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.
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.
Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.