1-Week Meal Plan & Recipe Prep for Pre-Diabetes

Roasted salmon with wild rice and vegetables

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At Verywell, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy lifestyle. Successful eating plans need to be individualized and consider the whole person. Before starting a new diet plan, consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have an underlying health condition.

If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or need to have better glycemic control, you may need to change your diet to achieve more balanced blood sugar. It can be helpful to plan ahead and have a balanced meal plan, especially when weeks get busy, to ensure you are eating the right foods for balanced blood sugar.

Meal planning can help keep you on track, no matter what your nutrition goal is. Prepping and planning doesn’t have to be time-intensive and complicated. A few simple steps, including basic meal constructs, making a shopping list, shopping, and preparing food ahead of time, are what make meal planning a helpful tool to keep you energized, meet your nutrition goals, reduce food waste, and save money.

Why Nutrition Is Important for a Person with Prediabetes

Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar is higher than normal often due to insulin resistance, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. While prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, the condition is generally preventable with early intervention through diet and lifestyle changes.

You may need to make adjustments to your eating plan, such as modifying your carbohydrate intake, eating more fiber, and consuming lean sources of protein and healthier fats. Eating a relatively consistent amount of carbohydrates at the same time daily can also help to keep blood sugars stable and prevent energy highs and lows. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that 45% to 65% of calories come from carbohydrates, but individual carbohydrate needs vary.

Additionally, the type of carbohydrates you eat can influence spikes in blood sugar. Carbohydrates that digest quickly and are higher in refined sugar cause a higher spike in blood sugar while complex carbohydrates that are higher in fiber and digest more slowly lead to more stable blood sugar. Eating carbohydrates with protein and fat can prevent large blood sugar spikes.

7-Day Sample Menu

This one-week meal plan was designed for a person with prediabetes who needs about 2,000 calories per day and has no dietary restrictions. Your daily calorie goal may vary. Learn what it is below, then make tweaks to the plan to fit your specific needs. Consider working with a registered dietitian or speaking with another healthcare provider to assess and plan for your dietary needs more accurately.

Each day includes three meals and three snacks, which contain a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Meals will consist of a macronutrient breakdown of approximately 40-45% carbohydrates, which is generally ideal for a person with prediabetes. Fiber is an important nutrient for people with prediabetes, and the recommendation calls for 14 grams per 1,000 calories or approximately 25 to 38 grams per day.

It is OK to swap out similar menu items, but keep cooking methods in mind. Replacing steak with grilled chicken will lower the saturated fat and calorie count of the meal. However, if you were to try to replace steak with fried chicken that substitution will likely not have less calories or fat. You can adjust your calorie intake by consuming fewer snacks or eating larger snacks depending on your goals.

Day 1

Breakfast

  • 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2-ounce chopped almonds
  • 1/4-cup unsweetened, whole-grain cereal
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Macronutrients: 313 calories, 27 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fat

Snack

  • One string cheese
  • 1 large peach

Macronutrients: 153 calories, 8 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fat

Lunch

  • Salmon Caesar Salad Pita (One 6-inch whole wheat pita bread, 2 cups romaine lettuce, 3 ounces grilled salmon, and 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing)

Macronutrients: 521 calories, 27 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 29 grams fat

Snack

  • 15 almonds
  • 1 Apple

Macronutrients: 210 calories, 5 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fat

Dinner

  • Chicken Stir-Fry (4 ounces chicken breast with 1/2 cup broccoli and 1 chopped red bell pepper sauteed in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons peanut sauce, and 1/2 cup cooked brown rice)

Macronutrients: 567 calories, 28 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 Banana
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

Macronutrients: 302 calories, 8 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams fat

Daily Totals: 2,069 calories, 102 grams protein, 188 grams carbohydrates, 109 grams fat

Note that beverages are not included in this meal plan. Individual fluid needs vary based on age, sex, activity level, and medical history. For optimal hydration, experts generally recommend drinking approximately 9 cups of water per day for women and 13 cups of water per day for men. When adding beverages to your meal plan, consider their calorie count. Aim to reduce or eliminate consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and opt for water when possible.

Day 2

Breakfast

  • One slice 100% whole wheat bread
  • One poached egg
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • One tomato, sliced

Macronutrients: 335 calories, 13 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup hummus

Macronutrients: 119 calories, 5 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

Lunch

  • Greek Salad with 5 large grilled shrimp (2 cups romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup chopped tomato, 1/2 cup chopped cucumber, 1/4 cup black olives, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1/2 cup chickpeas, and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette)

Macronutrients: 415 calories, 22 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 small apple
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Macronutrients: 266 calories, 8 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams fat

Dinner

  • 4 ounces grilled salmon
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato
  • 10 asparagus spears roasted in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Macronutrients: 489 calories, 31 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams fat

Snack

  • 2 cups plain popcorn
  • 15 roasted cashews
  • 1 ounce 70% dark chocolate

Macronutrients: 393 calories, 7 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams fat

Daily Totals: 2,016 calories, 86 grams protein, 165 grams carbohydrates, 120 grams fat

Day 3

Breakfast

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked in water
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 5 large strawberries, chopped

Macronutrients: 300 calories, 11 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 10 cherries
  • 6 walnut halves

Macronutrients: 277 calories, 23 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams fat

Lunch

  • One 8-inch whole wheat wrap
  • 4 ounces sliced turkey
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 slices tomato

Macronutrients: 342 calories, 21 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup tzatziki dip
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  • 1 ounce pita chips

Macronutrients: 236 calories, 7 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fat

