If you’re at risk of developing diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay diabetes. Most of the things you need to do include leading a healthier lifestyle. So if you make these changes, you will also get other health benefits.
You may reduce your risk of other illnesses, and you’re more likely to feel better and have more energy. The changes are:
Losing and maintaining weight. Weight control is an important part of diabetes prevention. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 10% of your current weight.
For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose 10 to 20 pounds. And once you lose weight, it’s important not to gain it back.
Follow a healthy eating plan. It is important to reduce the amount of calories you eat and drink each day, so that you can lose weight and maintain it. To do this, your diet should include smaller portions and less fat and sugar.
You should also eat a variety of foods from each food group, including plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It’s also a good idea to limit your intake of red meat and avoid processed meat.
Exercise regularly. Exercise has many health benefits, including helping you lose weight and lowering blood sugar levels. Both reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. If you’re not active, talk with your healthcare professional to find out what types of exercise are best for you. You can start slowly and reach your goal.
Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. If you already smoke, try to quit.
Talk to your healthcare provider to see if there is anything else you can do to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. If you are at high risk, your provider may suggest that you take one of the few types of diabetes medications.