New Year’s resolutions for people with diabetes

Are you starting the New Year with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes? Here’s a list of New Year’s resolutions to keep you on the path for a healthy year.

Type 2 diabetes can be a scary diagnosis. Just the thought of having to take your blood glucose every day, counting carbs, watching what you eat and exercising may seem overwhelming. Start the year off with these healthy diabetes resolutions:

Ask your doctor for a referral to talk to a dietician if you haven’t already. A registered dietician will tailor a meal plan for you based on your age, gender and weight. They will also take into consideration your lifestyle including how much activity you get and when you’re most active.

Start planning your meals every day based on what you’ve learned about healthy eating. If you need to count carbs, it may help to write down what you eat and the carb count for each food. Planning in the morning or the day before can help you save time and make healthier choices.

Check your kitchen and pantry. Do you have non-starchy vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy and protein choices? If not, start a shopping list from your meal plans based on these healthy for you choices.

How active are you? Being active almost every day is a great way to help keep your blood glucose in a normal range, as well as help you shed any extra pounds that you may have.

If you’re not active, make a plan to add some activity to your day, every day. Start slowly with maybe five minutes of walking or gentle stretches. Even turning on music and dancing is a great activity. Each week increase the amount of time you’re active until you’ve reached at least 30 minutes on at least five days of the week.

A finger poke can hurt but if you have diabetes, it’s a necessary hurt. Ask your health care provider or Certified Diabetes Educator how often you need to measure your blood glucose. Be sure to record the result. There are many ways to do this from writing it in a notebook to apps that you can put on your phone.

So, plan your meals around healthy choices, add physical activity to your daily plan, and monitor your blood sugar. Just three resolutions that won’t take much time out of your day but will pay off in a healthier you when 2018 arrives.

Contact your local Michigan State University Extension office for more information about leading a healthy lifestyle with diabetes including a schedule of workshops offered for adults with diabetes.

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