Advertisement

Type 2 Diabetes: 5 Simple Strategies for Healthier Habits

Try these tips to help develop a healthy routine and stay on track with managing type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes: 5 Simple Strategies for Healthier Habits

In addition to working with your healthcare provider and adhering to your treatment plan, making changes to your habits and routines can also have a positive impact on managing type 2 diabetes. However, making changes to habits and routines can be challenging. If you have struggled in the past with developing healthier habits, the strategies below may help.

Define your targets
When setting goals for diabetes control, it’s important to be specific about what you want to achieve and what you will do to get there. For example, “I’m going to eat healthier foods and exercise more,” is too vague a goal. A better way to frame this would be, “I am going to add a serving of leafy greens to dinner each night and walk for an extra 15 minutes each day.”

Identify weak spots
In order to make improvements in any aspect of life, you will need to recognize the areas that you need to improve. One good way to highlight your strong and weak areas is to keep a diary, where you make note of what you eat, how much activity/exercise you get, and when you check you blood sugar. This can also help you discover habits you want to change, like snacking on unhealthy foods between meals. Remember to think positively about weaknesses—do not to view them as shortcomings or failures, but areas in which you can improve. It is also important to write down your goals, to give yourself a visual reminder of what you want to do and how you will do it. Monitoring your progress also increases the likelihood of achieving your goals.

Take small steps
Changing a routine or habit is difficult for most people, and making a big change in your life can be overwhelming. When making a change, it is best to start small and keep it simple. For example, if you need to improve your diet, choose a method that’s easy to follow, such as using the plate method to make sure you’re eating the right portions of different types of foods at meals (50 percent non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent protein, 25 percent grains and starchy foods). Or, if you are focusing on exercise, start with an afternoon walk, and once you’ve established your routine, add a little more.

Seek support from others
Another thing you can do for yourself is to set up a support system. This can include family, friends and other people who are also managing diabetes or who have goals similar to your own. For instance, you may want to make lunch plans with a friend who is also trying to eat healthier, or find someone you can exercise with on a regular basis. You may also want to join a support group for people who have diabetes, one that either meets online or in person. It can help having people to talk to who are also tackling the challenges of managing type 2 diabetes.

Improve your knowledge
Expanding your understanding of type 2 diabetes and how it is managed can help you find new ways to improve—and luckily, there are many resources available for people who are looking to learn more. In addition to articles and online resources, consider picking up a book or a magazine about a topic relevant to type 2 diabetes. You can also look for classes and workshops through your local hospital, medical group or community center.

Medically reviewed in October 2018.

