If you've recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you're probably feeling overwhelmed. If you've lived with the condition for some years, you know what a struggle it is. You are, in all probability, like 80% of people with type 2 diabetes, overweight or obese, and you may not have exercised in years. The thought of plunging into a workout routine may seem intimidating, but weight loss is a natural healthy way to lower blood sugar. Obesity and diabetes are closely interrelated, and weight loss may get you off insulin and could even "cure" the disease.
"No matter how heavy you are, you will significantly lower your blood sugar if you lose some weight," says Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Excess weight is a cause of diabetes and some drugs used to treat diabetes can actually result in weight gain. While it may seem the odds are stacked against you, you must still make a full-scale effort to drop the extra pounds.
• Studies have shown conclusively that intensive lifestyle interventions including weight loss decrease overall risk of diabetes by 58%.
• According to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, an increase in body mass index (BMI) is the most important factor contributing to the increase in diabetes prevalence.
• Losing just 5-10% of body weight in overweight people has been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar.
• Dropping as little as 10-15 lbs of weight is proven to not only lower blood sugar, but also reduce cholesterol, bring down blood pressure, and decrease stress on joints, resulting in better sleep, better energy, better fitness, and better overall health.
• Larger amounts of weight loss (100 lbs) have been shown by studies to decrease the prevalence of type 2 diabetes from 27% to 9% after 6 years.
• The earlier in the course of the disease weight loss is instituted, the more effective it is likely to be.
• Staying fit and active, eating a healthy well-balanced diet, and being at an ideal body weight makes it easier to control blood sugar.
• Exercising redirects glucose to the muscles, which in turn brings the level of glucose in the blood down.
• Research has shown that people who have a family history of type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop the condition themselves. Weight loss is critical in these people because a healthy weight (BMI 25 or lower) reduces their chances of getting diabetes by up to 90%.
• The Diabetes Prevention Program, a major study of more than 3000 patients showed that moderate diet and exercise of about 30 minutes or more, 5 or more days per week, resulting in a 5%-7% weight loss could delay and possibly even prevent type 2 diabetes.
• Weight loss helps control diabetes in two important ways. First, it lowers insulin resistance and allows natural insulin to work better at lowering blood sugar levels. Losing weight brings down blood sugar levels and this may result in reduction in diabetes medication or stopping it altogether. Second, it improves cholesterol and blood pressure levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
• It is not important to reach a goal weight to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes. Simply getting your body going in the right direction of weight loss creates a metabolic environment in the body that makes it less likely to develop diabetes.
• Evidence shows that a 10% reduction in body weight can lead to as much as a 50% reduction in fasting blood sugar levels.
• Lowering BMI by 5 units can dramatically reduce the risk of diabetes according to new research. Findings show that even severely obese patients with diabetes can potentially put the disease in remission.
Weight loss could be just the thing you need to get your diabetes under control to prevent serious life-threatening complications. Start an exercise and weight loss program after a discussion with your physician. Set realistic weight loss goals, aim for moderation, and eat a healthy diet in combination with physical activity to achieve those goals. You don't have to be a spectator to your own health. In conjunction with the treatment your doctors are prescribing, take an active interest in your own wellbeing and adopt weight loss as a means to fight diabetes.
Have you ever looked at someone with a svelte figure or rock solid abs and felt a twinge of envy? Do you have that one friend who eats like there's no tomorrow and still doesn't gain an ounce of weight? After spending your entire adult life struggling with your weight, are you left wondering what you're doing wrong? Here are 7 eating habits slim people embrace - the secrets to their staying healthy, feeling fit and looking like a million bucks.
1. They're smart about eating out.
Slim people eat out as an indulgence, not a habit. They choose restaurants that offer healthy options (salads, low-calorie variations). They avoid buffets like anathema (the temptation to sample all the dishes can mean thousands of calories). They choose dishes that are grilled, baked, boiled, or roasted as opposed to pan fried or deep fried. They order a salad to fill up on a healthy starter and share their main dish with a companion. They choose clear soups and cold soups over thick and creamy ones.
