Getting Started with Gestational Diabetes – A One Week Plan

A kit used by a woman with gestational diabetes.

A kit used by a woman with gestational diabetes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you need a gestational diabetes meal plan for one week?  Did you just fail your 1 hour GTT or 3 hour GTT?  Let me explain to you what you can do…

What sort of meal plan do I need with gestational diabetes?

First of all, a meal plan is a great place to start.  I am glad that you are here and trying to learn more about gestational diabetes.  It’s a short term condition, and if you are like me, you will be fine with doing whatever it takes to make sure the baby is healthy!

So, to begin with, you need to plan out your day.  Start with learning what is a carbohydrate.  You can read the labels on your foods, and if you look towards the middle to bottom of a label, it tells you “Total Carbohydrate” (per serving).  This is the amount of carbohydrate – and carbohydrate is what increases your blood sugar.  You want to start out with eating only 30 – 45 grams per meal.  If you are having a hard time keeping your blood sugars under control, aim for the lower amount.  So plan out what you will eat at each meal that is carbohydrate.  Then add in the fat and proteins.  You can have extra on the protein and fat, and it won’t affect your blood sugar too much.  So, pick a slice or two of whole grain bread – then add vegetables and meat and make a big sandwich.  Eat some carrots with it, or a salad with just a light dressing.  Have a cheese stick or cottage cheese or other snack throughout the day.

What sort of options do I have with gestational diabetes meal plans?

Secondly, you can choose multiple items in each category to make a great meal.  Start your breakfast with eggs and bacon and an english muffin.  No juice or fruit for breakfast – they seem to spike gestational diabetes moms really fast especially in the morning.  For lunch, choose a tortilla to wrap some lunch meat and vegetables in – or go with rice and beans – but just a light serving and add lots of green and yellow vegetables to fill you up.  Again, you should aim for 30-45 gm of carbohydrate at a meal to begin with.  If you do ok with that, and you are checking your blood sugars regularly, you may be able to eat a bit more.  But you probably want to consider adding more protein and fat foods – like peanut butter on celery for a snack.

In the evening – you should aim for 3 meals and 3 snacks, you can eat a combo carbohydrate – some women love a small serving of peanut butter and crackers, others love 1/2 cup of regular ice cream.  The fat seems to help with their blood sugars in the morning.  All snacks should be about 15 grams of carbohydrate per session.

What will help me to succeed with a gestational diabetes pregnancy?

Finally, it’s important to manage your carbohydrate!  Most of all, you can eat a lot of things, but always combine your carbohydrate with another type of food – fat or protein – to reduce it’s immediate effect on blood sugar.  You will learn that almost all the foods you love have carbohydrate in them.  That does not mean that you can’t eat them, it just means that you need to be aware of the amount that you eat of them.

It’s a short term problem, and managing it during that time can be hard.  If you want a printed meal pattern for different calorie levels, complete with breakfast, lunch and snack ideas as well as dinner meals the whole family can enjoy, you can learn more about our plans that we offer.  We also have a great email group – sign up below to learn more about gestational diabetes today!

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I Have Gestational Diabetes – Where Do I Start?

“I have gestational diabetes” can be a tremendously terrifying thought.  You want to cry, scream, yell and yet you don’t know what else to do.

Some common things you can do to help you get started on the right track with managing your gestational diabetes are great to start with, especially when you don’t know much to say past the initial “I have gestational diabetes“.

When you first learn that you have gestational diabetes, it’s very important to understand that it can be controlled well and you can deliver a healthy baby.  I have gestational diabetes does not have to be something said with trembling in your voice.  Let’s talk about the steps involved in managing and controlling gestational diabetes.

I have gestational diabetes” step one for control is to look at the types of sugar that you are eating.  You may drink a glass of juice or drink regular soda or even have a candy bar sometimes because of cravings.  Now that you have gestational diabetes that has to stop being a random thing, and it needs to be part of the total calories that you’re allowed to eat for the day as well as the amount of carbohydrate that you’re allowed to eat for the day.  Simple sugars easily go into your bloodstream and increase your blood sugar, and depending on how high the blood sugar goes it can transfer extra sugar to your baby through your placenta.  The amount of simple sugar in a food can be found by reading the label, under the area labeled carbohydrate.  There is a section called sugars that indicates the grams of simple sugars that are in the food.  Until you have the control of your gestational diabetes, you want to eat a minimal amount of simple sugars.

“I have gestational diabetes” step 2 for control is that you can make your diet better in many ways.  You should replace the sugary foods with healthier foods that are whole grain instead – higher fiber helps you feel full longer without increasing your blood sugars.  Whole-grain foods provide the amount of carbohydrate that you need without giving you extra simple sugars.  High-fiber foods break down more slowly in your digestive system, allowing your body to absorb the carbohydrate in them at a slower pace and therefore deal with the increase in blood sugar over time.  Initially, you want to avoid more of the white foods that, although they are complex carbohydrates, tend to break down quickly and increase your blood sugar as much as a candy bar.  Start eating whole fruits and vegetables as well as whole-wheat bread instead of juices and plain white bread.

“I have gestational diabetes” step 3 for control starts with distributing your calories throughout the day by eating 3 small meals and 3 snacks if you can.  This helps your body to use insulin properly and manage your hunger and your blood sugar.  Most women need to balance their calories out to a 40-50% carbohydrate diet, 30% fat and the rest as protein.  At breakfast, you may want to eat a protein and a complex carbohydrate.  This might be something like a piece of ham and whole-wheat toast.  For snacks, you should try to combine a carbohydrate and protein food as well. Lunch and dinner meals may be a little larger and need to have a combination of fat, protein and carbohydrate to make you feel full and get your needed calories.

You may not realize it, but while you’re pregnant, you probably need to consume around 2000 calories a day.  Using these steps to control your gestational diabetes will help you start off in the right direction to controlling your blood sugars and having a healthy pregnancy.

“I have gestational diabetes” may be the first thought you have, but you can get more help with a gestational diabetes meal plan that includes all the needed steps and ways to manage your diet to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.  Click here to find out more about our gestational diabetes meal plans.