Happy New Year, everyone! I wish you all a happy, healthy 2019.
While I’m not a big maker of New Year’s Resolutions, I do find that re-establishing routines after the holidays is a good opportunity to incorporate some healthy changes.
After my annual checkup in November, my doctor told me that my test results indicated I’d inched into the “pre-diabetic” range. I was a bit shocked by this, as I don’t eat much sugar or highly processed food, and (as far as I’m aware) there’s no history in my family. So I called to make an appointment with a dietician right away, and she was able to see me a few days later.
The Dietician Recommends…
After going through my records and a review of what I eat most days, she had some reassuring news:
First, she said that most people who get a “pre-diabetes” diagnosis, especially in the lower ranges, never go on to develop Type II diabetes. (She mentioned that she also has a similar blood level, and that it may just be genetic).
My overall diet is basically good. She suggested a couple of tweaks: reducing snacking (especially carbs), and adding more cinnamon or cinnamon supplements to my diet. While I’d been under the impression for many years that eating a few smaller meals per day is better for keeping blood sugar levels steady, she said that the latest research indicates that longer intervals between meals may better prevent impaired insulin response.
Since she mentioned reducing snacks, I asked her about intermittent fasting. She said the latest research indicates it may be helpful for preventing/controlling impaired insulin response. Her take was that trying build in 14 hours between dinner and breakfast most days, and limiting snacks is sufficient.
I asked her about any benefits from a plant-based vs. more “omnivore” diet and she said that it varies from person to person. She was a vegan who has recently added eggs and fish back into her diet, and feels better for it. Her suggestion for me: limit red meats, avoid processed meats.
She also suggested I increase my daily exercise (even just walking more is enough) so I’m going to make a point to walk to the market for smaller trips, and have already added a second short walk with the dogs in the afternoon most days. I’m still continuing with my weekly Pilates session, and am searching for a nearby yoga class to add to the mix.
I also heard back from the endocrinologist a week or so before my Paris trip. She’s quite happy with my current thyroid levels, so won’t be adjusting my dosage down. (Whew!)
Tweaks, Not Resolutions
I find smaller gradual changes are easier to incorporate than huge, sweeping ones. Now that the holidays are in my rearview mirror, here are the tweaks I’m making to stay healthy and active:
- Limit snacking. The dietician suggested that if I get really hungry between meals to stick with a handful of nuts or a piece of string cheese, or veggies and a little hummus in lieu of fruit, crackers, or other more carb-heavy snacks.
- Cutting back on red meat to no more than once per week.
- More exercise. Building more walking into my daily routines, adding a yoga class (or two) per week.
I think this is all do-able, and hope that the efforts show up in my test results later this year.
Have you made changes to help improve or maintain your health? Have you seen results?