Write down exactly what you eat for three days. “Keeping a food diary may help you become more mindful of what and how much you’re actually consuming,” says Georgia Giannopoulos, R.D.-A.P., registered dietitian and manager of NYPBeHealthy, NewYork-Presbyterian’s health and well-being program. “If you decide to see an expert, bringing your food diary may help jump-start the creation of your personalized nutrition plan.” Many diet and fitness apps make it easy to track your food, calories, and exercise, adds Seley.
Downsize your plates. “Using a smaller plate may help you control the amount of food you eat without even realizing it,” says Giannopoulos. “Try swapping a dinner plate with a salad plate. Food portions may look larger than they actually are, which may help you eat less.” Another tip: Divide snacks into small servings ahead of time so you’re less tempted to grab handfuls from a large bag.
Fill up on fiber. “It’s smart to switch from white bread, white rice and fruit juice for more high-fiber foods such as whole-grain bread, brown rice, and whole fruit, which reduces your rise in blood sugar after eating,” says Seley.
Save carbs for later. “Our studies have shown that if you have carbohydrates at the end of a meal instead of at the beginning, there isn’t as big an impact on blood sugar,” says Dr. Aronne. “Start with veggies and lean protein first, so your blood sugar rises more gradually.”
What if the scale still isn’t budging?
“There are also prescription medications and treatments that can help with both weight and blood sugar,” says Dr. Aronne. “Right now, those medications are approved for diabetes only, but we are trying to get them approved for prediabetes and weight loss, as well.”
The bottom line: There’s no reason to set hard-to-reach diet and exercise goals.
“When it comes to prediabetes, small lifestyle changes really make a difference,” says Seley. “You can change your future to a healthy one.”