Doctors recommend making substantial changes to diet and exercise to decrease the symptoms of diabetes and slow the disease’s progression. While this can seem overwhelming, by making just one slight change each week, you can get closer to your goal. Small, consistent habits overtime and result in positive changes for your health. Try some of these health hacks to help you manage your diabetes.
- Keep a journal: Keep a daily record of your blood sugar, how much sleep you had, and what you ate. Be sure to record water and exercise too. This way, you can chart how certain factors affect you and your blood sugar.
- Use a small plate: If portion control is an issue for you, use a smaller plate. For some reason, our brains believe it’s just as full as a big one!
- Put leftovers away before second helping: Another portion control trick is to store food immediately after plating it. Of course, you can leave the veggies out if you are still hungry, but by putting food away, we send a message to ourselves that this is all the is available.
- Pack a lunch:How many empty calories are you eating due to lunches out? Sometimes being around others when we eat doesn’t influence positive outcomes. Instead, invite your friends to bring their lunch and still eat together while you save money and calories.
- Enjoy healthy carbs in moderation:Diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat a carb again, but certain carbs are helpful while others will hinder you. Servings of brown and wild rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and polenta are great choices that offer vitamins, amino acids, and fiber while also filling you up.
- Use a fitness devise: Devices like a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or even just an old school pedometer helps you stay aware of your need to exercise each day. Try to shoot for no less than 30 minutes of exercise each day, but if you are just starting out, start slowly and build consistency first, then endurance.
- Have a cup of green tea: Replace a sugary, caffeinated beverage with green tea. You get great natural energy and save calories and artificial sweeteners and colors that can make your endocrine system confused. Be sure not to consume green tea close to bedtime as it does contain caffeine which can keep you up.
- Try a new fruit or vegetable each week: Whether you rice cauliflower or make zucchini noodles(zoodles), finding innovative ways to use familiar fruits and veggies or finally tasting something new like a persimmon will thrill your taste buds and keep you away from your old, less healthy comfort foods.
- Test your blood sugar two or three hours after eating: This is a surefire way to see which foods spike your sugar and to limit or avoid them in the future.
- Add a splash of vinegar:Studies have found that adding a splash of vinegar to dishes can help blood sugar go down as much as 40%.
By taking small steps each week, you’ll be able to consistently put yourself on a path to lower blood sugar and great vitality, all while managing your diabetes.