About the Lifestyle Change Program

Key points

  • The National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program can help you build healthy new habits that last a lifetime.
  • When you join the program, you’ll learn, laugh, share stories, and try new things.
  • Most of all, you'll lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and improve your health.
Class of people sharing ideas around a table

Key components

The program includes:

A CDC-approved curriculum with lessons, handouts, and other resources to help you make healthy changes.

A Lifestyle Coach, specially trained to lead the program, to help you learn new skills, encourage you to set and meet goals, and keep you motivated. The coach will also facilitate discussions and help make the program fun and engaging.

A support group of people with similar goals and challenges. Together, you can share ideas, celebrate successes, and work to overcome obstacles. In some programs, the participants stay in touch with each other during the week. It may be easier to make changes when you're working as a group than doing it on your own.

Time commitment

The program runs for 1 year.

  • During the first 6 months of the program, you'll meet about once a week.
  • During the second 6 months, you'll meet once or twice a month.

You may think you learned enough in the first 6 months and can skip the second half of the program. But you'd be cheating yourself!

Making lifestyle changes is an ongoing process. Staying in the program for the full year is essential to help you stick to new habits and avoid slipping back into old habits. And if you have not reached your goals in the first half of the program, your Lifestyle Coach and other group members can help you succeed.

What you'll learn

Cynthia Johnson smiling at the camera
"The coach taught me you can learn and grow from mistakes, rather than be discouraged by them." – Cynthia Johnson, program participant

In the first half of the program, you'll learn to:

  • Eat healthy without giving up all the foods you love.
  • Add physical activity to your life, even if you don't think you have time.
  • Deal with stress.
  • Cope with challenges that can slow your progress, like choosing healthy food when eating out.
  • Get back on track if you stray from your plan. Everyone slips now and then!

In the second half of the program, you'll enhance the skills you've learned so you can maintain the changes you've made. These sessions will review key ideas such as tracking your food and physical activity, setting goals, staying motivated, and overcoming barriers. Your Lifestyle Coach and the group will continue to support you. You'll learn some new information, too.

All offerings of the lifestyle change program follow a CDC-approved curriculum and discuss the same topics over the year. However, your Lifestyle Coach will adapt the sessions to match your group's background, interests, and needs.

For instance, your Lifestyle Coach may:

  • Show you how to prepare healthy versions of popular local or ethnic foods and ask for ideas from group members.
  • Provide tips for eating healthy during cultural holidays or events.
  • Share fun local events that can help you be physically active.
  • Give you handouts to address your specific concerns.

There's also a Spanish-language curriculum, so some programs are offered completely in Spanish.

Making a plan

Find a program

You can choose an in-person, online, distance learning, or combination lifestyle change program. Find a program near you.

In person

You'll meet face to face with group members and your Lifestyle Coach. In-person programs are offered in various locations, including health care clinics, community-based organizations, and worksites.

Hands-on demonstrations help with learning, and the coach will provide handouts with useful information and practice activities.

Most in-person sessions have three parts:

  1. A review and check-in on weekly progress, including a private weigh-in.
  2. A discussion about the week's topic that will give you a chance to learn from the program materials and each other.
  3. A wrap-up with a to-do list and handouts to reinforce what you've learned.


This is a great option if it's hard for you to attend in person or there isn't an in-person program near you. The program is delivered 100% online with multiple chances to interact live with the Lifestyle Coach. It follows a CDC-approved curriculum and is held to the same standards as an in-person program.

Distance learning

Distance learning works well for participants who want group interaction but live in a remote area and can't attend an in-person program. It's delivered 100% by a trained Lifestyle Coach via remote classroom or telehealth (such as conference call or Skype).


The program can be delivered as a combination of any of the program types above.

Take the risk test

Not sure about your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes? Take our online prediabetes risk test.

Is there a cost?

The cost of participating in the lifestyle change program varies, depending on location, organization offering it, and type of program (in person or online).

To learn about the cost of a specific program, find a program that works for you and ask the organization offering it about the cost. It may even be free!

In addition, some employers and insurance carriers cover the cost of these programs. Check with your employer or insurance carrier.