Type 2 diabetes prevention has been proven to be effective, feasible, and cost-effective. Taking small actions to lose weight, such as eating less and moving more, can help you avoid or delay type 2 diabetes and its complications. The tips below are based on a Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study that found that even persons who were at high risk for type 2 diabetes may prevent or delay the disease.

Reduce Portion Sizes

The amount of food you eat is measured in portions, such as 1 cup of fruit or 6 ounces of meat. Eat half a bagel instead of a whole bagel or a 3-ounce hamburger instead of a 6-ounce hamburger if you’re attempting to eat fewer portions. Three ounces is about the size of a deck of cards or your fist.


  • To feel less hungry, drink a large glass of water 10 minutes before your meal
  • Keep meat, chicken, turkey, and fish portions to about 3 ounces
  • Share one dessert


  • To help you take smaller bites and eat less, use teaspoons, salad forks, or child-size forks, spoons, and knives
  • Serve your dinner on a salad or breakfast dish to make less food appear to be more
  • Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you are full
  • Instead of watching TV, listen to music while you eat (people tend to eat more while watching TV)


Try filling your plate like this:

  • 1/4 protein
  • 1/4 grains
  • 1/2 vegetables and fruit
  • dairy (low-fat or skim milk)

Move More Each Day

Every day, find new methods to be more active. 5 days a week, try to be active for at least 30 minutes. Walking is an excellent method to begin and can be done practically anywhere and at any time. Cycling, swimming, and dancing are all excellent ways to get extra exercise.

If you’re seeking for a safe area to exercise, inquire about walking maps, community centers, and neighboring parks from your local parks department or health department.


  • Show your kids the dances you used to do when you were their age
  • Turn up the music and jam while doing household chores
  • Work out with a video that shows you how to get active


  • Deliver a message in person to a co-worker instead of sending an e-mail
  • Take the stairs to your office. Or take the stairs as far as you can, and then take the elevator the rest of the way
  • March in place while you watch TV
  • Choose a place to walk that is safe, such as your local mall
  • Get off of the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way home or to work if it is safe

Make Healthy Food Choices

Look for ways to eat more healthily. This can aid with weight management and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Increase your intake of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Reduce your consumption of high-fat foods such as whole milk, cheese, and fried foods. This will assist you in reducing the quantity of fat and calories you consume on a daily basis.


  • Buy a mix of vegetables when you go food shopping
  • Choose veggie toppings like spinach, broccoli, and peppers for your pizza
  • Experiment with dishes from different countries. There are more veggies, whole grains, and legumes in many of these dishes
  • Purchase frozen and canned vegetables that are low in sodium (salt). They may be less expensive and last longer than fresh ones
  • Serve your favorite vegetable and a salad with low-fat macaroni and cheese


  • Stir fry, broil or bake with non-stick spray or low-salt broth. Cook with less oil and butter
  • Try not to snack while cooking or cleaning the kitchen
  • Cook with smaller amounts of cured meats (smoked turkey and turkey bacon). They are high in salt


  • Cook with a mix of spices instead of salt
  • Try different recipes for baking or broiling meat, chicken, and fish
  • Choose foods with little or no added sugar to reduce calories
  • Choose brown rice instead of white rice


  • When dining out, get a large veggie salad with a low-calorie salad dressing. Share your main course with a friend or have the remaining half wrapped and ready to go
  • When eating fast food, make healthy selections. Instead of a cheeseburger, try grilled chicken (without the skin)
  • Skip the fries and chips and choose a salad
  • Order a fruit salad instead of ice cream or cake


  • Find a water bottle you enjoy (from a church or club event, a favorite sports team, etc.) and use it every day to drink water
  • Peel and eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice
  • If you normally drink whole milk, try switching to 2% milk. It has a lower fat content than whole milk. Try 1 percent or fat-free (skim) milk once you’ve become used to 2 percent milk. This will assist you in reducing the quantity of fat and calories you consume on a daily basis
  • Drink water instead of juice and regular soda


  • Whole grains, such as whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, and quinoa, should account for at least half of your grains
  • Use whole grain bread for toast and sandwiches
  • Keep a healthy snack with you, such as fresh fruit, a handful of nuts, and whole grain crackers
  • Slow down at snack time. Eating a bag of low-fat popcorn takes longer than eating a candy bar
  • Share a bowl of fruit with family and friends
  • Eat a healthy snack or meal before shopping for food. Do not shop on an empty stomach
  • Shop at your local farmer’s market for fresh, local food


  • Make a list of food you need to buy before you go to the store
  • For a week, keep a written record of what you eat. It can assist you in recognizing when you tend to overeat or consume items that are high in fat or calories


  • Compare food labels on packages
  • Choose foods lower in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, calories, salt, and added sugars

Take Care of Your Mind, Body & Soul

  • Take time to change the way you eat and get active. Try one new food or activity a week
  • Find ways to relax. Try deep breathing, taking a walk or listening to your favorite music
  • Pamper yourself. Read a book, take a long bath or meditate
  • Think before you eat. Try not to eat when you are bored, upset or unhappy

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