That Neighborhood Free Health Clinic
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month
Making healthy lifestyle changes can make it possible to manage or reverse prediabetes and prevent it from turning into Type 2 Diabetes. SMALL STEPS BIG DIFFERENCE (see attached handout)
Prediabetes is a health condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but NOT high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes. One in three adults are prediabetic and are unaware of it! You may be overweight or have a parent, brother or sister with Type 2 Diabetes. Maybe you had gestational diabetes, in which diabetes develops during pregnancy. All these examples are factors that can lead you to developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes prevention is proven, possible and powerful. Taking small steps, such as eating less and moving more, can have a big impact on preventing diabetes!
GET READY……. SET GOALS:
• Set a weight loss goal—if you are overweight set a goal you can reach! Try to lose at least 5-10% of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs., a 5% weight loss would be 10 lbs., 10% weight loss would be 20 lbs. Target a weight loss of 1-2 lbs. a week—make it a reachable goal!
• Make a game plan
1. Eat smaller portions: Use the MY Plate method Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
Fill one quarter with lean protein (chicken, turkey, beans)
Fill one quarter with whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
2. Read food labels!!! Choose foods with low carbs, less trans-fat, saturated fat and added sugars.
3. Eat slowly…it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that you are full.
4. Limit alcoholic beverages—they are loaded with sugars.
5. Try to eat all the “colors of the rainbow” in your fruits and vegetables.
6. Try to eat more at home, you will have more control on what goes into your meal and portions!
7. If you do go out to dinner, split your meal with someone or take half of it home as leftovers. Ask for a box when your meal arrives and split it right then…reducing the temptation to eat it all.
8. Drink water instead of drinks with sugar such as soda, sports drinks and fruit juices.
9. Have healthy snacks cut up and ready to eat so they are readily available for you to eat.
10. Prep before you go grocery shopping—eat before you go, make a list, plan menu of meals.
• Get Moving…. Squeeze more activity into your day
1. When parking your car in parking lot—park further away from the door. Walk a little more to your destination.
2. Get a partner —Schedule a walk/bike ride with significant other or friends once or twice a week.
3. Overall activity goal should be 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week—but work up to that goal over time. Start with once a week then move toward that goal.
4. Make activity FUN—play sports with your kids or grandkids, turn up the music and dance, try biking or swimming. Activity doesn’t have to be boring!
• Track your progress
1. Weigh yourself once a week
2. Keep a log
3. Use your phone to write things down
4. Download free apps (MyFitnessPal, Fooducate, Lose It!)
• Get support
1. Get your family and friends involved by asking them to support your healthy goals.
2. Talk to your health care team to learn more ways to be successful.
• Reward yourself
1. Reward but NOT WITH FOOD!!
2. Watch a movie, go do something you’ve always wanted to do, pick up a great book….
3. BIGGEST reward will be a healthier life!
Your best chance in preventing diabetes is to develop lifestyle changes that can work for you long term. Make your goals a permanent change to your life.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live” (Jim Rohn)
Sources: NIDDK.gov (National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases)