Does diabetes run in your family? Or did you just have a scary trip to the doctor’s office? Don’t worry. You can help prevent developing diabetes without changing your entire lifestyle. Actually, it’s a proven fact that huge lifestyle changes don’t usually last. However, small changes are usually pretty easy to do. Here are some tips to get you started on lowering your risk of diabetes.
1. Moderate Eating
No one is asking you to cut pasta and chocolate out of your diet forever, but it is a good idea to make them less of a main event in your life. When you plan a meal, make sure you have more lean protein and fruits/veggies on your plate than carbs. Try opting for the noodles made with vegetable puree instead of your go-to noodles for spaghetti. You can also trade a couple of sodas out for water during the day. Healthy eating isn’t really that difficult if you think of it as eating more of the healthy stuff, but not limiting yourself on the things you really like.
2. Lose Weight
Okay, so we are talking small changes here, and this one is no exception. Weight loss is difficult, but the benefits are pretty amazing. Even if you are a hundred pounds overweight, just losing 5 or 10 pounds is going to make a big difference in your overall health. If that’s all you manage to lose, that’s okay. You’ll have dropped your risk for diabetes significantly.
3. Move More
If you are anything like many Americans, the thought of exercising fills you with dread. You don’t have to hit the gym and run for an hour and then lift 50 pound barbells in order to feel the benefits of exercise. Just incorporate more movement into your day. Invest in a pedometer and aim to get a certain number of steps per day or per week. You’ll find that it’s easier than it looks.
Stress is probably the number one disease of the 21st century. We are always running around trying to get ahead with our careers, our homes, and even with our kids. All of those things create stress. Stress releases a hormone that actually causes us to store fat. Therefore, you might do yourself wonders by letting go and taking time to truly relax. You might try meditation, yoga, or picking up a relaxing hobby. People who manage stress well have fewer health problems in general, so it really is worth it. And who doesn’t love a good excuse to chill out?
5. Take Care of Your Body
There are plenty of small things you can do to help prevent diabetes from taking over your health. The best thing you can really do for yourself is to take care of your body. When you eat the right foods, you will naturally feel better and have more energy. When you take the initiative to exercise, then you’ll not only have more energy during the day, but you will sleep better at night. These two things combined will help control your weight, which is a large portion of risk for diabetes. Finally, you can truly help your overall physical and mental health by learning to relax. Stress management lowers your risk of most health problems – including diabetes – and can also help with weight maintenance. Really, taking care of yourself is truly that easy.