Interactive Patient Journey: Becoming a Healthy Diabetic
Interactive Patient Journey: Becoming a Healthy Diabetic
Interactive Doctor Discussion Tool: Type 2 Diabetes
Interactive Doctor Discussion Tool: Type 2 Diabetes
An Interactive Journey Into Diabetes
An Interactive Journey Into Diabetes
Everything You Need to Know About Type 2 Diabetes
Everything You Need to Know About Type 2 DiabetesEverything You Need to Know About Type 2 DiabetesEverything You Need to Know About Type 2 DiabetesEverything You Need to Know About Type 2 Diabetes
A Beginner's Guide to Exercising With Diabetes
A Beginner's Guide to Exercising With DiabetesA Beginner's Guide to Exercising With DiabetesA Beginner's Guide to Exercising With DiabetesA Beginner's Guide to Exercising With Diabetes
3 Diabetes Numbers That Are as Important as A1C
3 Diabetes Numbers That Are as Important as A1C
My Diabetes Story: David
My Diabetes Story: David
Good Carb, Bad Carb: Do You Know the Difference?
Good Carb, Bad Carb: Do You Know the Difference?
Protect Your Teeth and Gums From Diabetes
Protect Your Teeth and Gums From Diabetes
Eating Out with Diabetes: 7 Mistakes to Avoid
Eating Out with Diabetes: 7 Mistakes to AvoidEating Out with Diabetes: 7 Mistakes to AvoidEating Out with Diabetes: 7 Mistakes to AvoidEating Out with Diabetes: 7 Mistakes to Avoid
6 Bad Habits to Nix If You Have Diabetes
6 Bad Habits to Nix If You Have Diabetes6 Bad Habits to Nix If You Have Diabetes6 Bad Habits to Nix If You Have Diabetes6 Bad Habits to Nix If You Have Diabetes
A Guide to Diabetes-Friendly Movie Snacks
A Guide to Diabetes-Friendly Movie Snacks
What to Know—and What to Forget—About Diabetes
What to Know—and What to Forget—About DiabetesWhat to Know—and What to Forget—About DiabetesWhat to Know—and What to Forget—About DiabetesWhat to Know—and What to Forget—About Diabetes
How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues
9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues
3 Easy Ways to Manage Your Diabetes
3 Easy Ways to Manage Your Diabetes
What to Do If Your Blood Sugar Drops
What to Do If Your Blood Sugar Drops
The Common Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
The Common Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Get a Good Night’s Sleep for Better Blood Sugar
Get a Good Night’s Sleep for Better Blood Sugar
6 Foods That Won’t Cause Your Blood Sugar to Spike
6 Foods That Won’t Cause Your Blood Sugar to Spike 6 Foods That Won’t Cause Your Blood Sugar to Spike 6 Foods That Won’t Cause Your Blood Sugar to Spike 6 Foods That Won’t Cause Your Blood Sugar to Spike
Living Well With Type 2 Diabetes
Living Well With Type 2 Diabetes
Your Diabetes-Friendly Shopping List
Your Diabetes-Friendly Shopping List
How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Your Organs
How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Your Organs
Know Your Risk: Diabetic Heart Disease
Know Your Risk: Diabetic Heart Disease
5 Ways High Blood Sugar Damages the Body
5 Ways High Blood Sugar Damages the Body5 Ways High Blood Sugar Damages the Body5 Ways High Blood Sugar Damages the Body5 Ways High Blood Sugar Damages the Body
How Diabetes Can Impact Your Sex Life
How Diabetes Can Impact Your Sex Life
Which Type of Exercise Is Best to Manage My Diabetes?
Which Type of Exercise Is Best to Manage My Diabetes?
How Glucose and Insulin Help Your Body Function
How Glucose and Insulin Help Your Body Function
5 Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Ideas
5 Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Ideas5 Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Ideas5 Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Ideas5 Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Ideas
Treating Your Type 2 Diabetes
Treating Your Type 2 Diabetes
Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
Diabetes-Friendly Snacks to Keep in Your Desk
Diabetes-Friendly Snacks to Keep in Your DeskDiabetes-Friendly Snacks to Keep in Your DeskDiabetes-Friendly Snacks to Keep in Your DeskDiabetes-Friendly Snacks to Keep in Your Desk
4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes
4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes
See How Type 2 Diabetes Affects the Whole Body—Not Just the Pancreas
See How Type 2 Diabetes Affects the Whole Body—Not Just the Pancreas
Are You Ready to Try a Plant-Based Diet?
Are You Ready to Try a Plant-Based Diet?
How to Exercise With Type 2 Diabetes
How to Exercise With Type 2 DiabetesHow to Exercise With Type 2 DiabetesHow to Exercise With Type 2 DiabetesHow to Exercise With Type 2 Diabetes
7 Tips for Traveling With Type 2 Diabetes
7 Tips for Traveling With Type 2 Diabetes7 Tips for Traveling With Type 2 Diabetes7 Tips for Traveling With Type 2 Diabetes7 Tips for Traveling With Type 2 Diabetes
The Best and Worst Foods for Diabetes
The Best and Worst Foods for Diabetes
Sip This Peanut Butter and Raspberry Smoothie
Sip This Peanut Butter and Raspberry Smoothie
7 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body—And Why You Should Track It
7 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body—And Why You Should Track It 7 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body—And Why You Should Track It 7 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body—And Why You Should Track It 7 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body—And Why You Should Track It