I know that at times, breaking a few things is fun, but…they can also be healthy! So here’s a little story about Diabetes Type 2 and a few bad habits to enjoy breaking.
You know by now that a healthy lifestyle can be the difference between living well and having to deal with the complications of diabetes such as Acute and/or Chronic Kidney Disease, End Stage Renal (kidney) Failure.
Hard fast old habits can be difficult to break for just about anyone, but having diabetes means the stakes are even higher
There’s the risk of heart attacks and strokes, vision loss, hearing loss and amputations from poor blood flow.
So, choose to confront this by reading about Diabetes Type 2 and a few bad habits to enjoy breaking, because the benefits are irreplaceable.
Today: Put a stop to these health bandits:
You know the drill: “eat this, don’t stress about that…” Healthy habits can make or break you when it comes to managing Diabetes. A few bad habits, however, can totally wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels and your health in general.
Here’s your “break the habit” list and, of course, a few strategies to help you get there.
#1 Skipping Meals
These days many people skip breakfast and then they are too busy at work to eat lunch. They get home at 6 p.m. and of course, they are starving.
- What happens next is that they consume an all-out feast for dinner that can spike blood sugar and lead to weight gain. Then they sit in front of the TV, maybe have some snacks, and go to bed.
Break Bad Habit #1:
Skipping breakfast, in particular, can negatively affect blood sugar levels for the rest of the day, according to the study published by Diabetes Care.
➡ Participants with Diabetes Type 2 who skipped breakfast had lunchtime blood sugar levels that were 37 percent higher than when they had eaten breakfast, and their blood sugar levels remained elevated at dinnertime. Then they had dinner and dessert or snacks and naturally, their blood sugar level went up even more.
#2. Late-night snacking while watching TV is a double whammy
- You are eating mindlessly, so you may not even realize how many calories you’re consuming.
Plus, snacking after your main evening meal, especially on high-carb foods like cookies and chips, will show in higher blood sugar levels the next morning, and start the harmful process all over again. Try these instead.
Break Bad Habit #2
➡ Eliminate Habit #1
➡ Use The Glycemic Index to pick the best snacks, if you must, to maintain normal blood sugar levels throughout the night.
#3. Not checking your blood sugar.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), keeping tabs on your blood sugar levels — and tracking your results — is your best tool for assessing how you’re managing your diabetes. Learn how to do it correctly here.
- Knowing your levels can help you keep your doctor informed and, together, you can assess your condition and make changes to your treatment plan if needed.
Break Bad Habit #3
➡ The right routine depends on what works for you, based on what you eat, how much you exercise, the medications you take, and how you feel.
➡ Your doctor or Certified Diabetes Educator can help you determine a testing schedule that’s right for you.
#4 Binge drinking.
Moderate consumption of alcohol — one drink a day for women and two for men — can be part of a healthy lifestyle for some people. But anything more than that can be risky, especially if you have diabetes.
- Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and be toxic to the liver, which is where your body’s blood sugar (glucose) is stored.
- Alcohol can also cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) for up to 24 hours after drinking.
Break Bad Habit #4
➡ People with diabetes shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach or when their blood sugar is low.
➡ Drinking alcohol with food is better because it’s less likely to impair your judgment. If you’re drinking, you’ll be less likely to realize your blood sugar is plummeting.
➡ Follow the recommendation of the CDC: limit yourself to one drink a day for women and two for men
Smoking is associated with all sorts of health risks, but it can be especially dangerous if you have diabetes.
➡ People with diabetes are already at increased risk for heart disease. Smoking increases this risk even further.
➡ People with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their condition, according to report data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
➡ They’re also at a higher risk for poor blood flow in the legs and feet, which can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation, as well as blinding eye disease, hearing loss, and nerve damage.
Break Bad Habit #5
➡ Start with your family doctor for help in quitting or try these excellent resources:
Many people find support groups and hotlines helpful when quitting smoking. Knowing that someone out there understands and shares your struggle can help you stay committed to being smoke-free. These organizations offer personalized help or listings of classes and support groups in your community.
- American Cancer Society
Toll-free hotline: 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345)
- American Lung Association
Toll-free hotline: 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872)
- MedLine Plus – Stop smoking support programs (from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health)
- National Cancer Institute
Toll-free hotline: 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)
- National Institutes of Health – Clinical Trials on Smoking Cessation
- National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines
Toll-free hotline: 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669)
#6 Yo-yo dieting.
➡ Fad diets are just that — fads. And yo-yo dieting can cause you to repeatedly lose and regain weight.
➡ This can be especially dangerous for people with diabetes, as it can affect your blood sugar levels, they can fluctuate dangerously low to high to low again causing damage to your heart and organs along the way.
Break Bad Habit #6
➡ Aim for a healthy, well-balanced diet and discuss any weight-loss goals with a registered dietitian or a Certified Diabetes Educator who will help you meet your goals without sabotaging your health.
#7 Avoiding or neglecting exercise.
➡ People who have Type 2 Diabetes should aim for 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week to reduce insulin resistance (so their insulin works better), improve cardiovascular fitness, and help maintain a normal weight.
Break Bad Habit #7
➡ The ADA suggests activities such as jogging, walking, biking, swimming, playing tennis, or stair climbing.
And strength training matters, too; it makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood sugar levels. Aim for some type of strength training — such as lifting weights or doing pushups and squats — at least twice a week in addition to aerobic activity, says the ADA. And don’t think this means 200# weights or military pushups. There are tons of ways to do both that is easy on your body and will produce the same results.
No Pain=No gain IS A LIE. Don’t believe it. I can show you how.
We sit a lot — too much, in fact.
➡ Research published in January 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that all of this downtime raises the risk of complications — even dying — from all types of diseases, including diabetes.
Breaking Bad Habit #8
➡ Standing and moving around during the day instead of just parking yourself at your desk or on your couch can make a difference. See my link to an article about sitting at the bottom of the page. Read about the head to toe damage from sitting too long here.
9. Sweating the small stuff.
When you’re overextended, stress can seem to make everything worse — and that includes your blood sugar.
➡ Stress hormones, which the body releases in response to high tension, can alter blood sugar levels directly.
➡ When you’re stressed out, you’re less likely to take good care of yourself with healthy lifestyle habits like eating a nutritious diet and exercising.
Instead, some people try to cope with smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating high-fat comfort foods.
Break Bad Habit #9
➡ Find positive ways to manage life’s ups and downs, whether that’s practicing meditation, taking deep breaths, practicing gentle yoga or listening to your favorite music. (see links below for information about meditation and yoga).
Don’t try to tackle all of these at once. You’ll just be creating more stress…and we’re all stressed enough. Read about how stress affects your blood sugar levels here.
Work on one or two for at least 2 weeks, then another 2 and so on. My personal recommendation is to start with calming your mind and reducing your stress level with some form of meditation, deep breathing exercises and/or Yoga…Set the stage for your success. Read about meditation here.
If you take these steps, you’re going to feel better, eat better, sleep better, keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range, lose weight… and the changes will be evident.