have questions about your individual dietary needs. 

Your 1,500-calorie meal plan

You can also download our 1,500 calorie meal plan as a pdf (84KB), which contains a full breakdown of the nutritional information per day.

Monday

Breakfast: Bircher muesli
Lunch: Two medium slices of wholemeal bread with grated cheddar, tomato and vegetable oil-based spread 
Dinner: Chilli con carne served with cauliflower pilaf
Pudding: Apple, blackberry, oat and seed crumble

Snacks: one pear, one muesli energy bar, one medium banana
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Tuesday

Breakfast: Two medium slices of wholemeal bread with peanut butter and vegetable oil-based spread  
Lunch: Butternut squash and borlotti bean stew
Dinner: Mackerel with tomatoes served with two mini wholemeal pitta breads
Pudding: Cherry and chocolate dessert pot

Snacks: Two clementines, one slice of malt loaf with vegetable oil-based spread, one orange
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Wednesday

Breakfast: Very berry porridge
Lunch: Tortillas stuffed with chicken and salad
Dinner: 160g baked sweet potato with boiled broccoli and topped with crumbled feta
Pudding: 125g Greek yogurt

Snacks: One apple, 10g portion of plain almonds, two clementines
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Thursday

Breakfast: Two wheat pillows with 150ml semi-skimmed milk
Lunch: Two slices of medium wholemeal bread with grated cheddar, vegetable oil-based spread, tomato and cucumber
Dinner: Grilled lemon and chilli chicken with couscous served with sweetcorn
Pudding: Apple, blackberry, oat and seed crumble

Snacks: One pear, 30g portion of almonds, two satsumas or clementines 
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Friday

Breakfast: Two wheat pillows with 150ml semi-skimmed milk
Lunch: Scrambled eggs (made with two eggs and milk) on two slices of medium wholemeal toast with vegetable oil-based spread and sliced tomato
Dinner: Cod and salmon burgers served with tomato, rocket and kidney beans
Pudding: 125g natural yogurt

Snacks: One pear, portion of almonds, 80g portion of raspberries 
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Saturday

Breakfast: Two medium slices of wholemeal bread with vegetable oil-based spread and two boiled eggs
Lunch: Cauliflower and leek soup topped with grated cheddar cheese
Dinner: Mixed vegetable and bean curry served with a mini wholemeal pitta bread
Pudding: 30g portion of almonds

Snacks: One banana, Greek yogurt, portion of almonds, four cherry tomatoes
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Sunday 

Breakfast: Wholemeal spinach and cheddar pancakes 
Lunch: Mediterranean pasta salad
Dinner: Grilled chicken with baked sweet potato paired with boiled cabbage and broccoli
Pudding: One pear

Snacks: One serving of spicy roasted chickpeas, two satsumas or clementines, 10g portion of almonds 
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

How much weight will I lose on a 1,500-calorie meal plan?

How much you lose from following this meal plan will vary depending on your age, weight, body composition, how active you are and more. Losing one to two pounds a week is a safe and realistic target for most people. 

The NHS BMI calculator is a useful tool that can tell you whether your current weight is within the healthy range and whether you need to consider losing some weight.

It is important to set yourself realistic goals for weight loss. Speaking to your healthcare team may be helpful starting point in setting a target that is achievable and can be maintained in the long term to help improve your health and diabetes management. Even small amounts of weight loss (around 5% body weight) can make a real difference. 

It’s also important to combine a healthy diet with physical activity. This can increase the amount of calories you burn each day, as well as having many other benefits to your physical and mental health. 

Read more about exercise and diabetes

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