Have you been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and dread having to take medication everyday? Have you been a diabetic for a while and you’re tired of taking diabetes medications or administering insulin injections? Believe it or not, there’s a way to manage your diabetes without pills or shots – by following a healthy diet, exercising and losing weight.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When you are first diagnosed with the condition, you have a good chance of controlling it by making changes to your lifestyle. In the early stages of Type 2 diabetes, your body still makes enough insulin that you can control your blood sugar levels by following a carbohydrate and calorie-controlled meal plan, exercising regularly and losing weight. Making these changes will help your body use its own insulin more efficiently.
Depending upon how long you’ve had diabetes or how it progresses, you may have to take oral medication. Over time, many people find their doctor adding more oral medications or insulin injections into the mix. You may need to combine one or more pills with one or more shots. If you’re on insulin, you might need to use background insulin along with a short-acting or long-acting insulin. It can become difficult to manage the daily regimen of checking your blood sugars and taking all your meds.
A healthy diet and daily dose of exercise may not be able to eliminate all of your diabetes medications, but chances are you may be able to discontinue using one or more of them.
Diet: Instead of trying one of those gimmicky “diet of the day” plans, focus on eating a variety of healthy foods including whole grains, fiber, fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken and lean meat. The most important thing is to restrict the number of calories you take in so that you burn more calories than you eat.
Exercise: Strength training builds lean muscle while aerobic exercise burns fat. That’s why including a combination of both types of exercise will yield optimal results. Exercise also helps lower your bad LDL cholesterol and increase your good HDL cholesterol.
If you’re ready to get rid of, or at least minimize, the diabetes medications or insulin doses you take every day, then commit to changing your lifestyle choices when it comes to food and physical activity.