Back to Blogs
5m read

Success in YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program

5 Tips from a Lifestyle Coach

YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is a one-year community based program designed to support adults at risk for type 2 diabetes to make healthy lifestyle changes, lose a modest amount of weight and prevent or delay the onset of the disease.  

Making healthy lifestyle changes is tough, but research shows that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can support adults to live healthier lives and reduce disease risk. Type 2 diabetes is NOT inevitable.

Meet Lauren, one of our seasoned Lifestyle Coaches, and read her 5 tips for success in the Program:

  1. Connect with fellow participants as soon as possible.
    Your success lies with the group. You are not doing this alone! Your Lifestyle Coach is intentionally creating a space that invites community and relationship building, so take advantage. Start a conversation about how you might all stay connected to the group even when not in session, and don't be afraid to share your challenges with the group. Being honest with the group might take some vulnerability at first, but you will see the pay-off quickly in new relationships and (perhaps) unexpected support.

  2. Hold yourself accountable.
    Our research shows that participants who attend classes regularly and keep track of their weight and physical activity are more successful at reaching program goals - and that means reducing risk for type 2 diabetes. You will get to determine what accountability looks like with your group in early sessions and discuss how you will support each other as a group. Whatever you decide - stick to it! 

  3. Be physically active your way.
    My participants in the Program come with all different types of experience and history around physical activity. You’re not alone in feeling like being active on a regular basis is tough.  We’ll discuss many different ways you can be active and help you find time in your already busy schedule. The Program is designed to make achieving the goal of 150 minutes per week manageable, you just have to be ready to try new things and see what works best for you!

  4. Always complete your food journal.
    Participants who complete food journals lose more weight than those who don’t. Writing down everything you eat and drink can be tedious and time consuming at first, but you are training your brain to think about the foods you eat. Many participants have told me that one of the most important benefits they have gotten out of this program is a heightened awareness of their eating habits. And they change their eating habits for life!

  5. Remember - this is more than a weight loss program.
    This program is a year-long because real changes take time. You are going to encounter challenges along the way as you learn more about yourself. Real success is learning how to deal with new problems while celebrating both your successes and your challenges. There is a reason you joined this program (beyond weight loss). Whether you want to prevent type 2 diabetes, feel more energetic, or stay active and healthy to be here for your family, always remember your bigger goals and reflect on where you started. We're here to support you in lifestyle change, so always remind yourself of your lifestyle goals.


The YMCA of San Francisco is proud to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program

In our one-year Program:

  • Participants lose an average of 5.5% of body weight (about 11 pounds for a 200 lb. person)*

  • Participants achieve an average physical activity level of 162.5 minutes per week*

  • 93% of participants self-report decreasing portion sizes*

  • Read this participant's story

View our program schedule and pre-register to join here.


*YMCA of the USA nation-wide data through February 2017. n=9,543