Being diagnosed with prediabetes can be a sobering experience. Most people know that having diabetes can severely impact their health and quality of life, and a prediabetes diagnosis might seem that developing diabetes is inevitable. But don’t despair! There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing diabetes and improve your overall health at the same time.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a medical condition in which a person has blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not as high as required for a diabetes prognosis. Not all pre-diabetics develop type 1 or 2 diabetes, especially if they take proactive steps to improve their health. If you or someone you know has been identified as pre-diabetic, taking the steps listed below can reduce your chance of the condition worsening.
Step 1 – Lose Weight
The Centers for Disease Control states that even losing only 5% to 7% of your current body weight can lead to the prevention of developing diabetes. For a person weighing 200 pounds, 5% to 7% of their body weight is 10 to 14 pounds. So don’t fall into a trap thinking that weight management for reducing diabetes risks equals a huge drop in weight. Every pound matters, and losing even 10 pounds can start making a difference in your health.
Step 2 – Be More Active
Moving around more than you currently do is another important step for reducing diabetes risks. Not only does being more active help in decreasing body fat, it also contributes to lower blood glucose levels.
Step 3 – Get Better Sleep
Recent studies have shown that sleeping only five hours per night or less leads to weight gain. Researchers are not sure why there is a correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain but hypothesize it might be related to one or both of the following factors:
- A lower sleep duration affects your ghrelin and leptin levels, which regulate hunger, and leads to more appetite
- A lack of sleep generally makes people more tired throughout the day so they engage in less physical exercise
So get more sleep if you are diagnosed with prediabetes. It will help you shed pounds and be more prepared to meet the challenges of your day.
Step 4 – Improve Your Diet
The modern world’s overindulgences in high-sugar, high-fat foods and drinks contributes greatly to the diabetes epidemic found throughout the world today. To avoid become part of this unhealthy trend, eat a healthier diet that includes diabetes superfoods, more fiber, and lower fat proteins.
Step 5 – Have a Positive Outlook
Nothing can sabotage the lifestyle changes you need to make to reduce your diabetes risk as much as having the wrong attitude or setting unrealistic expectations. Stay positive, even if you make a few mistakes now and then. Re-commit to your efforts daily and seek support if you find you are struggling to make the healthy changes necessary to reduce diabetes risks.
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