5 lifestyle tips for better health
The turn of the calendar is a good time to develop new healthier habits and reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Improving diet, weight loss, physical activity, and not smoking improve health and are powerful behaviors that reduce the risks of developing diabetes, especially as people reach their 50s and 60s. “It’s best to make changes and stick with them before you have diabetes because once you have diabetes, you always have it,” said Eric MacEvoy, MD, Medical Director with LMG Tualatin at Meridian Mark Medical Center.
An estimated 30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease that increases risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. An additional 84 million people have prediabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar that can become Type 2 diabetes.
Making changes and sustaining new habits can be hard. “We all have habits that we’ve been doing for years and we like them,” said Dr. MacEvoy. He teaches diabetes and weight loss group classes to help people with lifestyle change. “We know change can be a slow and tedious process,” says Dr. MacEvoy. He suggests taking on one thing at a time. “I tell my patients it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being better.”
The small-group diabetes and weight loss classes cover health history, diabetes and prediabetes, behavior modification, physical activity, short and long-term consequences, and dietary advice. The group environment provides social support and offers quality time for dialogue with the doctor. “People who connect with others in groups do better sticking with health and lifestyle changes and are more successful reaching and sustaining goals,” said Dr. MacEvoy.
Dr. MacEvoy offers these 5 lifestyle tips for living well
Know what you want. Know what you want, find out what not you’re getting, then change until you get what you want. Sometimes it’s hard to know what you want.
Eat your fruits and veggies. Plan for how you are going to get a fruit or veggie at each meal. If you don’t plan, you don’t get them in. The daily recommended daily dose is six servings combined veggies and fruits – whole foods, not juices.
Move More. Stand up and sit down in repetition, 10 times every hour. Work up to sets of 40 in an hour. One second to stand up and sit down. We all have 40 seconds in an hour, or five minutes in a day we can use to increase physical movement.
Eat quality meals. Try to plan for a day each week when you are going to eat well. Choose quality, whole foods and foods we need to thrive—veggies, fruits, lean proteins, no sugars, low starches.
Progress not perfection. Don’t try to be perfect, just get better.
Visit www.legacyhealth.org/weight and diabetes to learn about the weight loss class and diabetes classes or contact the LMG Tualatin clinic at 503-692-7785.