The dos and don’ts of weight loss

The dos and don’ts of weight loss

December 28, 2012
Top tips to lose weight.

Not sure about how to diet, or of the best way to lose weight and maintain that weight loss? To help you out, here are a few weight loss do’s and don’ts to help you home in on your goal and keep the weight off.

When embarking on weight loss then do…
Eat regularlyRe-fuelling when you are hungry is a good idea, but make sure that you snack on the right things. Good snacks are fruit, vegetable sticks and low fat dips, scones (watch the butter), sandwiches, toast, smoothies and low fat or diet yogurt.

Take a walk at lunchtimeJust small changes make a big difference over time. Offer to make the coffee at work or wash up, just walking over to the kettle every day for a few weeks counts! Or could even exercise at your desk.

Go shopping with a list
There is nothing worse than standing in the chocolate aisle with a growling stomach, it makes it all the more tempting to grab foods that are high in fat and sugar. Make sure you do your food shopping with a list — and not when you are hungry too.

Don’t be conned by marketingLow fat does not necessarily mean low calorie; many manufacturers lower the amount of fat in dessert foods and increase the amount of sugar to compensate. Make sure you read the labels on food stuffs so you know exactly what you are eating.

Get supportThis is really important if you are to succeed at losing weight in the long-term. Being surrounded by people who will eat the same foods and encourage you along the way is a good idea. Find a ‘buddy’ or someone in your family to boost your morale. This can really help if you are taking up a new exercise regime; it makes backing out much harder to do!

Watch your portion sizesNext time you go out, look at the amounts that your friends eat; you may be surprised at how much you consume in comparison to others. It is important to get your meal portions correct so try to eat more fruit, vegetables and starchy foods and less of the protein, dairy products and fatty and sugary foods.

Set yourself achievable goalsThis is important as you have something to aim for and if you make it achievable then you feel good when you reach the goal, rewarding yourself perhaps with a nice hot bath or a night out to the movies.

Tackle problems and don’t rely on food as a comfortA large number of us use food as a way of relieving stress and as a way to unwind when we are not even hungry.

Remember that there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, only ‘good’ or ‘bad’ dietsThis means that you can have treats; it is really important to be able to have what we call ‘flexible restraint’ and pick and choose when you have foods such as chocolate and chips.

Do monitor your food intake and physical activityUsing a diary or blog to record what you eat and how much you exercise is an excellent start. This helps you to understand where are your ‘danger periods’ on a daily basis, such as in the evenings when you relax in front of the TV. Once you have found out when you are most likely to waver it is easier to find ways to help yourself e.g. going for a walk instead of watching TV or having a bath, reading a book etc.

When embarking on a weight loss then don’t …
Don’t rely on just changing your food intake to lose weightResearch has proven that a combination of both exercise and altered eating habits is the best way to lose and maintain weight loss.

Think a fad diet will be the answer to your weight issue
This is a sure-fire way to head for the junk food. Many fad diets promise great weight loss but are unbalanced, and only make you crave the foods that it advises against. Life is for living and we should try to have a sensible and realistic approach to weight loss!

Don’t miss breakfast!
A classic way to think you are cutting back is to miss the most important meal of the day. By missing breakfast you are more likely to go for a snack mid-morning and it may not always be a healthy one you reach for!

Don’t become obsessive about your food intakeIf you feel you are permanently on a diet, ask yourself why. There is no point going out for a meal and feeling deprived, think of coping strategies to make such occasions as enjoyable as they should be. Why not cut back the day before you go out for that meal or even the day after?

Lifestyle changes may cure some diabetics

Lifestyle changes may cure some diabetics

Thursday, Dec 27, 2012
One in nine people with diabetes saw his blood sugar levels dip back to normal or prediabetic levels after a year on an intensive diet and exercise programme, a new study has found.
Prediabetes is the condition in which blood sugar is elevated but not to the level of diabetes.
Complete remission of type 2 diabetes is still very rare, researchers said. But they added that the new study can give people with the disease hope that they can stop medication and probably lower their risk of diabetes-related complications by making lifestyle changes.
Dr Edward Gregg, the lead author of the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, said: "The long-term assumption is that once you have diabetes, there's no turning back and there's no remission or cure."
The research "is a reminder that adopting a healthy diet, physically active lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight are going to help manage people's diabetes better", he said.
The study by his team could not prove the experimental programme - which included weekly group and individual counselling sessions for six months, followed by less frequent visits - was directly responsible for blood sugar improvements.
The original goal of the research was to look at whether that intervention lowered participants' risk of heart disease. So far, it has not.
But the diabetes improvements are in line with better weight loss and fitness among people in the programme compared with those in another group who went to only a few annual counselling sessions, the researchers reported last week in the Journal Of The American Medical Association.
The new study included 4,503 diabetic patients who were also overweight or obese.
People randomly assigned to the intensive programme received diet and exercise counselling and were given the goal of consuming 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day and increasing physical activity to just under three hours per week.
After one year, 11.5 per cent of them had at least partial diabetes remission, meaning that without medication, their blood sugar levels were no longer above the diabetes threshold.
Just 2 per cent of participants in the non-intervention group saw their diabetes improve significantly.
People who had had diabetes for fewer years were more likely to see improvements in their blood sugar levels, as were those who lost more weight or had stronger fitness gains during the study.
However, fewer than one-third of the people whose diabetes went into remission during the programme managed to keep their blood sugar levels down for at least four years, the researchers found.
Dr David Arterburn, from Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, who co-wrote an editorial published with the new study, said anyone with diabetes - or at high risk of the disease - should consider either lifestyle interventions or surgery, if they are eligible, to reduce future health risks.
Some studies of weight-loss surgery, for instance, have found that two-thirds of people who start out with diabetes experience complete remission, he said.