Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Part 2
In part one we discussed why we might be ‘at risk’ for type 2 diabetes with a bit of information to get you started around exercise and food.
In this part we will discuss what we can really do about it. We will go down a little rabbit hole…not too far but far enough to think about options that we have in order to prevent an incredibly preventable disease.
The best bit is that our chances for other disease states also comes down as a result such as coronary heart disease, strokes etc.
I’ve worked with thousands of people to reduce their blood glucose level so they are no longer ‘at risk’ for type 2 diabetes. This never really requires drastic change but more tweaks or adjustments to your current lifestyle. Anything too drastic normally creates resistance and we end up back to where we started. Motivation can be built gradually over time as an internal mechanism that drives you.
We all know what we should and shouldn’t do but still fail to do this and all we are left with are feelings of guilt.
So lets get stuck straight in on what to do
- Increase your vegetables! I always bang on about these not just from an evidence base but from my own personal journey. Veggies rock! Increase in fibre increases and balances out our gut bugs (see my blog on gut health, stress and mental health). Slows the release of sugar into our blood, helps control cholesterol levels, increase our vitamin/mineral consumption (spark plugs for our metabolism). Decreases your chances of colon cancer…what’s not to like about veggies.
- Increase protein content. 0.75-1 gram per kilo of body weight. This is the minimum requirement. Consumption should increase the more active you are. If you’re regular with your exercise etc you can take this to 1.3 grams per kilo of bodyweight. We need protein for most cellular functions in the body. We need it for repair and recovery of every structure in the body. Can you imagine a building site such as the Empire state Building and you just left it without any maintenance, it would degrade quicker over time, or if we damage the building and just left it due to the lack of bricks, steel, builders! Your body and mind are the same.
- More Omega 3 please! With some natural omega 6 from things like pumpkin seeds. Powerful anti-inflammatory used for cellular function, and your nervous system and brain love it. Get this in your diet and health shall improve. Also get some healthy natural monounsaturated fats such as avocado, olive oil, combine this with some omega 3 fats from free range eggs, walnuts, oily ‘wild’ fish (non farmed), and your body and mind are in for a treat. Failing that you can opt for a supplement but make sure it’s from a reputable source as not all supplements are the same…You get what you pay for. Go to http://consumer.nutrasource.ca/ifos/ for information of different standards of fish oil.
- Movement. As much as you can. Think about movement snacks throughout the day. 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Whatever the movement looks like do. Dance, walk, housework, run, gym, play with children, play with a partner or friend…yes that’s right I said play…its still fun! If you don’t enjoy it then it’s a chore and chores are work. Last thing you may want to do is more work, so fun it is!
- Reduce sugar! The refined variety! Sugar is not your friend. When I mean sugar it’s the refined simple type you don’t need especially from the following…non fiber cereal, white bread, fruit juice, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, crackers, crisps, sugar based drinks including ‘energy’ drinks…the list goes on. The middle area of any shop is essentially refined sugar and refined fat! urg!!
- Reduce caffeine, nicotine (Cigarettes) and alcohol. It’s very easy to overdose to toxic levels with these. Too much caffeine and it can increase adrenaline and cortisol (your stress response) exacerbates anxiety and can lead to attacks and chronic inflammation. Cigarettes have over 10’000 chemicals in including sugar, allot of which can increase chances of cancer. If you want nicotine there are much better ways including Swedish Snus, vapour, and nicotine gum, all much healthier. Alcohol depresses your whole hormonal system and prevents you from going into your deep ‘recovery’ sleep. Alcohol can also force out of your body essential nutrients such as Zinc, B-Vitamins and Vitamin D and Magnesium. All have essential roles to play in physical and mental health and metabolism.
Aside from my top 6 things to do it’s important to have an honest conversation with yourself. Where am I now? What do I want to achieve and by when?
Think of your personal program as a continuum. For example
Prolonged seating (average Brit sits for 14.5 hours per day)…Your goal stand for 5 minutes out of every hour = improved spinal health and less joint problems, increase energy expenditure 100 extra calories per day (1 stone weight loss per year), circulation improvements.
You’re now used to standing for longer periods of time, so it’s time to take it to the next level. Goal is then to increase movement (maybe extra ‘3000 steps’ but not the point).
- Need to use the toilet, use the toilet on a different floor of where you work
- Park in the furthest car-park space away from your work
- Go for a 20 minute walk every lunchtime
- So you’re now moving more, it’s time to increase the intensity.
- The walk at lunchtime is now a brisk walk
- You use the furthest toilet away in your place of work (using stairs etc)
- You cycle to work if possible
- You have regular movement breaks
In essence you become your own problem solver.
I know I need to get more movement into my day so how can I make it work for me?
You will start to see reductions in either your fasting blood glucose or your HbA1c blood test.
I hope this helps in some small way
Health Coach Online is coming soon. this will be a monthly subscription for your own consultation and from that you will receive a diet program tailored to you, a movement program and a lifestyle program to enhance..well everything. If you’re interested then email me directly for more information.