Your lifestyle choices are the major determinant in contracting type 2 diabetes. This is where you can make a huge difference in your health and help yourself to manage type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It occurs when you have chronic high levels of glucose in your bloodstream, which leads to insulin resistance. Your insulin cannot efficiently move the glucose into your cells to burn them for energy.
Here are some lifestyle changes can you implement to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.
Lose Excess Weight and Increase Physical Activities
Obesity is one major factor that leads to type 2 diabetes. The first step toward preventing or managing type 2 diabetes is to lose weight. You can start by eating less and getting more physically active.
Ideally, you should have a body mass index (BMI) of between 18.5 and 24.9. That’s the estimated normal body fat amount based on your height and weight. Although normal-weight people may also develop diabetes, obese and overweight individuals are at a much higher risk.
To start shedding those extra pounds, you need to get moving more. Increased physical activities will help reduce insulin resistance. If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, take it slow. Start with easy workout routines and increase the intensity as your body gets accustomed to exercising.
Here are some exercises you can start with:
You don’t need equipment or to go to the gym to start getting active. You can start with a 30-minute brisk walk around your block and do it at least five days a week.
Adding fun to your workout routine can make you more motivated to exercise. If you love dancing, wiggle your way to music and dance throughout your house! There are many dance tutorials and videos available if you are not sure of how you can ‘dance’ for weight loss and fitness.
Obesity often leads to joint pain because of the extra weight being carried around. If you have problems with your knees, cycling is a good exercise for you. It’s a low-impact exercise that can minimize the strain on your joints, compared to running or walking.
Eat Healthy Foods and Don’t Touch Processed Foods
Do you eat healthy foods, and do you eat mindfully? If you don’t know what that is, then chances are you are not. When you fill your stomach with any food that is easily accessible to you, such as fast foods and instant products, chances are that’s a major reason why you are overweight. If you already have type 2 diabetes, it’s all the more important to make dietary adjustments.
You should start by decreasing your food portions. Be mindful of how much you put on your plate. The less you eat, the fewer calories you are consuming. Eat three meals a day and two to three snacks, ideally at the same time every day. Don’t skip meals and starve yourself because it will disrupt your metabolism and trigger hunger pangs. Keep a healthy ratio of protein, and healthy fats in your meals. Eliminate simple carbs – your carbs should come from unprocessed fruit and vegetables.
Make sure that your diet includes fiber-rich whole foods, such as oatmeal, brown rice, vegetables, fruits, and lentils. You can eat chicken and lean meats, fatty fish like salmon, and dairy products in moderate amounts.
Avoid processed and artificially sweetened foods, such as cakes, hotdogs, salami, muffins, doughnuts, and soda. Avoid foods that are high in unhealthy fats, especially trans fats, which means no margarine. Minimize your intake of carbohydrates, butter, milk, and alcohol.
Manage Stress, Relax and Sleep Well
If you’re under a lot of stress, it can also affect your weight and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Chronic stress can encourage unhealthy habits, such as overeating, drinking the wrong drinks, and smoking. It can also interrupt your sleep. When your stress hormones are working double time, the body has a harder time controlling glucose in the blood.
It’s essential that you learn how to manage your stress. You can try relaxation techniques, such as yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation. These will help keep your stress hormones balanced and regulate blood pressure and sugar levels. If you destress and relax, it will help you get better sleep, and your body needs sleep to get well and function optimally.
Lifestyle choices and eating habits are major factors that put you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is wise to make healthy lifestyle changes now to help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.