5 Habits to Break and 5 Habits to Make if You're Diagnosed With Diabetes

5 Habits to Break and 5 Habits to Make if You're Diagnosed With Diabetes

Being newly diagnosed with diabetes can be frightening. Fortunately, even small changes in your habits can have major positive health benefits. Take a deep breath and vow to make these healthy changes. Conquering diabetes begins by changing your mind, your menu and your daily activities. You can do it!

Break These Five Unhealthy Habits After Your Diabetes Diagnosis

With a new diabetes diagnosis, you may feel helpless and unsure how to proceed. Fortunately, as soon as you receive your diagnosis you can begin to manage it. Some healthy changes don't even require you to do anything. They simply require that you stop doing certain things.

1. Ditch the Soda (Even Diet). One scientific study concluded that regular soda consumption doubles your visceral liver fat. Another study followed a group of diet soda drinkers and a group of water drinkers over ten years. During that period, the diet soda drinkers' waist circumferences increased 70 percent more than non soda drinkers. Excess weight is a major cause of diabetes.

2. Stop Dining Out. When you prepare meals at home, you know exactly what you're eating. At a restaurant, you're at the mercy of the kitchen staff. It's safe to assume they don't know (or care) you have diabetes and need to watch what you eat.

3. Stop Smoking. Not only does smoking cause diabetes (and many other illnesses), it hinders your ability to determine proper insulin dosing and control your disease.

4. Stop Skipping Breakfast. Waiting until lunch to eat throws off insulin and blood sugar levels. Within an hour of waking up, eat a healthy breakfast (eggs, fruits or whole grain cereals or breads.)

5. Get Off The Couch. A sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to diabetes. Any movement is better than no movement and is beneficial.

Embrace These Five Healthy Habits to Best Manage your Diabetes

Try to view your diagnosis as an opportunity to overhaul your lifestyle. As the quote goes, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Take it step by step, day by day, and you'll reach your goal!

1. Overhaul your Kitchen. Replace processed foods, sweets, sodas and carbohydrates with fresh fruits and veggies and lean proteins.

2. Keep a Food Journal. You can't manage your diet if you don't understand your weaknesses. A food journal pinpoints your unhealthy eating habits.

3. Track Your Glucose. You won't know how you're doing if you don't keep track of your blood glucose numbers. Make sure you have a blood glucose monitoring journal, and follow your doctor's recommendations for when and how often to check your glucose level.

4. Exercise. Losing even a small amount of weight has tangible health benefits. According to the American Diabetes Association, losing 5 percent of your body weight has big benefits. And you can do it! You'll burn 100 calories walking your dog for 30 minutes or walking briskly through the mall for 20. You'll probably even forget you're "exercising."

5. Join a Support Group. Any significant lifestyle change is challenging. Whatever you're struggling with most, surround yourself with compassionate people who understand. Whether you turn to a group like Weight Watchers, join the local YMCA or simply team up with other diabetics motivated to change their lifestyles, you'll receive help and you'll also enjoy knowing you're helping others.