Diet and exercise goals always rank high on New Year's Resolution lists.  But rising food prices and the uncertain state of post-holiday bank accounts leave many to wonder if they can afford to make resolutions this year, let alone stick to them.  So if you or a loved one has diabetes, or is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, how can you afford a healthy lifestyle in 2009?

"The common misconception is that New Year's resolutions to improve health and wellness require a financial investment, such as a gym membership or a new meal plan," commented Sue McLaughlin, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association.  "So it is easy to think 'Why bother making New Year's resolutions?' especially in this current economy.  But simple -- and inexpensive -- lifestyle changes can make a big impact in preventing diabetes-related complications and improving health and wellness to prevent disease."

Weight gain is a major risk factor for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, which affect nearly one in four Americans.  In addition, people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes need to work toward achieving a healthy weight to prevent deadly diabetes complications, such as heart disease and stroke.

The American Diabetes Association offers cost-saving tips to help you adhere to your New Year's Resolutions:

 Investment advice - Invest 15 minutes a week to plan your grocery shopping and menus.  Studies show you pay more at the store when you are not organized.  When planning for the week, also invest time for physical activity.   Bad timing - Fresh produce purchased out of season is more expensive.  Winter offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, citrus fruits, squash, carrots, and broccoli.  If you crave summer produce, buy frozen or canned varieties.   Embrace leftovers - Instead of making one large chicken casserole to last the week, turn the chicken into two or three meals.  You will waste less food and enjoy dinnertime more.   Small steps. Big rewards. - Going gung-ho on resolutions can make you spend more money and lead to quicker burn out.  Set smaller, attainable goals for your nutrition and physical activity resolutions.  Eat an extra serving of vegetables three times a week or take a ten-minute walk during your day.  

The American Diabetes Association's nutrition and physical activity guidelines for people with diabetes or those at risk for type 2 diabetes include:

Nutrition - People with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as everyone else around the dinner table.  Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors.  Choose whole grain foods over processed grain foods.  Eat lean meats, fish, and non-fat dairy.  In addition, be sure to watch your portions.  Physical Activity - People with pre-diabetes, diabetes or the general adult public should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity most days.  Do things that increase your heart rate and help you break a light sweat, such as walking, doing yard work, swimming, or cleaning house.

The American Diabetes Association offers free tools to help you stick to your New Year's Resolutions:

MyFoodAdvisor(TM)  - This new, interactive calorie and carbohydrate counting tool helps you track what you eat, learn about different types of food and plan meals wisely. Use it to browse and save recipes, add up the carbs, fat and other nutrients you eat each day, or find healthier alternatives to snacks you like.  Visit diabetes/myfoodadvisor.  What Can I Eat? - This free, 32-page diabetes guide outlines healthy food choices, step-by-step.  The booklet offers information on carbohydrate counting, eating out, and sample menus.  Call 1-800-DIABETES for your copy.  ClubPed - This online tracker allows you to log your walking steps.  It provides tips and message board support as well.  Visit diabetes/clubped.

American Diabetes Association

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