Let’s get go­ing

Look­ing to lose some weight? Fol­low these tips to get on the right track and stay there. Ready to start los­ing?

Diabetic Living - - CONTENTS -

Start a weight loss jour­ney

A body of sci­en­tific ev­i­dence sug­gests that even a mod­est amount of weight loss – 5-7 per cent of your start­ing body weight – can help peo­ple with pre­di­a­betes pre­vent or de­lay pro­gres­sion to type 2 di­a­betes.

This amount of weight loss has also been shown to help peo­ple newly di­ag­nosed with type 2 slow the pro­gres­sion of the dis­ease through con­trol of glu­cose (blood sugar), lipids (choles­terol), and blood pres­sure. And the longer you can sus­tain the weight loss, the bet­ter.

One key to long-term suc­cess is to go about los­ing weight in a healthy way.

Start with Break­fast

One sure­fire way to ruin your weight-loss ef­forts is to skip break­fast. Peo­ple who eat break­fast reg­u­larly tend to have a lower risk of weight gain com­pared with peo­ple who skip break­fast.

In ad­di­tion, start­ing your days with a healthy break­fast is as­so­ci­ated with main­tain­ing weight loss.

“Break­fast-skip­pers tend to make up for those saved calo­ries by eat­ing more calo­ries later in the day. The net re­sult isn’t weight loss. In fact, it may be weight gain,” says Jill Weisen­berger, au­thor of

Di­a­betes Weight Loss (Amer­i­can Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion, 2012).

When you eat a healthy break­fast, you may have more willpower to re­sist those mid­morn­ing vend­ing­ma­chine raids be­cause your blood glu­cose lev­els are more sta­ble and your me­tab­o­lism re­sponds more favourably.

“Eat­ing a balanced break­fast is a great way to start the day. It says right off the bat, ‘Hey, I’m tak­ing care of my­self and I’m start­ing my day right,’” Weisen­berger says.

For a di­a­betes-friendly break­fast, in­clude serv­ings of whole grains, dairy foods, and fruit, as well as lean pro­tein.

Stay Ac­tive to See Re­sults

When you’re try­ing to lose weight, it’s easy to only fo­cus on count­ing kilo­joules. Al­though that is what’s most im­por­tant for los­ing weight, ex­er­cise is also a very im­por­tant part of a healthy weight-loss plan. Re­search shows that be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive is even more cru­cial to keep­ing the weight off. When you get enough ex­er­cise reg­u­larly, you build mus­cle that burns more en­ergy through­out the day. To get started, turn to page 120.

Have a Healthy Eat­ing Plan

Weight loss has a lot to do with maths – over time, if you con­sume fewer kilo­joules than your body needs for fuel, you end up with an en­ergy short­fall and weight loss. But stud­ies show that a win­ning weight-loss strat­egy in­cludes en­joy­ing all food groups.

A healthy eat­ing plan that con­tains suf­fi­cient en­ergy from nu­tri­ent-dense foods can help you feel full and stay full, aid­ing your weight-loss ef­forts. “It fu­els your ex­er­cise, pro­vides nu­tri­ents to fight dis­ease, and is a whole lot more in­ter­est­ing, even if it does take more ef­fort to eat a va­ri­ety of foods,” Weisen­berger says.

She sug­gests choos­ing at least three healthy foods from three food groups at each meal.

Step on the Scale Reg­u­larly

When try­ing to lose weight, the num­ber on the scale may weigh heavy on your mind. Al­though it’s not true for every­one, many peo­ple find that step­ping on the scale ev­ery day can be dis­cour­ag­ing, es­pe­cially if the re­sult doesn’t match your ex­pec­ta­tion.

Daily weigh-ins don’t cap­ture an ac­cu­rate pic­ture of your true weight and it’s easy to be­come ob­sessed over body fluc­tu­a­tions that can be caused by wa­ter re­ten­tion. But that doesn’t mean you should stop weigh­ing your­self al­to­gether.

Stud­ies show that peo­ple who weigh them­selves reg­u­larly – at least weekly – have far greater suc­cess in weight loss. When you weigh your­self reg­u­larly, you make your­self ac­count­able for those lit­tle splurges you might make from day to day. So what’s the right fre­quency for weigh­ing your­self?

Weekly is good.

Con­ve­nience Foods

Lower-kilo­joule frozen meals seem like the per­fect weight-loss pre­scrip­tion – they’re quick, easy and por­tion-con­trolled. Keep a few in the freezer if you think they will as­sist in your weight-loss ef­forts. How­ever, it’s im­por­tant to note that eat­ing them and not sat­is­fy­ing your hunger or kilo­joule needs could work against you.

