Living with diabetes requires a lot of planning and self-control. However, that doesn’t mean you must let restrictions become part of your daily life. Instead, work to create a lifestyle that’s as unrestricted as possible. Doing so allows you to enjoy the best parts of being a diabetic while limiting the negatives. Restrictive lifestyles often occur due to a lack of knowledge or fear; they’re not necessary if you plan your day properly and take small steps at a time instead of going big right away. However, if you find yourself allowing limitations in your day-to-day life, here are some tips for living without restrictions:
First, let’s talk about the most important thing you can do for yourself with diabetes: eat healthily. It may seem like a no-brainer, but some people with diabetes struggle with bad eating habits. To avoid restricting your lifestyle due to your diabetes, make it a priority to eat healthy, balanced meals every day.
Make sure your meals consist of lean protein, wholesome whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruit and vegetables. While you may feel like you don’t have time to prepare meals, eating healthy takes little time. If you have a few minutes here and there, you can prepare healthy meals that will help you better manage your diabetes. When you make healthy meals a priority, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
Many exercisers begin a fitness program without first assessing their fitness level. Before embarking on an intense exercise routine, be sure to consult your doctor and get an assessment of your fitness level. Once you know where you’re at, you can then choose an exercise plan that’s right for you. For instance, someone who is unfit may wish to begin with walking, while someone who is already fit may wish to begin with running. Start with one form of physical activity and slowly add to your routine as your fitness level improves. Using this approach will help you avoid getting injured.
Keeping your insulin, glucose meter and other diabetes-related items in your purse or pocket while you’re out can feel like a restriction, but in reality. Invest in easy-to-carry diabetes-related items and store them for emergencies such as CGM supplier Byram Healthcare. This will help you to be well equipped when you are going for a long vacation. If you don’t have your diabetes-specific items with you, you’re at a higher risk of needing emergency medical care. Having your items with you in case of an emergency is a much better option than having to wait for medical assistance to arrive if you need immediate assistance.
Asking your doctor questions and being honest with your treatment plan will help you avoid restrictive lifestyles. If your doctor does suggest a lifestyle change, such as consuming a specific amount of carbohydrates or taking a new medication, be honest with yourself about why you’re making the change. Ask yourself why you think the lifestyle change is necessary, and why you think it will benefit you. While it may be difficult to be open-minded and non-judgmental when your lifestyle is under threat, try to avoid being defensive.
Once you’ve gotten into the habit of making healthy meals and staying active throughout the day, you can begin to experiment with other ways to enjoy your life without restricting your activities. For instance, you may have always wanted to try scuba diving, but have been hesitant because it involves being underwater for long periods of time and breathing through a snorkel. If you’re concerned about the negative impact that diabetes might have on your diving experience, talk to your doctor. Once you know what’s safe and allowed, you can make an informed decision about whether to do it or not.