Take Time Each Day To Manage Diabetes And Free Up More Time To Live Your Life
Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, and each year, approximately 2 million more are diagnosed. It’s not uncommon for people new to diabetes to feel confused, overwhelmed or fearful about how to manage and live with this chronic condition, but with the right support from a trusted health care team, which includes a certified diabetes educator, people can learn strategies for controlling their diabetes so that it doesn’t take over their lives.
Diane Kress, a certified diabetes educator, author of “The Metabolism Miracle” and the upcoming “The Diabetes Miracle,” and someone who herself has diabetes, provides various tips to her patients, including a concept called “DTime(tm).” DTime is a time she recommends people set aside each day to focus on their diabetes. It’s when they test their blood sugar, log their results and plan for healthy eating and exercise. “DTime helps patients focus on the important things they need to do each day to manage their diabetes, and, as a result, it frees up time so they can live their lives,” says Kress.
To help patients make the most of their DTime, a free five-video series has been created that simulates a one-on-one, on-demand coaching session with a certified diabetes educator. Thanks to interactive digital capabilities, viewers of these DTime videos have the ability to customize their sessions based on their interested topics and personalize their learning journey.
Tips from Kress in these videos include:
Regular blood sugar testing. Testing is a key to gaining control of diabetes. Regular testing reveals whether blood sugar levels are within a normal range and provides physicians the data necessary to make appropriate decisions about treatment. It also keeps patients “honest,” since blood sugar levels are impacted by food choices, medication and exercise. “Not testing isn’t an option,” says Kress, “because when it comes to blood sugar control and our long-term health, what we don’t know can hurt us!”
Food. Having diabetes doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying a variety of delicious foods, as long as you make smart food choices. In the DTime series, Kress takes viewers to a supermarket to shop along various grocery aisles to educate about healthy food choices, and she gives tips on how to incorporate the occasional indulgence in a healthy diet for diabetes patients.
Kress also notes that understanding appropriate serving sizes can help. She says it helps to visually draw lines on our plate and eat only as much as fills each section. She suggests dividing the plate into three sections-with the left section as half the plate and the right side divided into two smaller halves. Nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli or carrots, can fill the entire left side. Whole grains, such as pasta, brown rice or sweet potatoes, can take up one-half on the right, while the remaining half can hold heart-healthy lean meat, fish, poultry or meat substitute. Understanding appropriate serving sizes makes it easier to put together healthy meals at home and when dining out.
Exercise. Staying active is important in maintaining good blood sugar control. Before beginning, Kress recommends taking a few minutes to prepare and make sure you have all the tools you need-such as a blood glucose meter, drink and a snack.
Any activity will work, as long as it’s enjoyable and fits into a daily schedule. Kress suggests trying to find something enjoyable that you can do for 30 minutes every day. DTime(tm) helps patients focus on the important things they need to do each day to manage their diabetes and, as a result, it frees up time so they can live their lives.