The Pathway to Better Health – Diabetes Education Program
Our program consists of 6 bi-monthly classes. Each session is 1 hour long and is taught by a Certified Diabetes Educator. All classes are a 50/50 mix of education and hands-on activities. Our RDs love questions. Therefore, ample time is set aside each class to address questions and concerns related to class material.
In addition to the 6 classes, participants are encouraged to meet one-one with The Pathway to Better Health – Diabetes Education Program Registered Dietitians to enhance and personalize their learning experience. And the best part – most insurances cover the cost of the classes and one-one-visits!
All classes take place at The Plano Program Personal Training and Nutrition Center located at 500 Boston Post Road in Orange, CT.
The primary purpose of The Pathway to Better Health – Diabetes Education Program is to provide participants with an introduction to the principles of healthy eating for diabetes. Our program strives to reduce the burden of diabetes by promoting the adoption of scientifically driven approaches to prevent and/or delay the onset of the complications of diabetes.
The overall objective is to help patients with diabetes learn to live happier, healthier, longer lives by empowering them with the knowledge and skills needed to manage their diabetes.
As with the start of any journey participants often feel a mixed bag of emotions. They have hopes, aspirations, fears and impending barriers. No matter how motivated and prepared someone is there will always be the occasional mishaps that hold him or her back.
Whether it is an unintentional sugar binge, a string of missed workouts or just unrealistic goals, participants will take comfort in knowing that bumps and obstacles are par for the course. The key to finding the right detours is having the correct strategies in place so these all-too-common blunders don’t derail their success.
Week 1 – Introduction to the Program & Diabetes 101
Session # 1 – Introduction to the program & Diabetes 101
In this 60-minute initial class, the Registered Dietitian (RD) will introduce the participants to the logistics of The Pathway to Better Health – Diabetes Education Program. The RD will review the syllabus, program objectives, role of the RD as well as the expectations of the participants. She will also deliver a brief lecture intended to provide basic information about the definition, pathophysiology, and treatment of diabetes.
Baseline surveys will be distributed and collected related to program goals and the participant’s expectations. Weight, BMI, waist-to-hip circumference and body fat will be measured by the RD during this session as well.
Objectives Session #1
Upon the conclusion of Session # 1 Introduction & Diabetes 101 all participants will be able to do the following:
- Explain their role as participants in The Pathway to Better Health – Diabetes Education Program
- Describe the logistics of how the program runs
- Interpret how their personal demographics (Weight, BMI, Body Fat Percentage, Hip-Waist Circumference) relates to their own long-term health
- Summarize the general pathophysiology of and common misconceptions about diabetes
- Identify effective treatment strategies for diabetes
Week 2 – Introduction to Carbohydrates, Protein & Fat and Their Impact on Blood Sugar Values
Session # 2 -Introduction to Carbohydrates, Protein & Fat and Their Impact on Blood Sugar Values
There is no one ‘diet’ for diabetes. This session is intended to emphasize the critical role of macronutrient intake in the dietary management of diabetes. The primary goal in the management of diabetes is to achieve as near normal regulation of blood glucose (postprandial and fasting) as possible. The composition of food groups and their impact on blood glucose will be discussed.
The importance of keeping a food journal will also be explored. Participants will be asked to assess their own eating by journaling their food intake as well as their pre/post prandial blood sugar readings before the next session.
Objectives Session # 2
Upon the conclusion of Session # 2 Introduction to Carbohydrates, Protein & Fat and Their Impact on Blood Sugar Values all participants will be able to do the following:
- Identify the three macronutrients and describe how they affect blood glucose
- State how the timing of food intake can help them reach their blood glucose goals
- Identify the foods they eat that are highest in carbohydrates, protein, and fat
- Describe how the composition of their meals can help them reach blood glucose goals
- Demonstrate how monitoring the amount of food eaten can help them reach their blood glucose and weight goals
Week 3 – Label Reading 101 – What Every Diabetic Needs to Know
Session # 3 – Label Reading 101
Learning how to read and understand food labels can help individuals make healthier choices. However, many times reading a nutrition label can create more questions than answers! In this 60-minute interactive educational session, the RD will review the important components of a food label and teach participants how to successfully incorporate this information directly into their lifestyle.
In an effort to make the session truly informative and interactive, participants will be encouraged to bring in two different food labels from foods they commonly consume. By providing a personalized approach, participants are likely to be more engaged and invested in their learning.
This fun and interactive class gives participants practical skills to make healthy choices.
Objectives for Session # 3
Upon the conclusion of Session # 3 – Label Reading 101 all participants will be able to do the following:
- Describe why learning how to read a food label is important for people with diabetes
- Identify the key aspects of a food label
- Explain how to appropriately read and interpret the nutrition facts on a food label
- Summarize the importance of the ingredient panel on a food label
- Apply their label reading knowledge by explaining the important characteristics located on two commonly consumed foods
Week 4 – Meal Planning
Session # 4 – Planning Meals
This session builds on the information presented in Sessions # 2 and # 3 and provides information and strategies in planning diabetic friendly menus. The purpose of this session is to present a variety of options for meal planning including: The Plate Method, consistent carbohydrate intake, and carbohydrate counting.
The choice of the meal-planning approach depends on the personal goals, abilities and lifestyle needs of each participant. Additionally, the type, treatment, and status of the participant’s diabetes are equally important when determining the most effective meal planning approach.
Participants are encouraged to consider which approach they could most easily use on a daily basis. They are advised to work one-one with their Registered Dietitian in their individual sessions to fine tune and personalize their approach to meal planning.
Objectives of session # 4
Upon the conclusion of Session #3 Meal Planning & Carbohydrate Counting all participants will be able to do the following:
- Using their food diary assess how their food choices compare with recommendations
- Describe the three different approaches to planning meals
- Demonstrate how to use one of the three methods described today to plan a 1 Day Menu
- Report the rationale for managing carbohydrate intake and diabetes
- Describe the benefits and barriers for their chosen meal-planning method
Week 6 – Tying It All Together!
Session 6 – Tying It all Together!
In this 60-minute final class, the RD will summarize the curriculum learned in the 6-week program The Pathway to Better Health- Diabetes Education Program. In this session, participants will be educated on how to take the 5 major concepts they learned and move beyond the context of the classroom.
The importance of S.M.A.R.T goal setting will be discussed. The participant will be encouraged to establish both short and long-term wellness related goals they will personally monitor after the completion of the program.
Exit surveys will be distributed and collected related to the program’s goals and the participant’s expectations. Weight, BMI, waist-to-hip circumference and body fat will be measured by the RD during this final session as well.
Objectives for Session # 6
Upon the conclusion of Session # 6 – Tying It all Together! all participants will be able to do the following:
- Identify three important skills they learned from The Pathway to Better Health – Diabetes Education program
- Compose three personal S.M.A.R.T wellness related goals they would like to accomplish in the next 12 months
- Summarize the relationship between an optimal diet, diabetes and long-term health
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