The Institute Blog

posted by

Guedy Arniella, LCSW

Guedy is the Director of Community Health and Outreach for the Institute. She is also a master trainer in the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Taking Small Steps to Prevent Diabetes

December 19, 2016

Taking Small Steps to Prevent Diabetes

The holiday season is a good time to focus on diabetes and what we can do to prevent it. During the holidays we gather with friends and family to enjoy many traditions — which can involve food.

Over 700,000 New Yorkers (in New York City) have diabetes and one third of these people do not know they have it. Many New Yorkers have family members that have diabetes, so they think they also will get it.  But this is not true.  We can stop diabetes together!

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and it can be prevented! Researchers have found that carrying extra weight is what causes type 2 diabetes. So, all we have to do is lose just a little bit of weight — about 5 to 7% of our current weight — to prevent or delay getting diabetes.  For a person that weighs 200 lbs, that means losing only 10 lbs!  Doesn’t seem like a lot to lose to prevent a disease that can lead to many health complications, right?  So let’s make a pledge to take the small steps that can lead to a healthier life without diabetes.  Here are some things you can start doing TODAY:

  1. Work on changing what you eat. Try adding 5 to 7 more fruits and vegetables to your meals every day.
  2. Switch to low fat or nonfat versions of the things you love.
  3. Cut the fat when preparing food. You can choose meats that have little fat and trim the fat you see. Grill, bake or steam foods to cut back even more on fat.
  4. Don’t eat that chicken skin! It’s pure fat and has tons of calories!  Use spices to give you that great flavor you love!
  5. Use the  healthy plate method to guide you and help you make these changes without having to count calories.
  6. Move more in your everyday life! Get up and dance! Or go for a walk. Get off the train or bus a stop before to add some steps to your day. Aim for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.  You can do 10 minutes at a time, 3 times a day, and it still counts!
  7. Get friends and family involved to make moving more fun. And you can support each other too!

It is not easy to change the things we are used to, especially the way we eat and how active we are.  But starting small and working our way up little by little, helps.  And making these changes will lead to that small amount of weight loss that will result in a diabetes-free life.  It’s worth it!  You deserve it!  And it can be done!


Learn more about our diabetes services here: http://www.institute.org/health-care/services/diabetes-care/