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It’s World Diabetes Day today and, while other health information sources focus on awareness, Patrick has some workable tips to put into practice so that you achieve your goals – whether prevention or reversal is at the top of your list.

“Choosing to change your diet and lifestyle doesn’t just improve your health, it also changes your life. Even so, it can be a challenge to get started, and hard to stay on track. The keys to success are effective planning – and developing self-belief,” says Patrick.

Patrick shares his advice for starting your health journey or just staying on track. The most important part is to “believe you can succeed”.

  1. Breakfast is a MUST. When you wake up, it has been several hours since you last ate. Your blood sugar levels are low. While many opt for quick boosts from stimulants, it doesn’t take long for these levels to drop again. Breakfast should consist of protein and low-GL carbohydrates for a slow release of sugar and controlled blood sugar level.
  2. The importance of snacks. Also, an important factor in controlling blood sugar levels are snacks in-between meals. Two 5GL snacks avoid the temptation of sugary snacks.
  3. Preparation is key when on the move. In today’s busy lifestyle, it’s easy to skip meals or go in search for the nearest (and fastest) form of food. It’s likely that you will find it challenging to find low-GL options. Spend some time on a Sunday preparing meals and snacks for the week. Store them in containers that you can take with you when you leave home.
  4. Goalsetting success. Set a clear timeframe, write down your goals and place this in a position that you frequently walk past – for example on the fridge, on the dashboard of the car, or as your cell phone wallpaper.
  5. Pantry overhaul. Only keep a supply of low-GL foods and drinks at home and at work, leaving you with no other option than to get creative with what you have.
  6. Understanding low-GL cooking. Steaming, boiling, poaching, steam-frying, waterless cooking, baking and grilling are the best methods of cooking. If you do fry food, use small amounts of coconut oil or olive oil.
  7. Forget fussiness. It’s time to refresh your brain with new ways of thinking. Open your mind to trying new foods.
  8. Organic is best. Free from contamination, herbicides and pesticides, organic produce has been shown to be higher in mineral levels than that of non-organic produce.
  9. Use Patrick’s GL calculator to manage your GL intake, which can be found in Patrick Holford’s The Low-GL Diet Bible or on his website patrickholford.co.za.
  10. Practise meal balancing with every meal – half the plate with non-starchy vegetables and the other half split into protein and low-GL carbohydrates.

It is always advisable to get as many vitamins and minerals from your food as possible to keep your blood sugar levels balanced – keep eating a variety of colourful low-GL approved vegetables. Patrick also recommends supplementing with natural sources of these vitamins and minerals.

“You can get these vitamins and minerals in a daily pack or strip, which makes life a lot easier. I refer to these supplements as ‘the basics’,” says Patrick.

Consisting of four of products in one, Patrick Holford GL Diet Support Pack includes Patrick Holford Advanced Optimum Nutrition, Patrick Holford Immune C, Patrick Holford Appestop, and Patrick Holford Essential Omegas. Available at Dis-Chem, leading pharmacies or online at Takealot.com.