In the UK there’s an estimated 4 million people with diabetes, or put another way… 1 in 16 people! The scary thing is that out of these 4 million people not everybody is aware that they have the condition – which can be life threatening.
It’s estimated that diabetes costs the NHS £14 billion pounds each year – which includes treating diabetes and its complications, and the scary thing is that it’s estimated to keep going up, as more and more people are developing the condition.
In many cases diabetes can be avoided (not in all cases) but for those people on the cusp of developing the condition there are lots of things which you can do to prevent it from developing and that’s why i’ve written this article.
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional. What i’m about to share is my own opinion, which I’ve collected from online studies, articles, blogs, etc. I’m also a personal trainer with over 10,000 x 1-1 coaching sessions worth of experience. During my time as a personal trainer i’ve worked with lots of type 2 diabetics, and a bunch of people who’ve been on the brink of diabetes but have managed to avoid it, thanks to making positive changes to their health, fitness and body shape. Before embarking on any of the advice given in this post please make-sure to consult your doctor.
6 Ways To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes…
#1 Losing Weight
One of the big reasons why people develop type 2 diabetes is due to carrying excess weight. According to a BBC source, the UK is the most overweight country in Western Europe – with over 63% of adults being overweight.
Carrying excess weight places huge amounts of stress on the body and it’s ability to function correctly. If a person is overweight they greatly increase their chance of developing diabetes. Alongside BMI other factors to be considered are things like blood pressure, blood sugar, waist size, etc – for more guidelines check out this post.
As losing weight has been shown to lower a persons chances of developing type 2 diabetes this post is mainly going to focus on losing weight through diet and exercise…
#2 Low Carb Dieting
If you are overweight it’s likely that your body is not going to be very efficient at processing carbohydrates and you develop what’s called insulin resistance – which if taken to the extremes means that eventually your body will not be able to manage and regulate it’s own blood sugar levels, and therefore you develop diabetes, where you need medication to manage your condition.
One way of reducing your chances of type diabetes is to spend periods of time low carb dieting. Even just a 2-4 week period could be enough to help your body re-build. With lots of my overweight clients I get them to follow my 28 Day Keto Challenge – a low carb diet plan (with the occasional serving of fruit and rice/potatoes).
#3 General Exercise
Just moving more during the day can be amazing for weight loss and improving your bodies ability to utilise carbohydrates – also know as improving insulin sensitivity.
Things like gardening, washing the dishes, hoovering, general house work, walking the dog, taking the stairs, are all great ways to burn additional calories, and for the sedentary person they can be a great place to increase output without needing to jump straight into vigorous exercise (not recommended to begin with). The more overweight the person, the less you need to focus on intensity and the more you need to focus on just moving more throughout the day.
Once you have an acceptable level of general fitness i.e. you feel comfortable doing everyday actives like walking, gardening, etc – then you can start to increase your intensity and perform cardio workouts…
For example, you could go for a faster pace walk, or do something like the couch to 5k, go for a run, or even join the gym. The fitter you get and the more weight you lose the greater your chances are of reducing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
#5 Weight Training
Weight training is one of the best ways to improve insulin sensitivity as it improves your bodies ability to store, utilise and manage carbohydrates. When you lift weights you burn glycogen (carbs stored in muscle) once these carbs are burned off, it means you have room to store carbs again, and your body becomes more efficient at using carbs for fuel instead of converting them into fat. Also, the more muscle you build the more carbs you can consume, because you have more room to store them.
If you can afford it I would 100% recommend hiring a personal trainer. A good personal trainer will teach you how to lift weights correctly. If you lift weights 2-4x per week, alongside creating a calorie deficit through dieting… you will see a big difference to your health, fitness, body shape and well-being. It could also reduce your chance of type 2 diabetes.
Although supplements are often a small part of the puzzle they can still help, especially when combined with a healthy eating program and exercise routine…
Supplements such as turmeric and cinnamon have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Again, just make-sure to check with your doctor before taking any additional supplements (as they may affect your medications). For more information of supplements check out this article by Health Line
Not everyone is going to have the funds to purchase supplements, but there is a solution for this. Look into online sites and services that will pay you cash for your diabetic test strips. A quick Google search should bring up plenty of options.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my website contact form