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7-Day Meal Plan for Insulin Resistance: A Dietitian’s Guide

Alex Harsha
Alex HarshaSep 18, 2023, 1:51 AM
7-Day Meal Plan for Insulin Resistance: A Dietitian's Guide

Insulin is a hormone that helps your body cells receive the energy they need to function properly. Some of the food you eat is broken down into a sugar called glucose after meals, generating a natural rise in blood sugar levels. In response, the pancreas secretes insulin, signaling the body to transport sugar from the blood into muscle, liver, and fat cells for energy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), insulin resistance causes the body to respond less efficiently to insulin release. As a result, the pancreas produces more and more insulin to compensate for the decreased sensitivity and return blood sugar levels to normal. The pancreas can’t keep up with the increased demand for insulin over time, which means blood sugars are less able to recover to normal levels, resulting in raised blood sugars. According to StatPearls, insulin resistance is a risk factor for a variety of health problems, including prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and obesity.

What Are the Causes of Insulin Resistance?

It’s difficult to determine exactly what causes insulin resistance. It can also hide for many years before symptoms appear, making diagnosis challenging. However, heredity, sedentary lifestyle, high-calorie, high-sugar diet, higher LDL cholesterol, and obesity may all increase your risk of insulin resistance.

According to the Obesity Medicine Association, insulin resistance might affect your weight because extra blood sugars are stored as fat, particularly visceral fat—fat around the abdomen and organs. However, decreasing weight is just one of several strategies that can help improve insulin resistance.

We designed this plan at 1,500 calories per day to assist healthy weight reduction for most people and included plenty of fiber and protein to support healthy blood sugar levels and improve satiety. For people with different calorie requirements, we offered variants for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day. This meal plan, like all meal plans, is intended to serve as a foundation for a healthy eating practice. Don’t worry if you want to make a substitution or go out to supper with a friend one night. The goal is to begin cooking more meals at home and eating regular meals and snacks that are high in protein, fiber, fruits, and vegetables. This eating plan does not necessitate perfection in order to receive its benefits.

Foods to Focus On

  • Vegetables
  • Berries, pears, apples, and other fruits
  • Brown rice, quinoa, freekeh, whole wheat, bulgur, oats, and other whole grains
  • Protein that is lean
  • Eggs
  • Dairy fermented (yogurt, kefir)
  • Fish
  • Olive oil and avocados are examples of healthy fats.
  • Natural nut butters (no added sugar) with nuts and seeds

How to Meal-Prep for a Week’s Worth of Meals

  1. Make a chopped salad with chickpeas, olives, and feta for lunch on days 2–5.
  2. Make Maple Granola for breakfast throughout the week.

Day 1

Breakfast (317 calories)

1 serve Spinach Omelet in 10 Minutes
1 medium orange snack in the morning (62 calories)
1 cup fresh blackberries

Lunch (368 calories)

1 avocado tuna salad serving
1 plum afternoon snack (265 calories)
½ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds
1 peach, medium

Dinner (478 calories)

1 roasted salmon caprese serving
1 grilled eggplant salad serving

Daily Totals: 1,490 calories, 98g fat, 75g protein, 90g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,478mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit the orange at breakfast and the almonds for the afternoon snack.

Make it 2,000 calories: Breakfast should include 1 serving Raspberry-Kefir Power Smoothie, and the afternoon snack should include 3/4 cup plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt with 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts.

Read More: Eating Coconut Daily Increases Immunity, Keeps Heart Healthy

Day 2

Breakfast (345 calories)

1 cup plain strained low-fat Greek yogurt yogurt
1 cup Maple Granola
½ cup berries
Snack in the morning (263 calories)
1 banana, medium
½ tablespoons natural peanut butter

Lunch (351 calories)

1 serving Chopped Salad with Chickpeas, Olives & Feta
1 medium apple
P.M. Snack (125 calories)
¾ cup low-fat plain kefir
½ cup blueberries

Dinner (403 calories)

1 serving Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken with Zucchini-Corn Relish
1 cup Simple Cabbage Salad

Daily Totals: 1,485 calories, 61g fat, 78g protein, 163g carbohydrate, 28g fiber, 1,672mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1/2 cup blackberries and omit blueberries at P.M. snack.

Make it 2,000 calories: Increase to 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter for your morning snack, 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast for lunch, 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds for your afternoon snack, and 1 serving Strawberry Nice Cream for your evening snack.

