Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes with the Diabetes Challenge

Why am I eating?

Sometimes you eat because you are hungry. But sometimes you eat because you are stressed, bored or sad.

Challenge:

  • Before you eat, ask yourself, “Why am I eating?” Is it because you’re stressed, bored or sad?
  • Ask a friend or family member to help you find something else to do.
  • Walk to a friend’s house or play basketball.

Don’t be fooled!

Know that stores and restaurants have tricked us into eating more. Ads for foods make you want to buy and eat the food, and portion sizes are much bigger.

Challenge:

  • When you see an ad, ask yourself, “Why are they trying to get me to buy this? Is it healthy for me?”
  • When you are buying food, ask yourself, “How many calories does this have?” You can check on the Internet.

Junk food alert!

Junk foods are unhealthy foods that taste good, like chips, cookies and ice cream.

Challenge:

  • Buy only small portions of danger foods, like a one-scoop ice cream cone, a four-pack of cookies or a single, small bag of chips.
  • Have a contest with a friend: How many days can you go without eating junk food?

A family effort

You and your family can make healthy changes together.

Challenge:

  • Take three walks with a family member or friend this week.
  • Eat at the table three times this week.
  • Don’t bring any junk food into the house this week. Keep fruits and veggies around the house instead.

Liquid sugar

Soda, juice and other sweet drinks add 250-500 calories for each bottle you drink. Switch to diet drinks or water. You will start to lose weight.

Challenge:

  • Check the calories on the label every time you buy a drink. (Is it showing one serving or two? Some bottles have two servings.)
  • Switch to diet drinks, low-fat milk, or water for a week.

Careful at the corner store

Look for healthy, delicious foods at the corner store. Resist the high-calorie, high-fat snacks.

Challenge:

  • Get your friends to help hunt for healthier snacks. Look at the labels together.
  • Sub in a healthy snack today.
    • Baked chips, bag of apple slices, cheese cubes, nuts or granola bars, water, diet soda, diet flavored water or low-fat milk

Exercise

Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day. It’s worth it. It can lower your blood sugars and help you get to your goal weight.

Challenge:

  • Find a fun way to exercise three times this week. For example:
    • Walk or jog with a friend. Try alternating jogging and walking.
    • Play basketball with your friends.
    • Play a dance video game.
  • Take the stairs in your building three times this week or get off the bus five blocks early.
  • Find a friend who has an exercise goal and talk about how you can support each other.

Portions

Many of us have been taught to finish all the food in front of us. Portions have become bigger and bigger. Using smaller bowls and plates can help.

Challenge:

  • Don’t buy big bags of junk foods, like chips or cookies, this week. Buy a snack pack for yourself.
  • Three times this week, model your plate like this: ½ vegetables, ¼ starch (like pasta, potatoes or bread), ¼ protein (like chicken, beans or red meat).

Pay-off!

Making healthy changes is hard. Know that there will be pay-off for your hard work.

  • Your bloods sugars come down.
  • Your blood pressure comes down.
  • Your cholesterol comes down.
  • You have more energy.
  • You and your doctor may decide to decrease some of your medicines, including insulin!

Your diabetes team cares about you. We know you can get healthier, and we will help you get there. You can do it!