Pre Diabetes is a condition where the blood glucose level is above normal, but still below a diabetic condition. It is also known as gray area where someone shows some symptoms of diabetes, but not all, also known as impaired glucose tolerance. This is the condition where the fasting blood sugar is between 100 – 125 mg/dL. Anything above 126 mg/dL is considered diabetes. There are several important things you can do to beat Pre Diabetes.
People with pre diabetes condition risk having a full blown type 2 diabetes; and once they are at this stage it is almost impossible to lower the blood sugar to normal again. This is the time when a comprehensive plan must be adopted in order to defeat pre diabetes and brings the blood sugar level to normal (under 100 mg/dL). By comprehensive I mean having both a strict diet plan and a moderate exercise. If you are overweight, losing weight should be part of that plan. I will share with you my experience of managing my pre diabetes.
Knowing the risk
Ignoring pre diabetes can have very serious consequences. As mentioned above, if not treated you will risk having full blown type 2 diabetes where there is no cure. The risks include cardiovascular complications such as heart attack, stroke, amputation, and kidney failure. Unfortunately, studies show that many people are diagnosed when it is too late. So if you are diagnosed with pre diabetes by your doctor, this is the time when you must take action swiftly and seriously.
Pre diabetes management is through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle: a balanced diet, and a moderate exercise. For those who smoke, there are many ways to quit smoking such as the use of patch, medication, even hypnosis. Some people have been known to quit cold turkey without any problem. If you are obese or overweight, there are many weight loss programs that will fit you. In my experience, following a simple change in my dietary habit works well in dropping a few pounds steadily and I never gain it back.
A balanced diet
First and foremost, look into your eating habit. You can do this easily by taking notes of what you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between into a piece of paper. Do this for one week, and you will be surprised to see that there are so many junks you put into your body without realizing it. Do you eat a lot of fast food meal such as burgers and french fries? Do you eat a lot of popcorn and potato chips? Do you drink a lot of sugary drinks and soda?
Once you identify your eating habit problem, create a few ground rules as follows:
1. Don’t go to fast food restaurants. No more McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King.
2. No more popcorn and potato chips. They are really unhealthy.
3. No more sugary drinks and soda. If you must drink soda, stick to the diet ones.
4. Reduce dining out at restaurants if possible.
5. If you eat out at a restaurant, eat half and take the left over to take to work for lunch.
Those simple to follow rules will be a very good start of improving your dietary habit.
I go one step further; I bought several cookbooks and started cooking my meals and no more take outs (only when I really have to). I never learned to cook and within weeks, I can cook so many different dishes without any problem. Cooking is really easy, and it is healthy; you always use fresh oil, and you use fresh ingredients. You know exactly what’s in your food, and that is a very good thing in managing prediabetes because you can make sure you avoid food or ingredients that you are not supposed to eat.
I use the word “moderate” here, because many people use too many excuses for not doing exercise. There is no need to do that 5 times a week advice. I exercise 3 times a week, each no more than half hour, and the result is amazing. Remember prediabetes responds very well to exercise, because it improves your body’s metabolism and natural ability to lower blood sugar level.
This is what I do – I join a local gym 5 minutes away from where I live. Location is very important. If you pick a gym located far from where you live, it is very unlikely that you will stick to your plan. You will start to miss your schedule, you will be too tired, or it is raining and you don’t want to get wet, you can find a million excuses to justify your laziness.
Then I start a new habit by going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I rotate between treadmill, stationary bike, and elliptical on each visit. Occasionally I lift weight, just for a change, but also to strengthen my muscle. It is known that muscle will burn fat, so the benefit is two-fold. You can tailor your own schedule and exercise plan that will meet your requirement.
Within a few weeks, I start dropping pounds every week. Remember, you must weigh yourself every day and at the same time. I suggest doing it in the morning when you wake up. I lost approximately ten pounds in one month and keep it off until today almost a year later. Your weight will go up and down in the process; this is normal. In the long run it will gradually go down.
So to summarize:
1. Join a gym
2. Pick the one closest to home (or closest to work)
3. Pick a schedule 3 times a week (in the morning or after work)
4. Get on a scale every morning at the same time
Blood sugar monitor
Every morning I take a fasting blood sugar test at 6:30 AM (before breakfast). Fasting blood sugar test means you cannot eat or drink anything (other than water) ten hours prior to the test. Since I take mine at 6:30 AM, that means I cannot eat or drink after 8:30 PM. My blood sugar drops from diagnosis time at 151 mg/dL to hovering between 100 – 120 mg/dL.
If you change your eating habit and adopt a moderate exercise as I describe above, you will see a positive result. I still need to tailor my diet and exercise regimen because I notice that I hit a “plateau” where my blood sugar level does not go lower than 100 mg/dL. I think I may need to step up a bit in my diet and exercise habit. In any case, I am on the right track to beating my pre diabetes. I hope you can do it too.