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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Want to Know How Marie was Doing on her Weight Loss Program?

Marie's weight loss goal was 16.8 pounds based on 7% which, if successful, would bring down her weight to 223.2 pounds. Her goal for fat gram was to limit the intake to 50 grams of fat each day. She did not like recording everything she ate but followed through.

Here is an example of her entry. At 9 am, she had a muffin (34 calories, 1 fat gram), 1 tablespoon of sugar-free jam (48 calories), 8 ounces of coffee with 2 ounces of whole milk (40 calories, 2 fat grams). in the office as she was late waking up.

She recorded in the same manner her food and fat gram intake for lunch, supper and snacks. At the end of the day, the total showed that she consumed 1338 calories and 43 grams of fat. Not bad, eh? For her physical activity, she walked for 30 minutes.

One day she was surprised to find that she exceeded her fat gram goal intake. She found it was so easy to consume 100 grams per day. For instance, the two slices of 12-inch pizza she had at 7 pm had 534 calories and 24 fat grams. She decided right there and then to lower her fat gram intake. How did she do this?

She packed her lunch from home to eat at the office three times a week and just ate lunch at the office cafeteria two times a week. Because she likes turkey and tuna she had these for sandwiches or salads with cottage cheese. She had frozen dinners that were of low calorie variety three to four days a week. She was able to control the portion this way.

Due to the aforementioned changes, Marie was able to limit her fat gram intake. Some days, she could even afford to have a small dessert. Dessert was important to her because otherwise she would not feel satisfied without it.

She lost one pound a week and she was happy to record this on her weight graph. When she checked in at six months, she showed she was on track to lose her 7% weight loss goal. Sadly, she had a hard time with her exercise goal.

She therefore attended supervised activity sessions of forty-five minutes, twice a week and this enabled Marie to achieve seventy-five minutes of activity during the sixth week but went down on the seventh and eight weeks by achieving only fifteen minutes of physical activity.

She tried to persevere so let's follow her progress to see how she did with this Treatment with Exercise.
I will report to you next week to let you know if she had more lapses and what eventually happened to Marie. How about you? Are you doing your sessions again with a buddy? Good for you!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Some Participants Lost Weight

With the weight loss as the goal, the Diabetes Prevention Program knew when they started this lifestyle changing program, that they will deal with a myriad type of people. Their starting weights were different and so were their lifestyles. In other words there were as many backgrounds as there were participants.

They had something in common though. The one motivating factor that spurred them on to volunteer to participate in the program was to prevent diabetes. They all wanted to lose weight. Another thing they had in common was they tried to incorporate the program in their daily lives.

Let's follow the story of one of them for whom we will use a fictitious name to protect her identity. Let's call her Marie who is around the early 60 years old. She had a track record of a long history of being overweight with 240 pounds as her starting weight. She had tried all kinds of diets and not one of them worked.

When she started this program, her Body Mass Index according to a table is 44 which makes her obese. Anyone between 25 and 30 BMI is overweight and anybody within the range of 30 and above is considered obese. I wish I could show you the table that gives the estimated the BMI. It is so easy to use.

For now, suffice is to say that the calculation to get the BMI is weight in kilogram divided by height in meters squared which results in a measure of kg/m squared. But it will be so much easier just to use the table. I am hoping to have it in my regular website at Free Diabetes Alert.

Anyway, let's go back to Marie. Her motivation to join the program to lose weight is not to look good but to prevent diabetes and the complications that may come with it. She had prediabetes so she had a strong motivation to prevent it from becoming full blown.

Next week, let's she how she did. What do you think was her weight loss goal? Knowing that she weighed 240 pounds at the start of the program, can you guess her weight loss goal? How many fat grams a day would she limit her intake? Did she record the food she ate? Stay tuned; there will be more on Marie next week.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Session 16: How to Stay Motivated

This is our last session and it's confession time regarding weight lost and the food, calories, and exercise minutes that we have been recording. Let me start. I had no problem with recording the weight, calories and exercise minutes, but this I have to confess. I lost only half of my weight loss goal. Sigh...

I am not worried; that's still better had I not gone through this Physical Activity Program. Had I not gone through these 16 sessions of the DPP's Lifestyle Program, I would have gained pounds instead of losing half of my weight loss goal. What I will do is go through these sessions on my own again. Hopefully I will lose the other half in the process. If you have any suggestion, let me know by contacting me at my website.

Now how do we stay motivated is the burning question. List the changes we have made including our activity minutes, our eating plans of less calories and fat grams and the weight we have lost. Put the list up on the fridge. We will be so proud of ourselves, looking at the list once in a while.

Take photos of yourself if you have achieved your weight loss goal. Do fill out a contact form in my website to avoid spam. And I will inform you where to get in touch with me so you can send me the photos. I will have them uploaded in my web site for all the world to see. Wouldn't every one envy us then. How cool a way is that to keep us motivated!

Since you have lost the weight you set out to lose, now is the time to reward yourself. Think of what you have been meaning to have and do get it, within reason of course. Lucky ducks! I wish I were one of them, but please help us those who are not as lucky by sending us some words of encouragements.

For some of us who did not reach our goals, how can we improve our progress? Maybe we can have some kind of a friendly contest. For your homework, keep recording your weight, food and fat gram intake plus your exercise minutes. And think of a way you keep yourself motivated.

We are done but it is not over. Do these sessions again by yourself or with a group of friends and let us know how you're making out. Make sure though that you find out from your doctor that you don't have a condition that will be against the type of exercise you want to undertake. Next week, I will write about how some participants of this program did it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Session 15-Keys to Managing Stress

This is an all-important session as most often people give up when there is enough stress in their lives. But how about the social cues we discussed last week? Did you identify some of yours? How did you overcome them? And how about your weight, food, drink, and fat grams intake, calories and exercise minutes? Did you keep a record of them? Good! Give me a five!

Now on to this session, we go. Let's be honest. When we are stressed, we eat more and we do less Physical Activity. Right? So this week we will identify the things that make us stressed and learn how to manage them so that our effort to change our lifestyle will not go to waste.

Doing too many things is stressful, don't you think? So let's learn to say no. Do you find, for example, that you're the only one replacing the toilet tissue in its holder? Then let's not do it because doing so will just enable other people to rely on us. We have to learn to share the work with others.

It will also be helpful to identify how we react to situations that are stressful. Do we get angry and lash out at others and taking our feelings out on them? Do we feel empty inside, sad and depressed? Do we refuse help from others and down too hard on ourselves?

After recognizing how we react when stressed out, let's do some positive self-talk. Let's remind ourselves to slow down, to take things as they come. When things go wrong, replace the negative self-talk with positive ones. Things that happen are not all our fault; they just do, for it is the fact of life.

Here are some strategies to manage stressful situations:

  • Read a book of the favorite kind. This always relaxes me.

  • Plan ahead so you can have an extra time just for yourself.

  • Take a vacation; it does not have to be a long one. Even a night out with some friends will do wonders.

  • Talk to someone you trust about what's bothering you; just getting what's bothering you out will give you some relief.

  • Train for a short walk-a-thon.

  • Is there something you've always wanted to do but had no chance to do it? Well, now is the time. Just do it!

There are others I wish I could tell you but it's homework time. And we still have one last session to do. After that we will talk more about stress and so for now, try to identify what gives you stress and tell yourself how to deal with it. And do keep track of weight, food, calories, and exercise minutes.