Living a healthy life with diabetes doesn’t mean having to change everything, or adopt a totally different style of eating. Here are five simple strategies that can help you eat more healthfully, and even lose a few pounds. Try one at a time… and see what you notice on your meter!
– Eat mindfully. “Mindful eating” refers to eating slowly, listening to your physical hunger cues, and eating only until you’re full – and savor and appreciate each mouthful. Minimize other distractions so when it’s time to eat, you’re only eating – not spending time on your phone or watching TV. Try using a smaller plate for your meal, which can lead to smaller portions. These steps can result in eating less and consuming fewer calories.
– Use the “Plate Method”. Think of your plate divided into four equal sections. Fill two of the sections (or half of the plate) with low-carb veggies (salads, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower… just to name a few!), one section with whole grains or starch (potatoes, corn, bread, green peas, a tortilla, rice), and the last section with your protein (lean meat, fish, poultry). This method helps you get plenty of veggies and fiber in, which is helpful for weight loss & good health… AND minimizes how many carbs you eat.
– Try different convenience foods. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Buy frozen veggies that are precut and ready to steam. No need to fuss with all the cleaning and chopping involved with fresh veggies! Frozen vegetables are just as good for you – as long as you avoid ones with any added high-calorie sauces, like a cheese sauce. You can even purchase ready-to-use chopped onions, garlic, and peppers for recipes that you do want to cook, but want to minimize the prep time. If you’re in a real time crunch, try healthier frozen entrees such as those by Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine.
– Do resistance exercises. This refers to exercises where you work your muscles, become stronger, and burn more calories. To do resistance exercises, you don’t need much room – and you can do them standing in one place. You can lift light weights, use resistance bands, do bodyweight exercises… the list goes on. A quick internet search will show you lots of suggestions for resistance exercises which are easy to do and can help contribute to weight loss. Here are some examples.
– Try Time Restricted Eating. This means reducing the time window in which you eat. If you usually eat between 7am – 9pm (a 14 hour window), try reducing that window by 2 hours, eating only between 8am – 8pm. Or, try reducing it further to a 10 hour window and eating only between 9am – 7pm. This small change can reduce the total number of calories you’re eating during the day.