Read more: W.Va. man: diabetes programs work
Nurse Devena Moore, Dannie Cunningham's health coach, directs the diabetes program for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department in Parkersburg. Here are her tips:
1. Eat a healthy breakfast. Your morning meal sets the stage for the rest of your day, so start if off right.
2. Downsize your food. If you love your morning bagel, have it, but instead of a large bagel, which can cost you 350 to 500 calories, try a mini with only 80 to 100 calories. You just saved 270 to 400 calories.
3. Starch down. Try cutting back on your portion of rice, pasta or noodles by just 1/4 cup. You don't have to give up the foods you love. Just cut them back and see how they add up.
4. Make baking healthier. Replace half of the fat in a recipe with applesauce. Per 1/2 cup, applesauce contains 90 calories, but butter or margarine contains 810 calories. This simple switch just saved you 720 calories per 1/2 cup.
5. Soda shocker: You are afraid to set a goal or change your lifestyle because you refuse to give up your soda. If you drink an eight-ounce can of regular soda rather than the 12-ounce size, you save 50 calories.
6. Leave behind. You don't have to finish it all if you are full. Why not leave three or four bites on your plate? Anything you leave behind is calories saved.
7. Take a walk. Don't worry about how long or far you go. Just get out there. Even five minutes is better than nothing.
8. Look to others for motivation. See how others overcome similar struggles and obstacles. Everyone makes mistakes. You fail only if you don't try.
9. Track your food. Write down what you eat. Study it. No matter how it adds up, you'll learn from it, and you'll be more accountable to yourself.
10. Before you go out to eat, check the nutrition facts. That way, you can make an informed choice. Quick decisions can really cost you calorie-wise.
11. Get yourself a stretchy band. It's an instant gym you can keep in your pocket.