How to Control Diabetes: Lifestyle Modification and Diet Tips to Keep Your Blood Sugars in Control
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If you are living with diabetes or have a loved one dealing with diabetes, then one question that looms large in your mind is –
How to control diabetes?
This question might be vying for all your attention way too much and for the right reasons. It is imperative for a person living with diabetes to control blood sugar levels; otherwise, the consequences could be life-threatening too.
No, we aren’t trying to scare you but to tell you how important it is to control your diabetes.
If you have been living with diabetes for years, you probably know the tricks and tips that can help you gain an upper hand in this ‘sugar-war.’
However, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes recently, you will be amazed to know that you can control your condition if you pay attention to your diet and incorporate specific lifestyle changes.
Here are few tips to control diabetes
1. Taking your medications in time
This is one thing that you cannot miss. If you have been prescribed oral medications or insulin injections to lower your blood sugar levels, take the correct dose and on time for best results. Other factors can affect your blood sugar levels, so make it a point to:
- Talk to your doctor about other medications you are taking – for high blood pressure, cholesterol – so a better treatment plan can be devised to keep your blood sugar in check.
- Avoid taking any other over-the-counter medication as it can affect blood sugar levels.
- If you need to take insulin, store your insulin injections and vials properly. They are sensitive to extremes in temperature. In addition, using a tampered or expired vail can affect your readings.
- Don’t miss your doctor’s appointments as you might need a titration for your doses or other medical support to control diabetes.
- Do not self medicate or stop your medications without consulting your doctor. Even if your blood sugars are under control, consult your doctor before stopping medications. Abruptly stopping it and starting it again can make your blood sugars soar and lead to complications.
2. Make smart diet changes
More than medication, your diet choices and preferences will help you control your diabetes. Remember, what you eat has a direct effect on your blood sugar levels. So, make some smart but scientific diet corrections to keep your bloos sugar under control.
When it comes to diet management for diabetes, the thumb rule is to choose carbs wisely. The Indian dietary pattern is predominately high in carbohydrates, largely affecting postprandial (PP) blood sugar readings.
In general, a person needs about 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and about 15 to 30 grams during a snack.
Here are a few diet changes that can help you to control diabetes:
a) Choose complex carbs over simple carbs
The best pick for people with diabetes are – brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils. Try to avoid white rice, maida, processed foods, white bread.
b) Add more fibre to your plate
While you have to reign control over your carb intake, don’t be ignorant about your fibre intake. In fact, the right amount of fibre in your diet can help keep blood sugar in check. Fibre-rich foods also have a low glycemic index as they release glucose slowly into the bloodstream. They also keep you full for longer thereby preventing those binge-eating sessions.
c) Don’t miss out on proteins
Having adequate protein is also necessary to keep your energy levels up and blood sugar in control. Therefore, unless there is an underlying complication related to diabetes, one should not cut down on protein intake.
d) Check what goes into your plate
An ideal nutritious plate should be filled like this –
Half plate with vegetables cooked, steamed or tossed
A quarter of the plate with proteins – meat, eggs, legumes, pulses, tofu, cottage cheese or paneer
Other quarter with complex carbohydrates like – brown rice, chapati, millets, daliya, etc
3. Keep yourself hydrated
Another best way to control diabetes is to stay hydrated throughout the day, as dehydration can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Try these tips to avoid dehydration:
- Have at least 8 glasses of water everyday
- Keep reminders on your smartphone to drink enough water
- Eat more fruits and vegetables as they are high in water content
- Always carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go
- If you are stationed at your desk most of the day, get up to take frequent water breaks
While these diet choices might seem simple, remember managing diabetes is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one will not give the same outcomes for others.
To control diabetes, a personalised and scientific approach is necessary. This is where Diabefly Reverse– A digital therapeutic program for diabetes management comes into place.
At Diabefly Reverse, a team of specialists, including – a nutritionist, a certified physiotherapist and a clinical psychologist, help you to achieve individual health goals with tailor-made plans suiting your needs.
While we can harp about cutting down on carbs, proper diabetes diet management will also need you to consider the macro and micronutrients that go into your diet.
For instance, did you know that deficiency of magnesium can affect your blood sugar levels? Such loopholes in your diet can be fixed by experts who can plan specific diet solutions for you, considering the macro and micronutrient requirements for better outcomes.
There is no cure for diabetes yet, but you can choose ways to keep the condition under control.
