Diabetes action plan

We also have a printable version of the action plan.

Simply, download and print the PDF version available below, review each action and tick the relevant columns. Make a start once you've chosen the actions you are ready to do now. 

Important actions

The most important action in this plan is to take your medicines as prescribed. There are risks if you don’t take them. If you’re ‘not ready’ to do this, see your doctor to discuss why. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine if you are worried about side effects.

Take your diabetes medicines as prescribed. 

Take your diabetes medicines as prescribed. 

You need to take your diabetes medicines as directed by your doctor, so they work properly.

Tips for remembering to take your medicines correctly:

  • take it at the same time every day
  • use a weekly pill box with separate compartments
  • mark it on a calendar or using an alarm on your mobile phone.

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Ask for a referral to an accredited practicing dietitian. 

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Ask for a referral to an accredited practicing dietitian. 

Discuss with your doctor what a healthy weight is for you. They can advise what steps you can take to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for small goals and work to achieve these.

Use the BMI calculator to measure your progress.

Find an accredited practicing dietitian.

Be physically active. 

Be physically active. 

Aim to do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days. Every day is even better. This can be as simple as going for a brisk walk.  Build up slowly. Set small goals such as walking around the block and then add more as you are able.

Get tips on exercising after a heart attack.

Enjoy healthy eating:

Include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meat, poultry and fish, unflavoured reduced fat dairy, plain unsalted nuts and legumes. 

Include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meat, poultry and fish, unflavoured reduced fat dairy, plain unsalted nuts and legumes. 

Variety is the key to healthy eating. When planning your meals for the week, make sure you include a variety of foods.

  • Plan your main meal around vegetables. Add an extra serve of vegetables to each main meal.
  • If you have pasta one night, go for something else another night -  try brown rice with fish, couscous with chicken, or steak with vegetables another night.
  • Add legumes (beans, peas or lentils) to meat or poultry dishes.This adds more vegetables and makes the meat go further, saving money.
  • Include a handful (30 g) of unsalted nuts every day. Have as a snack or add to your favourite stir-fry or breakfast cereal. 

Healthy snacks include chopped up vegetables and fruit, reduced fat natural yoghurt and unsalted nuts.

Check out our top heart-healthy eating tips and find healthy recipes for inspiration. 

Avoid discretionary/junk foods and drinks like cakes, biscuits, take away and fried foods, and sugar-sweetened drinks. 

Avoid discretionary/junk foods and drinks like cakes, biscuits, take away and fried foods, and sugar-sweetened drinks. 

These foods are high in salt, sodium and/or saturated fats. Avoid them by planning healthy main meals, and having healthy snacks on hand.

Plan your main meals for the week, rather than trying to come up with an idea after a busy day. Build your main meal around the vegetables, and aim for a variety of foods over the week.

Keep healthy snacks on hand. Ideas include:

  • chopped salad vegetables
  • a small handful of plain, unsalted nuts
  • a pot of reduced fat yoghurt (plain or flavoured)
  • wholegrain or wholemeal crispbread with sliced tomato and pepper.

 Find more of our healthy meal and snack ideas.

Choose smaller portion sizes. 

Choose smaller portion sizes. 

Watch your portion size.

Carbohydrates like rice and pasta can be easy to over-serve. At your main meal keep to ½ to one cup (cooked) and load up instead on vegetables.

The same applies to proteins. Use the palm of your hand to help guide you to a better portion of meat, fish and chicken.

Read about carbohydrates in your diet and choosing healthy proteins.

Choose healthier oils for cooking and healthy spreads such as avocado, nut butters or tahini. 

Choose healthier oils for cooking and healthy spreads such as avocado, nut butters or tahini. 

Healthier choices include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive, sesame and peanut oils. Avoid using butter, other dairy blends, lard, copha or cooking fats. 

Read more about choosing healthier fats and oils.

  • At least one action needs a decision made.

Well done on making a great start. You're already doing many of these actions already. It's good to go back and check the things you're already doing. For example, use a food diary track your progress, whether it's actions you're already doing, or ready to do now.

The tips below can help you plan each step in your recovery.

Well done on making a great start. You're already doing many of these actions already. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress, whether it's actions you're already doing, or ready to do now.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery.

Well done on making a great start. You're already doing many of these actions already. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress, whether it's actions you're already doing, or ready to do now.

Don't worry about not being ready to take action on some things. Recovery is not a race. Remember every step you take counts.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery.

Well done on starting your action plan. It's great that you're ready to take action on so many things. Sometimes, it's challenging when you have a long list of things to do. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress as you go.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery.

Well done on making a start. It's great that you're ready to take action on so many things. Sometimes, it's challenging when you have a long list of things to do. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress as you go.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

It's great that you're ready to take action on so many things. Sometimes, it's challenging when you have a long list of things to do. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress as you go.

Don't worry about not being ready to take action on some things. Recovery is not a race. Remember every step you take counts.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery.

Well done on starting your action plan. Making a plan is an important step in your recovery. Even though you don't feel ready to make a start with most actions, don't worry. Recovery is not a race. Every step you take counts – even if it's just one.

Take your time. The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

Well done on making a start. Making a plan is an important step in your recovery. Even though you don't feel ready to make a start with most actions, don't worry. Recovery is not a race. Every step you take counts – even if it's just one.

Take your time. The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

Well done on starting your action plan. It's great that you're ready to take action, no matter how many steps you're ready to take action on.

Making a plan is an important step in your recovery.

Even though you don't feel ready to make a start with most actions, don't worry. Recovery is not a race. Every step you take counts – even if it's just one.

Take your time. The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

Already doing this

You haven’t selected anything that you’re ‘already doing’. Don’t worry, just choose something you’re ‘ready to do now’ and focus on that. If you need advice, you can call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 1300 36 27 87.

You’ve already started these actions. Great work. When you get started, keep track of your progress using a diary and the will become part of your routine in no time.

You’ve already started these actions. Great work. Keep track of your progress using a diary and the will become part of your routine in no time.

Ready to do now

You haven’t selected anything that you’re ‘ready to do now’. If you’re not sure what to do next, talk to a friend, your health care professional about steps you can take to improve your heart health. If you need advice, you can call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 1300 36 27 87.

It’s great you’re ready to start this action. Take your time getting it right, then select a new action to try. The tip below can help you make this action plan work for you.

It’s great you’re ready to start these actions. Take your time getting them right, then select a new action to try. The tips below can help you make this action plan work for you.

Not ready yet / Undecided

You haven’t selected anything you’re ‘not ready to do’. Well done, it looks like you’re making great progress. Follow the tips above for things you’re ‘ready to do now’. If you need a new challenge, ask a health care professional about more ways to improve your heart health. If you need advice, you can call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 1300 36 27 87.

You’ve listed the below item as something you’re not ready to do yet. Give this action a try when you’re ready.

You’ve listed the below items as something you’re not ready to do yet or you may not have selected it at all. Give one of these actions a try when you’re ready

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Diabetes action plan (pdf)

​Print and fill in your diabetes action plan

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