2. They choose wisely when it comes to sides and extras.
Reaching for the complimentary bread basket and slathering on some butter means you've consumed a chunk of calories before your meal has even been served. Slim people skip extras like cheese, French fries, and sauces loaded with calories. Instead, they opt for healthier sides like coleslaw or bean salads but go easy on salad dressings which can be packed with calories.
3. When they snack, they snack healthy (think whole grain, low-fat variants).
Fruits are packed with healthy nutrients and are incredibly filling due to their fiber content. Slim people tend to enjoy seasonal fruits as a snack rather than reaching for that bar of chocolate.
4. They eat slowly, relishing the food.
Wolfing down your food does not give your body time to send signals to your brain that you are satiated. Slim people pace their meal and allow their brain to register a sense of fullness (usually 20 minutes) so they don't overeat.
5. They exercise portion control.
Eating one slice of pizza isn't nearly as bad as downing a beer and four slices of pizza. Slim people tend to eat small portions, especially when they're indulging in high-calorie foods.
6. They avoid empty calories
(e.g. cola drinks) which contain no nutrients whatsoever and are calorie rich. Slim people make it a habit to drink water - the elixir of life - it's calorie-free, it's good for your skin, it keeps you hydrated - the benefits are many. If they must drink something besides water for the sake of flavour, they choose low-calorie options like lemon water, buttermilk, or coconut water.
7. They read labels when they go grocery shopping and avoid buying food labeled rich or creamy.
Slim people buy healthy food so they'll eat healthy food. Next time you go grocery shopping, make note of a slim woman's cart - more often than not it will be filled with fruits and vegetables rather than processed or canned foods.
Make these eating habits a lifestyle choice and you are sure to notice a difference. Combine them with exercise and the results will be sensational! It will be others who'll be looking at you with envy.
Forget the treadmill or the aerobics classes. More people are now catching on to how cycling- whether it be the traditional way outdoors on the open road, or using a static bicycle in the gym for a cycling or “spinning” class- is one of the lesser known, yet highly effective exercise methods for losing weight. Taking up cycling is a fun and enjoyable form of movement that can also lead to many health benefits- including weight loss. By cycling every day, it is possible to tone the body, improve overall fitness and start to lose the excess kilograms in a steady and healthy way.
The way that cycling can kick-start your weight loss efforts is through a combination of factors. Firstly, it is a low-impact sport which strengthens your hip muscles, hamstrings, glutes and quads, and the stronger these large muscle are, the easier it is for your body to burn fat.
Second, cycling also requires doing short sprint workouts that are known to effectively increase levels of human growth hormone, which helps to boost lean muscle and burn fat. Finally, when cycling, you also do interval training (spurts of activity and rest) that increases your body’s metabolism, so you keep burning fat even when you aren’t cycling. It doesn’t get better than that!
Like all forms of safe weight loss, the results you achieve will depend on the amount of effort you put in. To lose 1kg a week (which is a safe and healthy weight loss speed), you will need to develop a cycling routine that is consistent (at least 3-4 times a week). You will also find that your weight may not change dramatically at first because your muscle mass will first increase from the strengthening of your muscles that happens though cycling. This will mean the numbers on the scale won’t change- even though your body shape will from becoming more toned.
The great thing about cycling is that it can be easily integrated into your current lifestyle. Start riding from place to place rather than taking your car. Or set up a stationary bike in your living room, and burn calories while watching your favourite TV show. The ease of being able to cycle in different situations also means you can have plenty of variety in your exercise routine, and many people soon find they become quite addicted to the cycling rush.
You will also need to combine cycling with a healthy diet to get the results you want to achieve. Cyclists benefit from having more protein in their diet to keep hunger at bay and to kick start their metabolism before a ride. Don’t skip meals when regularly cycling, and eat a protein rich meal combined with healthy “good” carbohydrates within thirty minutes of completing a ride. The powerful combination of a well-rounded diet with managed portion sizes, avoiding junk food and sugary snacks, drinking plenty of water, along with a regular cycling routine will see you reaching your weight loss goals before you know it!