4. Sweat out, lose some kilos
If you ask an expert, whether your doctor or coach – how to control diabetes, invariably you will get some advice on weight loss and maintenance and for all the good reasons.
Losing even 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help you control your diabetes better. Exercise and physical activity helps the cells and muscles in your body absorb glucose effectively and improve insulin sensitivity.
Before you take up an exercise routine, consult with your doctor to know which exercises will suit you the most and give better outcomes. On average, try to spend at least 30 minutes doing some exercise daily.
If you have lived a sedentary life, getting in touch with a coach to get started with a proper exercise plan is better.
At Diabefly Reverse, a team of physiotherapists guide you to get started the right way, avoid injuries, and gradually pick up your pace with exercises to lose weight and control your blood pressure in the most scientific manner.
Abdominal fat increases one’s risk for diabetes by manifolds. Exercise is the best way to get rid of abdominal fat and control diabetes. One way to know how many calories you are burning to keep your blood sugar in control use the Fitterfly Metabolic Health App to track your activities.
Ideally, a 30 minutes exercise routine everyday is suggested to keep blood sugars in control. However, to control your diabetes, it is necessary to burn more calories and gain muscle strength too.
High sugar in your bloodstream also makes the major muscle groups in the body weak. It is necessary to pay attention to muscle strength, make bones stronger, improve flexibility, improve posture and balance (reduce chances of injuries).
A combination of cardio (walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, Zumba) and strength training would help to reduce weight, ensure better insulin sensitivity and keep the lard off for long.
5. Cut down your vices
Smoking and alcohol are the dual culprits that can make your blood sugar readings go haywire and increase complications of diabetes. They can also affect your other major organs like the liver, lungs and heart.
All of this will have a cumulative effect on your health and lead to complications that could be severe.
6. Say goodbye to stress
Did you know that chronic stress directly correlates with your blood sugar levels? Moreover, chronic stress can also get in your way of proper diabetes management.
Managing blood sugar is not always about proper diet and regular exercise; your mental health also matters. Stress hormones can make your blood sugar reading rise and impact your thinking, energy and moods making you less motivated to stay on your treatment or follow the proper guidelines for lifestyle management.
Studies suggest that depression increases the risk for diabetes vice versa. So ignoring mental health problems can cost you dearly. At Diabefly Reverse, we pay equal attention to a person’s happiness quotient.
A team of clinical psychologists are there to help you deal with your moods and emotions better and overcome the hurdles that stop you from achieving your health goals.
Remember, to control diabetes, you need to adopt a holistic approach, a reason why they say a lifestyle shift is necessary to win over this ‘sugar-war.’
Is there a diabetes cure?
This is that million-dollar question that every person living with diabetes is searching for an answer to. Well, in all truthfulness, there is no cure for diabetes, but this doesn’t mean that you lose hope completely.
The silver lining is – diabetes reversal is possible. Yes, you read it right. We are talking about a reversal – controlling your blood sugar levels naturally without any medication.
But it isn’t an easy process and you have to do it scientifically with planned nutrition, weight loss and lifestyle modifications and training your brain to adapt to the changes to live healthily.
You can achieve this through the guidance of experts and trained professionals. Diabefly Reverse is a unique Diabetes reversal program created by Endocrinologists, Nutritionists, Psychologists, Physiotherapists and technology experts.
Diabefly Reverse aims to help people with diabetes attain freedom from medications, tests and painful pricks with a multidisciplinary regimented approach over 6 months.
Is diabetes reversal possible for everyone?
Sadly, no. Not all types of diabetes can be reversed. But people with type II diabetes can reverse their condition with proper management and education.
However, this is possible if you had been diagnosed with the condition for less than five years and were not dependent on insulin to control blood sugar.
To know if you can reverse your diabetes, try our Diabefly Diabetes Reversal Calculator, which will assess your chances of reversing diabetes by taking into consideration your age, gender, BMI, duration of diabetes, current medication, family history of diabetes and other health conditions.
The higher the score is, the better your chances of reversal.
Also, reversal doesn’t mean diabetes cure. You will still need to follow the basics of a healthy lifestyle to keep your blood sugar levels in control.
To know more about how Diabefly Reverse and how it can help you smartly take control of your diabetes, visit our website www.fitterfly.com/diabefly-reverse or speak to one of our counsellors on 022 4897 1077.