Managing Diabetes doesn’t have to be Scary
Managing Diabetes One Step at a Time
Diabetes can be scary and embarrassing, but ignoring it won’t make it go away. Ignoring diabetes is ignoring your health and putting your life at risk. Your health is your greatest asset in life. Don’t let diabetes take control, instead work alongside it.
Did you know that 3 in 10 people in America also think it’s normal to have those symptoms? That means that 29 million people are walking around right now with diabetes – but they have no idea. The warning signs are there so why do we ignore them?
It is scary because Type 2 diabetes is a disease. It is developed when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. As a result, instead of being used for energy, glucose builds up in your blood. This is why you might feel tired all the time and sluggish.
The good news is that by keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range you can still live a long and healthy life with Type 2 diabetes. This can be challenging because there are many things to make your blood sugar levels change.
6 Factors that Affect your Blood Sugar Levels
1. The Foods you Eat
Healthy eating also means healthy living – whether you have diabetes or not. If you have diabetes, you need to be more aware of how foods affect your blood glucose levels. It’s not just about the type of food you eat, but also the portion size and combinations of foods.
You’ll need to start tracking your diet to see if your food is helping you manage your diabetes. Apps like Kudolife help you track all your eating habits for you.
Following your eating habits will stop you from making assumptions about your health. Plus you will still enjoy cake, brownies and the cookies your kid baked for you (which you technically made). This can be done by tracking and balancing your food. The only difference is you are doing it with Diabetes and eating in moderation. What to do to create a healthy meal:
2. Avoid all High Sugared Beverages
Beverages that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup are terrible for anyone’s diet. It contains higher calories, offers no nutritional value, and can cause your blood glucose to rise. It only carries short-term benefits that please your sweet tooth. The only time you should drink these types of beverages is when you have low blood sugar.
3. Be Smart about Sweets
Being on a diabetic diet does not mean you have to drop sugar. If you are craving candy, then let yourself have a taste. By not submitting to your cravings, you are more likely to binge eat later. The key is moderation. Your cravings will eventually go away, and your preferences will change.
4. Learn about Calorie Counting and Portion Size
A key to managing your diabetes is to count calories, fats, and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates often have the greatest impact on your blood sugar levels. It is important to talk to your doctor and learn what portion size is appropriate for your body. Use fitness apps like Kudolife to track how many carbs you’re having with each meal. This way you can ensure proper portion size and an accurate count for how many carbs, fats and calories you intake per day.
5. Cook Well-Balanced Meals
Plan ahead for every future meal and make sure each meal has a healthy mix of starches, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fats. This way you can better manage your blood glucose levels.
Talk to your dietitian or doctor to create a diabetic meal plan. A diabetic meal plan is a guide that tells you how much and what kinds of foods you can eat at meals and snack times. A good meal plan should fit in with your schedule. Your eating habits should include the following according to FitWatch:
- 20% from protein
- 30% from fat
- 50% from carbs
Your meal plan will help you improve your blood glucose and cholesterol numbers. Fitness apps are the best way to track all your meals and make sure you are on your way towards your health goals. After a week, fitness apps will show you all your data. You can use these reports to change your diet and to make healthier decisions in the future. You will also be able to see what foods you can give up and where you can improve.
Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It start your day off with a boost of energy and gives your blood sugar levels a good start.
6. Coordinate your Meals with Medication
As a Type 2 or Type 1 diabetic, your doctor prescribed you medication to help manage your diabetes. It is your job to make sure that your food is balanced with insulin and oral medications. While taking these medications, you must make sure you eat enough food. If you eat too little, then your diabetes medication may result in dangerously low blood sugar. On the other side, too much food can cause your blood sugar level to climb too high.
Learn to balance between the two and talk to your doctor to establish how many calories you can have per day. Then you can use fitness apps to track your calorie intake. If you are taking any other type of medications, please make sure you talk to your doctor to learn how it can affect your blood sugar levels.
Maintain an Exercise Regime
Exercise and physical activity are an important part of managing your diabetes. When you exercise, you are putting glucose and insulin to work. While working out, your muscles use glucose for energy. This allows your body to use insulin more efficiently and ultimately lower your blood sugar level.
Working out and exercising is not limited to the gym. A gym can be an uncomfortable environment with alien machines and skinny people with intimidating bodies. Instead you can go for a walk with a friend after dinner, do housework, or gardening outside. Any physical activity counts and can all be tracked on Kudolife.
Keep an Exercise Schedule
Kudolife automatically tracks your movements outdoors. It will track how many calories you burned while running, walking or cycling. It takes the tedious work out of exercising for you. This way all you need to do is make sure your exercise routine is coordinated with your meal and medication schedules. Talk to your doctor to find out what the best time for you to workout is.
Keep Eating and Stick to your Meal Plan
It may be tempting not to eat while sick, but this could lead to low blood glucose as the body needs to break down fat to make fuel. Try your best to eat your usual meals. But if you can’t, eat foods that are easy on your stomach – such as crackers, soups, and applesauce that will help manage your blood glucose. You should also stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and teas since they don’t add calories.
If eating is difficult or you and cannot keep food down then drink liquids with carbohydrates to replace your meals. If you are self-managing your insulin, be careful with how much you take. The insulin could make your blood glucose drop too low. If this happens, you can drink sugar-sweetened drinks to manage your blood glucose.
Understanding diabetes and your body are the key to keeping your blood glucose level within your target range. By knowing your body and its limitations, you will be able to understand the factors that influence your blood glucose levels. It takes time to build new habits and break old ones. By changing your habits slowly, you will set yourself up for success.
Don’t worry or stress if you slip up- it happens and is what makes us all human. Just make sure you get back on track the next day.
Kudolife is a free activity and calorie tracker that helps you achieve a balance and healthy life.