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As the COVID-19 pandemic came, life changed drastically. In a matter of days, Americans went from working, going to school, and watching sports events to sheltering at home without schools, barber shops, or concerts. The sudden changes caused many people to experience confusion and exhaustion, and it may have caused you to lose focus on yourself, your health, and your diet. You are not alone if your eating habits have slipped a little and weight loss has stalled.
Now that Americans have been at home for weeks or months, and some are even seeing economic activity slowing starting up again, it may again be a good time to focus on yourself and prediabetes if you have it. Building a simple meal plan to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes can help control blood sugar while at home and as you venture out in the coming weeks and months.
Importance of Eating Well
Eating a healthy diet for prediabetes can make a major difference in your risk for diabetes. That is why Lark Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) offers coaching around working a smart diet to lower diabetes risk into your lifestyle. Certain foods can help reduce insulin resistance, while others increase it. In addition, losing weight if you are overweight can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar.
A Smart Prediabetes Diet
What goes into a smart prediabetes diet? Lark DPP suggests choosing plenty of nutritious foods and not too many carbs, and making small changes that can fit into your lifestyle so you can eat right for the long term.
The carbohydrates that can bump up blood sugar are sugars and starches, and their effect depends on how much you have of them and where you get them from. A prediabetes diet might have you limiting carb intake to about 1 to 3 small servings at most meals and snacks. A serving can be, for example, 1 slice of bread, 1 small apple, 1/2 large banana, 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, or 3/4 cup of mashed acorn squash.
Generally, choosing less processed foods with carbohydrates is better for blood sugar and weight loss than refined carbs. Lark DPP guides you towards high-fiber carb sources, such as whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables. At the same time, it may be best to limit sugary drinks and foods, white bread, rice, and pasta, and processed snack foods such as chips.
Losing weight can lower blood sugar, and it can be simple, even if it does not seem that way when you are working from home, have two hungry children clamoring for food, and have not had a moment by yourself in, literally, months due to stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus.
Lark DPP can guide your meals and offer insights as you log meals and track weight loss. Tricks include loading up on vegetables, including leaner proteins, and limiting high-calorie foods such as refined carbs as well as fried foods, processed meat, and fatty foods.
Sample Menu for Prediabetes During COVID-19
Here is a simple menu designed for weight loss and blood sugar control. It has about 1,200 calories, which can help most people lose weight. If you are very active, are a larger person, or are male, you may need more calories. You can add a few snacks or increase portion sizes.
Sample Day 1 Sample Day 2 Breakfast
1 egg scrambled with 2 egg whites and fat-free milk, with fresh spinach and tomatoes, plus oregano and 1 ounce feta cheese, served with 1 slice whole-grain toast.
Breakfast hash made with diced cauliflower and onions, 3 oz. lean ground turkey or soy-based substitute, 1/2 cup cubed sweet potato, and 2 teaspoons olive oil.
Chili made with garbanzo, black, and/or pinto beans, lean ground turkey or soy-based substitute, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, chili seasoning, served with avocado.
1/2 whole-grain English muffin with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 3/4 cup blueberries.
3 ounces baked salmon served over a bed of spinach cooked with lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, and basil.1 cup fruit salad with 1/2 oz. nuts.
1/2 cup whole-grain pasta tossed with 3 oz. cooked shrimp or chicken, 1 oz. parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 cup broccoli and carrots.1 orange
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1/2 ounce nuts.
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans pureed with 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and black pepper (have half of the recipe), 1 cup cauliflower or broccoli florets.
After so many weeks in quarantine, the future is still uncertain, but one thing is sure. Staying home or getting ready to venture out, it is a great time to take charge of your diet and health. Having a simple meal plan to follow can make it easier for you to stay on track or get back on track, and Lark DPP can be right there with 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.