Yes You Can Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

November 2017

We’ve all heard the advice when it comes to getting and staying at a healthy weight and working to prevent type 2 diabetes: Make healthy meals at home, make smart choices at restaurants, be active 30 minutes a day. But where to start? It’s not easy to do all of this in today’s fast-paced, fast-food world. It’s easier to make lifestyle changes one step at a time—over months and years. The good news is that making just a few small changes can have make a big impact on your weight and health.

Are you ready, willing and able to change? To succeed, you need to answer yes to this question. To make a change stick, it must be important to you. For example, maybe you want to live long enough to see your grandchildren grow up. You must have more reasons to change than reasons not to change. To succeed, take what you want to do and break it down into small steps. Leave other habits for now.

What are you ready, willing and able to change? Think about your current eating and activity habits. What foods do you buy? How active are you? Try to keep honest food records for a few days to get a true picture of what you eat. Then start with a few changes that are easy to tackle. Perhaps choose one change in your eating habits and another in your activity habits.

Maybe you tend to eat a bowl of ice cream every night while you watch TV. Can you switch to a healthier snack? Maybe fruit or a small bowl of cereal—or just a smaller portion of ice cream. Can you take a 15-minute break from the TV and go for a walk? For each goal, consider four things:

  • How long will you try to reach this goal? Keep it short.
  • Is it easy to do in your regular daily life? Keep it realistic.
  • Is it limited in scope? Be specific.
  • How often will you do this?

When you start to experience success over time, add another goal. Start the lifestyle change cycle again. Slowly, goal by goal, over time you’ll be eating more healthfully and becoming more active-and you’ll be at a healthier weight. You’ll also be on your road to preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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