Steps to Balance

  • Home
  • Learn about treatment options
  • Manage My Blood Sugar

  • Why It’s Important
  • Knowing the Ups and Downs
  • Measuring Your Blood Sugar
  • Watching my highs and lows
  • Staying on Top of the Facts
  • Understanding Medication
  • Downloading Resources
  • Lose Weight

  • Why It’s Important
  • Tipping the Scale in Your Favor
  • Controlling Portions
    • Right–Size It
    • The Plate Method
  • Staying on Track
  • Shopping Smarter
    • Food for Thought
    • Behind the Claims
    • Nutrition Labels
  • Eating Healthy Recipes
  • Doing the Math
    • Body Mass Index
    • Target Heart Rate
  • Planning for Occasions
  • Downloading Resources
  • Be Active

  • Why It’s Important
  • Doing It My Way
  • Let’s Get Moving
  • Sticking With It
  • Doing the Math
    • Body Mass Index
    • Target Heart Rate
  • Upping My Activity
  • Staying Active All Year
  • Downloading Resources
  • Stress Less

  • Why It’s Important
  • Learning To Relax
  • Finding Support
  • Solving Problems
Steps to Balance  

 fish and vegetables - type 2 diabetes diet

Why It’s

Like many people living with type 2 diabetes, you may have a love/hate
relationship with your scale. When your weight goes up, you may feel down.
When your weight goes down, you may feel up.

Eating right and staying active can help make managing your weight just a little easier. Here are some tips, tools, and techniques to help get you started.
  • Controlling

    Think eating healthier means
    you have to give up all your
    favorite foods? Or measure out
    every morsel you put in your
    mouth? Perhaps there’s another
    way. Prepare to learn the art of
    portion control!

     portion control for diabetes

    Portion control 101.

    Eating healthier doesn’t have to be difficult. Especially when you have helpful tools on hand. Click on Right-Size It or The Plate Method now. Both give you simple ways to learn how to size up your portions visually.

  • Right-Size It

    Eating out? When placing your
    order, avoid super-sizing. Opt
    instead for right-sizing. Many
    fast-food restaurants have
    nutrition information on their
    menus. Use it to make smarter
    choices. Only want half a
    portion? Split an item with
    a friend or save half for another meal.

     suggested portion sizes
    Click on a number below for suggested portion sizes.

    What’s the right portion size?


    It’s not too hard to figure out. Here’s a fun way to visualize proper portion sizes using everyday objects.
  • The Plate Method

    Want to learn a helpful technique to help you learn portion size? Check this out.

     portion control method

    Got a minute for The Plate Method?

Staying on

Your doctor may have told you that you should lose some
weight. Maybe you’ve already made up your mind to lose weight. Or maybe you’re just starting to think about it. Either way, are you interested in some quick tips that may help you get started?

Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Work with your doctor to set reasonable weight-loss goals
  • Keep a food diary
  • Balance your calories with your activity level
  • Clear the house of unhealthy foods
  • Keep healthy foods readily available
  • Practice portion control
  • Eat salads and raw veggies to fill up
  • Drink plenty of water during the day so you are well hydrated for exercise
  • Celebrate with healthy rewards

Don’t try everything at once. Pick out a few tips that you can commit to. Give it a go. Over time, you’ll find a few things that really work to help keep you on track. Ready for the next step? Download the Staying on Track Contract.

  • Shopping

    Learn how to recognize healthy foods. So when you go grocery shopping, you can explore the wide range of diabetes-friendly foods available!

     nutrition for diabetes

    It takes a little know how to shop smarter. Here, we’ll review the basics of shopping smarter. Learn the meaning behind packaging claims and terms. And get to the bottom of all those facts and figures listed on food labels.

  • Food for


     diabetic shopping guide

    Shopping smarter can take a little up-front planning. So give some thought
    to the diabetes-friendly meals you want to prepare. Make a shopping list
    of all the ingredients you will need. Then, stick to the list.

    And don’t shop hungry—we all know how that can turn out!

  • Food for


      diet tips for diabetes fruits for diabetes bread - food to avoid for diabetics beans for diabetes

    Choose vegetables

    Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables are all options. Look for low salt or no salt added!

