Living with diabetes comes with its challenges. Type 2’s must always be aware of what they are eating, how much they are eating, if they are carrying the right supplies, staying on top of insulin levels, the list goes on…
Fortunately, there are a number of great life hacks that can ease and simplify day-to-day management of Type 2 diabetes. By following these 7 life hacks — you can boost your overall health, save time, money, and make things a little easier!
So here are 7 of the best hacks for helping manage diabetes:
#1 Be Prepared to Conquer Sugar Cravings!
Honestly, who doesn’t crave a chocolate bar from time to time? Sugar cravings are something to expect, whether you are diabetic, or not. A great diabetes food hack is to expect and actively manage sugar cravings before they get out of control. Plan in advance what “sweet” you will include in your daily meal plan. For example, substituting an apple for a chocolate bar is a great way to start! While it is true apples and other fruits contain some natural sugars, they are low on the Glycemic Index (GI), contain vital nutrients, and by practicing portion control, they can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diabetic lifestyle. Besides fruit, there are tons of diabetic-friendly desserts that are low in sugar or sugar-free. Interested in some of the best treat hacks for diabetics? Discover a great low carb carrot cake recipe here.
#2 Leaving Home? Pack Your Diabetes Supplies Neatly Into A Clear Bag
Consider keeping all your diabetes supplies in a visible, see through bag when leaving home or traveling. You can easily place it into a backpack or purse, making it easy to find. If it’s an emergency or someone else needs to access your bag, it is clearly visible and easy to find. This strategy can not only make life easier — but is truly a grade-A hack for diabetics!
#3 The Vital Importance Of Labeling
This might be a no-brainer to some, but it is incredibly important to label and date a new vial of insulin when you take it out of the fridge. There is a time limit on insulin. It is active for 30 days after you remove it from the fridge. Without proper labeling, it is easy to keep using it after the expiration date, which can be dangerous. With insulin pens especially, some diabetics may use them beyond 30 days. If you forget when you took it out of the fridge, you may not realize the insulin is no longer active. So, try to use a pen to write the date on it. You can also put a reminder on your phone that goes off when the insulin expires, or try to take a picture of the box with the expiration date for reference.
#4 Test Your Drink to Ensure It Is Truly Sugar-Free!
When dining in restaurants and especially when eating fast-food, testing your drink is an incredibly important hack for type 2 diabetes. Sometimes specific drink requests are not honored or the kitchen makes a mistake, leaving you with a sugar filled drink you did not order. Especially in fast paced food environments, drinks can be accidentally swapped or mixed-up. What to do? Well, be sure to mention that you are a Type 2 when ordering and verify with the staff the drink is in fact sugar-free. If you want 0 risk, consider drinking water, tea or coffee when dining out, and save the sugar-free drinks for home where you are doing the purchasing and can read the label.
#5 Traveling? Be Aware Of The Impact On Insulin
Low blood sugar after landing? This could be why! Another life hack for Type 2 diabetes – when you are traveling by plane, the change in air pressure can affect the insulin in insulin vials and pumps. Try to take your insulin 5 minutes before the plane lands and it will be a game-changer!
#6 Calculate Carbs…Always!
Our next life hack is about making food at home. You can calculate carbohydrate content in food more easily when you make it yourself! When you have your recipe, separate the list into foods with carbs/sugars and foods without carbs/sugar. Divide by the number of portions, and you can get an accurate amount of carbs you are consuming.
#7 Stay Connected With Other Type 2s
Our final hack for diabetics is to connect and speak other type 2s online and in person. Many find this to be an incredible learning experience. You might learn some new life hacks from them, and additionally managing mental health is a very important aspect of wellness. There is a strong connection between depression and diabetes. Speaking to someone else about managing blood sugar levels can foster understanding, and make you feel less alone. Support and consistently with lifestyle decisions is absolutely important.
Especially this year, connecting online is a vital means of support. Try joining the “Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together” here. In the group you can ask questions, start or join discussions with people coping with the same challenges as you, make new friends, exchange recipes and tips.