How To Reduce Your Diabetes Risk, In Just 4 Weeks

If you’ve been diagnosed as pre-diabetic (or Type II diabetic), it was likely a scary diagnosis to receive. In the clients I’ve spoken with it’s a moment they remember and often the moment that sparks a fire in them to take meaningful action around their health.

Given that diabetics are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than non-diabetics and that it lowers life span, it’s worth taking action on. In fact, common diabetes health complications also include chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, and other problems with feet, oral health, vision, hearing, and mental health.

It’s not all bad news though! The good news is that Harvard Health estimates 9 in 10 prediabetes and type II diabetes cases are preventable. 90%! Let that sink in. That is great news because it means there’s something you can do!

In fact, it’s one of the main reasons we are offering another round of the Balance Your Blood Sugar Program - more on that below.

Ok, so what can you do to prevent or reverse your diabetes diagnosis/risk? It’s no surprise that diet is first and foremost. What you’re eating can either lead to a small or a large spike in blood sugar. Over time, chronically high blood sugar spikes and/or continuously elevated blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance (where your cells aren’t as efficient at using insulin, so don’t take up glucose from your blood) and weight gain – both risk factors for diabetes.

Interestingly, many clients who come to HEAL and those who participated in the last round of our Balance Your Blood Sugar Program did so because they were frustrated with the standard weight-loss and diabetes guidance and its lack of results. Put simply, it doesn’t work for most people because the foods they are guided to eat still lead to massive blood sugar spikes when consumed improperly.

Here’s what does work:

1. Start with 20-30g of protein for breakfast

The exception to this is eggs which come in lower but are still a very blood-sugar-balancing meal. In one study, protein had a blood glucose-buffering effect when ingested. Making a tweak in your diet to increase protein and fat intake and decrease carbs was also shown to lower HbA1c (a marker of average blood glucose over the past three months) and liver fat content among people with Type 2 diabetes in a six-week study

2. Aim for more continuous movement throughout the day

When it comes to exercise, it can often feel like an all or nothing approach. If I don’t get a full 30-minute workout in, why bother?! Well, it turns out that every minute counts, and to see benefits to your blood sugar does not necessarily require a long bout of exercise (though of course there are other health benefits to longer exercise). 

In one study, there were 3 options: (1) continuous sitting for nine hours, (2) walking for 30 minutes and then sitting for another eight and a half hours, OR (3) sitting for eight and a half hours, but with 100-second bursts of treadmill walking every 30 minutes (plus sitting for eight and a half hours).

Guess which option was best for blood sugar? The short 100-second bursts group had the lowest glucose and insulin levels. 

3. Wear a continuous glucose monitor for a couple of weeks

This is the best way to see with real-time data how what you eat is affecting your blood sugar. If you’re wondering what a continuous glucose monitor (or CGM) is a way to track your glucose levels, continuously, throughout the day and night. The system takes glucose measurements at regular intervals and gives you insights into how meals, exercise and stress are impacting your glucose levels. The sensor attaches to your arm (don’t worry it’s pretty pain free) and lasts for up to 2 weeks, tracking everything your glucose is doing.

Everyone’s metabolism is different, so it allows you to gain confidence and feel empowered about how your individual body is affected by different foods, stress, and sleep, so that you can make a meaningful change towards your health goals.

If you want to eliminate your diabetes risk and bring your blood sugar into balance, join our program Balance Your Blood Sugar. We start Nov 6th and space is limited.

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