Controlling your blood sugar and reversing your diabetes isn’t easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. This is why we created the Reach Your Goal™ program.
We designed Reach Your Goal to help you think about and manage your diabetes differently. In most cases, type 2 diabetes is 100% reversible. Reversing it is up to you. We want to help you reach this goal.
One of the most difficult things about a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is the crushing feeling that you must make an immediate, radical lifestyle change. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can address your condition step-by-step. That’s where Reach Your Goal comes into play. There are 7 steps:
- Eat Healthy Foods, in Smaller Portions, at the Right Time
- Drink Plenty of Enhanced Water
- Be Active Daily, Exercise All of Your Muscles, and Keep Your Spine Aligned
- Keep Food with You to Maintain Your Blood Sugar Between Meals
- Eat Protein Before You Cheat
- Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
- Monitor and Document Your Progress
Our Reach Your Goal program is free for members. Simply join and get started.
1. Eat Healthy Foods and Smaller Portions
Eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins is healthy for everyone, but it’s especially important when you have type 2 diabetes. Eating a balanced diet, in the right portions, and at the right times will help you manage your ABC numbers.
Here’s what you need to do:
A. It’s important to control your intake of calories, particularly from sugars and carbohydrates. The best approach is to reduce or eliminate consumption of refined grains, like white rice and pasta, and added sugars from soda, fruit juices, processed foods and baked goods. You’ll need to make these changes in your diet to manage your A1C levels.
B. Reduce salt in your diet to get your blood pressure under control. It isn’t necessary to sacrifice flavor for good health. When cooking, try seasoning with lemon or lime juice, herbs, and spices. For good health, keep your salt intake down to less than 2,300 mg per day.
C. Reduce your consumption of saturated fats to bring high cholesterol under control. This means cutting back on meats, cheeses, and butter. Instead, eat lean proteins like fish and skinless chicken breast, and switch to low-fat dairy. Also, baking, grilling and broiling your food is healthier than frying.
2. Be Active Daily
A healthy diet is important, but it won’t help you reach your goal unless you’re active and get regular exercise. You don’t need to visit the gym to do it, but you do need to get up and going.
Recent research demonstrates how physical activity naturally lowers blood sugar, blood pressure, and LDL (bad) cholesterol, while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. It also helps you shed fat while building or toning muscle. More importantly, you can’t reverse your type 2 diabetes without regular exercise.
Getting started is easy if you engage in physical activities that you like. Let’s face it, if it’s something you enjoy doing, you’re more likely to do it.
Here are some examples:
- Walk 20 minutes or more a day. You can do this during your lunch break or with your spouse or a friend in the evenings. Too hot or cold outside? Walk a few laps around the shopping mall!
- Go on a bike ride. A leisurely bike ride for 20 to 30 minutes is good fun and great exercise. Ask a friend to join you!
- Swim at your community pool. Swimming is a great form of exercise. An easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour. Plus, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body.
- Shoot some hoops, golf, or play a game of tennis. These are great ways to get out with a friend or family member and have some fun while getting exercise.
- Take an exercise class. Local gyms offer all sorts of exercise classes designed to motivate, encourage and help you get fit. Yoga, Pilates and step are all low-impact exercises that work well if you’re overweight and want to shed pounds.
- Take a dance class. Balance, cardio exercise and fun converge in dance class. Many dance studios offer adult lessons, with styles that range from ballroom to swing and country western style line dancing and more.
Research has shown that, in conjunction with a proper diet, walking 10,000 steps a day can lead to a decrease in metabolic syndromes and heart disease. It can also help you get on the path to reverse your type 2 diabetes. At an average of 2,000 steps per mile, that’s a big lifestyle change if you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle. But wouldn’t it be worth it?
Exercise is important, just be sure to check with your doctor before getting started!
3. Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes your doctor will likely advise you to change your diet, get more exercise, and prescribe medication to help you manage your ABCs. If you’ve been prescribed medication, make sure you’re taking it as directed. Most importantly, do not stop taking it without first consulting your doctor. Feeling good is not an indication that you’re cured and no longer need help managing your ABCs. Feeling better means your diet, exercise and medication are working to help make you healthy again.
Diabetes is a progressive disease. It can progressively get worse or better. As a result, sometimes you’ll benefit from a change in diet, eating schedule, and the type or dose of medication you’re taking. This is particularly true if you frequently experience low blood sugar.
When your doctor changes your medication, it may mean you haven’t been working hard enough at making important lifestyle changes. It could also mean that you need a different treatment to reach your blood sugar goals. Discuss it with your doctor and ask for feedback on your progress.
4. Monitor and Document Your Progress
It’s difficult to get better if you don’t know your starting point, set goals, and keep track. For this reason, it’s important to monitor and document your progress.
We recommend working with your doctor to set blood sugar level goals, exercise, and diet. Then track your daily blood sugar levels, activity and meals by recording them in a simple log. Share the information each time you see your doctor so he or she can determine if you’re meeting your goals, or if additional changes need to be made.
Speak with your doctor to establish your optimum blood sugar range. You should also set a regular schedule for checking your blood sugar. The Daily Diabetes Management Journal is an easy-to-use, printable resource that you can use to keep track of your blood sugar levels, diet, and physical activity between appointments with your doctor.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Controlling your blood sugar is a daily part of life when you have type 2 diabetes. Understanding how diet, physical activity and medications work together to change your blood sugar levels will help you control how you feel.
By asking your doctor questions about your blood sugar goals and treatment plan, you’ll be able to better control your blood sugar and stay on top of your health. Here are some topics to discuss with your doctor at your next appointment.
- What is my A1C?
- What should my A1C goal and daily blood sugar goals be?
- How often and when should I check my blood sugar?
- What should I do if I think I’m experiencing low or high blood sugar symptoms?
- How does my meal plan, physical activity or medication affect my blood sugar?
- Do I need to make any changes to my overall treatment plan?
The commentary on BloodSugarBasics.com is meant to supplement your knowledge of type 2 diabetes, its cause, and healthy lifestyle changes that can lead to your recovery. All diabetic patients should follow the professional medical advice of their healthcare team, including nutrition, physical activity, testing and medication.