10 Small Habits That Will Change Your Life, Forever

by Kristen 7th November 2014

Change Your Life


Last week marked the beginning of November, and Diabetes Awareness Month.


After our engaging conversation with the founder of the Bermuda Diabetes Association, their Diabetes Educator Sara McKittrick offered our readers some simple tricks to avoid type 2. Successful weight loss is a challenge but the benefits to diabetes control and prevention are worth it." She says. Read on for more.


Move, Daily


Studies have shown that exercising just 20 minutes a day can help prevent developing type 2 diabetes by 57%. 24 Hour Fitness Gym in Hamilton offers memberships for less than $90 a month—a great investment tailored to your own schedule and habits. If you're not a gym person, it's as simple as taking a daily walk. Muscles that are used regularly use more glucose than those that are inactive. Exercise not only is good for lowering blood sugars, but also improves blood pressure and lowers your risk of developing heart disease.


Remove the Sweetened Beverages Completely


This has a huge impact on blood sugars and is a healthy step towards preventing diabetes. A recent study found that for every 12 ounces of soft drink consumed daily, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 20%. If you miss carbonated beverages, go to a Pheonix Store near you and try sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime.


Follow a Regular Meal Schedule


One of the most effective strategies for weight loss is following a regular meal schedule. Eat smaller more frequent meals at the same time each day, and do not skip breakfast.


Keep a Food Diary


Recording what you eat each day in a journal increases awareness of what, why and how much you are eating. Pick up a simple workbook from The Stationery Store on Reid Street—be sure that it's small enough to fit in your purse. As in reaching any goal, it will be difficult at first but will soon become an unconscious habit and a great step towards your better health.


Control Portion Sizes


Sometimes we can find ourselves scooping up our meals without thought—especially at dinner. Take the time to start with smaller portions of meat, starch and veggies. It's better to have to go back for more than eating more than you need. When creating habits in children, serve their plates with this thought.


Get Rid of Packaged Food


Have you ever seen an ingredient list on a tomato, an avocado or an egg? Packaged and processed foods are often loaded with added sugar, salt and fat that stimulates the brain’s pleasure centre which encourages us to keep eating even when we are full. Fill your plate with real foods for healthy meals and snacks. Soon you won't miss the other.

8. Make a Point to Add a Veggie


Many people undermine the benefit of a good vegetable. Not only do they control blood sugar, but the fibre contained within vegetables helps to manage blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, increases the feeling of being full, controls weight gain and regulates bowels.


Don't be Afraid of Fruit


Many people believe that if you have diabetes, fruit should be avoided. Fruits can be included to form an enjoyable part of a meal plan, provided they are included in moderation and appropriate portion sizes. Berries, pears, peaches, apples, apricots and kiwi fruit are all fruits which are good fiber containing fruits and high in vitamins and minerals.


Get A Good Night's Sleep


The best path to a healthy weight may be a good night’s sleep. Studies show that losing just a few hours’ sleep for several nights in a row can result in immediate weight gain.


Exercising, removing sweetened beverages, following a regular meal schedule, keeping a food diary, controlling portion sizes, cutting out packaged foods, adding fruits and veggies and getting a good night sleep are all things that should be introduced to your daily routine. Sara says, "Good blood sugar control is not achieved by following a “special diet”, rather it is a way of eating and living that your entire family can benefit from." Start today to live a healthy life for tomorrow. 


Photo credit: Eskimo Kiss by Tela Chhe, Flickr User CC


Source: Bermuda Diabetes Association

Posted by Kristen
Friday, 7th November 2014, 12:08pm.
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