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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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1,800 calories a day meal plan for men

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 1,800 calorie meal plan 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 1800kcal per day to help you reach your goals. This meal plan is aimed at men who’d like to achieve gradual weight loss. 

This is because the guideline daily amount for women is 2,000 calories a day compared to 2,500 for men. This means 1,800 calories for women is unlikely to achieve your desired weight loss goal.  

We’ve included the value for fibre 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 rich 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 1,800-calorie meal plan

You can also download our 1,800 calorie meal plan as a pdf (PDF, 86KB), which contains a full breakdown of the nutritional information per day.

Monday

Breakfast: Microwave mug: apple and cinnamon fruity porridge
Lunch: Cheese omelette paired with salad made of four cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves, cucumber and 30g of pumpkin seeds
Dinner: Tray baked salmon and vegetables with cooked brown rice
Pudding: 125g plain Greek-style yogurt and 80g raspberries

Snacks: 30g plain almonds, mango, portion of spicy roasted chickpeas
Milk: 225ml whole milk

Tuesday

Breakfast: Oat flakes with 125g Greek yogurt, raspberries and a medium banana  
Lunch: Tuna and sweetcorn pitta - made with a wholemeal pitta, tinned tuna in water, sweetcorn and a tablespoon of light mayo
Dinner: Cod with roasted winter veggies with peas
Pudding: Coconut rice pudding and blackberries

Snacks: Two satsumas, a fruit and nut bar, 30g plain almonds
Milk: 225ml whole milk

Wednesday

Breakfast: Wholemeal spinach and cheddar pancakes 
Lunch: Chilli bean soup with avocado salsa and grated cheddar cheese 
Dinner: Chicken and lentil curry
Pudding: Apple, blackberry, oat and seed crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Snacks: One mango, 125g Greek yogurt with 10g pumpkin seeds, two oatcakes and smooth peanut butter, 10g plain walnuts, a medium banana
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Thursday

Breakfast: Two wheat biscuits with 200ml semi-skimmed milk and a medium banana
Lunch: A chicken salad sandwich on wholemeal bread with lemon and chilli savoury popcorn
Dinner: Bubble and squeak with peas
Pudding: Plain Greek yogurt and raspberries 

Snacks: One apple, two satsumas and one slice of malt loaf, three squares of dark chocolate  
Milk: 225ml whole milk

Friday

Breakfast: Oat flakes with 125g Greek yogurt, raspberries and a medium banana
Lunch: Roast butternut squash and red lentil soup
Dinner: Cauliflower pilaf with piri piri chicken and mixed salad leaves
Pudding: Apple Charlotte

Snacks: One fruit and nut bar, crispbread with cottage cheese and cherry tomatoes, 30g dried apricots and 30g almonds 
Milk: 225ml whole milk

Saturday

Breakfast: No added sugar muesli with 200ml semi-skimmed milk and blueberries
Lunch: Wholemeal pitta bread with smoked mackerel, Greek yogurt, watercress, cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and pepper
Dinner: Bang Bang chicken salad
Pudding: Plain Greek yogurt with raspberries

Snacks: Two satsumas, a slice of malt loaf, one apple, 30g portion of almonds, and two oatcakes with smooth peanut butter
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Sunday 

Breakfast: Two poached eggs with two slices of rye bread and vegetable oil-based spread
Lunch: Cauliflower and leek soup and two slices of medium wholemeal bread
Dinner: Minced beef and vegetable filo pie with broccoli, cabbage and boiled new potatoes
Pudding: Coconut rice pudding and blackberries

Snacks: One pear, honeydew melon with 125g Greek yogurt and 10g pumpkin seeds, three squares of dark chocolate and 80g raspberries
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

How much weight will I lose on a 1,800-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 number 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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