Lifestyle Interventions

Making lifestyle changes

Making lifestyle changes, like exercising more, eating more healthy food, and reducing sugar consumption, are great ways to help reduce risk for diabetes.

  • Regular exercise is important because muscles will use glucose as fuel, using up excess sugar in the bloodstream
  • Reducing the amount of processed food and added sugar in the diet can result in weight loss – a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes
  • Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet can have a positive impact on overall health over and above changes in weight

Many people want to make these types of changes, but making these changes is usually easier said than done.

Small Steps for Big Changes is a lifestyle counselling program that is designed to work with individuals in making these changes and sticking with them. This program understands that everyone is unique, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to lifestyle change. We know firsthand that changing behaviour is complex. Our trained counsellors have been shown to facilitate and enable lasting change in program users. In fact, we have demonstrated that:

  • Individuals with prediabetes who have gone through our Small Steps for Big Changes have stuck with exercise and have maintained improvements in their fitness for 6 months after they completed the program

Small Steps for Big Changes works because it is based on evidence-based behaviour change techniques. We have tested this program at UBC in our Health and Exercise Psychology Laboratory, and after confirming it leads to lasting lifestyle behaviour change, we are bringing it to the community to help more people.  Working with patients, we foster the skills needed to manage exercise and diet changes in day-to-day life.  Life can get hectic. Life happens.  With the skills to adapt to challenges in life and manage a busy schedule, individuals will be on their way to making lasting lifestyle changes.

Want to know more about how the Small Steps for Big Changes program can help your patients make lifestyle changes and stick to them? Click here.