People diagnosed with diabetes are usually under a doctor’s care to manage their symptoms. Physicians regularly monitor their patient’s weight, blood pressure, A1C, and more. This is critically important for the care and monitoring of diabetes.
Clinicians are busy – they’re working against the clock and often find themselves limited in time. Formulating a holistic plan for individual lifestyle changes and goals isn’t often on their agenda, however, a plan of action is equally as important in the treatment of prediabetes or diabetes.
This is where Fresh Tri is immensely valuable. Our Iterative Mindset Method™ (IMM) is a support tool – it is used as a care extension for diabetes patients and their doctors. It doesn’t replace physicians or dieticians; it simply acts as an effective tool in the patient’s toolbox to bridge any gaps in goal-setting behaviors and accomplishing long-term lifestyle changes.
In this article, we will look into the challenges that people living with diabetes face, lifestyle changes that improve their health and daily lives, and how the Iterative Mindset Method™ is the best tool to make small changes every day that add up over time.
Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes Patients
Making lifestyle changes is a critical aspect of effectively managing diabetes. By addressing diet, exercise, stress management, and sleep quality, individuals can take proactive steps toward improving their overall health and managing their blood sugar levels.
Studies have shown that a lifestyle intervention of a low-calorie and low-fat diet and moderate-intensity exercise for 150 minutes each week caused a 67% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to metformin, a common diabetes treatment.1
For those living with diabetes, maintaining a balanced and mindful diet is paramount. The focus should be on consuming complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, as they have a gentler effect on blood sugar levels. Portion control is important in preventing glucose spikes, and lean proteins can help stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Regular physical activity plays a significant role in managing diabetes. Engaging in both aerobic exercises (like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming) and strength training can improve insulin sensitivity and help regulate blood sugar levels. However, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially for those with underlying health conditions.
Chronic stress can negatively impact blood sugar levels by triggering the release of stress hormones like cortisol.2 Practicing stress-reduction techniques such as good sleep health, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation can help manage stress levels. Engaging in hobbies, spending time in nature, and fostering social connections also contribute to emotional well-being, which in turn positively affects diabetes management.
Remember, each individual’s needs are unique, and it’s important to work closely with healthcare professionals, such as doctors and registered dietitians, to tailor lifestyle changes to your specific situation. The IMM encourages patients to approach these changes as iterative cycles of learning and adaptation, allowing them to discover what works best for their bodies and lifestyles over time.
Understanding the Iterative Mindset Method
The IMM uses neuroscience to encourage individuals to embrace change as a series of iterations, each offering new insights and opportunities for growth. A key element of the IMM is a fluid and flexible mindset. Rigid, inflexible thinking makes change more difficult. With a flexible mindset, you can accept your current state as is and not judge yourself as you try new things and face various outcomes – both good and bad.
This is the key to moving toward healthier habits in a meaningful, practical way. The IMM allows individuals with diabetes to recognize the path to successful diabetes management is not a linear journey. Instead, it is an ongoing process of learning, adapting, and refining strategies.
For diabetic patients, adopting a fluid mindset means understanding setbacks and fluctuations in blood sugar levels, weekly exercise time, and weight are part of the journey, and each experience is a chance to refine their approach.
In the context of diabetes management, setbacks like a high blood sugar reading can be disheartening. With the IMM, people are encouraged to see these moments as valuable feedback rather than failure. This shift in perspective allows patients to analyze what triggered the deviation and use it as a stepping stone toward refining their strategies.
Diabetes management involves many variables, including stress levels, sleep quality, and physical activity. Rather than adhering rigidly to a single approach, patients are encouraged to continuously assess their strategies and adapt them based on changing circumstances. In doing so, they can make informed adjustments to their diet, exercise routine, sleep quality, or medication regimen. This iterative approach empowers individuals to find what works best for their unique needs and lifestyles.
Living with diabetes requires resilience in the face of challenges. The IMM nurtures this resilience by teaching patients to view setbacks not as roadblocks but as opportunities to grow stronger. By embracing the process of learning and adapting, individuals become better equipped to face the inevitable ups and downs of diabetes management with a positive and empowered outlook.
How Does a Mindset Shift Improve Diabetic Care?
Many patients who find out they are diabetic or prediabetic face fear and shock with the diagnosis. Often, they haven’t even experienced symptoms, and suddenly, they are told that they need to make significant changes to their diet, exercise regimen, and other habits.
These changes are often overwhelming – patients quickly find themselves in a cycle of yo-yo dieting, which results in perceived failure, all resulting in adoption of unhealthy habits. With the IMM, we work with people living with diabetes to shift their mindset to embrace the journey to a healthier life – learning, adapting, and refining strategies.
Iterative Mindset Method for Managing Diabetes
The Iterative Mindset MethodTM from Fresh Tri transforms how patients approach their health journey. By shifting from a fixed mindset to a flexible mindset, setting realistic goals, adapting strategies, and cultivating resilience, individuals with diabetes can harness the power of their minds to make meaningful and sustainable lifestyle changes and lead fuller, healthier lives.
With each iteration, they move closer to mastering diabetes management and enjoying a higher quality of life. Download the Fresh Tri app to try it for yourself.
Disclaimer: This Website and Fresh Tri™ do not provide medical advice. All content provided on this website and in the Fresh Tri app, including text, images, audio, video, graphics, and other material, is for informational purposes only. No material on this site or in Fresh Tri is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, including any weight loss program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information you saw or heard on this website or within Fresh Tri.
- Patel R, Keyes D. Lifestyle Modification for Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention. [Updated 2023 Jan 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK585052/
Sharma, K., Akre, S., Chakole, S., & Wanjari, M. B. (2022). Stress-Induced Diabetes: A Review. Cureus, 14(9). https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.29142