The incidence of type 2 diabetes is on the rise, which experts largely attribute to the rise in obesity. Type 2 diabetes, which is responsible for 90 to 95% of all diabetes cases, is more common in adults, but as rates of childhood obesity increase, more young children are being diagnosed with the disease. The good news is that simple lifestyle changes can prevent and, in some cases, counter the course of this disease.
Type 2 Diabetes Explained
Following digestion, a hormone called insulin is released into the blood from the pancreas. Among insulin’s primary roles is its ability to allow carbohydrates (absorbed in the form of glucose) and proteins to enter muscle cells, where they are stored or used for energy. With type 2 diabetes, some insulin is produced, but the body does not effectively use it. This condition is known as “insulin resistance” and prohibits glucose from entering the cells. In turn, blood glucose rises to abnormal levels in the blood. If unchecked for extended periods, elevated glucose levels lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and nerve dysfunction.
Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to lifestyle factors, especially diet and exercise. People at highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes have a family history, as well as other cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
However, the same techniques that are used for prevention of this disease—a healthy diet and regular exercise—can be used to control and possibly reverse its progression.
Exercise Can Help
The latest research has put exercise at the forefront in the prevention, control and treatment of diabetes because it decreases insulin resistance. Following regular exercise training, cells can better respond to insulin and effectively take glucose out of the blood and into the cell. Exercise also helps to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body fat.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you should adhere to the following exercise guidelines:
- Always consult with your physician before starting any exercise program to determine the potential risks associated with exercise.
- Cardiovascular exercise—Strive to accumulate a minimum of 1,000 kcal expended through physical activity each week. Pending current conditioning levels, this may require three to seven days per week of low-to-moderate intensity exercise for 20 to 60 minutes (walking and other non-weightbearing activities such as water aerobics and cycling are good choices). Daily exercise is highly recommended.
- Resistance training—Perform resistance-training activities at least two days per week, targeting the major muscle groups. Complete a minimum of one set of 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise at a low-to-moderate intensity.
- Flexibility—Perform stretching exercises at least two to three days per week, stretching major muscle groups to the point of tension (not pain) for 15 to 30 seconds. Complete two to four repetitions of each stretch.
- The ultimate goal is to expend a minimum of 1,000 calories per week via physical activity for health benefits, or 2,000 calories per week for weight loss. Keep in mind that these are goals that you should work up to gradually over time.
What are the precautions?
If you have type 2 diabetes, you must monitor your glucose before and after exercise to understand how you respond to certain types of activities. Also, exercising with a partner and wearing an ID bracelet indicating one’s diabetic condition are very important.
Finally, don’t forget to check with your physician prior to beginning a physical-activity program and return regularly to assess the diabetic complications. If complications of the eyes, kidney or heart are present, your physician should provide you with clear boundaries regarding the intensity of any physical activity.
American Diabetes Association—Exercise: www.diabetes.org/weightloss-and-exercise/exercise/overview.jsp/
Centers for Disease Control—Exercise and Diabetes:www.cdc.gov/diabetes/faq/exercise.htm/
Mayo Clinic—Diabetes and Exercise: www.mayo_clinic.com/health/diabetes-and-exercise/DA00036/
Are you satisfied with your general physique, or would you like to get rid of a few extra pounds? If your answer is the latter, quit looking for that magic pill and just follow several general guidelines that will help you work toward a healthier body.
Atkins™, South Beach™, The Zone Diet™ and countless other types of diets have each been hyped as the perfect diet strategy to shed those unwanted pounds. While they may have shown initial results, most have failed to demonstrate long-term success in keeping the weight off. Here’s an important tip to remember: Your body must burn more calories than it is taking in to lose weight. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, so if you want to lose 1 pound per week you need to average a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day.
Don’t worry—that doesn’t mean you have to get on the treadmill and run until you have burned 3,500 calories to lose a pound. Your goal is to combine increased activity with some cutbacks in your diet.
Basal Metabolic Rate and Calories Burned in a Day
To manage weight, you need to determine the number of calories you eat and the number of calories you burn. Your body has something called the basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories you burn at rest in order to survive. It accounts for roughly 60 to 75% of all the calories you burn in a given day. That’s right—you are actually burning a small amount of calories while you are sleeping.
Use the following website to determine your BMR and daily calorie needs: www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/.
Now that you’ve determined your daily caloric needs, you need to set a realistic goal of 1 to 2 pounds per week and determine how many calories you’ll need to forgo to lose those pesky pounds.
What to Eat
As surprising as it might sound, managing your weight is easier than you might imagine. There is no need to spend hours planning your diet. Just follow several simple guidelines and keep the calorie deficit in mind.
- Reduce your portion sizes by 10 to 15% each time you prepare or order a meal.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and avoid skipping breakfast.
- Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat or low-fat dairy products to get the nutrients your body needs.
- Aim for two or three servings of dairy products daily (e.g., milk, cheeses, yogurt).
- Select low-fat foods and avoid trans fats. Limit your total fat intake to 20 to 35% of daily calories, with no more than 7% of your total calories coming from saturated fats.
- Avoid eating too many salty foods.
- Limit alcohol beverage intake.
