Managing your type 2 diabetes takes more than good intentions. You have to consciously decide to take control of your condition and start making lifestyle changes. You can make it easier on yourself by:
Avoiding these 5 common mistakes.
I have a new client who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 18 months ago. She has been in denial since her diagnosis, which delayed making necessary lifestyle changes. She also didn’t monitor her glucose at home and was understandably concerned that her next blood sugar test results will be worse than the last ones, which they were. I ask all my type 2 diabetes clients to get their Hemoglobin A1c tested quarterly in addition to daily glucose monitoring so I can make any needed changes to their supplements, diet or exercise plan.
My client decided that she wanted to reverse diabetes naturally but needed someone to help guide her and hold her accountable. She was motivated enough to reach out and receive professional help.
2. Feeling Overwhelmed
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your diagnosis of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes when you realize that you have to monitor your glucose daily, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and if you’re not too tired, manage your stress. Really???
So, stop and take a deep breath. There is a learning curve to all of this so don’t expect yourself to make all these changes overnight. The key is taking a step-by-step approach to reaching your goals. Break each area you want to work on into manageable tasks just like you would with any large project at work or at home.
Start with monitoring your glucose. Your doctor may have recommended a certain glucometer and your insurance may cover certain ones. There are also discounted monitoring kits online. Read my recent blog post about glucose monitoring with resource links. Once you’ve bought your kit, learn how to test your glucose and record your numbers.
Choosing from the many diets out there can be confusing to say the least. I recommend a low-carb diet with a decent amount of healthy fat and protein such as Paleo to control your blood sugar. But, rather than implementing a new diet all at once, I recommend doing it in a few phases and measuring your glucose while you’re doing it. The easiest way to start a low-carb diet is look for processed carbs in your diet with hidden/added sugars that you can eliminate. In my recent blog post, I mentioned several sources of sugar, including those found in common desserts and baked goods.
When it comes to caffeine, organic teas are healthier than sugary sodas or sodas containing Aspartame and more than 1 cup of coffee. But, rather make my clients quit several cups of coffee or sodas overnight, I recommend they cut back gradually. For example, if you drink 2 sodas daily, you can cut back to 1 daily and then 1 a week and then 1 a month.
Some people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will start taking one or more diabetes medications to control their blood sugar. I order a few supplements for my clients to lower their blood sugar naturally. But, taking a pill is not enough. There is no “miracle” drug or supplement that cures you of type 2 diabetes. Yes, medications and supplements will lower your blood sugar if you take them as prescribed over time. But, it’s the old-school ongoing healthy diet and regular exercise that will really transform your health, energy and weight loss.
I can recommend all the lifestyle changes in the world but only you can implement them. It’s up to you to watch your diet, exercise, and take your supplements and/or diabetes medication on schedule.
4. Expecting too much too soon
You’re excited to start working on transforming your health and are disappointed when you don’t see results right away. While many of my clients start to feel better in a month, I try to set realistic expectations for them depending on their health goals, current glucose test results and weight, and other health conditions.
It’s a big step to shift your eating and exercise habits. You need to give yourself time to implement the changes and to see results, especially weight loss. As a wise friend reminded me several years ago when I had health problems, it took several years to get to this point and it may take just as long to fully recover.
The good news is that if you follow my “reverse diabetes” plan, you will see results in two to four months.
5. Doing this alone
- Seek help from a professional including a nutritionist, a personal trainer, or a health coach. (they should all be certified)
- Join a support group for people with type 2 diabetes. There are local groups and online forums. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) lists several local groups and this forum online.
- Take nutrition and exercise classes..Click here to view more details
- Take “de-stress” classes on meditation, yoga or both.
- Find a buddy to exercise with.
- Find a buddy to support you and hold you accountable during the journey.