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Healthy Eating and Weight Management in Diabetes

Diabetes is a growing global health concern, and so is obesity.

Diabetes and obesity are intrinsically linked: obesity increases the risk of diabetes and also contributes to disease progression and diabetes complications.

So let’s find out how can we eat healthy and manage our weight while fighting diabetes.

HEALTHY EATING IN DAIBETES

A diabetes diet simply means eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes. Embracing your healthy-eating plan is the best way to keep your blood glucose level under control and prevent diabetes complications.  

  • Reduce your portion size by serving less on your plate.
  • Make less food look like more by serving your meal on a salad or breakfast plate.
  • Drink a large glass of water 30 minutes before your meal so you feel less hungry.
  • Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you are full.

1. Make Healthy Food Choices

  • Snack on a veggie.
  • Cut back on high-fat foods like whole milk, cheeses, and fried foods.
  • Choose to eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Make healthy choices at fast food restaurants. Try grilled instead of fried
  • Try eating organic products.

2. Cook with care

  • Cook with less oil, ghee and butter.
  • Stir fry, broil, boil or bake with non-stick spray or low-salt broth.
  • Choose foods with little or no added sugar to reduce calories.
  • Cook with a mix of spices instead of salt to add flavor and taste.
  • Refined grains and starches are in foods like cookies, white bread, and some snack foods. Avoid them.

3. Eat Smart

  • Make at least half of your grains whole grains, such as whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, and quinoa.
  • Slow down at snack time. Eating a bag of low-fat popcorn takes longer than eating a candy bar.
  • Keep a healthy snack with you, such as fresh fruit, a handful of nuts, and whole grain crackers.
  • Skip the fries and chips and choose a salad.
  • Have a fruit salad instead of ice cream or cake.

4. Rethink your drink

  • Peel and eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice.
  • Stay away from carbonated drinks.
  • Drink water instead of juice and regular soda.
  • If you drink whole milk, try changing to 2% milk. It has less fat than whole milk

5. Track your intake with “The Wellness Corner"

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT IN DIABETES

Healthy eating and physical activity are key factors in managing weight. Some of the benefits of weight loss in type 2 diabetes are:

  • Effect on glycemic control (Blood Sugar and HbA1c)
  • Effect on cadiovascular activities
  • Reduction of depression symptoms
  • Decrease in the use of medicines
  • Improved fitness

Although, the benefits of weight loss in the prevention of diabetes as well as an important component of managing the condition are well established, weight reduction remains challenging for individuals with type 2 diabetes due to a host of metabolic and psychological factors.

What can be done?

Here's how to get started on the path to weight-loss success:

1. Physical activity

Exercise can help keep off the weight. People who increase physical activity along with reducing calorie intake lose more body fat than people who only diet. Most people chose walking as their form of exercise.

2. Eat Breakfast 

Skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day when you become ravenous. Pairing cereal that is high in fiber with a high-protein food can help keep blood sugar levels in check. For example, drinking milk with no sugar cereal.

3. Cut calories

The number of that people on a diabetes diet should consume depends on a number of factors, including age, gender, current weight, activity level, and body type. A reasonable goal for people with type 2 diabetes is between 1,200 and 1,800 calories per day for women and between 1,400 and 2,000 calories per day for men.

4. Feast of fiber

Generous amounts of fiber help lower blood sugar levels and speed weight loss. One trick you can do to help increase your fiber intake is to toss fiber-rich legumes, like chickpeas and black beans, into salads, chili, and soups.

5. Eat mini-meals 

A diabetes diet structured with three or more small meals daily is better than a diet plan that includes only one or two big meals. Large meals can cause blood sugar levels to surge, while eating smaller meals more frequently will help keep glucose levels lower after eating.

6. Set small goals

Don’t try to transform your body all at once. Instead, set small, realistic targets, such as walking around the block four times a week and having dessert only on the weekend rather than every day. After these goals become habits, move on to your next objective. You’ll gain a feeling of accomplishment, while inching towards your ultimate weight-loss goal.

7. Get support 

Staying motivated to stick with a weight-loss plan can be difficult when you’re going it alone. Connecting with others can provide the emotional support you need to avoid giving up.

Use tricks to prevent overeating. Sometimes sneaky strategies can help keep you from overdoing it on diet-damaging foods. Try the following:

  • Fill up on low-calorie foods first 

Start every meal with the foods on your plate that are lowest in calories. Non-starchy vegetables make the perfect low-calorie starter. By the time you get to the other foods, you won’t be so hungry.

  • Take up a busy-hands hobby

If you’re idle, you’ll be more prone to eating. Keep busy with activities like walking, knitting, scrapbooking, doing crossword puzzles, or gardening.

It’s important to continue healthy eating and regular exercise even after reaching your weight-loss goal. Healthy habits for weight control should last a lifetime.