If you have diabetes, you already know that you should make healthy lifestyle and diet choices, but that’s not always easy to implement. Knowing you should be doing better doesn’t always make it happen.
Old habits are hard to break, even when they go against your doctors’ advice. Here are some tips that could help.
Nutrition Hacks for Diabetics
First, let’s address your nutritional needs. Diet management is integral to good blood sugar management. But you may find yourself sliding back to bad eating habits from time to time.
These hacks may help you the next time you’re tempted to cheat your diet:
1. Identify Your Triggers
Successfully changing your habits goes beyond surface knowledge. You need to address the emotional and psychological relationship you have with food, too. Most people have a couple of triggers that can lead to unhealthy decisions. They may include:
- Using food as a reward
- Certain feelings (being stressed, tired, or bored)
- Connections to past memories
- Restriction/binging behaviors (restricting during the week and going all out on the weekends)
Addressing the underlying emotional trigger may help you stick to your diet.
2. Create Alternative Habits
Satisfy your triggers in ways that aren’t associated with food. You can meditate, drink a cup of tea, or go to sleep earlier instead. This helps you create new habits when you’re tempted to make poor food decisions.
Exercise Tips for Diabetics
You may have heard it already: Inactivity is associated with type 2 diabetes, and working out can help you manage your condition. Here is how you can find the willpower to do that:
1. Be Realistic
You are probably not aiming for an Olympic medal. Instead, your goal is to set up a routine and then stick to it. Try workouts that seem easy, and pick activities you genuinely enjoy. Each week, you can increase your workout days and time incrementally. Aim for smaller achievable goals so you don’t get overwhelmed.
2. Set Up a Workout Schedule
Create time blocks for your workouts. You set time aside for cooking, laundry, and work meetings already. Adding workouts to your calendar will keep you from changing your mind at the last minute.
3. Accountability Is Your Friend
If your friend is counting on you to work out with them, you may be less likely to put it off. So find someone who wants to work out with you, or use that gym membership and get a trainer. Your support system will keep you going on days when you don’t feel motivated to do anything.
One Last Thought On Nutrition and Exercise Hacks
As you may have noticed, both our nutrition hacks for diabetics and our exercise tips for diabetics have a common theme: You have to address your emotional and psychological relationship to your body before you can fully adopt healthy habits. Additionally, you should start with baby steps, both in nutrition and exercise. Taking it slow can help you turn your habits into healthy ones.