Happy New Year! January is that time of year where we evaluate the last year and look forward to the coming year. It is also a good time to focus on our health and diabetes.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, focus on short term goals.
Meal Planning: not necessarily to lose weight but to make healthier choices. Increase vegetables while decreasing carbohydrates (Breads, rice, potatoes, and pasta)
- Measure out those portions of rice and potato. What does a serving of rice or potato look like on the plates we are using?
- Consider decreasing the size of the dinner plate.
- Try for 3 meals a day rather than skipping a meal and making up for it at night.
Exercise: Find some activity that you might enjoy.
- Set realistic goals – start walking 3-4 times/week.
- Join a gym or consider the classes at the Senior Center. Group activities are motivating when you can enjoy the company of others.
- Short on time because of your schedule? Consider a walk at lunch time – using the hallways or stairs in bad weather.
- Use a pedometer to increase your steps on a daily basis.
Monitoring: Have you stopped monitoring so you don’t need to look at those numbers?
- Check with your health care provider to work out a monitoring schedule that is compatible with your lifestyle and diabetes needs.
- Set realistic goals with your health care provider and discuss simple lifestyle changes that might assist you in meeting those goals.
- Spot check; if you aren’t sure the effect of certain foods on your glucose levels check before that meal and about 2-3 hours later. Ideally, there should be no more than 50 points difference between the beginning of the meal and later.
Don’t get discouraged. Short term goals can change if you need to be more realistic or if what you are doing is not working. Diabetes self management is a process and needs to change as your life changes. Good luck with the New Year and don’t forget to use your diabetes education team for ideas and support.