3 Diabetes Prevention Tips
You have just been told by your doctor that you’re at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes—he or she may have even told you that you have pre-diabetes. What do you do now to prevent diabetes? Is it even possible to prevent type 2 diabetes?
Yes, it is. With a few lifestyle changes and taking charge of your health, you can stop pre-diabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. You can think of this pre-diabetes diagnosis as a warning sign: this is an opportunity to take better care of yourself.
Diabetes Prevention Tip #1: Lose Weight
Many people, when warned that they have pre-diabetes, are at an unhealthy BMI (25 or greater). This is not the case for everyone, though—even thin people can develop type 2 diabetes.
However, if you need to lose weight, then now is the time to get started. Excess fat—especially abdominal fat—is one of the things that makes it more difficult to use insulin effectively, so by trimming pounds, you can improve how your body uses insulin.
The best ways to lose weight are to watch what you eat and to exercise more—and those 2 things can also help you prevent diabetes, conveniently enough.
Diabetes Prevention Tip #2: Eat Well
Making healthier food choices, limiting your calories (eating fewer calories than you expend every day), and watching your portion size are all excellent ways to lose weight and prevent type 2 diabetes.
Work with a registered dietitian (RD) or a certified diabetes educator (CDE) to figure out a meal plan that will help you eat better. An RD or CDE can help you work in more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and he or she can also teach you about creating balanced meals every time you eat.
For ideas of how to eat well, visit our Recipes Center.
Diabetes Prevention Tip #3: Exercise
Exercise has many benefits—for people with or without diabetes.
It can, of course, help you lose and them maintain a healthy weight. Exercise can also make your body use insulin better.
The idea of exercising can seem overwhelming if you haven’t done it in awhile. It’s all right to start small and build up: the important thing is to get moving every day.
A good goal is 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. You can get that by walking, jogging, swimming, biking, taking an exercise class—whatever works for you and your lifestyle.
We have an Exercise Center that’s full of ideas for exercising.
It Is Possible to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Even though you’ve been told you have pre-diabetes, that doesn’t mean you will definitely develop type 2 diabetes. By losing weight, exercising, and watching what you eat, you can take charge of your health and prevent diabetes.