Improving Weight Management
Losing weight often helps improve blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides). Studies have shown that losing 10-15 pounds may be all it takes to see these results.* It is important to lose weight and keep it off . This requires you continue to eat right and exercise.
Getting Started Set simple goals
- Most people never reach their "ideal" weight. Speak with your doctor or dietitian to set a goal that is right for you. At first, aim for a loss of 5-10 pounds. Weight loss of ½ to 1 pound per week will stay off better than a quick weight loss.
- Use "measures of success" other than weight to avoid feelings of failure.
- Aim for decreases in your blood sugar levels or A1c. Lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol or triglycerides should also be a goal.
- Look for inches lost around the waist. Extra weight around the stomach area increases your health risks.
Decrease portion sizes
- Meet with a dietitian to develop a meal plan that meets your needs. Check with your doctor to see if you need a referral.
- If the exchange list is hard to follow, ask the dietitian about the plate method. This is easy to follow and you will see good results.
- Use smaller plates to fool your eyes. This will make you think you have more food. Eat only what is on your plate. Avoid seconds.
Increase fiber in your diet
- High fiber foods fill you up. Eat more high fiber foods, such as non-starchy vegetables.
- Choose whole grain products over refined products.
- Drink plenty of water or non-caloric drinks. This will help you feel fuller.
Cut down on fat
- Decrease the amount of high fat items. This includes oils, butter or margarine, salad dressings, high fat meats, whole milk dairy products and baked goods.
- Do not try to cut out all fat. Some fat helps to slow food down as it leaves your stomach. This helps to decrease hunger and control blood sugars
- Be careful with many foods that are "fat-free." Many use sugars to replace the fat.
- Increase physical activity. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Getting active is very important for weight loss. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week. Start slowly. Do 10 minutes a day then every week add another 5 minutes.
- If you cannot get your exercise all at once, break it up. Instead of 30 minutes at once, get 10 minutes of exercise three times during the day.
- Increase your activity in everyday life (take the stairs, park away from the store, dance when cleaning the house).
Find out why/when you overeat
- Come up with activities that do not involve food. If you eat when you are bored, keep a list of projects to do. If you eat when you are stressed, go out for a walk.
- If you think emotional reason may be why you eat, seek counseling from a mental health expert.
How can your doctor help you?
- Enlist the help of friends, family or co-workers.
- If you need group support, ask your doctor to refer you to a weight management group.
Here are some additional resources: Weight Control Information Network www.niddk.nih.gov/health/nutrit/win.htm 1-877-946-4627 The American Dietetic Association www.eatright.org The Calorie Control Council www.caloriecontrol.org Shape Up America www.shapeup.org
*www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/weightloss/healthy-weightloss html 1/19/11