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Prediabetes (cont.)

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You play a major role in managing prediabetes and preventing it from turning into type 2 diabetes.2, 5 You can do this by:

  • Watching your weight.
  • Making healthy food choices.
  • Being active.
  • Not smoking.
  • Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Watch your weight

Losing 5% to 10% of your body weight may help you prevent or at least delay type 2 diabetes.6 For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, losing 10 to 20 pounds can reduce your risk.

Losing weight can also lower insulin resistance. The more you lose, the more you benefit, as long as you do it in a healthy way.2

Losing weight can be hard, but you can do it. The easiest way to start is by cutting calories and becoming more active. For help, see the topic Weight Management.

Click here to view an Actionset.Healthy Eating: Recognizing Your Hunger Signals
Click here to view an Actionset.Healthy Eating: Getting Support When Changing Your Eating Habits
Click here to view an Actionset.Fitness: Adding More Activity to Your Life

Make healthy food choices

Planning meals to manage prediabetes can often mean looking at food in a new way. There are several easy ways to make healthy changes to the way you eat. One way to start is by eating foods that are low in saturated fat and high in fiber. Or you might try cutting down on foods that are high in calories but low in nutrition, such as soda.

A registered dietitian can help you make a meal plan that fits your lifestyle.

For help, see the topic Healthy Eating.

Click here to view an Actionset.Healthy Eating: Cutting Unhealthy Fats From Your Diet
Click here to view an Actionset.Healthy Eating: Changing Your Eating Habits
Click here to view an Actionset.Healthy Eating: Staying With Your Eating Plan

Get active

The more active you are, the more sugar (glucose) your body uses for energy. This keeps the sugar from building up in your blood. Being active also:

Don't worry. You don't have to sign up for a gym membership or train for a marathon to get the activity you need to manage prediabetes. Even everyday activities can help.

Try to do moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week. Or try to do vigorous activity at least 1¼ hours a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

Any type of activity helps, including:

  • Walking, jogging, swimming, or biking.
  • Household work, such as vacuuming or gardening.

Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program.

For help, see the topic Fitness.

Quick Tips: Getting Active At Home
Click here to view an Actionset.Fitness: Walking for Wellness

Photo of a man

One Man's Story:

Jerry, 54

"Taking care of yourself can make a huge difference in your health. It's possible that I may still get type 2 diabetes at some point. But I know that even if I do, I'm way ahead in terms of managing it. So don't sit around and wait for it to happen. Get up and move!"—Jerry

Read more about Jerry.

If you smoke, quit

Quitting smoking can help you reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Quitting can also reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. For help, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

Click here to view an Actionset.Quitting Smoking: Getting Support

Control blood pressure and cholesterol

When you have prediabetes, you are more likely to get heart disease than someone who has normal blood sugar levels. High cholesterol also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes.3 So it's important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) for high cholesterol
Click here to view an Actionset.High Blood Pressure: Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home
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