Starting a diet is never easy, and most people think that diets mean avoiding foods you once loved and replacing them with healthy alternatives you may never have tasted.
Are you recovering from an eating disorder, planning out your meal plan exchanges and wondering where to begin? Knowing how to design your own meal plan may help you as you move forward with your recovery by empowering you to make healthy meal choices, because ultimately you get to choose whether or not you actually follow your daily food plan. We have listed each food group with the corresponding exchanges to help you make healthy food choices!
This nutrition exchange system is based on six main food groups: Vegetables, Fruits, Proteins, Starches (carbohydrates), Fats, and Milk (dairy or alternatives). Here are meal plan exchanges for eating disorders that your daily food plan will be based on.
Cereals, grains, pasta, breads, crackers, snacks, starchy vegetables, and cooked beans, peas and lentils are starches. Your eating disorder meal plan will probably include about 6-8 carbohydrate exchanges per day (check with your dietitian). Your eating disorder meal plan will probably include about 1-3 dairy exchanges per day (check with your dietitian). Your eating disorder meal plan will probably include about 6-8 exchanges per day depending on your situation, weight, age, etc. Your eating disorder meal plan will probably include about 3-5 vegetable exchanges per day (check with your dietitian). Your eating disorder meal plan will probably include about 0-5 exchanges per day depending on your needs: weight, exercise level, etc.


One carbohydrate exchange equals 15 grams of carbohydrate or 1 starch or 1 fruit or 1 milk. A free food is any food or drink that contains less than 20 calories or less than or equal to 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving. Take one day a week to cook a batch of quinoa, roast some vegetables, make salad dressing and saute up some beans. Keep cut up vegetables fresh by storing in an air-tight container and covering with a damp paper towel.
The key to constructing a balanced meal is having a combination of complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat and an abundance of greens!
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. These foods do not fit into any specific list, but have several different exchanges associated with them.
I have listed a few here; if you have any questions for things on your meal plan that you are unsure of their exchanges, please let me know and I can look up a specific food for you. Planning a healthy meal means insuring you get all of the vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain high energy levels and a healthy weight. Take out all of the cookies and candies and replace them with good fats like those found in avocados, sweet almonds, and fish.
Not only will it taste better but it will also be much better for you.Fill up on colorful fruits and veggiesColor is key when it comes to planning a healthy meal, so fill your plate up with a full spectrum of fresh fruits and vegetables. Look to green veggies, like broccoli and kale, to give you a full serving of calcium, potassium, and zinc.


Red berries are great for fiber and Vitamin C, and look out for the yellow corn and orange sweet potatoes as these can satisfy your sweet tooth while providing you with Vitamins A, C, E and K.Eat in moderationWhile many might think dieting means not eating anything, the truth is you can eat almost anything as long as you do so in moderation. A well-balanced meal is a healthy meal, so don’t let your diet deprive you of particular food groups. Each of your meals should be divided between proteins, vegetables, fruits, and grains, and you should aim to consume an equal amount of each.Treat yourself with a chocolate dessertIn moderation, chocolate can be a great treat, especially dark chocolate. Cocoa is rich in antioxidants that will keep you healthy, and the sweet taste makes it great for healthy desserts, like chocolate covered strawberries and bananas. Calcium is key for maintaining bone strength throughout your adult life, so it is important to consume at least 1000mg per day. Milk is an obvious source of calcium, but you can also find it in lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, and beans. These options give you more opportunities to make your healthy meals even more colorful.Cut back on red meatConsider replacing your red meats with fish. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which will provide your body with the good fat it needs to stay energized and continue burning calories.



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