My doctor just told me I am 'borderline diabetic'. I am not sure what that means and I am scared! I know I need to lose weight, (I am 30 pounds over weight), but I do not know what to do first. Should I go on a low carb diet? Will I need to take insulin? Should I join a gym? Help!
I know those are scary words to hear from your doctor. Borderline diabetes is a term often used when certain risk factors are uncovered during a health exam. The doctor typically looks at your glucose or blood sugar to determine if your body is metabolizing carbohydrates efficiently.
A huge part of any lifestyle change is finding support to help make positive changes. Your doctor and a registered dietitian can help guide you towards attainable goals. Ask your family and friends for help. They too will benefit by getting fit with you! A low carbohydrate diet is unnecessary, but a meal plan with whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates is a good place to start. Switch regular pasta and bread to whole wheat, and white rice to brown rice. Limit sugary, processed foods such as cookies and cakes and opt for fresh fruits and low fat dairy. Replace sugary drinks with water.
If you are into the gym scene, by all means do it! Some gyms offer a variety of classes to keep almost everyone interested. If the gym is overwhelming for you, start small. A walk during your lunch hour or after dinner with the family is a great de-stressor as well a calorie buster. An inexpensive pedometer can help motivate you.
A food and exercise diary can help shed light on problem areas, which in turn can help you focus on attainable goals. Good luck!
Carol Guarino, MS, RD, CDE