5 steps to preventing type 2 diabetes and achieving remission

There are many different risk factors for type 2 diabetes, some of which cannot be controlled, such as age and ethnicity, however there are some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes or help you achieve remission. 

  1. Maintain a healthy body weight

Being overweight increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, as it can lead to high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you’re overweight, losing weight will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar levels. To reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, aim to be in a healthy body weight range for your age and gender. If you’re overweight and trying to achieve remission, reducing your body weight has been shown to be an important factor. Low carbohydrate diets can support you in achieving weight loss as they have been shown to be an effective method of reducing body fat and achieving substantial weight loss as well as reducing blood sugar levels [1].

  1. Be physically active

Regular exercise can help with maintaining healthy blood glucose levels as well as improving insulin sensitivity. This is because during exercise glucose is used by the muscles for energy, helping to reduce levels in the blood.  Current guidelines suggest that we should aim for around 150 minutes of physical activity per week [2]. While this may seem like a lot, even small steps to become more physically active can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to add in extra exercise, even in small 5 minute bouts, throughout your day and take steps to become physically active. Whether you are trying to prevent type 2 diabetes or achieve remission, exercise is an important tool to support this. On the Low Carb Program we have a range of live and on-demand exercise classes for all abilities, which range from 5-30 minutes long, these are accessible at any time convenient to you.

  1. Reduce processed and refined carbohydrates

A healthy diet will help you maintain a healthy body weight as well as regulating your blood sugar levels. As many of us know, eating fewer refined carbs can help to lower both blood glucose and insulin levels, this can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating plenty of vegetables and fibre is also beneficial to health, as it helps with making sure your body is getting a range of nutrients, and fibre can help you to feel fuller for longer which can help with weight management. Research has found that after 1 year of following a low carb diet, 26.2% of people are able to reduce their HbA1c to below the threshold for type 2 diabetes while taking no glucose-lowering medications or just metformin [3].

  1. Take steps to combat chronic stress and look after your mental wellbeing

Stress and worry can wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels and chronic stress can put you at higher risk of lifestyle conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Working towards destressing and managing worry levels can be an important step in reducing your risk and achieving remission. Tools such as mindfulness and meditation sessions can help, but it is also important to seek help if you’re suffering from poor mental health. If you’re interested in trying out a guided meditation or learning more about mindfulness, we have a range of resources and education, as well as live classes on the Program.

  1. Improve your sleep habits

Sleep plays an essential role in the regulation of neuroendocrine functioning and glucose metabolism. This means getting a good night sleep can be helpful for regulating blood glucose levels. Whether you’re trying to reduce your risk or place your type 2 diabetes in remission, working on your sleep routine and making sure you’re getting enough each night can be an important factor.

If you’re looking to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes or place your type 2 diabetes into remission, join the Low Carb Program today to access educational content, live and on-demand exercise classes, hundreds of healthy low carb recipes and much much more!

References:

[1]      Unwin, D & Unwin, J. (2014). Low carbohydrate diet to achieve weight loss and improve HbA1c in type 2 diabetes and pre‐diabetes: experience from one general practice. Pracitcal Diabetes, 31(2), 76-79. https://doi.org/10.1002/pdi.1835

[2]    NHS, 2018. Physical activity guidelines for adults. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/

[2]          Saslow, L.R., Summers, C., Aikens, J.E. and Unwin, D.J., 2018. Outcomes of a Digitally Delivered Low-Carbohydrate Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management Program: 1-Year Results of a Single-Arm Longitudinal Study. JMIR diabetes3(3), p.e12.