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Managing prediabetes is a great opportunity to lose some weight and improve health through manageable healthy choices. Along the way are an abundance of lessons. You might learn not only about which foods are healthier and how much exercise is a good goal, but also strategies for making your healthy lifestyle easier all around.
Building a support network of people who care about you and can help, and avoiding people who sabotage your efforts, are two strategies for success. Another is to make your social circle work for you. Research shows that people are likely to act like the people they spend time with. If you want to be healthy, it is a good idea to get your family and friends to act healthy, too. These are some ideas and tips for building a healthy social environment.
Try alternative activities. Gatherings with friends often revolve around eating, but there are plenty of other fun ways to get together and talk. Going for a walk, playing volleyball at the park or beach, and quilting or playing cards are all lower-calorie ways to get in some good gossip time.
Figure it out together. When asking your family to eat healthy, they may be more responsive they are involved in any steps from planning to grocery shopping to preparing the meal.
Recruit them to the team. Give your kids a few rules about sugar limits and fiber minimums, and you may be pleasantly shocked at the healthy snacks they figure out. The same may be true for meal planning, including packing healthy sack lunches for everyone.
Make it work for everyone. If your kids want burgers and pizza, they may be willing to settle for veggie burgers on whole-grain buns and tomato sauce, vegetables, and chicken on whole-grain pita or English muffins. That way, everyone gets a healthy and fun meal.
Keep the traditions. There is no need to skip the end-of-summer cookout or other events just because you want to eat healthier. Grilling shrimp, tofu dogs, turkey burgers, portabello mushrooms, and peaches can be just as fun and tasty as, but far healthier than, grilling beef burgers, hot dogs, and ribs.
Be honest. When asking others to go along with your healthy suggestions, you are asking for a favor. Being honest about why you are doing this by telling them that you want to be healthier can win them over.
Not everyone will immediately be on board with everything you propose, but that is okay. Some people will accept your suggestions after a while, while others may embrace some ideas and reject others. Every bit of progress you can make in getting your friends and family to join in as live a healthy lifestyle will make your job easier and your health better.