Yes, making significant changes to your diet and exercise habits can often help reverse prediabetes and reduce the risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range.
Lifestyle modifications can be very effective in managing prediabetes and preventing its progression to type 2 diabetes.
Here are some healthy lifestyles you can adopt to potentially reverse prediabetes:
1. Eat right
Rather than eating whatever you feel like, focus on a balanced diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Control portion sizes to manage calorie intake and prevent weight gain. Limit or eliminate processed foods, sugary beverages, and foods high in added sugars and refined carbohydrates. Monitor your carbohydrate intake, and choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains over simple sugars.
Consider working with a registered dietitian to create a personalised meal plan.
2. Lose Weight
I know you’ll be wondering what human weight has to do with prediabetics. Indeed, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most effective ways to reverse prediabetes.
A modest weight loss (usually around 5-10% of your current weight) can have a significant impact on blood sugar control.
Focus on gradual, sustainable weight loss through a combination of diet and exercise.
3. Engage in Regular Physical Activity
Exercise helps your body use insulin more effectively, which can lower blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with strength training exercises at least two days per week.
All you have to do is find activities you enjoy to make exercise a regular part of your routine.
4. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Work with your healthcare provider to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly to track your progress. This can help you and your healthcare team make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
5. Manage Stress
Chronic stress can affect blood sugar levels. Explore stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Poor sleep can affect insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.
7. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is essential for overall health and can help with weight management.
8. Consider Medication or Insulin
In some cases, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to control blood sugar levels. Your healthcare provider may recommend medication or insulin therapy.
It is important to note that while lifestyle changes can be highly effective in reversing prediabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes, the process may take time. Individual results can vary, so it’s essential to work closely with your healthcare provider to develop a personalized plan and monitor your progress. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial even after reversing prediabetes to prevent its recurrence and promote overall well-being.
Researched by: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi