What, when and how much you eat can make a huge difference in your ability to control your blood sugar. Ask your doctor to refer you a registered Dietitian/Nutritionist to develop a personalized food plan that takes into account your eating preferences, schedules and nutrition requirements.
Registered Dietitians/Clinical Nutritionists:
Are whole food and nutrition experts. Their recommendations and treatment plans must be evidence-based and rely heavily on scientific studies. I think it’s important to seek their advice. They specialize in menu planning and individual healthy eating. How to eat right for your body. They are dedicated to helping and supporting the nutritional behavior changes through personally tailored advice and guidance through the overwhelming diet and nutrition claims to date, to help in successful management of weight as well as chronic diseases. They generally specialize in Weight Management, Diabetes Education, Heart Health, Gastrointestinal disorders, Food Allergies, Eating Disorders, Health Wellness and more. They are specialists in evaluating your individual bodily needs.
Important: Whoever you decide to see a Dietitian/Nutritionist regarding your health the most important thing is that you feel connected and able to communicate comfortably with your health professional. They need to know the intimate details of our life to better serve you, so be sure that you can trust them. Good luck on your journey to health.
Meeting Your Dietitian/Nutrition Partner:
Expect your first meeting with your Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist to last for up to an hour. You and your nutritionist will talk about your desired weight, how active you are, your medications, and your overall health goals. It will be a general meeting, but not overwhelming. What they like to do is get to know you and understand what your goals are, then you can set small goals and discuss where to go from there. The more information you bring, the better they can help you.
Budgeting for Nutrition Support:
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your insurance is likely to cover your visits with a nutritionist. However, if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes because your blood sugar levels are somewhat higher than normal, your nutritionist visits are not likely to be covered. However because working with a Dietitian may prevent you from going from prediabetes to full-blown type 2 diabetes, it’s certainly worth paying for the visit yourself.
The cost for a visit with a nutritionist will vary depending on where you live and what type of facility you go to … a private practice, a hospital, or a diabetes center. You can expect to pay between $100 to $200 for the initial visit and about $50 to $150 for shorter follow-up visits. If your visits are covered by insurance, you co-pays could be as little as $10 or as much as 20% of the costs. Better to check with your insurance plan ahead of time to be sure.
To get the most out of this important first visit, bring with you:
A Food Diary: Record everything you eat and the time you eat for at least two or three days. At least one of those days should be a weekend because people tend to eat differently on weekends. Be sure to thoroughly log everything you consume, including snacks, beverages, and between-meal nibbles. In order to help you make improvements, your nutritionist will need to get an accurate picture of what you are currently eating.
A List of Your Activities: Exercise is an important part of living well with diabetes. Knowing how often you exercise and what activities you like to do, whether it’s walking, swimming, biking, or dancing, can help with your diabetes treatment and eating plan.
A List of Your Medications: Write down the names of your medications, the dosages, and the times you take each one…or just bring your pill bottles with you.
Your Blood Sugar Level Documentation: If you have started using a blood glucose meter, bring your meter and logbook to your appointment. You Nutritionist will teach you how to check your blood sugar and how often you should test. This will help you will go through all the ins and outs and make sure your diabetes testing is not as painful as you might expect it to be.
Your Questions: If you write down your questions in advance, you won’t forget to ask them during your visit. List all questions you have, no matter how silly you think may be.Throughout those discussions you will be sure to obtain the important facts about managing your diabetes.
At your first visit. The Nutritionist will also ask you a series of questionsthat will help customize your individual eating plan. They will need your age, height, and weight to calculate your body mass index. This information is important to determine how important it is for you to lose weight. If so, they will help you plan menus for dining at home and at restaurants. They may also suggest good resources for recipes and healthy substitutions to lower fat and calories in your meals and teach you how to count carbohydrate consumption in your foods.
They will also want details on all other health conditions you have, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis or allergies that will affect your nutrition needs, as well as any of your cultural eating habit influences.
In the beginning you may see your dietitian once a month. Once meal planning and healthy substitutions become a habit and your blood sugar is under control, you may not need to visit as often.
Good luck on your journey to wellness and health!
About the Authors:
Mitchell Levy is the Chief Instigator of Ahas at the Aha Amplifier and Chief Marketing Officer at VedaFoods. Mitchell has coached tens of thousands of individuals on improving their work lives and running their businesses better. He has 30+ years of thought leadership, strategy planning and sales/marketing experience, is a former board member, CEO & advisor of many organizations, has written 46 business books and created over 70 University courses. To find out more about Mitchell, visit http://mitchelllevy.com.
Carly Alyssa Thorne is a speaker, author, consultant, producer, and director on Conscious Business Collaborations, specializing in multi-sensory, multimedia, and the mind-body-business-spirit interconnectedness. Carly has worked with individuals, families, and companies on comprehensive health programs and led numerous retreats. To find out more about Carly, visit http://www.CarlyAlyssaThorne.com.
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