Living with diabetes is hard, and one of the hardest parts is learning to control your weight and your diet. Obesity is a strong risk factor in the development of Type 2, or adult onset, diabetes, and carrying those extra pounds can make your diabetes that much worse. Learning to control both your blood sugar and your weight can be doubly difficult, especially if your weight problem existed before the onset of your diabetes.
When you have diabetes, it is very important to plan your meals in advance whenever possible. That is because convenience foods, fast foods and other items you might grab while on the run are often loaded with sugars, starches and calories that are bad for your body, your overall health and your blood sugar. Taking the time to plan a week�s worth of meals in advance can also save you money at the grocery store. Taking a list with you and sticking to that list as you shop is one of the best ways to avoid costly impulse purposes.
Plan Healthy Meals from the Start
As each new week approaches, take a few minutes to plan a healthy menu for yourself and your family. Even if other members of the family do not share your condition, they can still benefit from developing healthy eating habits. Type 2 diabetes does have a strong genetic component, so making sure your family eats right is one of the best ways to prevent them from following in your footsteps.
Eating low on the food chain is an important concept for diabetics, and for those who just want to lose weight and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Choosing a diet rich in vegetables and whole grains is one of the best ways to combat an obesity problem without sending your blood sugar spiraling out of control.
Make Your Protein Count
Protein is an important part of your diabetic weight loss strategy as well. If your body does not get enough protein while you are dieting, you could lose muscle mass instead of fat. That can make it more difficult to exercise, since you will tire more easily. Since dieting and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to weight loss, anything that makes working out more difficult and less effective should be avoided.
The key is to make each bit of protein you eat really count, and the best way to do that is by eating lean meats instead of fattier ones. White meat chicken and turkey with the skin removed is an excellent choice for diabetic weight loss, as are lean cuts of beef. Light colored fish is an excellent choice as well, but fattier fish like salmon should be eaten sparingly. Fatty cuts of pork, lamb and duck should be avoided as well, although you can still enjoy small portions as part of an overall healthy diet plan.
Diabetics need to be careful with sugars, of course, and many diabetics assume that their dessert days are over when they are diagnosed. The good news, however, is that diabetics can enjoy desserts, even those made with sugar, if they do so sparingly. A small piece of cake or pie as an occasional treat will neither wreck your diet nor destroy your blood sugar profile, but it important to exercise restraint when it comes to sweets.
It is also important to be careful when choosing snacks and sweets. Many diabetics assume that they can enjoy unlimited amounts of sugar-free snacks, but the reality is rarely that simple. Sugar-free products can be just as high in harmful carbohydrates and processed starches as their sugary counterparts, so they should be eaten sparingly. Simply loading up on sugar-free foods and assuming you are doing a good thing can be very dangerous for both your waistline and your overall health.
Create Your Own Food Pyramid
The food pyramid is a staple of healthy eating, but the food pyramid used by diabetics is somewhat different than that used by the rest of the population. Following the guidelines of the food pyramid for diabetics is one of the best ways to enhance your weight loss and control your blood sugar.
A healthy diet for diabetics should include the following elements from the food pyramid:
Six or more servings of healthy foods like whole grains, starchy vegetables and beans.
Three to five servings of vegetables per day.
Two to four servings of fruits per day.
Two to three servings of meat, fish and cheese per day. Focus on lean cuts of meat and low fat cheese.
Two to three servings of milk, yogurt and dairy products, with an emphasis on healthy low fat choices.
By following these guidelines, planning ahead and watching what you eat, you can successfully lose weight while eating a diet that will not adversely impact your blood sugar. Losing weight is important for diabetics, and weight loss can even help you reduce the amount of medication you need to control this dangerous and potentially life threatening condition.