This entire Lark DPP mission is about getting support as you work to lower type 2 diabetes risk and lose weight.
Friends, family, coworkers, and members of healthy cooking and other fun clubs can be part of your support network. This most recent check-in brought up the idea of recruiting true experts to your team.
Health professionals with expertise in areas such as eating to losing weight and lowering blood sugar, exercising safely and effectively, and increasing motivation to stay on the health path, that you have chosen can improve your results. These are some sources of help and ways to seek them out.
Doctors may not be at the forefront of healthy lifestyle changes, but they can give you a push in the right direction. With some luck, they may be able to refer to you weight management or exercise programs in your area. Nurses are also good resources.
Health educators can be nurses, public health professionals, peer counselors, or specially trained mental health professionals. They often offer group classes, while they may sometimes schedule one-on-one meetings. Your healthcare provider, health insurance company, or employer may be able to point you to a schedule of classes, such as on weight loss or healthy living in a family setting, relevant to you and help you figure out your eligibility.
Nutritionists and dietitians with experience in diabetes prevention and management can be invaluable as you seek to lose weight and make healthy eating part of your life for good. You may be eligible or willing to pay for private sessions or group classes with a nutritionist or dietitian, who may look at your current eating patterns and make suggestions that fit into your lifestyle.
Dietitians have an “RD” (Registered Dietitian) degree, which means they have had college classes and intensive training, and passed an exam. Nutritionists are less homogenous in their training. Some have a graduate degree in nutrition, while others have a certificate that took only a few months to get. Ask about the professional’s training and experience, and exactly how they can help you, before committing.
Trainers and Other Exercise Professionals
Personal trainers, exercise physiologists, and group exercise instructors can all help design exercise programs that challenge you and help with your health and fitness goals, but that are safe. If you cannot afford a personal trainer, consider group training sessions with a few friends, or going to group fitness classes that are often included with gym memberships.
As with nutritionists, though there is no single certification or degree that all exercise professionals have, it is still a good idea to select an expert with at least one solid credential:
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers CPT (Certified Personal Trainer)
GEI (Group Exercise Instructor)
EP (Exercise Physiologist) programs
American Council on Exercise (ACE)
National Strength and Conditioning Institute
National Sports Medicine
If you are not sure about the professional’s background, qualifications, or training, just ask. Professionals who are claiming to be able to help you should be able and willing to describe their education, training, and experience.
The goal of lifestyle coaches is to get you to your goals. They may have some knowledge of nutrition and physical activity, but are generally experts in motivating and empowering you to hit your goals. They may be counselors or have other certifications, and getting recommendations can help you find a coach who is a good match for you.
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.