WORDS HANNAH MAY-LEE WONG
Being diagnosed with diabetes may change your life. Yes, it can be overwhelming at first. Chances are, you’re navigating through a sea of new information and don’t know where to begin.
Don’t worry. With a few key changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can still enjoy a healthy and active life.
Create a healthy eating plan
As diabetes is a metabolic disease, one of the first things you must do is to understand how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. If you need help with this, work with a dietitian to help you create a healthy meal plan. Your new diet should have plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. While you can still enjoy most of your favourite foods, it’s important keep portion control in mind and limit your intake of food that are high in sugar and fat.
Get into a workout regime
Exercise helps control diabetes by bringing down blood sugar levels and helping you maintain a healthy weight. If you haven’t been active, it’s never too late to start. However, consult your doctor before embarking on any strenuous exercise programmes. All you need is 30 minutes of physical activity a day that makes you sweat and gets your heart rate up. This can be easily achieved from a brisk walk, a cycling session, a swim or whichever sport you prefer.
Don’t stress yourself
Stress affects blood sugar levels and can demotivate you from making positive changes. Find ways to manage your stress by doing relaxing activities like yoga, journaling or any hobby you truly enjoy.
If you’re still feeling anxious or lost, join a diabetes support group. Support groups can offer motivation and useful advice to set you on the right track.
Stay in touch with your doctor
You’ll need to see your doctor to get your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels checked. You doctor would also be the best person to track your progress and make sure you’re on the right path in your diabetes management plan.
Reference: WebMD. (n.d.). 6 Lifestyle Changes to Control Your Diabetes. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-lifestyle-tips