Day 3

Breakfast (345 calories)

1 cup low-fat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
1 serving Maple Granola
½ cup raspberries
A.M. Snack (206 calories)
¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Lunch (351 calories)

1 serving Chopped Salad with Chickpeas, Olives & Feta
1 medium apple
P.M. Snack (179 calories)
1 medium pear
1 large hard-boiled egg

Dinner (437 calories)

1 serving Braised Lentils & Kale with Fried Eggs

Daily Totals: 1,517 calories, 64g fat, 78g protein, 160g carbohydrate, 32g fiber, 1,281mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 plum and change P.M. snack to 1/2 cup blueberries.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter to an apple for lunch, 1 dish Everything Bagel Avocado Toast for supper, and 1 serving Strawberry Nice Cream for an evening snack.

Day 4

Breakfast (286 calories)

1 slice sprouted-wheat or whole-wheat toast
1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
1 cup low-fat plain kefir
A.M. Snack (263 calories)
1 medium banana
1 ½ Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Lunch (351 calories)

1 serving Chopped Salad with Chickpeas, Olives & Feta
1 medium apple
P.M. Snack (185 calories)
20 dry-roasted unsalted almonds
½ cup blackberries

Dinner (430 calories)

1 serving Steak Taco Salad
¼ cup guacamole

Daily Totals: 1,515 calories, 75g fat, 68g protein, 152g carbohydrate, 37g fiber, 1,479mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit the kefir at breakfast and replace the afternoon snack with 1 medium peach.

Make it 2,000 calories: 1 medium peach as an evening snack, 1 serve Raspberry-Kefir Power Smoothie for breakfast, 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast for lunch, and 1 serving Raspberry-Kefir Power Smoothie for breakfast.

Day 5

Breakfast (345 calories)

1 cup low-fat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
1 serving Maple Granola
½ cup raspberries
A.M. Snack (206 calories)
¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Lunch (351 calories)

1 serving Chopped Salad with Chickpeas, Olives & Feta
1 medium apple
P.M. Snack (179 calories)
1 medium pear
1 large hard-boiled egg

Dinner (428 calories)

1 serving Quick Lemony Chicken Soup
1 serving Pear Salad

Meal-Prep Tip: Save two servings of Quick Lemony Chicken Soup for lunch on days 6 and 7.

Daily Totals: 1,509 calories, 70g fat, 85g protein, 147g carbohydrate, 32g fiber, 1,530mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 plum and change P.M. snack to 1 medium peach.

Make it 2,000 calories: 1 piece sprouted wheat toast with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter for breakfast, 1 medium peach for an afternoon snack, 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast for lunch, and 1 serving Strawberry Nice Cream for dessert.

Day 6

Breakfast (345 calories)

1 cup low-fat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
1 serving Maple Granola
½ cup raspberries
A.M. Snack (95 calories)
1 medium apple

Lunch (402 calories)

1 serving Quick Lemony Chicken Soup
1 medium bell pepper, sliced
¼ cup hummus
P.M. Snack (152 calories)
1 cup low-fat plain kefir
½ cup blueberries

Dinner (509 calories)

1 serving Tilapia Fish Tacos

Daily Totals: 1,502 calories, 59g fat, 109g protein, 145g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 1,786mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 medium peach, omit bell pepper and hummus at lunch and omit kefir at P.M. snack.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter to your morning snack, 1 dish Guacamole Chopped Salad to your dinner, and 1 medium peach to your nighttime snack.

Day 7

Breakfast (317 calories)

1 serving 10-Minute Spinach Omelet
1 medium orange
A.M. Snack (156 calories)
¾ cup low-fat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
½ cup raspberries

Lunch (402 calories)

1 serving Quick Lemony Chicken Soup
1 medium bell pepper, sliced
¼ cup hummus
P.M. Snack (131 calories)
1 large pear

Dinner (486 calories)

1 serving Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Zucchini

Daily Totals: 1,492 calories, 59g fat, 115g protein, 132g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,856mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: At breakfast, skip the yogurt, and at lunch, skip the bell pepper and hummus.

Make it 2,000 calories: 1 serve Raspberry-Kefir Power Smoothie for breakfast, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts for an afternoon snack, and 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds for an evening snack.

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    Author

    Alex Harsha
    Alex Harsha

    Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

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