Thursday, November 4, 2010
DIABETES AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Weight loss is one way to lower blood glucose and to reduce risks for heart and blood vessel disease. Being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes even if one is healthy and not yet diabetic, being overweight could predispose an individual to insulin resistance.
Persons with insulin resistance lack the ability to utilize insulin properly. It is difficult to lose weight for most people. Losing 10 to 20% of weight can have a big impact on an individual’s blood glucose levels.
Losing weight too quickly often results in rebound, hence it is important that it should be slow and steady process. The body weight is determined by the following factors:
- The type of food we eat.
- Physical activity level
- Body build and heredity
- Body chemistry
Physical activity helps the body to respond better to insulin. If you are overweight, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight also helps the body respond better to insulin.
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a relationship of the body weight to height. The internationally accepted standard adopted by National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes, Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, evaluation and treatment of Overweight and Obesity in adults, the evidence report states that:
Underweight (BMI <18.5)
Normal (BMI 18.5 – 24.9)
Overweight (BMI 25.0 – 29.9)
Obesity Class 1 (BMI 30 – 34.9)
Obesity Class 2 (BMI 35 – 39.9)
Obesity Class 3 (BMI ≥ 40).
A calorie is a measure of stored energy. Eating fewer calories is one way to lose weight. The minimum recommended calories to obtain needed vitamins and minerals is 1200 for adult females and 1500 for adult males. Fad diets and quick weight loss plans can harm health and interfere with diabetes management weight loss of no more than one ib per week is recommended. Awareness of the calorie content of food can also help one choose foods to gain weight or avoid weight loss.
It is important to note that carbohydrates, protein and fat all contribute calories when digested. Hence the teaching by health care providers especially in Africa that people living with diabetes should only eat proteinous foods should be condemned. Fat provides more calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein and is most easily changed into body fat.
Foods high in water and or fiber have fewer calories per bite. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains heave the lowest calorie per bite. These foods tend to require more chewing, take longer to eat and help you feel full and satisfied without lot of calories.
Exercise helps with weight management by burning calories, relieving stress, and maintaining muscle mass. Exercise helps persons with type 2 diabetes improve blood glucose levels by improving insulin sensitivity and decreasing glucose output from the liver.
In some parts of Africa, weight gain is a sign of affluence and well being hence people spend so much money to gain weight but with education and awareness on the dangers of overweight and obesity keeping moderate weight should be encouraged