What if I were to say to you that, depending on the statistics, at least three of you already have or will develop prediabetes, but that only one of you will find out in time to prevent Type 2 diabetes?
Imagine everyone looking at each other and wondering, “Is it me? Is it you?”?”
According to the CDC, more than one in three American adults has prediabetes. To make matters worse, 90% of people with prediabetes are unaware that they have it.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The good news is that Type 2 diabetes is preventable. Here are five tips to reduce your risk naturally.
Engage in frequent exercise
Adults should engage in 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity or 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, plus at least two days of muscle strength training. Moderate exercises include things like walking around the neighborhood, bicycling around the park, or ballroom dancing. Vigorous exercises include running and jogging, swimming laps in the pool, and jumping rope.
There’s no better time than now to start your fitness journey!
Follow the 80/20 rule
Here is a little secret: healthy eating is more than what you eat. Are you a crash dieter or are you trying to make eating a lifestyle choice? If you’ve ever been on a fad diet, you know results can come quickly. Instead of thinking so much about restriction and limitations, follow the 80/20 rule. This rule says to eat healthy (ideally, plant-based) foods 80% of the time and enjoy less healthy foods 20% of the time. By practicing portion control and consuming less healthy foods in moderation, you can achieve a consistently healthy lifestyle!
Cut down on carbs
Having prediabetes or diabetes might make you think about controlling blood sugar and reducing sugar intake. However, watching your carbohydrate intake is just as important as controlling your blood sugar. As a result of eating too many refined and processed foods, our blood sugar levels can be elevated. Instead of eliminating carbohydrates and sugar entirely, we can limit portions or choose alternate foods to help keep our blood sugar levels down. As an alternative to white bread and white rice, you can choose whole wheat bread and brown rice.
Whether it’s due to work demands, the kids’ schedules, or taking care of aging parents, stress is hard to control. But there are healthy, effective ways to cope, and exercise is one of them.
Talking with someone about your stress is another healthy method.
Set SMART goals
You should have a goal when starting a new project, job, or volunteering opportunity. The same applies to your health. SMART goals provide a great way to focus on your health (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive). If you’re serious about healthy living, learn how SMART goals will change your life.
To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).