Walking Guide
Walking Guide

Nutrition Articles

How to Use SparkPeople When You Have Prediabetes

Free Weight Loss Tools and Healthy Living Tools

Welcome to SparkPeople, America's most active weight-loss and healthy living website! This article will introduce you to all of the SparkPeople features that can help adults take control of prediabetes. Studies have shown that by making healthy changes to your diet and increasing physical activity, you can increase your chances of delaying or preventing the development of Type 2 diabetes. We offer a variety of free tools, trackers, articles and support options that can help you achieve success in the lifestyle management program that your doctor, health care provider and/or Certified Diabetes Educator has outlined for you.

SparkPeople can help you with the diet, exercise and weight-loss components of your treatment plan, but please note that our website is no substitute for regular medical care. While certified diabetes educators helped develop these articles and tools, you should follow the treatment guidelines given to you by your doctor and/or certified diabetes educator should you encounter any contradictions to your treatment plan.

About Prediabetes

Before developing the serious health condition of Type 2 diabetes, a person will almost always have prediabetes. People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but the levels are not quite high enough to yield a diagnosis of diabetes. While prediabetes itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, many people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Early diagnosis and treatment of prediabetes can delay or prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes and its serious health consequences.

In our Type 2 Diabetes Condition Center (found under the "Learn" then "Health & Wellness" tabs at the top of the site), you'll find dozens of healthy lifestyle articles we created specifically for people with Type 2 diabetes and borderline or prediabetes, including:

What SparkPeople Offers People With Prediabetes

  • A Safe Weight-Loss Plan. Studies have shown that losing weight is key to delaying or preventing Type 2 diabetes. In fact, it is likely the most important thing you can do. SparkPeople's meal plans and nutrition trackers, combined with our vast resources and support teams, have helped thousands of people lose weight slowly, safely and permanently. To learn more about our weight-loss program and recommendations, click here. And remember that even a modest weight loss of seven to 10 percent of your body weight has been shown to have positive results.
  • Exercise Plans and Workout Information. Physical activity (and its accompanying weight loss) will lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and boost your health in other ways. SparkPeople offers hundreds of workouts, exercise articles, free fitness videos and a Fitness Tracker to help you start and sustain a sound exercise program—for life. To get started, check out these exercise basics or begin a walking program with our Walking Guide.
  • Free Meal Plans. Cut excess calories, sugar, saturated fat and trans fats from your diet, and you will cut your risk of developing diabetes. Improve your health by including more healthy fats, fiber, whole grains, fruits and veggies using the Nutrition Center or free meal plans as a guide. Our meal plans were created by registered dietitians and meet the dietary guidelines for Americans. We also provide a calorie range based on your current weight and goal weight (to help you lose weight safely). You can access your meal plans by visiting your Nutrition Tracker  (found under the "My Trackers" tab at the top of the site).
  • Community Support. Positive support and encouragement is the foundation of SparkPeople, and our community provides ample opportunities for you to connect with experts, peers, people with prediabetes and others like you who are trying to lose weight and get healthier. We even have Teams to support people who want to quit smoking (smokers are 50 to 90 percent more likely to develop diabetes than non-smokers) and just about any hobby, interest or medical condition imaginable.

More Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Taking control of your health will require some education and commitment, but SparkPeople is here to help you along the way. Our articles, tips and support resources will help you establish a healthy lifestyle, lose weight and keep diabetes at bay. You can learn more about healthy cooking, fitness, general nutrition and motivation by visiting the "Learn" page.

For more specific information or help, talk to your health care provider. The American Diabetes Association's National Call Center also offers live advice from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday at 1-800-DIABETES or 1-800-342-2383.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
Page 1 of 1  
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!

