A diagnosis of prediabetes can come as a shock particularly if you haven’t ever considered you might need to lose weight. But, it also presents you with an opportunity. Prediabetes now doesn’t have to mean diabetes later - the evidence overwhelmingly proves that by making tweaks to your eating habits, losing weight (if needed) and being more active, you can not only slash your risk but also improve your health overall.
Current stats suggest that 2 million Australians have pre-diabetes and are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to involve starving yourself on a strict diet or denying yourself the foods you love. The Doc suggests that making small, simple changes to your daily routine, and sticking with them, is often all that’s required.
Here are the Doc’s 6 tips to help turn around pre-diabetes:
1. Knowing your numbers
The first step is to understand whether you’re in the ‘at-risk’ bracket. For most of us, its excess weight that will cause our blood sugar levels to start to rise however knowing your overall body composition and in particular your body fat percentage, visceral fat percentage, and muscle mass can show warning signs for pre-diabetes.
The simplest way to work out your pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes risk is to visit one of our doctors who can also measure your composition using our body composition monitors. This will help our doctors work our whether a person is carrying excess fat and may be at risk. But, there are other factors too including whether you have a close family member with type 2 diabetes, your age, and whether you have high blood pressure.
One of our fabulous patients using our body composition scales with one of our prescribing Doctors.
You don’t have to be overweight to be at risk of type 2 diabetes.
To check how well you’re controlling your blood sugar, you can ask one of our doctors for a blood test.
2. Get with the Doc’s weight loss program
If blood tests show you have prediabetes or you are at risk, our prescribing GPs can help you begin the Doctor’s weight loss program, which incorporates calorie controlled fresh meals, resistance training exercises and lifestyle changes. It’s also possible to do it remotely using video calls.
Pictured: Dr Phillip Wuth, Australian GP and founder of the Doctor's Kitchen Australia
“If you feel you might be at risk, we recommend checking in with one of our GPs across the country to understand your overall health and blood sugar levels, and if you are at risk, to start the Doctor’s weight loss program”, says Dr Wuth, Australian GP and founder of The Doctor’s Kitchen Australia.
3. Focus on fat loss
The best way to reduce your risk of diabetes is to lose fat by reducing your body fat and visceral fat.
When someone loses weight, they may lose water and muscle, not just fat. Fat loss refers to losing only excess fat from the body.
The Doctor’s weight loss program focusses on losing fat rather than overall weight.
Studies suggest that the onset of diabetes could be prevented or delayed by losing just 5 percent of body fat. That’s around 4 to 6 kgs for a person that weighs 90 kilos, and exercising for 30 minutes each day (mostly walking).
Losing fat and maintaining your muscle is more important than overall weight loss alone especially for overall health and reducing the risk factors of diabetes.
4. Healthy eating
If you want to see healthy changes the Doc recommends eating a variety of seasonal foods. The Doc’s calorie controlled meals includes lean proteins and dairy, whole grains and legumes and lots of fresh and leafy produce. Portion control is key.
Aim for meals that are filled with non-starchy vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. This will fill you up on fewer calories and guarantee you a good dose of fibre to improve your blood sugar control.
The Doc offers fresh healthy meals delivered to your door to help you make your changes sustainable and lifelong.
To work out a meal plan that is right for you, take a look at the Doc’s range of healthy fresh meals.
5. Resistance training
Emerging research suggests that resistance training has the power to combat reduce risk factors in developing type 2 diabetes. Resistance training builds strength of muscles and when you do these exercises repeatedly your muscles become stronger.
The Doc’s weight loss program includes a resistance training program (beginner, intermediate and advanced) that you follow from the comfort of your home using your own body weight (like squats, push ups and chin-ups) to help you maintain your muscle and improve your health.
The 6 week Resistance Workout Plan is tailored to your fitness level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and designed to help maintain your lean muscle mass to boost metabolism and improve muscular fitness. At home, or outdoors.
Strength training can be more beneficial to blood sugar regulation and shows best results when strength training is combined with aerobic exercise.
It not only helps keep weight off but it improves muscle mass and can improve the way the body uses insulin, helping keep blood sugar levels lower.
There’s no need to be a pro-marathon runner! The goal is to increase your heart rate through moderate intensity activities, at least 5 days a week.
6. Keep calm
While stress itself doesn’t cause diabetes, some research suggests it can raise your blood sugar. This is because, when you’re stressed, your body releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline to prepare you for ‘fight or flight’, which makes you feel alert.
People with prediabetes may benefit from various mindfulness techniques and breathing exercises to avoid stress building up.
This might involve going for a walk without your phone or other distractions and focusing on the surroundings, or choosing a regular time where you sit somewhere quietly with your eyes closed while you slowly breathe in and out, counting to five every time.
Our main goal here at The Doctor’s Kitchen Australia is to prevent disease and to help you make modifications to your lifestyle for long term, sustainable change.
Without sustained lifestyle changes, including healthy eating, increased activity and losing fat, approximately 1 in 3 people with pre-diabetes will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes.
Why not take advantage of all this good news and find out if you are at risk? Book in with one of our prescribing doctors to start improving your weight and health now.