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Do you want to permanently change your lifestyle? Start small and step by step

You can reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes by living a healthy lifestyle. And even if you already have diabetes, a healthy lifestyle can prevent this disease from getting worse, from developing symptoms of this disease or from making these symptoms worse. A healthy lifestyle not only lowers your blood sugar levels, it also improves your overall health and well-being.

A healthy lifestyle means no smoking, sufficient exercising, healthy eating, drinking moderate or no alcohol, avoiding stress and ensuring a healthy weight. These are all factors that you can influence yourself. We all know that, but it is easier said than done. Only few people succeed in making sufficient and lasting adjustments to their lifestyle. Where do you start and how do you ensure that your changes in eating behaviour, for example, really become a habit for you?

Start small

Maybe you recognize it. You want to exercise more and immediately go from exercising 0 to 5 times a week, or you go on strict diets from one day to the next because you want to lose 20 kilos. These adjustments and goals are far too big. You will probably give up after a while because you are not successful or the result is insufficient for you. Very frustrating of course! How much better is it when things do work out for you? That makes you happy and motivates you to continue.

Change your eating behaviour in such a way that it still fits into your daily life

Don’t change your entire diet at once if you have diabetes. First start by improving a particular meal that causes your blood sugar level to rise significantly. And do this in small steps and in such a way that it still fits into your daily routine.

  • Do you always eat low-fat yoghourt with 4 tablespoons of granola for breakfast? Replace the low-fat yoghourt with Greek yoghourt or cottage cheese, and replace 2 of the 4 tablespoons of granola with some nuts, seeds and kernels.
  • Do you really like rice during your evening meal? Don’t leave this out completely from one day to the next, but take a little less or, for example, replace half the rice with cauliflower rice and add some extra veggies.

These 2 examples are not major changes, but are better for your blood sugar levels and easier to maintain than if you had to eat a completely different breakfast or never had rice again. Especially, when you’re used to these meals for years. And when these adjustments go well and reduce your sugar peaks, keep them up for a while to ensure that they become a real habit for you. Only then start with the next adjustment.

Build up your exercise, slowly

The same story counts for exercising. You don’t have to exercise for an hour every day. Start by walking for 10 minutes after meals. This can already ensure that your sugar level does not rise as much. Or take the stairs once a day instead of the elevator, take your bike for distances less than 5 kilometres or always walk when having phone calls. Is this going well? Expand. If not, investigate how to get more exercise in other ways. Anything is better than doing nothing and it doesn’t have to be big.

Measure the effect of your new lifestyle

Habits are easier to maintain. Or actually, you don’t have to keep them up at all, because they just happen naturally. It’s a routine that requires no willpower. Of course, it helps if your new behaviour also produces results, like lower blood sugar levels. That is why it is important to measure. Then you can see yourself whether your adjustments have an effect and find out what works best for you. Some people get lower blood sugar levels by exercising more, others by just adjusting their breakfast. By measuring and examining the effect of the various adjustments on your body, you can regain control of your health.

Clear.bio’s dietitians will monitor you throughout the entire treatment. We do not prescribe a diet, but provide tips on which small adjustments you can specifically make within your current eating pattern. This is much easier to maintain. And together, all those small new habits can have a big health impact, as we see in the data!