7 Strategies to Reverse or Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes and pre-diabetes are at epidemic levels today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says Type 2 diabetes in America has tripled since the 1980s and one in three Americans will have diabetes by mid-century. Staggering statistics, huh?

It’s not just adults who suffer. In less than a decade, the rate of pre-diabetes or diabetes in adolescents has increased from 9 percent to 23 percent. That’s almost one in four teenagers whose life quality will be reduced or tragically cut short.

We can’t let these statistics continue to increase, and the best way I know to reverse this disturbing trend involves getting blood sugar and insulin levels under control. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease. That's good news because you can use lifestyle strategies to reverse this quickly.

I take an integrated approach to improve insulin sensitivity, which means your body can actually hear insulin’s signal. With this approach, you stabilize blood sugar and lower insulin. Your body starts to burn rather than store fat. You feel and look better. You dramatically reduce your risk for heart disease, cancer, and other chronic health concerns.

Among my big needle movers to reverse or prevent diabetes, I’ve found these seven simple strategies incredibly effective to balance blood sugar and lower insulin.

  1. Vitamin D. Actually a hormone, vitamin D helps your body become more insulin sensitive. Ideally, you'll get 20 minutes of sunshine every single day without sunscreen, but we’ve become sun-phobic, so supplementing probably becomes the best way to go. Ask your doctor a 25-Hydroxyvitamin D test. Ideally, you’ll fall within the 50 and 80 mg/ ml range. If not, supplement with 5,000 – 10,000 IUs and retest. A good maintenance dose is 2,000 – 5,000 IUs. Higher doses of vitamin D work better with vitamin K. You get both in this formula.
  2. Fiber. Among its benefits, fiber can slow down your blood sugar response. Low-sugar impact carbs like quinoa, squashes, and lentils come loaded with fiber. So do berries, nuts and seeds, legumes, squash, and avocado. Ideally, you’ll aim for 50 grams of fiber daily. That can become a challenge, which is why I recommend Extra Fiber. Little trick to blast hunger and cravings: Throw Extra Fiber or chia seeds in some water about 30 minutes before a meal to lower your appetite and balance your blood sugar response to that subsequent meal.
  3. Sleep. Even one poor night of sleep – that means not getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep – totally changes your hormones. You become more insulin and leptin resistant, which means you're hungrier and better at storing fat. One study found even a partial night’s sleep deprivation contributes to insulin resistance, paving the way for diabetes and obesity. Your stress hormone cortisol becomes higher, your hunger hormone ghrelin level becomes higher, and… Well, you get my point. Nothing good comes from crappy sleep.
  4. Weight resistance. Studies show lifting heavy can help you become more insulin sensitive. Skip the machines and focus instead on full-body exercises like push ups, pull ups, squats, and pull downs. Aim for two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, which is the hypertrophy range for weight training.
  5. Burst training. Bursting to blast fat actually makes you an all-day fat-burning machine while helping your body handle stress better. The trick involves going 30 - 60 seconds all out, then recover actively twice as long. That could be going up the stairs for thirty seconds, walking back down them for a minute, and then doing it again.
  6. Control stress. Chronic stress actually can keep your blood sugar elevated. Elevated blood sugar means higher insulin levels, burning out your pancreas and creating the perfect storm for diabetes. Unfortunately, stress management often gets short shift. Find what works for you. That might be yoga, a hot bath, playing with your dog, meditating, or having a tea date with your bestie.
  7. Go low-sugar impact. I wasn't exaggerating when I called it America's number one addiction. Sugar hides everywhere. In diet foods, packaged foods, dressings, and even sugar substitutes. Rather than completely cutting out all sugar, know which sugars to choose and which to lose. In my Sugar Impact Diet, I’ve designed an easy-to-follow three-cycle plan that helps you gradually taper off sugar rather than suffer deprivation and other miseries cold turkey can create.

I’m giving Wellness readers my FREE 4 x 4 Workout, which combines burst training with weight resistance in just 15 minutes, three times a week. Grab yours here.

Does diabetes run in your family or have you been diagnosed? What one strategy would you add to this list to reverse or prevent this devastating disease? Share yours below or on my Facebook page.


8/10/2015 7:00:00 AM
JJ Virgin
Written by JJ Virgin
Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food intolerances and crushing their sugar cravings. She is author of New York Times Bestsellers The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days, The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose W...
View Full Profile Website: http://www.jjvirgin.com/

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