If you’ve just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or been told you have pre-diabetes, you may be feeling confused and/or overwhelmed.
The good news is that you can take control of your diabetes – bring it under control and even reverse it – with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes.
But are you ready, willing and able to change? Until you can answer yes to this question, all the lectures and cajoling from family, friends and health professionals won’t make a bit of difference.
Changing is challenging. So, in order to change, making the change must be important to YOU. You must have a strong reason to want to change. Do you want to have more energy and vitality? Live to see your grandchildren grow up and get married? Travel the world as easily?
You must also believe that you can change. The key is to break your goals down into small steps and tackle one or two things at a time.
But before taking action, it’s best to devise a plan. And because everything is interrelated, every positive step you take makes other aspects of healthy living and eating easier and more attainable!
Components of Healthy Diabetic Eating & Living
Information and understanding are powerful tools for change. So here are 6 strategies for finding a healthy diabetic eating and living plan that will work for you.
1) Keep a food and activity journal.
Journaling is a proven weight loss strategy. Begin by keeping honest track of what and when you eat and when and how you are physically active for a week. What you learn about your eating habits can be very enlightening. It’s hard to deny those chips, french fries, sodas and donuts when they’re staring back at you right there recorded in your own handwriting!
2) Start with small changes.
Review your food and activity journal and make a list of little realistic changes that you can easily make. Can you swap out one or two sodas for sparkling water, or unsweetened iced tea? Order a side salad instead of fries with your lunchtime burger? Take a ten minute walk after dinner? Eating fewer calories and increasing exercise can begin to lower your blood sugar levels before you even lose a pound.
3) Create a customized plan.
Analyze your journal to uncover your specific challenges and then come up with some strategies for dealing with them. (Or maybe ask a close friend to help.) Are you a breakfast skipper? Do you snack a lot? Are you prone to way too much taste testing when cooking? Is there a soda by your side at all times? Learn as much as you can about healthy diabetic eating and meal planning and come up with healthy strategies that support you.
4) Be prepared and plan ahead.
Think ahead and anticipate how you can handle common eating situations. Is the work lunchroom a “danger” zone? Are you constantly having to contend with work parties and potlucks? Do you live with a junk food junkie? Remember the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Having a plan will put you in charge instead of leaving your health to chance.
5) Remember that slow and steady wins the race.
To build lasting healthy habits takes time. Change doesn’t happen overnight (as much as we wish it would). Set reasonable, achievable goals for yourself. Maybe try a new vegetable every week. Include some fruit at breakfast every morning. Have one glass of wine instead of two. Order the small latte instead of the grande, and make it a “skinny” with skim milk. Walk for at least 20 minutes at least 5 days a week. Pause and take 3 deep breaths before beginning to eat. Make sure you’re always sitting (not in the car) before beginning to eat. All these little things will add up to big improvements in your health over time.
6) Reward yourself for positive changes.
Choose non-food based rewards for your new healthy habits. Treat yourself to a manicure, a new outfit or an hour of relaxation to keep you motivated and acknowledge all the good work you are doing to improve your health.
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Reverse Diabetes course a try today. Don’t run your life on a stretched pole wire, take actions. Good Luck