6 Step Guide to make your own Diabetes Meal Plan- for absolute beginners

As an individual with diabetes you must be well aware of the fact that food plays an important role in diabetes management. Now, the health industry itself is flooded with a pletora of diets that start from a normal balanced diet to restrictive diet like water fasing. Now how would you choose what diet to follow.  If you are a begineer and have no idea were to start fixing your diet, then this is your simplest and doable guide. 

1. Noting down your diet and routine:

Note down what you eat in a week, everything from the time you wake up till bedtime along with the time. You can make an additional entry about how much satiated (full) you were after the meal or did you have hunger pangs that led you to eat those meals. Note that the data has to be for a consistent period of atleast 5-7 days for you to analyse.

2. Self analysing your data:

Circle in red – all the meals that you feel were unhealthy or you overate / underate or if you had an emotional eating episode. Now you might ask me how do I do this? I have no idea about what is good and what is bad for me!. The answer is pretty simple – any thing that fits the below list is to be red listed

Sugars in any form - table sugar, jaggery, honey, syrups, etc | Fried foods - Samosa, deep fried chicken, fitters, etc | Packed foods - Chips, biscuits, soft drinks, colas, chocolates. | Bakery products made with maida (either 100% or partially ) - cakes, pastries, buns, breads, etc | Fruit juices - fresh or packaged
The Red List Items

Next, circle the food items / meals that you think are healthy – examples like spouts, dals, vegetables, fruits, etc.

You cannot be 100% right as you do not poss the expertise, but this simple analysis will help you understand where you should focus. It can be cutting down bakery items or packed food from your diet

3. Understanding emotions and circumstances:

You are your guru. You know yourself better than anyone. The next step in thie process is to identify situations or emotions that you feel are negative. For example – partying with friends, getting emotional when things done go your way. Identify such circumstances and emotional outbrakes that you had in the week that you are currently analysis. Note them down and look for cues on how food might have played a role before or after the incident , it can be an excessive alcohol shot lead you and your friend to fight over a trivial issue, or you ate a bag of chips just because had a bad day at office etc.

4. Make a list:

Make a list of all things red and all things green and the situations that have food connection. This gives you an awareness about where you need to improve and what you need to cut down or include more.

5. The next week plan:

Once you get the clarity, set targets to include more of the green listed foods and to avoid the red listed foods for 5-7 days straight along with that keep in mind what all circumstances led you to eat bad foods last week and try to be conscious about it. 



6. Repeat and restart

You can then again do an analysis like the previous week and keep improving your health game. You will get stuck at times, this is just 10% of the whole diabetes diet- so it’s okay. But believe me this is the most difficult and important  part to figure out, and guess what you can do it yourself. Once you are ready to take full incharge of your health with no excuses then it is high time you meet an expert like Nutritionist or Doctor to help you with your food and lifestyle that will do wonders to bring your sugar levels under control

Knowing when to stop

Diabetes is a medical condition (yes I agree it is a lifestyle condition as well). You must always reach out to a health care professional to get help whe needed.The above strategy works well for diabetic individuals who have a fairly controlled sugar levels or are pre-diabetic. Here are some important pointers that needs immediate attention and when this approach might not be a good fit

 

  • Bloog sugars reaching 200-250s +
  • Not followed up with your doctors in the past 3 months
  • Not check your blood sugars for weeks together
  • Have multiple medical conditions together
  • Recurring low blood sugar episodes
  • Recent surgical history
  • Risk of developing eating disorders (EDs) or individuals who have already been diagnosed with EDs

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