In addition to regular visits to your health care provider and age-appropriate screenings, nutrition and exercise are foundations for a healthy life. The need for good nutrition and regular exercise will change as you advance through the different stages of your life. For example, healthy eating and regular exercise during childbearing years can help support fertility and a healthy pregnancy. As you advance through menopause and beyond, healthy eating and regular exercise will help maintain a sharp mind and strong bones.
Throughout the continuum of life, maintaining a healthy weight can help lower your risk for developing diseases and other health care complications. In addition, there are proven mental health benefits to healthy eating and regular exercise.
For our patients with signs of gestational diabetes, our health care providers teach an approach called healthy weight management, where the focus is on achieving a balance between calories taken in and calories put out. That balance is more easily and effectively achieved with a combination of exercise and following a healthy eating program. Healthy weight management is not a diet, it's a way of life. We approve of this approach and recommend it to our patients because:
- It emphasizes basic nutrition fundamentals, whether you are looking to stabilize blood sugar, lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
- It places the responsibility for your diet on you, because you choose the foods you would like according to the number of exchanges prescribed. This requires planning and forethought, which are appropriate investments in your health and that of your developing baby, if you are pregnant.
- The mini-meal or grazing feature of this program is a good lifelong strategy for you and your loved ones. With all the food choices - and temptations - available to us today, vigilance is required to change an unhelpful habit into an approach that works for you. Eating three appropriately-sized meals and three snacks ensures that you are paying attention.