Type 2 diabetes develops when your body is unable to produce enough insulin, or the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.
The vast majority of diabetes sufferers have type 2 diabetes; it accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with the condition.
Although there’s no cure for diabetes, the good news is that through some lifestyle changes you may be able to manage the condition without the need for other types of treatment.
Today we’re looking at three key lifestyle changes for managing type 2 diabetes, and where you can find information and advice online to tackle each.
A healthy, balanced diet is the cornerstone to a good life and one of the most important ways you can manage your condition. There’s no such thing as a diabetic diet or diet plan; learning how to shop, cook and eat properly means you can enjoy food and stay healthy too. You can find great resources online, including:
- How to make healthy food swaps
- Understanding food labels when buying prepackaged foods
- Delicious, balanced recipes that work well for people with diabetes
- Diabetes friendly recipes from BBC Good Food
- Tips on 10 ways to eat well with diabetes
- A guide to 6 foods that can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- An overview of diabetes serving sizes
Exercise is important for people with or without diabetes – it helps us stay active and mobile as we age, manage stress and feel good. Physical activity is particularly important to help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. A combination of moderate-intensity aerobic or cardio activity and muscle-strengthening activities will help you stay fighting fit. You can find resources online like:
- The NHS physical activity guidelines for adults
- Getting and staying active guide for diabetics
- Get running with Couch to 5k
- 11 exercise tips if you have type 2 diabetes
If you are overweight or obese and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, gradually and safely losing weight until you are within the healthy BMI range will also help manage your condition. Forget fad diets and unrealistic goals; weight management with diabetes is about simple lifestyle shifts that over time get you to a healthier weight.
- Check your BMI with the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator
- An overview of diabetes and weight loss
- The NHS weight loss guide
- Exercise and weight control for type 2 diabetes
Do you have Type 2 Diabetes? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.