You know, the original title to this post was “Diet and Weight Loss for Type 2 Diabetics.” Sounds a bit long, doesn’t it? And, then I realized that I am not only thinking about Diabetics at the moment, but about everyone. What? Everyone? You thought this was a blog about Type 2 Diabetes. Have I lost my mind?
Well, I hope I haven’t lost my mind. This blog ultimately is about Preventing, Delaying and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes; that is the War On Diabetes. And, the best battle plan is to start the war when you can Prevent it, right? So, who can prevent Diabetes? Not a trick question. The answer is: Anyone who does not have it. I know – Well, duh. But, stick with me for a moment.
Type 2 Diabetes can be linked to a certain lifestyle. A life that does not include any form of exercise and eating just about anything which causes weight gain. Notice I wrote linked. Why? Because if you line up 10 folks who are obese by BMI standard (a BMI of 30+), you can’t tell by looking who will have Diabetes and who will not. You can’t tell who will get it and who will not. But…and it’s a big but…weight, and what it represents (lack of exercise) can contribute to getting Diabetes.
In my heart of hearts I believe that if I had not become 70 pounds overweight (BMI 34.6), I would not have Type 2 Diabetes today. Why do I believe that? Because as soon as I lost the weight and got down to a BMI of 24.9 or 25.0, I was taken off of meds and control my Diabetes through a bit of exercise and eating a healthy diet that is portion controlled. Heck, the only portion I knew when I was overweight was, “More.” Sound familiar?
So, how did I do it? I started a lower carb diet immediately and stuck to it. Three meals (50 carbs each) and three snacks (15 carbs each). I slashed in-take and started walking 30 minutes a night. I had to gain control and my doctor told me one of the best ways to do that was to lose a little weight and walk. It worked for me.
Now, I know not everyone can take that approach. There are a lot of “I can’t have thats” in the beginning until you learn what works for you – the reason I maintained a food journal. Ultimately I believe it’s the best approach, but it takes a willingness to be hungry knowing you aren’t going to die due to hunger – even if you feel like it. It takes discipline to make the right choices every meal all of the time.
All of the time? Yeah. You see, I think that if you give yourself a ‘free day’ like so many advise, you will think you are punishing yourself when you are eating a healthy diet the other six days. It’s human nature. “Be good” for six days so you can have that piece of pie or a big serving of mac and cheese. Folks, that is not a way to live. The truth is that I still live within the carb counts I listed above, but if I want a little of this or that – it’s okay. Emphasis on LITTLE.
So, if you can’t take the ‘all-in’ approach in the beginning and you need to lose weight, what can you do? Research and select a program that will work for you and that you will stick with. Yes, sticking with it for months will be very important for weight loss to be successful.
How do you choose one? There are hundreds of ‘diets’ out there with new ones being added weekly. Most seem to be about losing a few pounds fast – ignore them. You can’t be in it for fast, or the weight will come back fast. Lucky for us US News has rated weight loss systems. Start your research there. When you select one – be committed and stick to it. Don’t go mixing and matching – it won’t work. A system is just that: “a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method” to achieve a desired result.
What’s the result you want? Weight loss and controlling Diabetes. Follow a system for weight loss and your Diabetes should get under control. What’s the worst that will happen? Some weight loss…and that’s a bad thing?
By the way, on my way to weight loss, I stopped wanting all of the other stuff (cookies, pies, a lot of pasta, etc). I don’t know how it works, but my body just stopped sending signals every time I went by a burger joint or saw a commercial for ice cream. No, it did not happen over night, but it did happen and could happen to you. How much easier will life be without the cravings and desires for certain foods?
So, lose the weight. Pick a plan that works to you and stick to it. You can prevent Diabetes from happening. or, the worst that happens is that you delay Diabetes if you have Prediabetes – and every day delayed is a good thing! Or, if you have been diagnosed, take action – lose the weight if you need to and control the disease.
You can do it. You can fight and win the War On Diabetes.
As always, thank you for reading and sharing.