Why Everyone Should Have a Diabetes-Friendly Lifestyle
In today’s culture, there’s no escape from the pressure to achieve an ideal body. As a result, being overweight can cause significant shame or embarrassment – to the point that some people avoid doctor visits. They don’t want to face the scale, much less a lecture about weight loss, according to research in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Sound familiar? Maybe a little too familiar?
The truth is, your doctor doesn’t care what you look like and won’t be mad if you’ve gained weight. They just want to help you reduce your risk of preventable illnesses like type 2 diabetes.
Still not motivated to get a checkup? (We get it; the coronavirus lockdown led to a whole lot of weight gain.) Then start making lifestyle changes on your own, so that your next checkup results in positive news. Read on for high-impact strategies that will not only reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, but also help you feel good from head to toe.
Eight Easy Changes
One in 10 of us will get diabetes in our lifetime. By adopting these lifestyle strategies, courtesy of the National Institutes of Health, you’re less likely to be that one.
- Slim down with smaller portions. Tip: You can get used to seeing less food by eating on smaller plates and using smaller knives, forks and spoons.
- Find ways to get active throughout the day. Dance is a good choice. Show your kids the dances you did at their age, or just turn on some tunes when no one’s around. You might be surprised how much you move to the beat!
- Make favorite foods healthier. It’s OK to enjoy indulgent mac and cheese. The key is to use a little less sauce and add plenty of veggies for bulk and nutrition.
- Skip the orange juice; eat the orange. Unlike a single orange, which takes time to chew and is a good source of fiber, orange juice can cause a big spike in blood sugar levels.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand. They may be the only thing keeping you from the drive-through when you’re hungry.
- Find ways to have fun that don’t involve food. Make date night about fun activities, not food. Enjoy a baseball game, play mini-golf or take a sunset hike.
- Think before you eat. If you’re eating because of boredom or sadness, make the effort to find a different diversion.
- Pamper yourself. Make time for baths, meditation or other relaxing activities to reduce stress in your life. Stress can have a negative impact on your blood sugar levels (or make you hungry for junk food).
Why Everyone Should Care About Diabetes Prevention
More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. It’s so common you may not take it seriously, but diabetes is in fact a serious disease. It is also associated with other health problems, including:
- Heart and blood vessel damage
- Nerve damage (neuropathy)
- Kidney disease
- Vision problems
- Skin problems, including slow-healing wounds
- Hearing loss
If you’re at high risk for diabetes, lifestyle changes can help. If you’re at low-risk, the same changes can still dramatically improve your health. By including more whole foods, regular exercise and stress relieving techniques in your life, you can:
- Reduce cancer risk
- Reduce risk for cardiovascular disease
- Promote strong bones
- Support healthy joints
- Improve digestion
- Reduce anxiety
Speaking of anxiety, you may not have as much at your next doctor visit if you implement these changes today. We know you can do it, and we’re excited to keep you informed and motivated with health content along the way.