Many doctors recommend following a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and keeping yourself physically active through routine exercise. This prevents the risk of obesity and diabetes and other serious conditions associated, such as hypertension and cardiovascular issues. Specialists at Prime Revival Research Institute understand that losing weight isn’t always as easy as it seems.
Doctors, including myself, advise you on health plans to lose weight based on your current diet, activity level, medications, and overall health. Our Health Plan outlines steps you would need to reach your health goals and thwart obesity and diabetes.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO REACH YOUR HEALTH GOAL
- Set reasonable goals
- Start eating more nutritious meals with a lot of variety
- Read food labels
- Learn serving sizes/measure servings in the food
- Counting carbohydrates
- Start exercising
- Monitor your success (keep a diary of your eating and activity and track your weight and waist circumference)
- Be patient and do not give up
To keep yourself motivated and to avoid frustration, set reasonable and healthy goals. Studies show that people who lose weight gradually and steadily have a better chance of keeping the weight off in the long run. This can have an overall positive impact on your health if you are at risk of developing obesity and diabetes. Health experts suggest 1-2 pounds a week as being a good goal. This is better than trying to lose a lot of weight suddenly with crash dieting.
EATING NUTRITIOUS MEALS
Nutritious meals should have vitamins and minerals (colorful in general). Consider adding vegetables, whole fruit, and some whole grains/nuts instead of high-calorie processed food such as French fries, potato chips, ice cream, doughnuts, and other desserts. These can do more harm than good. We also suggest limiting the use of creamy sauces, dressings, and dips with fruits and vegetables. There are other ways to make food enjoyable. You could use olive oil, hummus, and guacamole with your veggies to spruce your dinner up.
Food items with high fiber such as beans, whole grains, fruit with peel, and green leafy vegetables (broccoli, carrots, and leafy greens are recommended. Look for food with 2.5 or more grams of fiber per serving (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains). For those struggling with obesity and diabetes, meals with lots of fiber are known to benefit the overall health, by slowing down absorption and stabilizing blood glucose levels.
Protein should be lean and unprocessed such as chicken without skin, fish, eggs, and tofu. Avoid processed meat, such as sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni, beef jerky, deli meats, cured bacon, and canned meat)
Limit the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages you drink such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks.
Carbohydrate are considered one of the main sources of energy for the human body. Carbohydrates are divided into three categories in our diet. They include starches, sugars, and fiber. Starches (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and corn) do not raise blood glucose levels as fast as sugary food (desserts, juices, and soda pop). For those struggling with obesity and diabetes, limiting sugary foods, choosing whole-grain, fiber-rich items, and avoiding processed white flour can go a long way in helping stabilize blood sugar levels.
Avoid saturated fat (Beef, poultry with skin, cheese, butter, ice cream) and trans-fat (Fried foods, Baked goods – chips or donuts or crackers, stick margarine). Instead, you should consume heart-healthy unsaturated fat – olive oil, fish oil, Canola oil, nuts, avocado, and peanut butter).
READING FOOD LABELS:
We highly recommend reading food labels with particular emphasis on serving size, the number of servings per container, and the amount of carbohydrates, fiber, and fat. Learning to measure the serving size and taking care of your portions can help you establish a healthy, balanced diet. This will help you estimate the right amount of food you need to achieve your goals.
Also, low fat or nonfat does not always mean low calorie. Similarly, low carb is not always healthy. Reduce calories for weight reduction (do not supersize your plate, eat smaller portions). For a lot of people struggling with obesity and diabetes, we highly suggest reducing the number of times you eat out.
Carbohydrates are converted in your body to sugar molecules which are absorbed by the intestines and raise your blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is important to be aware of carbohydrates in your food, particularly if you are taking insulin or diabetes medications.
Being active is good for blood glucose control, weight control, and overall health. It also helps reduce stress. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends being active for at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) spread over 3-5 days a week. Spending 30 minutes doing exercises daily would be the best way to accomplish that. An example would be a 10-minute yoga in the morning, a 10-minute recumbent bike at lunchtime, and a 10-minute walk after dinner.
Always check with your physician before starting exercise and start slow. Balance & flexibility exercises (Tai Chi, Yoga, Stretches) or water exercises are suitable for older adults.
You can improve your chances of success in fighting against obesity and diabetes by working with a dietitian or physician who might be able to help you monitor your overall health and set healthy goals. By keeping a food diary, weighing yourself regularly (or measuring waist circumference), and/or your blood glucose levels, the success rate in achieving goals is increased. CGMS (Continuous Glucose Monitoring System), a small wearable device, which continuously measures the glucose level in real-time, is an excellent tool to assess the effectiveness of diet, exercise, and stress on diabetes control.
Sometimes it may take a while before you start seeing results. It is important to stay positive and think of it as a long-term project. Pessimism and stress may derail your progress.
People affected by obesity or diabetes undergo physical and emotional consequences. Being overweight or obese is very strongly linked to the development of diabetes and heart issues, which can further complicate its management. Moderate weight loss through simple lifestyle changes can improve blood glucose levels, and reduce the risk of prediabetes or diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. The best strategy in dealing with weight issues & diabetes is to work with your physician and a dietitian or a diabetes educator, so they can help you develop a management plan that best suits your situation.
(This blog is for informational purposes only)