To truly get the benefit of a dietitian, look for one who's a certified diabetes educator (CDE), she suggests. This certification means they've had extra training that allows them to know "the ins and outs" of how your diet relates to your medications and exercise routines.
- Set up a meal plan. This should include several days' worth of sample meals and snacks that will fit into your daily routine. This should be individualized to your particular needs … not a cookie-cutter approach that could make you lose interest in working with a dietitian.
- Teach you how to count carbohydrates in your foods. That is, if carbohydrate-counting is a method you want to use. Your dietitian should also teach you how to control portion sizes and understand the importance of watching your fat and calorie consumption (which people who count their carbs often forget).
- Consult with your doctor, if necessary. You may need to find a medication regimen that works better with your diet.