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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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How to choose your meal plan

We have 12 meal plans to choose from, all aimed at different nutritional values and goals. But how do you know which one is right for you? 

Following our meal plans could support you towards managing your glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. Keeping these measurements in the desirable range reduces your risk of diabetes-related complications

We recommend you speak with your healthcare professional to record these measurements before starting the meal plan, agree your own individual targets, and set reminders to monitor your progress.  

Your healthcare professional can also refer you to a dietitian to help you. 

There’s no such thing as a set ‘diabetic diet’ plan, and everyone’s goals are different. The meals and portion sizes suggested are suitable for all adults who wish to eat a healthier, more balanced diet.  

More benefits to following a meal plan 

As well as being beneficial to people living with type 1, type 2, or other types of diabetes, you might also like to follow a meal plan if you’ve found out you’re at risk of type 2 diabetes. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can help to reduce your risk

As well as helping you to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight, meal planning is a great option for the following reasons: 

  • It helps save you money – if you know what you’re having in advance, you won’t be tempted to choose a takeaway as an easier option. Take a look at our budget meal plan
  • It reduces food waste – as you’ll only buy what you need for the week, you’ll be less likely to throw away food that’s gone past its use-by date. 
  • Meal planning saves time – you won’t need to make multiple trips to the supermarket, and you won’t need to think about what to have for dinner each day.  
  • You’ll be less stressed from being organised – meal planning is ideal for anyone, but can be especially helpful if you have a busy lifestyle.  

Choosing your meal plan 

The best meal plan for you is the one you know you can stick to. So, think about how the meal plan would fit in with your daily life and diabetes management. You’ll need to consider how the meal plan compares to your current eating patterns as well as your lifestyle.  

If you want to lose weight 

If you’re choosing to follow a meal plan to lose weight, there are many factors to think about before you begin. This includes your gender, current weight and your dietary preferences, as well as how changes to your weight will affect your diabetes management.  

Once you've decided on a target weight and a meal plan to help you reach it, you can read them online or download a PDF.  

Research shows you can lose 1lb a week by following a diet that has 600 calories less each day than what you’d need to stay the same weight. 

Your weight, body composition and activity levels will influence your individual requirements. Men need more calories than women because they have more muscle and are generally heavier. 

The average woman will need approximately 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day to lose weight, and the average man approximately 1,500 to 1,800 per day. You may require more if you have a lot to lose, or are very active. 

Losing weight is difficult, but our unique meal plans can help. We've included vegetarian, vegan and non-vegetarian options and each one has been nutritionally balanced to ensure you consume the correct amounts of dairy (calcium), wholegrain foods, oily fish (if applicable) and very little processed meat. 

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