If you have diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is paramount in successfully managing this condition. Diabetes puts you at an increase risk of a host of conditions ranging from permanent nerve damage in the feet to deadly problems such as heart disease. When it comes to bringing down that number on the scale, your primary strategies are not that different from anyone else trying to lose weight, but certain ones may be particularly beneficial for someone with diabetes. Here are three tips that may
Get Enough Sleep
There are a lot of complex processes at play in the body that influence your weight and you want to make sure you are doing what you can to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain and difficulty losing weight in numerous ways. A recent study by the University of Chicago suggests that getting enough sleep may be particularly important if you suffer from diabetes; researchers found that limited sleep decreased the body’ sensitivity to insulin, a major player in turning the food you eat into energy or fat. This altered response to insulin appears to affect the functioning of fat cells, which in turn leads to your body to increase its fat stores. As someone who is already having issues using insulin efficiently, you want to avoid engaging in habits that that make it even harder. Lack of sleep also appears to increase cravings for sugary foods and drinks as well as refined carbohydrates—another issue that is particularly problematic for a diabetic. Why this happens is not totally clear, but researchers believe that the brain is looking for a quick boost of energy to make up for insufficient recovery time that it depends on when you turn in for the night.
Eat More Monounsaturated Fats
Not all fats are created equal and some of them, such as monounsaturated fats, actually contribute to our health in various ways. When it comes to losing weight with diabetes, you really want to reduce the amount of fat in the abdominal area as much as possible; this fat appears to be very active and much more dangerous than the kind lying just beneath the skin. High levels of abdominal fat will affect your body’s sensitivity to insulin—making it more difficult to manage your condition– as well as increase the risk of developing problems that you are already more prone to as a result of having diabetes.
Now, while you cannot pick and choose where you want to lose fat on your body, certain things may be particularly powerful in helping you lose more belly fat. According to a study that appeared in Diabetes Care, a diet rich in monounsatured fat, compared to a diet rich in saturated fat or carbohydrates, led to the greatest reduction of abdominal fat. Now, since fats contain more than twice the calories as carbohydrates or proteins, you cannot go overboard. If you have diabetes, it is a good idea to consult with a nutritionist experienced in preparing eating plans for people with your condition for guidance. If you are interested in using a specific eating plan, when reading diet program reviews, look for ones that make sure to distinguish between the different types of fat and include plenty of these healthy ones.
When you think of losing weight, you probably picture butt-busting cardio that leaves you dripping with sweat. No doubt this is a vital part of the weight loss equation, but you do not want to overlook the benefits of strength training for shedding extra pounds. These types of exercises provide benefits far beyond giving you a more toned look and improving your strength. Your body burns calories all day long to support itself and its various functions; muscle requires more energy to maintain and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Boosting metabolism is key to weight loss and greater muscle mass equals a faster metabolism.
Also, research suggests that strength training may be particularly beneficial for diabetics when it comes to controlling insulin levels and glucose metabolism. It is believed to be as effective as aerobic exercise and when the two are combined, the benefits are even greater. Examples of strength training include using free weights, lunges, squats and push-ups. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends two strength training sessions weekly where you perform between 8 and 10 exercises that work the major muscle groups; perform at least one set of 8 to 10 repetitions for each exercise.