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Diabetes Care: Managing Your Time When You Have Diabetes

Diabetes care can be time-consuming. Here are some tips to help you keep up.

Meal Planning

With today's busy schedules, it's hard for everybody -- not just those with diabetes -- to find enough time to prepare healthy meals and snacks. Some pointers:

  • Keep the right foods on hand. "Most of us, research shows, eat about the same 100 foods most of the time," Kulkarni says. "Be familiar with those foods, and have a balance in terms of nutrition." For example, keep whole-grain breads, cereal, milk, vegetables and fruit well-stocked in your home.
  • Find easy, diabetes-friendly recipes that take less than 30 minutes to prepare. Diabetes cookbooks can help.
  • Buy bagged broccoli, bagged lettuce, baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes to cut down on chopping and preparation time.
  • Stock your pantry with commonly used ingredients, such as low-sodium broth, whole-grain pastas, and lentils. "If you've got basic ingredients, you can always throw something together," Kulkarni says.
  • Consult with a registered dietitian about your diet. Ask him or her to teach you how to read food labels so that you can evaluate convenience foods to make sure they're not too high in carbohydrates, salt, or fat.

Exercise

Many a diabetes educator who talks to clients about exercise hears this refrain: "I just don't have the time." Yet exercise is crucial for improving blood glucose control and controlling weight. Some ways to fit exercise in:

  • Look closely for opportunities to exercise in your daily schedule. "Try to find pockets of time. Do you have 15 minutes here or 10 minutes there?" Kulkarni says. Go for a walk or climb stairs at work during those short snatches of time. "It doesn't have to be a whole hour block in one day. Nobody seems to have that kind of time."
  • Use the buddy system. If you plan to meet three or four times a week with someone to exercise, "there's some accountability there," Kulkarni says.
  • Work with a personal trainer. The appointment is scheduled, and because you're paying for the session, you're less likely to skip out of exercising.
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Reviewed on July 01, 2008

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Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

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Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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