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Diabetes - 10 Tips for Weight Loss

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10 Tips for Weight Loss

By Nina Nazor

1. Losing 10% of your body weight helps diabetes control

If you have diabetes and are overweight, losing 10% of your body weight could help your blood glucose levels as well as your overall health. You just need to make smart food choices, increase your physical activity, reduce the stress in your life, and follow a healthy lifestyle.

Yes, I know it sounds too hard, but just losing some pounds can help you prevent diabetes complications.

Also, weight loss can reduce the dose of your medications.

You will feel better, look better and be healthier, are you ready to give it a try?. Let's start!

2. Be more active

Being more active can help you control body weight and body fat levels.

You can use several strategies, like:

  Get a pedometer and use it! First thing in the morning, put on your pedometer in cero. This little device will count the number of steps you take throughout the day. The goal is 10,000 steps a day to be healthy and at least 12,000 steps a day if we want to lose weight. If you start your day with a 45 minute walk and you try to keep moving all day, leaving the car far from the entrance in the parking lot, using the stairs instead of the elevator, going to the bath room that is far away from your desk, take a quick stroll after lunch, when you realize you will be making 10,000 steps, just remember to start with little and increase 300-500 steps every week.

  Another option is to try the new 30 minute workouts in places like Curves, (that one is for women only), but most gyms have that option. Working with weights will let you tone your muscles and lose fat while increasing muscle mass, all those good things for all of us.

3. Balance inputs and outputs

Losing weight depends on the balance between the amount of calories we eat and the ones we burn through physical activity in a day.

If you eat more calories than the ones you burn, the extra calories will be stored as fat. Our body is such an efficient machine that any excess is saved. The key is to eat less calories than those we burn, so we can create a deficit of energy and thus lose weight.

If you are thinking "that sounds great, but I have been overweight forever", or " I am now more than 50 and is getting very difficult to lose weight", well, maybe it will be a little more work, but we can do it. No hormones or age can defeat the balance between the input and output of energy in our bodies. If we eat less than we spend, we will lose weight.

By being more active and eating less calories, you will be able to lose weight more efficiently.

4. Calories count

Each pound of fat stored in your body equals 3,500 calories. To lose one pound in a week, we need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories. This can happen by eating 3,500 less calories in a week or burning 3,500 calories through exercise. We should not try to lose more than two pounds (7,000 calories) in one week for a healthy weight loss.

Ok. If you add 15 minutes of moderate exercise, like walking one mile, to your daily activities, you will burn 100 extra calories per day and 700 calories per week, or 10 pounds in one year, if you eat the same calories. Just one extra slice of bread or half cup of pasta can make you gain ten extra pounds in a year if you do not increase your physical activity.

5. Follow a healthy meal plan

A balanced diet must include fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and milk products and meats and fish.

The general recommendation is that your daily intake should be at least 1200 calories unless you are under a doctor's supervision. Also, remember that weekly weight loss is not supposed to be more than two pounds.

When you have diabetes, you must also count your carbs and try to choose the healthiest sources of them, eat small amounts of fat and at least your 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day.

6. Burn more calories

The following table shows how many calories a 150 pound (68 kg) person burns per hour. Take that into account for choosing your daily activities

Sedentary Activities:

·  Lying down or sleeping: 90

·  Sitting quietly: 84

·  Sitting and writing, computer, talking, etc: 114

Moderate Activities:

·  Bicycling (5 mph): 174

·  Canoeing (2.5 mph): 174

·  Dancing (Ballroom): 210

·  Golf (2-some, carrying clubs): 324

·  Horseback riding (sitting to trot): 246

·  Light housework, cleaning, etc: 246

·  Swimming (crawl, 20 yards/min): 288

·  Tennis (recreational doubles): 312

·  Volleyball (recreational): 264

·  Walking (2 mph): 198

Vigorous Activities

·  Aerobic Dancing: 546

·  Basketball (recreational): 450

·  Bicycling (13 mph): 612

·  Circuit weight training: 756

·  Football (touch, vigorous): 498

·  Ice Skating (9 mph): 384

·  Racquetball: 588

·  Roller Skating (9 mph): 384

·  Jogging (10 minute mile, 6 mph): 654

·  Scrubbing Floors: 440

·  Swimming (crawl, 45 yards/min): 522

·  Tennis (recreational singles): 450

·  X-country Skiing (5 mph): 690

7. Follow an active lifestyle

Just try to be more active every day, move as much as posible and find out how to increase your energy expenditure in easy ways. On weekends you can try to plan calorie-burning activites like hiking, walking to the mall or in the mall, go to the park, ride bycicle, roller skate, swimm, row, salsa or ball room dance, whatever you like, with friends or family, just get away from the sofa and the TV and enjoy nature.

The most important thing to stick to an exercise program is to choose an activity that you enjoy and if possible, to share it with a buddy. Then with the combination of a healthy diet and exercise, you will reduce inches and control diabetes.

8. How much exercise?

You should do at least 30 minutes of physical activity five or more days a week; children and teens need 60 minutes of activity a day for their health. Also complement your program with at least three times a week of weight training. Some of the benefits of exercise are:

·  Exercise builds muscle, muscle burns more calories than body fat; and

·  Exercise helps tone your body.

·  You will keep burning calories after exercising.

·  Exercise helps control stress and relieves tensions.

·  Exercise improves your self-image.

·  Exercise helps you control blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure.

9. How to start and keep going

Tips to Get You Started

·  Consult with your doctor before starting any program. Your doctor must check for signs of diabetes chronic complications before you start any exercise program. Have your eyes, kidneys, heart and feet checked and ask him for any recommendations related with your diabetes treatment.

·  Choose activities that you enjoy.

·  Set realistic and short term goals.

·  Choose different exercises and activities so you don't get bored.

Tips to Keep You Going

·  Adopt a plan and keep a log to record your progress.

·  Include your weight in your log.

·  Share your successes with your friends and family.

·  Warm up and cool down besides using the right techniques for avoiding injuries.

·  Reward yourself for a job well done but not with food.

10. Be aware of hypoglycemia

If you have diabetes and are eating less and spending more through exercise, you should be aware of a low.

Always check your blood glucose before exercising, if you levels are below 100 mg/dL eat one portion of carbs. If your levels are between 100 and 180 it's ok. If your levels are above 200 you might need to check when you come back and maybe reduce the amount of carbs in the previous meal.

Also, always carry with you glucose tablets or gel just in case you have symptoms and wear your medical identification bracelet or card.

Source: The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Department of Health and Human Services