Are you worried about developing diabetes? Are you carrying around extra weight that leaves you at high risk for the disease?
If so, you may have already talked to your doctor about it and been told to go on a diet, eat healthier and exercise more.
But, while that’s good advice, what does it mean? What does it really take to avoid type 2 diabetes?
The results of a new study just might hold the answers to that question…
New initiative allows 33 percent more people to avoid blood sugar problems
Researchers in the UK followed up on a US study that showed that participation in a certain well-known commercial weight management program succeeded in reversing progression to type 2 diabetes, and here’s how…
Firstly, participants at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes were selected. Criteria included impaired glucose regulation — known as pre-diabetes — and a body mass index (BMI) above 30 kg/m2 (normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9).
Those who were chosen were then invited to contact Weight Watchers to book a place on their diabetes prevention program, which included a 90-minute introductory session followed by 48 weekly group meetings.
Now, Weight Watchers has been a leader in the weight loss industry for more than 50 years. Recognizing that weight loss is key for preventing type 2 diabetes, they’ve become a pioneer in helping people stop the disease progression in its tracks.
Their program focuses on improving diet quality, reducing portion size, increasing physical activity levels, as well as boosting confidence in the ability to change and a commitment to the process.
And guess what happened for the participants following the program in this study? The initiative led to an average fall in blood glucose levels after 12 months to levels regarded as normal!
In fact, blood glucose levels returned to normal in more than a third (38 percent) of the patients and only 3 percent developed type 2 diabetes after 12 months. This meant that more than a third of the patients at risk for developing type 2 diabetes were able to avoid it by following the Weight Watchers’ diet plan.
As an added bonus, the average weight loss per patient amounted to over 22 pounds during the 12 months they followed the program.
Your at-home diabetes-free diet plan
While the patients in this study followed the Weight Watchers diet plan and you can too, the science behind the plan is easy to replicate even without joining the program.
It’s all about choosing lower calorie meal options, smaller portions and exercising more.
Here are some basic daily guidelines for what to eat to get you started:
- 5 servings of fruits & veggies
- 2 servings of dairy products (low-fat)
- 8 glasses of water
- 2 tsp. healthy oils
- 1-2 servings of lean protein
- 1 multivitamin a day
- Choose whole grains when possible
- Limit sugar and alcohol
You should also try to get at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.
And, since the Weight Watchers’ plan allows for a treat here and there by building in extra points, don’t feel bad if you must cheat here and there. Just remember to do everything in moderation and get right back on your plan the next day.
If you’re worried about ending up with diabetes, studies show a healthy diet is the answer you’re looking for. Use the tips above to slim down, control your blood sugar and stay diabetes-free for life.
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