Cardio: Burn the Right Fuel
Research shows that lower-intensity exercise uses a larger percentage of fat as fuel compared to higher-intensity exercise. However, it does not burn as many calories as higher-intensity exercise and, consequently will not result in as much body weight or fat loss. Gradually increase the intensity to increase your caloric deficit while continuing to burn fats. Higher-intensity exercise also has a greater impact on keeping your metabolism elevated after your workout, which adds a few more calories to your deficit. Remember, always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program and choose the intensity that is appropriate for you.
Burn Fat With Muscle
Strength training offers many health benefits, including an increase in the number of calories burned. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, and building muscles costs a lot of energy. As you increase the amount of muscle you have, you will also increase your resting metabolic rate. To prevent injury and develop consistency, start off with one to two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for all major muscle groups
Have you been approaching weight loss from the outside in? Many women are unaware that they're suffering from chronic muscle imbalances and common metabolic dysfunctions that have been preventing them from losing weight and keeping it off.
By targeting out-of-balance core muscles and poor circulation, your 8-week Shed It program will increase your body's ability to burn fat and eliminate toxins while significantly reducing poor posture, stiffness and pain. In only 8-weeks, you will finally have the breakthrough you've been looking for, the energy you thought you lost and a smaller waist line---all starting from the inside out.
Weight-Loss Manual Included with Training
Never forget what you've learned. Every exercise and healthy eating tip taught during the program is illustrated in your manual along with customized training and weight-loss tracking pages.
Contact Shed It - Certified Trainer & Weight Loss Specialist Matt Scott, for additional details.
Being health-conscious doesn't necessarily mean that you can't enjoy the holiday season and have a little bit of what you fancy. It simply means that you should continue to be vigilant and be prepared for the festivities.
There are many ways in which you can help to strike a balance between maintaining a healthy diet and joining in with the fun and festivities.
1. Exercise: Most people have a little extra time available over the holiday season when they are not at work. Take this opportunity to develop a regular exercise regime. This will help to burn off the excess calories and fat consumed over this period. It will also get you into the habit of exercising, and you can continue the regime after the holiday season is over.
2. Review your cooking methods: These days there is no excuse for not utilizing the many healthy ways in which food can be prepared. Instead of frying, grill your food. If you're roasting, use one of the many available low-calorie spray oils. Try steaming vegetables to retain nutrients and flavor.
3. Invest in lower fat ingredients for cooking: If you're preparing a big dinner, why not use half-fat ingredients whenever possible? It is often difficult to tell the difference where taste and flavor are concerned. You can even get low-calorie beers, wines and soft drinks. By simply swapping regular ingredients, foods and drinks for their half-fat alternatives you can make a big cut-back on fat and calorie consumption.
4. Eat regularly: If you are going to a big party or dinner, don't starve yourself all day in anticipation. You're in danger of arriving there feeling ravenous and eating everything in sight. Instead, have some low-fat, healthy snacks throughout the day. By doing this, you'll be less likely to over-indulge whilst you are out.
5. Prepare for outings: If you have some big nights out and meals planned over the holiday season, try and compensate by having some healthy eating days leading up to the event. Many of us are only too keen to think that we may as well forget about healthy eating over the holidays. However, it should not be a case of forgetting about your diet, but simply managing it a little more carefully over the holidays.
6. Balance your meals out: Don't be tempted to fill up your plate with purely rich, calorie-laden food. Instead, have a little of everything including fruit and vegetables. This way, you'll still get to indulge as well as receive valuable nutrients and vitamins.
7. Be wary of sugary foods: Always remember that rich, sugary foods have a nasty habit of making us crave yet more rich and sugary foods. We've all been there...over-indulging in sweet or rich food...feeling bloated, sick, and making rash promises to never eat again...and, a couple of hours later, finding ourselves back in the kitchen, picking at leftovers. By ensuring that you practise healthy eating over the holidays, and throw in some form of regular exercise, you can expect to have more energy and fewer cravings.
8. Stock up on healthy snacks: When you go shopping, be sure to throw some healthy snacking items in to your trolley. Fill up on raw vegetables, such as carrots or celery, which can make a simple snack in times of temptation.
9. Be aware of food allergies: It is quite possible that you may have an allergy or intolerance to a food, which you may not even be aware of. Because there is a mountain of food waiting around every corner during the holiday season, we sometimes find ourselves gorging on food that we don't even know the ingredients of. Then we wonder why we're feeling so ill the next morning! By having a food allergy test, you can identify any foods that you need to avoid during the holiday season in order to maintain your health and enjoy the festivities without suffering.
10. Moderate alcohol intake: Don't forget that alcohol is fattening too. That innocent-looking glass of sparkly wine or that small bottle of beer may look as though it will do no harm. However, alcohol contains calories and lots of them. Try and control the amount of alcohol you consume over the holiday period and, in the same way as food, try not to over-indulge regularly. There are plenty of lower-calorie beers and wines available that can help, so opt for the healthier version whenever possible.
11. Be assertive: Don't feel as though you have to say yes to everyone that offers you food and drink. If you are not hungry, then simply say so. Do not let yourself be bullied into eating something that you really don't want.
12. Leave what you don't want: Despite what your parents may have drummed into you as a child, don't feel obliged to clear your plate. When you feel full, stop eating.