By Sara Colman Carlson, RDN, CDECS
Improving health is associated with lifestyle changes—healthier diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, adequate sleep and stress management. For people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, these changes may make the difference between disease progression and disease reversal, or at least slowing disease progression. It is known that with prediabetes, damage to the blood vessels, heart and kidneys may have already started.
If you could look into a crystal ball and see your future self, what would you see? Imagine continuing along the current path with no changes. For a person with prediabetes this could mean progressing to develop type 2 diabetes as well as early stages of complications in a little as 4 years. For a person with type 2 diabetes this could mean developing progressive stages of diabetes complications, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver, chronic kidney disease, loss of vision, and nerve damage and poor circulation to legs and feet.
Now imagine your future self, embracing lifestyle changes that may slow progression or reverse prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Metabolism responds to exercise with improved oxygen flow throughout the body—even after a week of activity. Weight loss—even 5 to 10 pounds, leads to improvements in blood pressure, blood fats and blood glucose levels. Embracing more whole foods and fewer processed foods delivers more vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and other phytochemicals that help prevent disease. Chronic inflammation decreases and gut microbes balance improve. Your future self will experience a better quality of life by controlling or preventing disease progression. Financially, less money is spent on medications and doctor visits. And for your family and friends, you will be there for them healthier and hopefully for a long time.
You may be asking, “What kind of changes in my diet can help treat prediabetes and type 2 diabetes?” A healthier diet means:
- Increased fiber from whole foods helps slow the digestion of carbohydrates, allowing insulin levels to match what’s required to process the blood glucose as it rises
- Decreased intake of concentrated sweets such as juices, sugar or syrup sweetened beverages, sugary baked goods and desserts, helps prevent a rapid rise in blood sugar levels after eating or drinking
- Lower intake of unhealthy fats, fried foods and fatty animal products helps treat insulin resistance as well as lower blood fat and triglyceride levels
- Matching the amount of carbohydrate to the amount your body needs from one meal to the next keeps carbohydrate in balance, decreasing extra insulin requirements
- Eating the right amount of protein can help with meal satisfaction to prevent hunger and balance against excessive amounts
Instead of putting off your health, embrace improving it. What will your crystal ball look like in 30, 60 or 90 days? Or a year or two from now? The upcoming Balanced Habits™ 28-day KICK START program may be the perfect way to get started to improve your health and your future self. Those 28-days are going to come and go no matter what. Wouldn‘t you
like to be actively working on your future self as you embark on a whole new year?
If you are not hitting your goals as quickly as you’d like, we’ll show you a way you can. Speak to a coach today by clicking here. 🖱️
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