Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - UVA - 13

13

with prediabetes or diabetes, the
key might fit, but it won't move. It
won't unlock the cells," says Amy
Kimberlain, a registered dietitian
nutritionist, certified diabetes
care and education specialist, and
spokeswoman for the Academy
of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is
called insulin resistance.
In other cases, insulin production
is the issue. The body simply doesn't
make enough to maintain normal
blood glucose levels.
Whatever the reason for the
insulin trouble, extra glucose stays
in the bloodstream, which can have
damaging effects on the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.

PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

Start with Your Mind

Ready to reverse prediabetes? There
is good news right out of the gate:
Small lifestyle changes can make a
big difference. Research shows that
exercising for 30 minutes five days
a week and losing 5 to 7 percent of
your body weight (10 to 14 pounds
for a person weighing 200 pounds)
reduces the risk of developing type 2
diabetes by more than half.
Certified diabetes educator
Jill Weisenberger, RN, author of the
book Prediabetes: A Complete Guide,
recommends thinking about your
motivation, which can help you
succeed in the long run.
Maybe you want enough energy
to play with your grandkids. Maybe
you picture yourself dancing in
a certain dress (or suit). Maybe
you'd like to take up gardening.
Whatever it is, hold on to that,
Weisenberger says.
Mindset, a close cousin of motivation, is also important. When we
view healthy eating or exercise as selfnurturing-not self-punishing-we're
more likely to stick with a healthier lifestyle.
"Take a doughnut, for example.
If someone offers me a doughnut
and I say, 'No, I can't eat that,' then
I feel like a victim," Weisenberger

Pro t ip:

Walking with
light weights
can accomplish
two goals:
building aerobic
capacity and
building muscle.

Pro tip:

Start by
visualizing your
life at your
healthiest.
How do you feel?
What are
you doing?
Where are
you going?

Pro tip:

Focus on what
is healthy
for you, not
on what you
can't eat
or drink.

says. "But in my mind, if I know
I choose not to eat that because it
doesn't fit with my health goals,
now I feel empowered."

Grab Quick Wins

Now that you're motivated and
your mind is focused on what's
healthy for you, it's time to grab
some quick wins with your exercise
and diet.
"Thirty minutes of moderate
activity a day and 5 to 7 percent loss
of body weight are pretty abstract
ideas," Reusch says. "Instead, look
at your lifestyle now and look
at the places you'd be willing to
change something."
Easy victories may be found in
these areas:
Ditch sugary beverages.
Limiting or eliminating sugary
beverages, such as coffee drinks,
juice, soda and energy drinks, can
cut calories and lead to weight loss.
Manage portions. Controlling
portions doesn't have to be a tedious
exercise that sucks the joy out of eating. Kimberlain offers this commonsense idea: Simply swap plates. Use
smaller salad plates for entrées and
larger dinner plates for salad.
Add veggies. Identify some
nonstarchy vegetables you like
(think carrots, turnips, lettuce,
asparagus, cucumbers) and eat
more of those. Then, bring in more
vegetables overall, including ones
you've never tried. Aim for three to
five servings a day.
Move more. A guideline for
exercise is 150 minutes a week, or
30 minutes a day for five days. But
if you're not active at all, just start.
Don't worry about 150 minutes
right away-do what you can do
now and gradually add to your total
each week.

Shape Up Your Diet

Now, let's examine your overall
eating habits. A good diet to stave
off type 2 diabetes features low-fat
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - UVA

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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - UVA - Contents
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