The start of a new year, for many, means a new clean slate. We make vows to lose weight, to quit smoking, and generally make significant changes
If you struggle with type 2 diabetes, you may have made resolutions centred around improving diabetes management. During the holidays it can be easy to slip up, but by setting yourself goals, you can successfully get back on track.
Here are 5 effective tips to help you keep your new years resolution.
1) Be Realistic
When setting yourself resolutions, it can be easy to be over ambitions. However, the key to keeping any resolution is to start small and be realistic. Many people completely abstain for a couple of weeks, only to later lose will power. If your goal is to lose a few pounds, make it a SMART goal.
This means making it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, as well as setting a time period. Start by making small changes to your diet, such as swapping your 3pm candy bar for a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. Set yourself exercise goals, this can be as simple as having a 20-minute walk during your lunch break or getting off you bus a couple of stops early. Even making and sticking to these small changes can make an improvement to your diabetes management.
2) Don’t Say I Can’t
Research has shown that a negative mindset really can set you back when it comes to achieving your goals. For many people, managing diabetes can be stressful and create anxiety. However, our mindset has a big impact on your overall outcomes. If you go into something, viewing it in a negative light it will be that much harder to undertake.
A study which reviewed the relationship between exercise and an individual’s mindset supported the hypothesis that exercise affects health through the placebo effect.
The researcher’s studies 84 female room attendants working in seven different hotels and measured physiological health variables affected by exercise. In one group the women were told that their work (cleaning hotel rooms) was good exercise. 4 weeks after the study, the group that had been informed that cleaning was a good form of exercise showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio,
By making changes to your vocabulary and removing negative connotations you can assert a positive mindset, helping you to make healthier choices.
3) Plan Meals
Meal planning can play an important role in diabetes management. If you are looking to implement a healthier diet this new year, planning meals is an effective means of doing so.
When you are constantly on the go, reaching out for convenience food is the easy option. Yet research has shown that even seemingly healthy meal deals can contain as much as 30 grams of sugar.
By creating and sticking to a meal plan, you can plan healthy meals in advance and avoid having to make convenient unhealthy, choices. Use your menu plan to work out what you need for the week, then check what you have already in the store cupboard, in the fridge that needs using up.
4) Get A Gym Buddy
A gym buddy doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive gym membership. During the new year, many gyms offer discounted memberships to entice people to join up. However, if going to the gym isn’t your cup of tea, a gym buddy can simply mean someone you exercise with on a regular basis. Recent research has suggested that enlisting the support of a gym buddy could improve your workout.
Researchers from the University of Aberdeen conducted a study, asking half of the participants to find a new gym buddy and the other half to continue with their normal routine. The results showed that the group who found a new exercise partner did more than those who followed their regular exercise routine. One aspect that stood out was ’emotional support.’
5) Stay On Top Of Tests
Type 2 diabetes can result in a number of health complications, which is why learning to incorporate diabetes management in your day to day life is so important. If your new year’s resolution focuses on your health, keeping on top of your test could be a good step.
Fluctuating blood sugar levels can take their toll on a number of body parts, so you should get regular check-ups. Some test and check up’s you should regularly have done include:
- Blood sugar check (HbA1c Test) – Every 3 months
- Foot Check- Once a year
- Eye Test- Once a year
- Blood pressure, Cholesterol and Kidneys- Once a year
- Gum and Teeth Exams- At least twice a year
The start of a new year is a great time to set and achieve new goals, especially when it comes to improving your diabetes management. However, it’s important to set yourself realistic goals and if you do slip up, don’t throw in the towel. For those who are diabetic, managing diabetes can be a lifetime goal and you will often learn new things on the way. Find what works with you and discuss any dietary or exercise goals with your Doctor.
Happy New Year!