Simple lifestyle changes to help prevent type 2 diabetes
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, don’t panic.
While this might have been unexpected news, there are a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make to aim to get your blood sugar levels back into a healthy range.
Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. It affects about one in six adults in Australia.
A pre-diabetes diagnosis is an important opportunity to introduce some healthy lifestyle changes into your daily routine.
This 4-step health action plan will help you get started. And don’t forget to talk to your GP if you need some additional guidance and support along the way.Simple lifestyle changes can help delay or prevent #pre-diabetes developing into #type2 #diabetes. #health #wellness Click To Tweet
1. Maintain a healthy weight
One of the most important ways to manage pre-diabetes is to maintain a healthy body weight.
A good place to start is to find out the healthy weight range for your gender and height, and use this to set a healthy weight goal.
If you’re above your healthy weight range, losing as little as 5-10% of your body weight will help to reduce your risk of developing diabetes and other conditions, such as heart disease.
Keep an eye on your waistline too – as this measurement can also be an indicator of other health risks. It’s recommended that women aim to keep their waist circumference less than 80 cm and men less than 94 cm.
If you’re above your healthy weight range and/or carrying excess weight around your middle, then Diabetes Australia recommends:
- following a diet plan lower in kilojoules and total fat (particularly saturated fat) and
- increasing regular activity.
Remember that small, simple changes on a daily basis can make big a difference.Reducing your body weight by 5-10% can lower the risk of developing type 2 #diabetes. #health #weightloss Click To Tweet
2. Saying hello to healthier foods
Healthy eating and an active lifestyle are important for everyone, including people with pre-diabetes. This will help to manage your blood sugar levels and manage your body weight.
The top 3 healthy eating tips for people with pre-diabetes include:
- Choosing a wide variety of foods including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy
- Including high-fibre, low-glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrate foods in your diet
- Limiting saturated fats to help keep blood fats in the target range.
If you want to give your diet a complete spring clean and overhaul, then see how well your diet checks out against the Australian Dietary Guidelines. This is a great guide to eating for health and wellbeing.Read our top 3 healthy eating tips for beating pre-diabetes. #diet #weightloss #diabetes #health #wellness Click To Tweet
3. Move more
According to the Australian Heart Foundation, more than half of Australian adults are not active enough.
It’s recommended we all get 30-minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking or swimming) every day.
Also, try to include some resistance training (such as body weight exercises like squats, lunges or light weights) twice a week to improve the way your muscles work.
Look for ways to increase exercise into your existing routine:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Get off the bus one stop earlier and walking the rest of the distance
- Park further away from the shopping centre or
- Doing some squats or lunges while waiting for the kettle to boil, or during the ad breaks while watching TV.
And don’t forget, always talk to your doctor before embarking on any significant change in physical activity.Move more to reduce your risk of #diabetes. Aim for 30-minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day. #health #exercise Click To Tweet
4. Keep your blood sugar levels in check
If you have pre-diabetes, it’s important to have a health check every year, which includes checking for type 2 diabetes.
You might also want to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels over time from home as well.
MyHealthTest offers an easy and convenient at home blood test – simply by using a drop of blood from your fingertip – you can check your blood sugar levels from home. Regular checks are useful for people who have pre-diabetes and diabetes. You can learn more about the Diabetes (HbA1c) Test Service – here.
We’ve also published a recent article that explains the different tests used to monitor blood sugar and why it’s important to monitor your average blood sugar level over time.
A diagnosis of pre-diabetes can be a bit of a wake-up call. And while no one welcomes this news, consider yourself one of the lucky ones – because you’ve found out, and now you have the opportunity to take action.
Use this as an opportunity to make some simple lifestyle changes that will be easy to maintain in the longer term.
These simple changes could set you on a path of renewed health and wellness.
Get a 25% discount when you subscribe to our Diabetes (HbA1c) Test Service today.
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- Pre-diabetes and heart disease: what you need to know
- What is an HbA1c blood test and why is it important?