Re­search con­ducted by The Vol­u­met­rics Eat­ing Plan au­thor Bar­bara Rolls, of Penn­syl­va­nia State Uni­ver­sity, points out that eat­ing low-kilo­joule, high-wa­ter foods – such as fruits, veg­eta­bles, stock-base soups, and sal­ads – helps you feel more sat­is­fied.

Put this con­cept into ac­tion: if you’re go­ing to dine on a low-kilo­joule frozen meal, add a large green salad or a serv­ing of a vegie-packed, stock-base soup to help you feel full longer.

Frozen diet din­ners are fre­quently too skimpy on im­por­tant nu­tri­ents to keep you sat­is­fied un­til the next meal. Many diet din­ners con­tain around 1200 kilo­joules and as lit­tle as 7 grams of pro­tein (about 28 grams of meat) per serv­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to di­eti­tian Lisa Mer­rill, there is plenty of car­bo­hy­drate in most diet din­ners, but many do not con­tain enough pro­tein, which can in­crease your feel­ings of full­ness. If you’re go­ing to dine on a diet din­ner, add one serv­ing of very lean pro­tein and a side salad to round out the meal.

Eat Mod­er­ate Amounts of Carbs

Carbs have been get­ting a bad rap for years. Not all foods that con­tain car­bo­hy­drate de­serve a bad rap, such as whole grains, legumes (beans), fruits, non­starchy veg­eta­bles, starchy veg­eta­bles and low-fat dairy foods. How­ever, some car­b­con­tain­ing foods should be min­imised, like sug­ary foods,

sweets and desserts. These foods pro­vide a lot of kilo­joules with lit­tle nu­tri­tion.

Fo­cus on nu­tri­ent-rich sources of car­bo­hy­drate that have min­i­mal added sug­ars or fats or are pre­pared with small amounts of added sug­ars or un­healthy fats. You will not only get to eat de­li­cious foods that help you feel sat­is­fied, but your body will ben­e­fit from an ar­ray of im­por­tant nu­tri­ents, such as fi­bre, vi­ta­mins, min­er­als, and phy­tonu­tri­ents.

Choose Healthy Snacks

There are many low-kilo­joule snacks await­ing your se­lec­tion on su­per­mar­ket shelves, poised to help your weight-loss cam­paign. But some snacks may not be as help­ful as they ap­pear.

When you’re cut­ting kilo­joules, it’s im­por­tant to make ev­ery kilo­joule count by choos­ing nu­tri­ent-rich foods – foods that con­tain im­por­tant vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and phy­tonu­tri­ents that your body needs to stay healthy.

In­dulge Your Sweet Tooth

Ev­ery suc­cess­ful weight-loss pro­gram of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­joy some of your favourite foods. Af­ter all, a healthy eat­ing plan should be for life, not some­thing you go ‘on’ or ‘off’.

But if you splurge on spe­cial treats ev­ery day, you can sab­o­tage your best in­ten­tions for weight loss. Mer­rill sug­gests cre­at­ing a “bank” of ex­tra kilo­joules to make room for some­thing you re­ally crave – whether it’s a small slice of birth­day cake or a glass of wine at din­ner. By cut­ting back on kilo­joules ear­lier in the day and mak­ing sure to squeeze in ex­er­cise, you can usu­ally fit in a spe­cial treat of 400-600 kilo­joules. This is where in­di­vid­u­ally por­tioned serv­ings of cook­ies, choco­late, ice-cream bars and chips can come in handy so you don’t overdo it.

Prac­tise Por­tion Con­trol

This is a pow­er­ful tool for los­ing weight and keep­ing it off. If you’re dou­bling up on por­tions, you’re dou­bling up on kilo­joules. Our por­tion sizes have grown over the years. In fact, re­searchers have iden­ti­fied that the in­crease in por­tion sizes for some of our favourite foods, such as salty snacks, fries, burg­ers and soft drinks, is di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for an in­crease in kilo­joules con­sumed and weight gain.

Keep an eye on how much you’re dish­ing up. A sim­ple rule of thumb: fill half your plate with non-starchy veg­eta­bles, onequar­ter with low GI carbs (such as fruit, grain bread, or quinoa) and one-quar­ter of your plate with lean meat or other pro­tein.

There’s no doubt about it: get­ting to and main­tain­ing a healthy weight can help you feel bet­ter and stay healthy over time. Los­ing weight when you have pre-di­a­betes, or soon af­ter you find out you have type 2, can also help you reach tar­get goals for blood glu­cose, choles­terol, and blood pres­sure. We’ve rounded up some ‘do it to­day’ tips to help you lose the weight.

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