If you’re pre-diabetic or on the borderline of developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important to remember that simple changes in diet and exercise habits can play a significant role in warding off the disease.

Reducing body weight is the key to cutting your risk, and this involves healthy diet and exercise habits. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that reducing your weight by five to seven percent has a big impact on reversing pre-diabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes. Below are tips to help you start eating better and exercising more.

You Are What You Eat
If your diet is high in fats and calories, chances are your weight is going to be high as well. So, how do you overhaul your diet? The American Diabetes Association recommends working with a dietician to help tailor a program that will fit your needs and address the issues of pre-diabetes. Regardless of whether or not you’re working with a dietician, these helpful tips will help you get your diet on the right track:


  • Develop a food plan. If you create a plan or menu for the week and shop only for those healthy items, you can keep the junk food out of your cupboards and out of your body.
  • Keep a food journal. By writing down everything you eat, you will see where the unwanted calories are coming from.
  • Take in fewer calories. The internet is a great tool to find out the calorie content in food. If you burn more calories than you take in, you’ll lose weight.
  • Eat less fat, especially saturated fats and trans fats.
  • Eat smaller portions of high fat/high calorie foods.
  • Eat three small meals and two healthy snacks over the course of your day.
  • Eat your meals and snacks at regular times
  • Follow a diet of lean protein (fish, chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin), whole grains, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Remember, small steps will make a big difference, so try incorporating one or two of these tips into your routine each week. Before you know it, your diet will be on track.

You Move It, You Lose It
The second component to losing weight and helping to prevent diabetes is exercise. The National Diabetes Education Program suggests 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week in order to ward off diabetes. Moderate intensity is best described as a brisk walk all the way up to a jog. Here are helpful tips on how to incorporate exercise into your day (be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program):


  • Start small. If you haven't been exercising regularly start with a 5 to10 minute walk each day, and build up from there to 30 minutes.
  • Chose exercise that is fun for you. If you dread running but adore swimming, make it easy on yourself and do what you love.
  • Make it social. Organize group activities that get the whole group out there, such as tennis, a hike, or a bike ride.
  • Keep an exercise journal and note your progress.

Track Your Accomplishments
Through all of this, keep a record of your accomplishments. When you reach a goal, congratulate yourself for taking charge of your health. That is no small feat.