Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia - 41
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Unlike diabetes, which can be managed
but not cured, prediabetes often can
be reversed completely with lifestyle
changes that will help you lose weight.
Here are five steps you can take to
Nine out of 10 Americans with prediabetes don't know they have it. And if
you have certain risk factors-if you
are overweight, are 45 or older,
or have a sibling or parent with
type 2 diabetes, for example-
you may be at a higher risk of
having prediabetes. Head to your
doctor to have your blood sugar tested.
PHOTO BY VESNAANDJIC /GETTY IMAGES; ICONS BY THINKSTOCK
2 Move it.
Staying active is
key to beating back
prediabetes. Aim to
log 30 minutes of
physical activity five
days a week, for a total
of 150 minutes a week. But you don't
have to run a marathon to get your
exercise in. Brisk walking works just fine,
Allweiss says. And it doesn't have to be
all at once, either. "If you do 10 minutes
three times a day," Allweiss says, "that's
3 Track what you eat.
It's hard to change your eating
habits if you don't know
what you're eating.
That's where food
diaries come in.
By keeping a daily
food log, you'll
learn what you're
eating-and how much-so you can
see where to make improvements. Apps
like MyFitnessPal and MyNetDiary make
it easy to log your food on the go.
Once you see what you're eating, you
can start to make changes. Cut back on
sugar-sweetened drinks, choose lean
proteins like chicken, turkey
or fish, and use spices
instead of fats and oils
to add flavor, Allweiss
says. Plan meals with
the goal of having more
fresh vegetables on your
plate than starches or fatty
meats, and make a shopping list before
you head to the grocery store so you
can avoid impulse purchases. (Check
out the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
choosemyplate.gov for inspiration.) And
when you're out to eat, "be a proactive
eater," Allweiss says. Ask how foods are
prepared and seek out options that are
grilled or broiled instead of fried.
Stress is a major cause of
plans. Before the stress
hits, take time to think
about what your stressors
are-and how you can handle them.
"Sometimes when people are under
stress, they might say, 'Why should I
go walk? Why should I eat my healthy
diet?'" Allweiss says. Come up with a
plan to deal with stress, whether that
means doing a simple series of yoga
moves or taking a short walk. n
GET WITH THE
Eating healthy, getting active
and losing weight can be hard.
But support can help.
Pamela Allweiss, MD, an endocrinologist with the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention's
Division of Diabetes Translation,
recommends talking to your
healthcare provider about joining
a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention program.
Such programs, which are
covered by some health insurance companies and employers,
last about a year and are available
all over the United States. They
discuss everything from how to
shop healthier to how to stay on
track when life gets in the way,
Plus, there's a built-in support
system in the programs, she says.
Participants "share their
frustrations, and they share
their successes," Allweiss says.
"People learn from their peers."
Are You at Risk?
See more ways to stop
SU MM E R 2017