Dinner

  • 4 ounces tofu, cubed and baked in 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup broccoli sauteed in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Macronutrients: 491 calories, 20 grams protein, 58 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup regular whole milk ice cream

Macronutrients: 273 calories, 5 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,920 calories, 86 grams protein, 204 grams carbohydrates, 91 grams fat

Day 4

Breakfast

  • One slice 100% whole wheat bread
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 medium banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Macronutrients: 429 calories, 15 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams fat

Macronutrients: 377 calories, 15 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams fat

Snack

  • 15 almonds
  • 1 Apple

Macronutrients: 210 calories, 5 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fat

Lunch

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 ounces grilled chicken
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Macronutrients: 592 calories, 34 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 37 grams fat

Snack

  • 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup hummus

Macronutrients: 119 calories, 5 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

Dinner

  • 1 cup lentil pasta
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
  • 1 zucchini, cut into coins and roasted in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Macronutrients: 442 calories, 19 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams fat

Snack

  • 2 small chocolate chip cookies

Macronutrients: 197 calories, 2 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fat

Daily totals: 1,989 calories, 80 grams protein, 168 grams carbohydrates, 111 grams fat

Day 5

Breakfast

  • One slice 100% whole wheat bread
  • One poached egg
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • One tomato, sliced

Macronutrients: 335 calories, 13 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • One cheese stick
  • 1 large peach

Macronutrients: 153 calories, 8 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fat

Lunch

  • Two slices 100% whole wheat bread
  • Two slices tomato
  • 4 ounces canned tuna mixed with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Macronutrients: 501 calories, 35 grams protein. 29 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams fat

Snack

  • 2 brown rice cakes
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Macronutrients: 234 calories, 6 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat

Dinner

  • One 100% whole wheat bun
  • One slice of tomato, one outer romaine lettuce leaf
  • 4 ounce turkey burger
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 cup baby carrots

Macronutrients: 490 calories, 31 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • 10 walnut halves
  • 1 ounce 70% dark chocolate

Macronutrients: 302 calories, 5 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams fat

Daily Totals: 2,016 calories, 105 grams protein, 162 grams carbohydrates, 108 grams fat

Day 6

Breakfast

  • 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup All-Bran cereal
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Macronutrients: 258 calories, 25 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat

Snack

  • One slice 100% whole wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Macronutrients: 175 calories, 7 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat

Lunch

  • 1 cup lentil pasta
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
  • 1 zucchini, cut into coins and roasted in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Macronutrients: 442 calories, 19 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams fat

Snack

  • 12 tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup guacamole

Macronutrients: 260 calories, 4 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams fat

Dinner

  • 3 ounces grilled steak
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash cubes roasted in 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 Brussels sprouts, halved and roasted in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Macronutrients: 607 calories, 30 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 44 grams fat

Snack

  • Two Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter

Macronutrients: 231 calories, 4 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,973 calories, 89 grams protein, 188 grams carbohydrates, 110 grams fat

Day 7

Breakfast

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked in water
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 5 large strawberries, chopped

Macronutrients: 300 calories, 11 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams fat

Snack

  • One slice cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium apple

Macronutrients: 208 calories, 7 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fat

Lunch

  • Salmon Caesar salad pita with 1 6-inch whole wheat pita bread, 2 cups romaine lettuce, 3 ounces grilled salmon, and 1 tablespoon Caesar dressing

Macronutrients: 521 calories, 27 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 29 grams fat

Snack

  • 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup hummus

Macronutrients: 119 calories, 5 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

Dinner

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3 ounces grilled chicken
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 2 cups spinach

Macronutrients: 608 calories, 39 grams protein, 73 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams fat

Snack

  • 2 cups plain popcorn
  • 1 ounce 70% dark chocolate

Macronutrients: 258 calories, 3 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fat

Daily Totals: 2,013 calories, 92 grams protein, 203 carbohydrates, 100 grams fat

How To Meal Plan for a Diet for Prediabetes

  • Start your day with a balanced breakfast. Be sure to include plenty of protein, healthy fats, and fiber in breakfast to keep you full and satisfied and blood sugar stable.
  • Plan ahead and meal prep. Taking some time on a Sunday or your day off to plan your meals for the week, grocery shop, and prep some meals in advance is a major time saver during busy weeks. It can also help reduce stress when thinking about what to eat and helps you stay on track.
  • Keep your food groups in mind. It can be challenging to come up with meals every day. To make it easier, think about including a protein, complex carbohydrate, fat, and fruit or vegetable at each meal. This combination helps you get all of the nutrients you need and keeps you full and satisfied.
  • Remember timing is important. You want to think about eating about every 3-4 hours. This keeps your energy levels up throughout the day, blood sugar stable, and prevents you from going to any one meal starving.
  • Keep in mind that mid-morning, afternoon, and evening snacks are optional. If you are not hungry for snacks in between meals, you don't need to force yourself to eat them. However, snacks are a useful tool to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and prevent overeating at meals.
  • Choose complex carbohydrates. Keep high fiber carbohydrates on hand for meals and snacks so that you have a blood sugar-friendly option easily accessible.

A Word From Verywell

Planning nutritious, tasty, and balanced meals for Prediabetes does not need to be difficult with a little planning ahead and prep. Always speak with a registered dietitian if you are not sure this plan is right for you and to get specific recommendations for your individual nutrition needs and health goals.

We recognize that meal plans may not be appropriate for all, especially those with disordered eating habits. If you or a loved one are coping with an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Helpline for support at 1-800-931-2237.

6 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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