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3 Key Tips to Make Lifestyle Changes for Better Diabetes Control

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Newly diagnosed or already living with diabetes, comes with a lot of challenges and barriers, be it personal or societal. These types of barriers can range from a confusion of what food is considered healthy versus what is right for you to if you are not following a particular regime, you are doing it wrong. This causes stress and stress is known to produce hormones that raise blood sugar. Of the many lifestyles changes a diabetic has to make, the three key components are to always be active, put effort into healthy eating, and manage stress for better diabetic control.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 

  1. Always find reasons to be active
    The benefit of working out is that you do not have to drop to your expected maximum weight because any amount of loss is good. On average, you can have three 30-to-60-minute workout sessions per week to be sufficient. Any exercise, including walking, biking, jogging, power walking, and aerobics that gets your heart rate up works. Besides workouts, getting involved in community activities will lower your chances of being sedentary. It will also help you find routines or activities you love doing to motivate yourself when working out alone gets tough.1, 2
  2. Put effort into making healthier choices
    Making healthier choices is about striking a healthy balance between the food you love and the food you have to eat. Your Dietitian would have the best suggestions, but a general rule to follow is avoid concentrated sugars (ie. found most in processed foods), focus on fiber through plant-based foods, avoid trans fats (ie. found in take outs and packed ready to eat), and choose low Glycemic Index carbs (foods that raise your blood glucose slower). Be more mindful of what you eat and make the three main meals a day the place where you get the majority of sustenance.1, 3

    A diet change does not mean snacking is off limits. It is more about picking healthier option. Opt for fruits, vegetable sticks, yogurt, nuts or even leftovers from the mains. You can also consider diabetic specific nutritional meal replacements supported by strong clinical studies like Glucerna. Each serving is formulated with an advanced carbohydrate system (Myo-inositol) with a low glycemic index rating per serving to not trigger blood sugar spikes. Also high in fiber, protein, heart healthy fat and special blend of 28 vitamins and minerals to balance your nutritional needs.4
  3. Adopt proper stress coping mechanisms
    Since both high and low blood sugar impacts your sleep, it can make you more irritable, cause a hormonal imbalance, and make poorer nutritional choices as a result. You may not be able to control the factors that cause stress, but you can control how you react to them. Each person adapts differently, but the key coping mechanisms are to get enough sleep, be more active, and never to be ashamed of needing support. Experts agree that a good support system equals improved physical health so reach out to your friends, family, medical professional, and take joy in the progress you have made.1, 5

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/five-ways-to-control-type-2-diabetes
  2. https://glucerna.ca/en/managing-diabetes/exercise
  3. https://glucerna.ca/en/managing-diabetes/overcoming-barriers
  4. https://glucerna.ca/en/managing-diabetes/eating-dos-donts
  5. https://glucerna.ca/en/managing-diabetes/mood-swings-stress
  6. https://glucerna.ca/en/products