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One in three American adults will be diagnosed with prediabetes in their lifetime, and one in 10 will eventually be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is a condition marked by an elevated blood sugar level that has not yet reached the threshold for type 2 diabetes. Those with prediabetes are also at a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.
Receiving the diagnosis can be stressful, but with a few lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Here are five lifestyle changes to consider:
Reassess Your Diet Choices
Excess weight has a major impact on the onset of type 2 diabetes. Continuing to choose foods associated with weight gain, such as those high in fat, carbohydrates and sugar, will push your blood sugar higher. Instead, healthy options like whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help manage your weight, as well as your blood sugar.
In fact, dropping just five percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes by over 50 percent.
Just like eating right, getting active improves overall health in countless ways, including lost weight and a decreased diabetes risk. Starting with simple changes like taking the steps or parking farther from a store entrance can have a lasting impact.
See Your Doctor
Having regular and honest conversations with your doctor will ensure that your treatment and diet plans are going smoothly, that you’re reaching your goals and that symptoms have not worsened. Plus, your doctor will be aware of any family history of diabetes or other conditions that may aggravate symptoms.
Sleep is more important than you might think. Recent studies suggest that weight loss is more difficult without adequate sleep, and insulin is used less efficiently with a tired body. Without a good use of insulin, your body will not be able to transport all of its sugar stored for use as an energy source.
Fighting back against prediabetes requires a strict lifestyle plan. Surrounding yourself with tools to stay accountable, as well as supportive friends and family members, will make it easier to achieve your goals and fight temptation. However, that’s not to say that everyone is perfect. Occasional cheat days are not the end of the world!