Studies indicate that for most Canadians, one of the best ways to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes is to lose weight.
Fat tissue increases your insulin resistance. This means your body has a harder time using its own insulin properly.
But how do we lose weight?
“All you need to do is exercise more and eat less.”
This is unhelpful advice I have been guilty of giving to my clients over the years.
There is a general attitude that being overweight is simply a failure of individual willpower. However, what the science tells us is that obesity is actually a chronic disease. There are chemical things happening in your body that make it harder to lose weight.
As with any other chronic medical condition, stopping treatment (or your lifestyle change) will result in the recurrence of the condition (weight gain).
This means to lose weight effectively, you need to make permanent changes.
We have all heard that dieting is unhealthy, but how else are we supposed to lose weight?
What is “lifestyle change?”
One definition I like is that a diet is the least amount of food and the most exercise that a person can tolerate.
A healthy lifestyle, on the other hand, is the least amount of food and the most exercise that a person can enjoy.
If you do not enjoy your life while losing weight, you will likely revert back to your “normal” habits and gain the weight back.
So what are some significant lifestyle changes you can make and still enjoy your life?
• Stop putting cream and sugar in your coffee or tea.
• Drink water instead of pop or juice.
• When you go for coffee with your spouse or friend, share your treat.
• Make yourself a “no-second-helpings” policy at supper.
• Have “dessert night” once a week, instead of every night.
• Include at least one vegetable or fruit at every meal.
• Park your car farther away from work, use the stairs.
• Join a sports team or sign up for a dance class (if you’ve paid for a program, you are more likely to attend).
– Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital. Comments or questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.