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Prediabetes: 7 Steps to Take Now

What to do to stop prediabetes from becoming diabetes.

4. Eat Better

  • Load up on vegetables, especially the less-starchy kinds such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, and green beans. Aim for at least three servings a day.
  • Add more high-fiber foods into your day.
  • Enjoy fruits in moderation - 1 to 3 servings per day.
  • Choose whole-grain foods instead of processed grains -- for example, brown rice instead of white rice.

Also, swap out high-calorie foods. “Drink skim milk rather than whole milk, diet soda rather than regular soda,” Geil says. “Choose lower-fat versions of cheese, yogurt, and salad dressings.”

Instead of snacking on high-fat, high-calorie chips and desserts, choose fresh fruit, or whole wheat crackers with peanut butter or low-fat cheese, Geil says.

5. Make Sleep a Priority

Not getting enough sleep regularly makes losing weight harder, says Theresa Garnero, author of Your First Year With Diabetes.

A sleep shortfall also makes it harder for your body to use insulin effectively and may make type 2 diabetes more likely.

Set good sleep habits. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Relax before you turn out the lights. Don't watch TV or use your computer or smartphone when you're trying to fall asleep. Avoid caffeine after lunch if you have trouble sleeping.

6. Get Support.

Losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly is easier if you have people helping you out, holding you accountable, and cheering you on, says Ronald T. Ackermann, MD, MPH, an associate professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Consider joining a group where you can pursue a healthier lifestyle in the company of others with similar goals.

A certified diabetes educator may also help you learn about what you need to do to prevent your prediabetes from becoming diabetes. You can find one through the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

7. Choose and Commit

Having the right mind-set can help.

Accept that you won’t do things perfectly every day, but pledge to do your best most of the time.

“Make a conscious choice to be consistent with everyday activities that are in the best interest of your health,” Garnero says. “Tell yourself, ‘I’m going to give it my best. I’m going to make small changes over time.’”

Those changes will add up.

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Reviewed on February 12, 2015

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