Learn how you can prevent or delay diabetes by losing a small amount of weight by being physically active for 30 minutes, 5 days a week and following a low-fat, reduced calorie meal plan. To get started, use this guide for ideas on moving more, making healthy food choices and tracking your progress.
Small Steps for Big Rewards!
Reduce Portion Sizes
- Less on Your Plate, Nate.
- Keep meat, poultry and fish portions to about 3 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards).
- Try not to snack while cooking or cleaning the kitchen.
- Try to eat meals and snacks at regular times every day.
- Make sure you eat breakfast everyday.
- Use broth and cured meats (smoked turkey and turkey bacon) in small amounts. They are high in sodium. Low sodium broths are available in cans and in powdered form.
- Share a single dessert.
- When eating out, have a big vegetable salad, then split an entrée with a friend or have the other half wrapped to go.
- Stir fry, broil, or bake with non-stick spray or low-sodium broth and cook with less oil and butter.
- Drink a glass of water 10 minutes before your meal to take the edge off your hunger.
- Make healthy choices at fast food restaurants. Try grilled chicken (remove skin) instead of a cheeseburger. Skip the french fries and choose a salad.
- Listen to music while you eat instead of watching TV (people tend to eat more while watching TV).
- Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you’re full.
- Eat a small meal, Lucille.
- Teaspoons, salad forks, or child-size utensils may help you take smaller bites and eat less.
- You don’t have to cut out the foods you love to eat. Just cut down on your portion size and eat it less often.
- Make less food look like more by serving your meal on a salad or breakfast plate.
Move More Each Day
- Dance It Away, Faye.
- Show your kids the dances you used to do when you were their age.
- Turn up the music and jam while doing household chores.
- Deliver a message in person to a co-worker instead of e-mailing.
- Take the stairs to your office. Or take the stairs as far as you can, and then take the elevator the rest of the way.
- Make fewer phone calls. Catch up with friends on a regular basis during a planned walk.
- March in place while you watch TV.
- Park as far away as possible from your favorite store at the mall.
- Select a physical activity video from the store or library.
- Get off of the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way home or to work several times a week.
Make Healthy Food Choices
- Snack on a Veggie, Reggie
- Try getting one new fruit or vegetable every time you grocery shop.
- Low-fat macaroni and cheese can be a main dish. Serve it with your favorite vegetable and a salad.
- Try eating foods from other countries. Many dishes contain more vegetables, whole grains and beans and less meat.
- Cook with a mix of spices instead of salt.
- Find a water bottle you really like (from a church or club event, favorite sports team, etc.) and drink water from it wherever and whenever you can.
- Always keep a healthy snack with you, such as fresh fruit, handful of nuts, whole grain crackers.
- Choose veggie toppings like spinach, broccoli, and peppers for your pizza.
- Try different recipes for baking or broiling meat, chicken and fish.
- Try to choose foods with little or no added sugar.
- Gradually work your way down from whole milk to 2% milk until you’re drinking and cooking with fat-free (skim) or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Eat foods made from whole-grains—such as whole wheat, brown rice, oats, and whole-grain corn—every day. Use whole-grain bread for toast and sandwiches; substitute brown rice for white rice for home-cooked meals and when dining out.
- Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach. Make a list before you go to the store.
- Read food labels. Choose foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
- Fruits are colorful and make a welcome centerpiece for any table. Enjoy the company of family and friends while sharing a bowl of fruit.
- Slow down at snack time. Eating a bag of low-fat popcorn takes longer than eating a slice of cake. Peel and eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice.
- Try keeping a written record of what you eat for a week. It can help you see when you tend to overeat or eat foods high in fat or calories.
Nurture Your Mind, Body and Soul
- You Can Exhale, Gail.
- Don’t try to change your entire way of eating and increasing your physical activity all at once. Try one new activity or food a week.
- Find mellow ways to relax—try deep breathing, take an easy paced walk, or enjoy your favorite easy listening music.
- Give yourself daily “pampering time.” Honor this time, whether it’s reading a book, taking a long bath, or meditating.
- Try not to eat out of boredom or frustration. If you are not hungry, do something else, such as taking a long walk.
- Honor your health as your most precious gift.
There are many more ways to prevent or delay diabetes by making healthy food choices and moving
more. Discover your own and share them with your family, friends, and neighbors.