After having a taste of what it is like to have diabetes while pregnant you probably want to do what you can to avoid getting type 2 diabetes. The management of diabetes isn’t hard but the complications that can occur and having to take insulin daily can take their toll. The good news is there are things that you can do to help you in preventing Diabetes after having Gestational Diabetes or at least to lessen the chance of developing diabetes.
Lifestyle Changes Are Important in Preventing Diabetes After Having Gestational Diabetes
The same methods that were used during your pregnancy to manage your diabetes can be utilized to help prevent you from getting diabetes later in life. The lifestyle changes are a combination of a good diet, exercise and weight management.
Eating a balanced diet is good advice for anyone but if you are at risk of diabetes, it is even more important.
Small meals that include multiple food groups and combining them whenever possible with protein are better choices than large unbalanced meals.
Keep these 7 tips in mind when planning meals
- Choose fruits over sugar-containing foods such as cookies and candy
- The type of protein you eat can really make a big difference: go for poultry and seafood versus red meat
- Incorporate non-meat proteins in your diet – such as lentils, beans, and legumes in general
- Space your meals well so that you do not go hungry for long periods of time and then binge on large unhealthy meals.
- Opt for 100% whole grain bread, cereal, and crackers
- Avoid processed white and enriched products.
- Adopt healthy cooking habits: go for baked or broiled options instead of fried foods
Physical exercise will continue to play a role in your health. It will help your body process the food that you eat and burn off any extra glucose in your system.
Activity will give you more energy and if you followed this lifestyle during pregnancy you should already be in the habit of going for regular walks every day.
Here are 5 ways to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule
- If you can’t stick to a strict exercise schedule incorporate a 10-minute stroll in your daily schedule
- Start with small segments (20 minutes a day) and build upon that.
- Choose to take a stroll, walk to the nearest store or climb stairs when you can
- Consider a motivating factor: plan to jog with a friend or family member to help you stick to a schedule
- Make it fun: an exercise in front of the TV, play music or join a Zumba class
Maintaining your weight is an important preventive factor.
If you are overweight, by losing a few pounds you can help your body process the food you consume. In type 2 diabetes you become insulin resistant, your pancreas cannot keep up with your insulin needs and there is a need to supplement with injections or when you are not pregnant you can take an oral pill. If you lose weight, you will lessen your insulin needs and in turn, take the strain off of your pancreas.
These tips may not prevent you from ever getting type 2 diabetes but they will lessen the chances or delay the onset of getting the disease.