A diagnosis of prediabetes can be a serious wake-up call, but it doesn't guarantee you'll get diabetes. With some lifestyle modifications, there is an opportunity to slow the progression of diabetes or prevent diabetes altogether.
A diagnosis of prediabetes can be scary, but think of it as an early warning sign. Prediabetes is diagnosed when your blood glucose level (blood sugar level) is higher than it normally would be, but isn't high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, "not all individuals with prediabetes will necessarily progress along the continuum of dysglycemia to develop diabetes. Indeed, a significant proportion of people...will revert to normoglycemia."
What does this mean? It means that while prediabetes is an indication that you could develop type 2 diabetes, a significant amount of people diagnosed with prediabetes successfully reverse the diagnosis with lasting lifestyle changes.
There are several strategies recommended to reverse prediabetes naturally. Here, we will examine the top 8.
8 Ways to Reverse Prediabetes Naturally
- Get Moving
- Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week. This amount of activity keeps your blood sugar at a healthy level.
- Find a class you enjoy and go to it weekly (yoga, zumba, boxing, swimming...). Not all workouts are fun, but if the exercise you are doing feels like a chore, mix it up!
- Look up YouTube videos for free workouts you can do at home
- Walk to work
- Work-out with colleagues at lunch
- Add your workouts to your work calendar so meetings aren't booked overtop
- Visit the gym during off-times when it is quieter so you can confidently try new machines
Monitor Your Weight
- If you are overweight, by losing just 5 to 10 percent of your bodyweight (10-20 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) you can reduce your risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes
- Maintain a healthy weight by including exercise and healthy eating in your daily life
- Losing excess weight can not only help reverse prediabetes, but also make your heart healthier and give you more energy
Make Healthy Eating Non-Negotiable
- Choose foods that are low in fat and calories, but high in fiber
- Opt for whole grains
- Focus on vegetables and eat fruits in moderation (1-3 servings daily)
- Strive for a variety of foods so you don't get bored and aren't compromising on nutrition
- Make an effort to choose fresh, whole foods over processed foods
- Consider creating a weekly menu to make your food prep easier
- Give yourself time to adjust to new eating habits
- Be patient with slip-ups
- Prioritize Sleep
- Not getting enough sleep makes losing weight harder
- Not getting enough sleep makes it harder for our bodies to use insulin effectively
- Create a sleep schedule and stick to it, even on the weekend
- Avoid using your phone or watching television one hour before bed
- Relax before bed to help yourself fall asleep and stay asleep
- Don't have caffeine after lunch if you're having trouble sleeping
Commit to You
- When you are healthy, you are able to more effectively help those around you. Commit to yourself first so that you can commit to others.
- Make a conscious choice to be consistent with everyday activities that are in the best interest of your health
- Don't let other people make you doubt your lifestyle changes, remember that you are doing this for you
- It is easier to make lifestyle changes when you have support
- Get a group together at work, pursue a healthier lifestyle together
- Talk to your family about your lifestyle changes and why you're making them
- Join a club or sports team (there are teams for every fitness level)
- Stress makes it easier to forego your evening run, or make exceptions in your diet
- Remember that what feels good in the moment can lead to major setbacks
- By practicing mindfulness, you can better manage your emotions that may lead to making poor lifestyle choices
- Mindfulness can help you address underlying issues with food, self-management, impulse control, or motivation
Work With Your Doctor
- Before making any major lifestyle changes, discuss your options with your doctor.
Making lasting lifestyle changes can be hard, but it can be a lot of fun and improve your overall health.