How to Win the Weight Loss War

| Feb 1, 2004

So you want to lose weight. Prepare for war!

You might have thought of your efforts as the Battle of the Bulge, but over the long haul, it’s really a war. You may have lost weight in the past, only to gain it back. If so, you’ve won a few battles and lost a few more.

Nevertheless, you can win the war, if you make up your mind to do so, stay focused and understand that it’s a fight for the rest of your life.

It Starts With a Decision

Ask yourself: Why do I want to lose weight?

If your answer is to look better or to feel better, you should know that sort of motivation is usually short-lived.

Get more specific. If you have diabetes, do you want to lose weight for better blood glucose control?

Think about why you want better control. For many, weight loss can help prevent serious complications of diabetes.

Many people are motivated to lose weight and control diabetes for the sake of their families. They want to see their kids grow up and want to be around to enjoy their grandchildren. Others want to be able to continue to work, make a living or, if retired, be active.

People don’t change without a reason. What’s your reason?

How Will You Do It?

First, get the word “diet” out of your head. There’s something about that word that makes people think about short-term fixes.

True weight management is a lifelong commitment, not an on-again off-again gimmick.

Once you realize that you are not on a diet, you can have whatever you want-that is, if it works.

When you are choosing a food, you must now consider these questions:

  • Do I really want it?
  • If so, how much of it do I want?
  • How much can I eat and still meet my weight and blood glucose goals?

Recent studies, such as one appearing in the May 22, 2003, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, have found that lower-carbohydrate eating plans help people lose more weight, at least for the short term. Because lower-carb options are higher in protein and fat than lower-fat options, people find they are not as hungry when they eat a lower-carb diet.

Carbohydrates have the most significant impact on blood glucose, and decreasing the amount of carbs you eat will affect your numbers.

If you are taking medications, I advise you to work with your healthcare provider before making any changes in your diet or your meds.

Remember that amounts of food do matter. A lower-carb diet plan does not mean eating huge amounts of certain foods just because they are low in carbs. Work with a registered dietitian or nutritionist who has experience with lower-carb plans.

 

Finally, losing weight is not all about food. You will also need to step up your activity level. It’s one thing to take off the weight, but studies show that regular activity helps us keep it off.

So, stop, think, listen, choose wisely, move and EnJoy!

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Columns, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diets, Food, Losing weight, Low Carb


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