Having prediabetes is a warning sign of being at high risk of developing diabetes within a few years. The CDC estimates that only 1 in 6 individuals with prediabetes are aware of it. That gives you a chance to do something about it!
One of the most effective ways to lower blood sugar and risk for type 2 diabetes is to lose extra pounds. A landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and included in Pubmed’s database looked at the effects of overweight or obese patients participating in a lifestyle intervention with a goal of losing 7 to 10% of body weight.
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The result was a 58% reduction in the chance of developing diabetes within the next 3 years. For those over 60 years old, the reduction was 71%!
Calories for Losing Weight
The Diabetes Prevention Program is a year-long program designed to help lose 5 to 10% of body weight. For many people, that is no more than 30 lb. in a year. That is an average of about a half-pound a week.
Mayo Clinic states that a pound of body fat is worth about 3,500 calories. That means losing a half-pound a week requires an average reduction in calories consumed or increase in calories expended of 250 calories per day.
Ways to Lose a Half-Pound a Week
These are some ideas for cutting 250 calories from foods or beverages, or increasing calorie burn by 250 calories.
- Start your day with egg and cheese on an English muffin instead of sausage on a biscuit or bagel.
- Make your own grab-and-go breakfast with peanut butter and sliced apple on a whole-grain mini bagel instead of PB&J on a full-sized bagel.
- Get energized with black coffee or coffee with almond milk instead of a caramel latte.
- Reach for fresh fruit, or bring your own, instead of taking a muffin during a mid-morning meeting.
- Pack a veggie burger patty and a whole-grain hamburger bun for lunch instead of a tuna salad sandwich on a sub roll.
- Consider a grilled chicken salad with dressing on the side instead of ordering a burger and fries for lunch.
- Add chicken, vegetables, and mustard to sandwiches instead of fatty meats, cheese, and mayo.
- Bring 3 cups of air-popped popcorn for a snack instead of getting a bag of chips or cookies from the vending machine.
- Order a side salad or apple slices instead of a large order of fries or onion rings.
- Refresh with water instead of a 20-ounce soda.
- Enjoy a square of dark chocolate and a cup of strawberries instead of a cup of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
- Enjoy a banana and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter instead of a peanut butter smoothie.
- Have just one small tortilla instead of the whole stack when eating fajitas at a restaurant.
- Start the meal with a cup of chicken noodle soup instead of a bowl of clam chowder.
- Make or order a side salad or steamed vegetables instead of fries, mashed potatoes, or rice.
- Add extra diced tomatoes and onions, and use eggplant slices instead of lasagna noodles and extra-lean ground turkey instead of regular ground beef or turkey when making lasagna.
- Swap spiralized zucchini noodles for half the spaghetti when you have pasta.
- Make pizza on a portobello mushroom and top it with low-fat cheese, vegetables, and chicken instead of using regular crust and topping it with full-fat cheese, pepperoni, and sausage.
- Get your burrito “naked” or get the fillings in a salad instead of in a giant tortilla.
- Order a frozen pop instead of an ice cream cone or ice cream sandwich from the ice cream truck.
- Finish dinner with black decaf coffee and half a slice of cake instead of coffee with cream and sugar and a full slice.