Weight Watchers Get Healthy Freestyle Journey – Week 11
Your Weight and Diabetes
It’s time once again to reflect on the past week. Recently, we looked at milestones, how to stay motivated, smart use of free foods, some tactics for dining out, surviving the holidays while dieting, and the benefits of a 5% weight loss. Each week as I’ve explored these topics and shared them with you I’ve gained new skills to be successful on my WW Freestyle journey. With so many of my family members affected by diabetes, this week I wanted to take a look at how weight played a part and what could be done through diet to help control and/or prevent this disease. One thing that we know for sure is that obesity can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes. However, people with an increased risk due to their weight often receive mixed messages about weight loss from magazines
Your Weight and Diabetes
Weighing Your Risks.
People who are overweight have added pressure on their body’s ability to use insulin to properly control blood sugar levels, and are therefore more likely to develop diabetes. The vast majority of diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes, which is a disease that results when the body becomes less effective at using insulin to help cells to convert blood sugar, or glucose, into energy. Excess body weight is the main cause of this type of diabetes. Approximately 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese! However, this is not true for everyone some people with type 2 diabetes have trouble gaining weight. In fact, unexplained or unintentional weight loss can be a symptom of undiagnosed diabetes.
People living with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, meaning their tissues are not responding as they should to insulin. Insulin resistance can be fundamentally referred to as “carbohydrate intolerance” because when carbohydrates are consumed by someone who is insulin resistant, blood glucose is not lowered as effectively. So, by eating fewer carbohydrates, we reduce the glucose in the blood and decrease the release of insulin.
While prediabetes often leads to full-fledged Type 2 diabetes, many people can hold the condition in check if they lose a relatively small amount of weight and increase their physical activity. Yes, losing weight is an effective treatment for controlling type 2 diabetes, as well as a prudent preventive measure.
Large meals, especially if they are high carb, can cause blood sugar levels to surge. Eating smaller more frequent meals can help keep glucose levels lower. Plus, mini-meals spread through the day can help control hunger. The key is that these meals should be minimally processed foods that are healthy, low carb, fiber and nutrient rich. High glycemic index foods tend to be refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, white potatoes, anything containing cane sugar (which is white), pasta, etc. See a trend here?
Not All Carbs Are Created Equal.
Foods with a high glycemic index can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar. While, foods with a low glycemic index are digested more slowly, causing a lower and gentler change in blood sugar. So it’s not surprising that consuming carbohydrates that come from foods such as white bread, white rice, pastries, sugary sodas and cereals, and other highly processed foods can make you fat. The good news is that eating good carbs, including whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, not only keeps you healthy by providing you with vitamins, minerals, fiber and many other nutrients; but by introducing them into your diet they can help you lose weight and lower your risk of diabetes. The University of Sydney in Australia has a searchable glycemic index database at www.glycemicindex.com with over 2,600 entries.
Here are five tips about carb consumption from the Harvard School of Public Health:
- Start the day with whole grains. Try a hot cereal, like old-fashioned oats, or a cold cereal that has a whole grain topping the ingredients list. A good rule of thumb: Choose a cereal that has at least 4 grams of fiber and less than 8 grams of sugar per serving.
- Use whole grain breads. Look for bread that lists as the first ingredient whole wheat, whole rye, or some other whole grain.
- Bag the potatoes. Instead, have brown rice, bulgur, wheat berries, whole wheat pasta or another whole grain with your dinner. Try a whole grain in a salad, such as brown rice or quinoa.
- Choose whole fruit instead of juice. An orange has twice as much fiber and half as much sugar as a 12-ounce glass of orange juice.
- Bring on the beans. Beans are an excellent source of slowly digested carbohydrates as well as a great source of protein.
A 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study showing that increasing whole grain consumption correlates with lower levels of belly fat while increasing refined grains increases belly, or visceral, fat.
The Latest in Diabetes Drugs.
In 2016, the global diabetes drugs market was valued at 30.95 billion USD and it is estimated to grow by 7.5% to reach 44.53 billion USD by 2021. A huge assortment of 100 medications are available to treat high blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics. Some of the most commonly used drugs for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. include Sulfonylureas – glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide. Biguanides– metformin. Thiazolidinediones –pioglitazone, Actos generic. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors – Acarbose. Meglitinides – nateglinide. Generally, metformin is the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes. Other drugs are on the horizon as scientists work to improve the variety of medications to treat type 2 diabetes. New research presented at the recent European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference showed promising results with lower A1c, better heart health, weight loss, and less hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Do diabetic drugs work?
While diabetic drugs address one of the primary symptoms of diabetes, high blood glucose levels, these drugs don’t do anything to actually stop the progression of diabetes. By lowering your blood glucose, they give you the false sense of security that the drug is actually helping with your diabetes. Truth is the drug does absolutely nothing to stop the spread of the cell and tissue damage being caused by diabetes! In fact, over a period of years, these drugs may actually cause damage to the liver and kidneys! So, although the drugs do a great job at lowering your blood glucose, they do absolutely nothing to stop the progression of diabetes and the internal rotting that’s going on! Remember, lowering your blood glucose only controls the symptoms of your diabetes. It doesn’t address the cause of your diabetes.
Losing weight could reverse type 2 diabetes.
The connection between a small amount of weight loss and a large health benefit is not new. A 2012 study found that, regardless of your initial BMI, reducing your body mass index (BMI) by just five units could help reverse diabetes. Any activity that helps reduce the fatty acid buildup associated with obesity can help to reduce the mechanisms that created diabetes to begin with. Research that was led by the universities of Newcastle and Glasgow using people in real-life settings found that nearly half (46%) of people in the weight loss group had normal blood glucose measurements a year later. Researchers believe that substantial weight loss results in reduced fat inside the liver and pancreas, allowing these organs to return to normal function. Therefore, allowing a person’s diabetes to go into remission. No-one who didn’t lose any weight achieved diabetes remission, where their blood glucose levels were normal.
Keep it off.
A recent study showed your food choices rule your ability to lose weight, but your exercise habits rule your ability to keep that weight off. Therefore, in order to reverse obesity and its related diseases you need to keep the weight off. To do this you’ll have to get moving as well. Watch for more information on this as I focus on a doable exercise routine and finding time for fitness in upcoming journal posts.
When you have diabetes, being overweight or obese increases your risk for health complications. Losing just a few pounds through exercise and eating well can help with your diabetes control and can reduce your risk for other health problems. Plus, you will have more energy and feel better in general!
How my freestyle weight loss week went:
Somehow some Easter candy found its way into the house last week, but I was determined not to let it get the best of me. I ate a few of the clearance bunnyettes and made sure that I ate healthy the rest of the week. I’m looking forward to my three-month milestone next week and still working on reaching a 10% loss. No time to fall off the wagon, I’ve got big plans for my future me.
This week we had to travel three days for appointments and our time working in the garden had to be planned around them and the rain. The seeds that we planted before the rain came last week have started to grow. Some have already been transplanted into the ground. I am so excited to have a garden again. I plan on giving it my secret growth formula again this year. My SHADOW! With all the appointments and planting, the week seemed to fly by and before I knew it was Sunday afternoon and the moment of truth was here. I got on the scale for my weekly weigh-in. I was pleased to find that I had lost 2 pounds again this week! That’s 25.4 lbs total lost so far. Until next week… Remember to stay positive and keep looking forward.
Where are you?
Where are you on your journey? How has diabetes affected you and your family? Is there anything I should add to this post?
Share your thoughts below or on my Facebook fan page.
I am not a medical professional. The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.