    Eat fruit

    Enjoy the colors of the season. Or go for frozen or canned fruit. Just avoid added sugar.

    Pick whole grains

    Get cooking with brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, 100% whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, breads, oatmeal, popcorn, barley, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur, or quinoa. Also, choose whole-grain cereal for breakfast.

    Use the old bean

    Add beans, such as kidney, pinto, and navy, or use lentils as a lean source of protein and fiber in your meals.

  • Food for



    Choose lean meats

    Remove skin and fat from chicken and turkey.
    Select beef and pork with lower fat content.

    Add fish and shellfish

    Add to your diabetes-friendly meal plan
    2 to 3 times a week.

    Pick the right dairy

    Select 1% or skim milk, or unflavored soy milk, and
    reduced-fat cheeses and yogurts.

    Go for healthy fats

    Choose healthier fats like vegetable oil and olive oil.

    Be smart about sweets

    Save sweets for special occasions. Try fresh fruit instead.

  • Getting to the
    Facts Behind
    the Claims


     read food labels

    Get the scoop.

    What does it really mean when you see the words “fat free” or “low calorie” on a product’s packaging? Not always what you think. To help you understand, this slide show spells out the facts behind common product claims.

  • Getting to the
    Facts Behind
    the Claims




    Less than 5 calories per serving


    40 calories or less per serving


    At least 25% fewer calories per serving compared to an appropriate reference food

     snack with less calories
  • Getting to the
    Facts Behind
    the Claims


    Total fat


    Less than 0.5 g of total fat per serving


    3 g or less of total fat per serving and 30% or less of calories from total fat


    At least 25% less total fat per serving compared to an appropriate reference food

     fat free food
  • Getting to the
    Facts Behind
    the Claims


    Saturated fat


    Less than 0.5 g of saturated fat and
    0.5 g trans fat per serving


    1 g or less per serving and 15% or less of calories from saturated fat


    At least 25% less saturated fat per serving compared to an appropriate reference food

     food with low saturated fat
  • Getting to the
    Facts Behind
    the Claims




    Less than 2 mg of cholesterol per serving


    20 mg or less of cholesterol per serving


    At least 25% less cholesterol per serving compared to an appropriate reference food

     eats with less cholesterol
  • Getting to the
    Facts Behind
    the Claims




    Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving


    140 mg or less of sodium per serving


    At least 25% less sodium per serving compared to an appropriate reference food

     sodium free food
  • Getting to the
    Facts Behind
    the Claims




    Less than 0.5 g of sugars per serving


    At least 25% less sugars per serving compared to an appropriate reference food

     meal with no added sugar
  • Make Sense of
    Nutrition Labels


    nutrition facts

    Nutrition labels are a great place to find the details you need to make healthier food choices. And once you know how to read them, you’ll be on your way to eating better.

    To get started, roll over the term you want to learn about.

  • Getting Active to Lose Weight

    Think cutting calories from your diet is the only way to lose weight? You can help burn off excess calories simply by being active. Let’s be active! Check with your doctor to see what activities are right for you before making any changes or beginning any new activity plan.

    The benefit of burning calories.

    Eliminating 100 calories a day can help you shed 10 pounds a year. You can do this by eating fewer calories. Or you can burn off calories by being active.
    What determines how many calories you can burn? Your weight. The intensity of the activity you choose. And the length of time you choose to do it.
    Tell us how much time you have. We’ll tell you some suggestions from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for that amount of time.

    See how to burn 100 calories in:

    15 minutes
    20 minutes
    30 minutes
    15 minutes activity
    • Tread water
    • Go for a walk up a hill
    • Do aerobic exercise
    20 minutes activity
    • Rake the yard
    • Take a brisk walk around the local mall
    • Enjoy a leisurely bike ride
    30 minutes activity
    • Go ballroom dancing
    • Push your grandchild around town in a stroller
    • Walk the dog


Check out this helpful
downloadable tool for
more support.


Stay on track contract.

Pledges. Resolutions. Promises. When trying to lose weight in the past, you may have made a few of these. But how about trying something a little different this time? Download and print this contract to write down your goals for the week and what the rewards will be if you stick to your plan.


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