Creating Your Meal Plan
The goal of your meal plan should be to control your blood sugar, maintain a healthy body weight, and feel well enough to carry on your daily activities and work. A Registered Dietitian (R.D.) can assist you in planning the right amounts of foods, types of foods, and timing of meals. You can reach an R.D. through your local diabetes education program, or by calling the American Dietetic Association at 1-800-366-1655.
As you begin to develop your own meal plan, you may want to start by thinking about the foods that you normally eat. You can do this by keeping a list of everything you eat for three days, the time you eat them, and the amount you eat. After you have completed this list, work with your healthcare team to analyze the results. As you analyze your diet, ask yourself the following questions:
- how does your diet compare to the Food Guide Pyramid?
- what are your favorite foods?
- do you have "problem foods," such as donuts or French fries, that are not healthy and that you probably eat too much of?
- what size are your food portions?
- how often do you eat?
- how often do you over-eat?
- do you have a time of day that is more difficult to follow your meal plan?
After you analyze your diet, you should work with your healthcare team to develop a meal plan that makes sense for you. This plan should consider the foods you enjoy as well as your usual eating habits, age, sex, weight, level of physical activity, and medications. Your own meal plan will tell you the kinds and amounts of food to eat. Even with this plan, you'll still have to make daily choices about food.