Living With Diabetes: How WW Can Help You Reach Your Wellness Goals
A diabetes diagnosis is often accompanied by a science crash course. Glucose-what? A1C-who? At first, you might have flashbacks of cramming for high school biology tests, but know that over time, you'll become more familiar and comfortable with the terminology and the new practices you need to put in place for your health, from checking your blood sugar to taking medication and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
One of your first to-dos in this diabetes crash course is to get up to speed on blood sugar—both what it is and how to improve your levels. You should always work with your doctor to get a better understanding of your personal blood sugar goals, but when it comes to your eating plan, WW's diabetes-tailored food plan can help guide and support you on your weight-loss and wellness journey.
Understanding blood sugar
Blood sugar levels are one of the most important markers for long-term health, and one of the most overlooked. Many people don’t realize something's wrong until their blood sugar has been elevated for a long time. Initial symptoms you might notice are fatigue, slow-to-heal wounds, thirst, and frequent urination.
Over time, chronic high blood sugar can cause damage to your eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, kidneys, teeth and gums, and skin and feet. The higher your blood sugar, the greater your risk of developing heart disease.
But there’s good news: Making lifestyle changes and keeping your blood sugar in an optimal range can help prevent or delay these complications. Studies have found that managing weight, getting regular physical activity, working with your doctor, and having a healthy lifestyle can make living with diabetes easier.
Eating well with diabetes
With WW, no foods are off limits, even when you have diabetes. In fact, our diabetes-tailored food plan was made for you. As with all of WW’s individualized food plans, the diabetes-tailored plan encourages you to eat more healthy foods (like those that are rich in fiber, non-starchy veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats) and fewer foods high in added sugar and saturated fat.
But the diabetes-tailored food plan is even further individualized to you: It provides a personalized ZeroPoint™ foods list that takes into account both your food preferences and your health condition. Foods that are higher in carbohydrates (like fruit, oatmeal, and dairy) will not be on your ZeroPoint foods list, since they can raise blood sugar more than foods that are lower in carbs (non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins). And with WW's diabetes-tailored plan, higher carbohydrate foods will need to be weighed, measured, and tracked to help prevent blood sugar spikes.
The benefits of moving more
Regular physical activity (with your doctor’s OK) is another essential part of managing blood sugar levels. Remember that all movement matters and can help lower your blood sugar. Track your activity in the WW app to see your progress.
The mindset-diabetes connection
Successfully managing blood sugar levels isn’t only about what you eat and how you move. It’s also about having a helpful mindset so you can embrace challenges, turn setbacks into learning opportunities, and stay focused on what really matters to reach your goals.
Living with diabetes can be challenging, but a helpful mindset can foster well-being and help you along the way. Practicing self-compassion, learning mindfulness techniques—check out Breethe meditations in the WW app!—and managing your stress are just a few examples of ways to shift toward a more helpful mindset. Combining these techniques with eating better and moving more, WW can help you improve your well-being and keep you moving toward your goals.
This article was reviewed for accuracy in March 2022 by Stephanie Fitzpatrick, PhD, senior manager for multicultural programs at WW. The WW Science Team is a dedicated group of experts who ensure all our solutions are rooted in the best possible research.