One in 3 Americans could have diabetes by 2050. The implications of this statistic are huge, from the medical complications associated with diabetes to the cost of treating the disease to the price of lost productivity in the workforce.
“We simply can’t sustain this trajectory – the implications are far too great – for our families, our healthcare system, our workforce, our nation,” Dr. Ann Allbright, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Diabetes Translation, told medicalnewstoday.com.
The only really effective way to prevent the progression of diabetes and a host of other weight-related diseases is improved nutrition and exercise. Here are some ways you may never have heard of before for improving your family’s health.
Do something small
A lot of what discourages people when it comes to weight loss is the idea they have to change so much about their lifestyles. In reality, you only need to make one change in your eating or exercise habits in order to see a difference. It might be cutting out soda, adding a half-hour of exercise to your daily routine, or foregoing sugar one day a week. Once you see the difference that one day makes, you’ll be able to choose your next change, continuing to make just one change at a time as you pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Try some hummus
Have you ever tried hummus or guacamole or greek yogurt as a dip for your veggies? They’re delicious alternatives to eating chips and dip or a handful of pretzel mix. Bulking your menu up with vegetables will help you stave off those cravings for salty, processed snack food that does little more than pad your waistline. Trying new, interesting dips is one way to make eating veggies more interesting.
Eat your biggest meals early in the day
Research has found the earlier you eat, the better when it comes to weight loss. “In the evening, you get lower satiety. People tend to eat very large meals but then eat again shortly afterward,” John de Castro told livescience.com. His study concluded that when you eat a big breakfast, you’re less hungry throughout the day, even improving insulin sensitivity, which is important for people at risk of diabetes.
Choose a new favorite fast food restaurant
Eating out at fast food restaurants can sabotage your weight-loss goals even as it raids your wallet. But not all fast food was created equally, and some restaurants have healthier menus than others. If your current go-to has a menu loaded with high fat and high sodium foods, it might be time to shop around and find somewhere new that provides a healthier selection, such as grilled chicken and salads. Then commit to eating out just once a week. Your belly and bank account will thank you.
Look forward to dessert
Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to forego all of your favorite desserts, but it does mean planning ahead so you feel guilt-free when you indulge in them.
Elaine Higginbotham told health.com, “I budget for the treats I love. By eating healthy snacks like carrots and hummus, I have calories to splurge on a piece of chocolate . . . each night. And I’ve still managed to lose 20 pounds in three months.”
Set a timer when you eat
How often do you scarf your food, either because it tastes so good and you’re so hungry or because you’ve got to hurry to make it to your next appointment? Eating quickly can lead to overeating because it takes time for your body to register its satiety. If you set a 10- to 15-minute timer and turn off or put away all distractions (i.e. phones, television, books), you’ll notice you start to feel full sooner. Try not to get done eating before the timer goes off, even if that means putting the fork down for a minute to stare in contemplation at the dirty dishes in the sink.
Raid your pantry
Your pantry is likely full of the foods you like to eat, including some rather unhealthy options. It might be a good idea to start fresh by raiding your pantry and giving away the food that is thwarting your weight-loss goals. Then fill it up with nutritional alternatives so when the munchies hit, you have no choice but to choose a healthy snack.
Hire a health coach
You’ve heard of athletic coaches, but what more important race is there than the race for your personal health? What better way to improve your health, then, than by enlisting a coach who will train you how to achieve your highest potential?
Hiring a health coach could be as easy as enrolling in a program that provides you access to a number of health professionals who can help you set and achieve weight loss goals, teach you stress management techniques, instruct you in ways to manage sleep and fatigue, and provide you with motivation and encouragement when you’re not sure you can really attain all you’ve set out to do.
MyHealth Pass could be an instrumental tool in helping you and your family achieve your weight loss goals. Included as part of its services is MyHealth Coach, which provides enrolled members with personal coaching sessions where you develop a workout plan that fits your lifestyle and fitness needs.