For people with prediabetes, weight loss and other lifestyle modifications can decrease the risk of developing full-blown diabetes by as much as 58 percent. For people who have already progressed to diabetes, about half of the men and 70 percent of the women are obese at the time of diagnosis.
According to WebMD, "If you're overweight and have type 2 diabetes, you will lower your blood sugar, improve your health, and feel better if you lose some of your extra pounds." Dropping even 10 or 15 pounds offers health perks such as lower blood pressure; better cholesterol levels; less stress on your hips, knees, ankles and feet; more energy; and improved mood.
But you know how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off. Voluntary, intentional weight loss is never easy, and if anybody tries to tell you that his amazing new product will make it effortless, you have learned (probably the hard way) that it's not true.
And yet, for the sake of your health and longevity, you must try to achieve and maintain a normal weight. For diabetics, it can be an especially vicious circle: weight gain can lead to insulin resistance, and taking supplementary insulin can cause more weight gain.
Why do diabetics gain and retain weight so easily? Type 1 diabetes requires the regular administration of insulin, and so does type 2 diabetes if it cannot be controlled otherwise. If you take insulin, you are adding a hormone to your body that regulates the absorption of glucose by the cells of your body. A dose of insulin allows glucose to enter your cells, and glucose levels in your blood drop accordingly. This is good. But it's easy to take in more calories than you need, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle. That means your cells will be getting more glucose than they need—and what they don't use gets stored as fat.
The usual advice applies: count calories, choose foods carefully, limit your portion sizes, skip seconds and drink lots of water. However, don't try to cut calories by skipping meals. This can cause your blood-sugar level to dip if you don't adjust your insulin dose, and you will be tempted to make up later for "starving" yourself.
The importance of physical activity cannot be overemphasized. Exercise works wonders for both your metabolism and your mood.
Tips for Weight-Loss Success
Cut your calories. Most people lose weight when they embark on a healthy eating and vegetable-juicing program because they stop craving junk food and high-carb foods, which helps cut a lot of calories. But make sure you shave off at least one hundred calories from your daily caloric intake. All long-term weight studies ever done in which people kept the weight off for more than two years showed this simple strategy. It's very easy to do, and one hundred calories is such a small amount your body won't be
able to tell you're on a diet. This way your metabolism doesn't slow down, and you naturally lose weight.
Eat breakfast. If you think skipping breakfast will cut a bunch of calories from your diet and speed your weight loss, you're mistaken. People who skip breakfast usually eat more for lunch because they're so hungry, and they usually snack more throughout the day. Start your day with a power breakfast that begins with a glass of raw veggie juice and/or a green or nut smoothie. Many people say they just aren't hungry anymore after drinking an energizing glass of veggie juice or a green smoothie.
Eat healthy snacks. Each day, if you work outside the home, pack healthy snacks in small containers or plastic bags to take with you and keep in your purse, briefcase or an insulated tote.
If you always have healthy, diet-friendly snacks such as fresh veggies, low-sugar fruit, raw nuts or seeds on hand, you'll be less tempted to raid the vending machine or grab a few pieces of candy from a coworker's dish. And you won't go home ravenously hungry and eat half a bag of chips or cookies before dinner.
Drink purified water. The next time you feel hungry, drink a glass of purified water. You may not need to eat afterward. Since the hormones in our intestinal tract that tell us we're hungry are very similar to the hormones that let us know we're thirsty, it's often hard to distinguish hunger from thirst. Therefore, we reach for food when we should be reaching for water. Your hunger pangs could be your body's cry for H2O. Water is essential for burning calories.
Add some coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil is a healthy weight-loss ingredient. Not only does it boost metabolism and speed weight loss, there is also evidence that suggests that adding a small amount of coconut oil into one's daily diet can help lower cholesterol and improve conditions such as diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS, Crohn's disease and other digestive disorders. It can also enhance thyroid production as well as increase overall energy.
Go low glycemic. Low-glycemic diet plans, also known as low carb, are popular for a reason—they get results. High-glycemic foods raise blood-sugar levels, cause the body to secrete excess insulin, and lead to the storage of fat. Originally developed as a tool to help diabetics manage blood sugar, the low-glycemic diet has become popular in the weight-loss market largely because it works so well. See appendix A for a list of helpful foods. The focus of any nutrition therapy should be on glycemic control— preventing further weight gain and losing weight as needed.
Make one meal a day either a veggie juice or a green smoothie. If you make this meal dinner, you will really accelerate your weight-loss program. If you start your day with a glass of veggie juice, you will spark up your metabolism. You can then eat a protein breakfast. Make your meals low carb with a focus on veggies. You may also want to make one day a week a veggie juice fast.
Adapted from The Juice Lady's Remedies for Diabetes, Copyright © 2016 by Cherie Calbom and published by Siloam/Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group. To purchase a copy of the book, click here.
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