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Prediabetes - Setting a Goal to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Prediabetes is a warning sign that you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. But you can make the healthy changes needed to prevent it.

Losing weight, getting active, and eating better are all important changes you can make for your health. These are the best things you can do to prevent prediabetes or to stop it from turning into type 2 diabetes. Three steps can help you get started.

Did You Know?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including screening tests for type 2 diabetes, at no cost to you. Learn more.

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1. Know your reason. Before you set a goal, think about why you want to make a change. If your reason comes from you—and not from someone else—it will be easier for you to make a healthy change for good.

Maybe you want to avoid the hassles that come with type 2 diabetes, such as taking insulin or testing blood sugar. Or maybe you are worried about the health problems diabetes brings. You might simply want to enjoy your life and have more energy. Your reason for wanting to change is important.

2. Set long-term and short-term goals. Start by setting a big, or long-term, goal. Maybe you want to lose 10% of your body weight to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. If you weigh 200 pounds, that means losing 20 pounds. Break down your big goal into smaller, short-term goals. These are the steps you'll take to reach your big goal.

Do what works best for you. It's important to set goals you can reach. For example:

  • Week 1: Set a goal to walk for 15 minutes, 5 days a week.
  • Week 2: Continue to walk for 15 minutes, 5 days a week. And this week, when you reach for a snack, make it carrots or celery sticks instead of potato chips or crackers.
  • Week 3: Keep up your walking program and eating healthy snacks. Gradually increase walking to 30 minutes for at least 5 days each week. Pay attention to your hunger levels when you eat meals. Stop eating when you feel full.
actionset.gif Fitness: Adding More Activity to Your Life
actionset.gif Fitness: Walking for Wellness
actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Starting a Plan for Change
actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Recognizing Your Hunger Signals

3. Prepare for slip-ups and barriers. Plan for setbacks. Use a personal action plan(What is a PDF document?) to write down your goals, any possible barriers, and your ideas for getting past them. By thinking about these barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they happen.

actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Overcoming Barriers to Change
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    If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

    People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

    Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

    However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

    Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

    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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