Managing type 2 diabetes in adults doesn’t rely on medications or insulin therapy alone. To keep your blood sugar levels within the target range, you need to transition to a healthier diet and lifestyle. Beat type 2 diabetes with the following strategies:
Consult a nutritionist or dietitian
People with diabetes know that nutrition plays a vital role in keeping their blood sugar within healthy levels. On the surface, the concept is simple: if you want to lower your blood glucose, then you need to stay away from sugary foods.
This oversimplified principle can make you feel that your diet needs to be bland and boring. However, if you consult a dietitian or a nutritionist, you’ll realize that you can still enjoy food without compromising your health.
That’s why, if your doctor refers you to a nutritionist or dietitian, be sure to contact them. Together, you can work on an individualized meal plan that suits your food preferences, target blood glucose levels, and lifestyle.
Here’s a simple tip: To check your meal, you can use the diabetes plate method. In this guide, ½ of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, ¼ should be for whole grains like brown rice, and ¼ of the plate should be filled with lean protein, like skinless chicken or beans.
Develop an exercise routine
In managing type 2 diabetes in adults, remember that staying physically active is also crucial.
Not only does exercise help with your blood pressure and bone and muscle strength, but it also promotes better insulin function and lowers blood glucose.
Here are some points to remember in creating your exercise routine:
- Choose activities that you enjoy. If you like swimming, dancing, or biking, include them in your routine.
- Combine some aerobic exercises and resistance training in your workout. According to experts, they offer better health benefits than either type of activity performed alone.
- Aim for about 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily.
- Check your blood glucose level before working out.
- Since physical activities lower blood sugar, you might need to have a snack before exercising.
- Reduce the amount of time that you’re inactive. For instance, if you’re watching TV, try to walk around every 30 minutes.
- Walking is a great form of exercise. Studies show that people who walk for at least 2 hours weekly have a reduced risk of dying from heart disease than those who are physically inactive.
Once you have a general workout routine plan, plan the details with your doctor. Remember: Do not proceed with a fitness plan until you have your doctor’s go-signal.
In managing type 2 diabetes in adults, doctors say that losing weight should be a priority because it reduces blood sugar levels.
Studies show that losing just 5 – 7% of your total body weight can make a lot of difference. So, if your initial weight is 78 kilos, your doctor may advise you to lose around 4 to 5.5 kilos.
If you aren’t reaching your target weight within the desired timeframe, your doctor may take more aggressive measures by changing your exercise routine and meal plans.
Monitor and keep a record of your blood sugar
Monitoring your blood sugar levels is a crucial part of managing type 2 diabetes in adults. The doctor can assess if the current treatment plan is working well or if it needs modifications with your records.
Ask your physician about your target blood glucose range, and don’t forget to follow their instructions on when to check your sugar.
Typically, if you’re not under insulin therapy and you manage your type 2 diabetes well with medications, diet, and exercise, there’s no need for you to check your sugar frequently.
However, some activities warrant blood sugar testing. For instance, the doctor may give you specific instructions to check your glucose before and after working out.
On the other hand, patients who receive insulin injections require more frequent monitoring, most likely multiple times daily.
Lower your stress levels and build a support network
Stress raises your blood sugar levels. That’s why finding ways to cope with stress effectively is an integral part of managing type 2 diabetes in adults.
To lower your stress levels, consider doing relaxing and calming activities such as:
- Listening to soft music
- Breathing exercises
- Taking a walk
- Working on your favorite hobby
It is also a good idea to build a support system consisting of people who can help you when you’re feeling down. Try to:
- Keep in touch with your friends and family
- Join support groups for diabetics
- Consult a mental health counselor
As of now, there are a lot of online groups that offer support to people who have type 2 diabetes. Consider joining at least one group and connect with its members. Sometimes, it’s helpful to talk to people who can relate to you because you have the same condition.
How to Support Someone with Diabetes
If your family or friend has type 2 diabetes, you can show your support by:
- Joining them in their journey to a healthier diet and lifestyle
- Reminding them about their medications
- Keeping track of their blood sugar levels
- Accompanying them during their doctor’s visits
- Keeping a close watch on signs of complications, like oral problems, diabetic foot, and vision problems
- Monitoring their blood pressure daily
- Spending time with them if they’re feeling down
There are a lot of ways to support someone with type 2 diabetes. From time to time, talk to the patient to know how you can help them.
To beat diabetes, it’s crucial to have a balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy weight. Additionally, monitoring your blood sugar levels and lowering your stress is also essential.
Learn more about Type 2 Diabetes here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.