Member Comments

  • I'm seeing a lot of commentary on where to find an A1C ... this is a fasting glucose test, and your doctor has to order it for you. Love and good wishes...
  • It seems like a lot of people with an A1c of 6.4. I do, as well. I've cut out most sugar and grains. Waiting for next blood work to see if there's an improvement.
  • Really need to update this program . . . it's 7 years old and lots of good info since 2010.
  • How do I record my A1c results on this site and the app non my phone? Have this test run every three months and can't record the results. Tests for sugar level are on the nutrition page but can't find where to record A1c. HELP!!
  • Hi my first measure some 3 months ago was 6.4, then 8 and latest bloods 7.1, the longer term measure was 41 and now 42 . I am attempting to deal with increase exercise and diet.....but am confused by the measures. am i correct in saying that blood glucose measure between 4-6 is normal. Thereafter anything is abnormal and above 7 diabeitic....and the increase in the longer term A1 measure from 41 to 43 is a trend to reverse asap ........
  • I recently had a TIA and when I went in the hospital my A1C was 6.4 Not Diabetic by normal dietician standards...but my Glucose had spiked at 225 due to the 'event'... when I went home my A1C was 5.7 and my glucose 98 they told me I was not diabetic... confused?... yes, I am... adjusting to low sugar and carbs!
  • Am finally in with a group of Holistic Minded Doctors - yeah! Although previous doctors had been checking me for thyroid disorder and also my hormones....it had been years since a full blood profile had been done on me.

    I just found out two days ago that I am insulin resistant - pre diabetes. Plus, my thyroid numbers are upside down from what they should be.

    Although I consider myself very health conscience and someone who eats lots of veggies, whole grains, little meat or dairy products....I gained 20+ pounds when I went through menopause 20 years ago, and have never been able to get it off. I'm very active also.

    This diagnosis explains the weight issue. I have an appointment with their dietician soon, and have already been told to cut out ALL GRAINS and some fruits. I'll be using this program to track my food intake and hope to report some positive results in 6-8 wks.
  • A1c is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar for the past 3 months. in layman terms the red blood cells absorb extra sugar and die off, or are replaced every 3 months. The blood sugar test normally taken is for this moment only. The A1c is accumulated data. It is a better long term measure of your actual health. It will therefore not be contradicting a blood sugar result on a moment to moment basis, instead tells how your body is doing over time.
  • GARYE99481
    diagnosed as pre diabetic and have no idea where to start. How many carbs a day? Can I journal online and get the nutritional values? HELP
    Hi, Joanne. I saw your question. The answer: A1c hemoglobin is a bloodtest that we pre-diabetics usually get a few times a year. It measures AVERAGE blood sugar in your bloodstream over the last three months or so. We generally like it to be less than 6. If it's more than 6.5, we're probably already diabetic, but it needs to be confirmed with another A1c 3-6 months later.

    The reason it's called A1c hemoglobin is that, when we don't get enough exercise or move around enough generally, the sugar (glucose) that SHOULD be in our muscle cells, making us feel energetic, instead gets stuck onto the hemoglobin protein in our red blood cells in the bloodstream. It also tends to make the blood sticky or sludgy instead of nice and slippery.

    What you WANT hemoglobin to be doing is moving oxygen and other nutrients all around your body so that every cell feels happy, healthy, and efficient. If the hemoglobin has sugar stuck all over it, it can't do that and you'll feel lousy.

    The good news is that in the early stages of "pre-diabetes", most people can literally "walk away" from developing diabetes. Walking burns off that sludgy sugar and liberates your hemoglobin to do its job nicely. Good luck!
    Thank you all for your comments!!! It truly helps give us newbies some insight and hope! I was recently diagnosed pre-diabetic at an 6.4 A1C. I also have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which is also an insulin resistant disorder. I suffered with PCOS for years before being diagnosed by my sister, then confirmed by my Gyno at 30. The ysuspect it was goign on since my teens. Now 40, I'm looking at life differently. I quit smoking over a year ago and am trying to get my weight under control. My dad was diabetic and died at 61 as did his mom at the same age of heart related issues. I am so thrilled to have found this site and have already talked a coworker (diabetic) into joining it and have only been signed up a few hours. I really hope this will give me more motivation as I see numbers declining. Again, thank you all for your comments. They mean so much and I hope mine will help another newbie too! Blessings!
    Joining sparks is the first step to getting my eating and weight habits under control.
  • So worried, but not surprised, after receiving a diagnosis of being insulin resistant yesterday. I knew if I didn't take care of myself this would happen and sure enough... The good thing is that it appears that SparkPeople has put together a program and has a lot of information. Thank you, SparkPeople.
  • Thank you for this article. :)

About The Author

Amy L. Poetker Amy L. Poetker
Amy Poetker is a licensed and registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with a master's degree in dietetics. Amy, who has spent most of her career working in diabetes education, is dedicated to the treatment of that disease and the prevention of related complications. See all of Amy's articles.