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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Why of the Diabetes Epidemic, Part 1

Everyone is saying the statistics for the diabetes is on the rise. But if we are to understand this topic in the true sense of the word, we have to dig deeper, delve into the reason behind this. So I decided that in the next posts this is what we are going to talk about.

It is no mystery that the skyrocketing numbers of type 2 diabetics have gone up and up into the stratosphere. And the number is not only true in the US but also globally. I suspect though that the statistics include those who have the condition known as prediabetes.

What is this prediabetes all about? Well, one who is in the state of prediabetes is not diabetic yet but he is on the road to becoming one. This condition is also called glucose intolerance. It means that the blood glucose levels are not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes but high enough to be healthy.

So if you have prediabetes, consider yourself lucky for you can do some steps to keep diabetes away for good. You can protect your health from those complications that come with diabetes. With symptoms not appearing until the damage has been done, I'd say I have a reason to call you lucky.

Now, how about those with type 2 diabetes already? Does it mean it is too late already? Not on your life it isn't. It is never too late to do something to maintain one's health no matter what stage we are in. The question is how many will protect their health knowing that they can.

Come on, confess. What were your first thought when you found out you had diabetes? Some people thought it was the end. Others were devastated. Many cried, "Why me, what did I do wrong?" And the fear of the unknown was just unbearable.

Okay, why don't you give me some feedback by going to Type 2 Diabetes? There is a contact form there you can fill in. That way, you can tell me too what topic you want to see next time after we finish this.

Thank goodness you woke up and started seeing the light. First, you read everything in sight. You tried to do everything right. You quit smoking, ate healthy meals, exercised like crazy and tried to lose weight. Now you're winning the battle.

But we went off topic so next week, we will continue the discussion on the rise of diabetic cases, explain what diabetes is and actually delve on what made the statistics go crazy like it has done. And perhaps at the end of this discussion of several parts, we will solve this mystery. Well, it's not really a mystery, but it's good to get all the whys in the open.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Did Ernest Lose Weight?

March 18, 2008

Since to lose weight was his goal in order to prevent diabetes, Ernest concentrated on doing just that. The Diabetes Prevention Program that advocates a change in lifestyle in order to put a stop on the obesity problem that plagues the nation was kind of a solution for Ernest.

He attended the sixteen sessions but Ernest found that to lose weight was easier said than done. He liked the DPP program though better than the ones his wife attended before because with this, he only had to lose 7% of his weight and he could take his time doing it.

He encountered problems both on the healthy eating part of the program and the exercise part as well. For the former, the problem was when he had cookouts with friends and when he went on vacations where he was sorry to say sometimes turned out to be pig-out days.

He tried to work around this dilemma by eating less the day before and the day after. By eating less didn't mean he starved himself. No, not at all for that would not have worked out. What he did was substituted some lower fat variety of dressings and other stuff for the rich ones his friends used and the food served on his vacations.

As for his physical activity quandary, while he could only play basketball once a week, he added some activities into his everyday routine. He biked to and from work and enlisted the help of a friend to jog with him after work several times a week.

As you can see, Ernest developed a schedule that he liked. He is still eating his favorite Italian dishes but this time he and his wife used low-fat oils and stuff. The homemade pizza he liked was now made with low-fat cheese and low-fat tomato sauce.

Now do you think he reached his goal to lose weight of 7%? You bet he did over time. He now weighs 186 pounds but he is not sitting on his laurels. No sir! He plans to go down to 180 to 184 pounds. Now why do you think a guy will think this way? Is he a stickler for punishment? Hmm, let's see what he says.

Aha! Now I get it. He wants to lose a little bit more weight to make room for when he goes on those tailgating parties with his friends and going on vacations with his wife. He has to have a cushion there, you see. Smart man, don't you think? Not only did he change his lifestyle and lost weight, but also he's preventing diabetes.

Now that we're done with the Diabetes Prevention Program, I will have to think of other things to blog about, all diabetes-related of course. Perhaps I will surprise you or go to some other physical activity, and fill out a contact form there so I can email you and then you can tell me what you want for our next topic.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Was Ernest Successful at the DPP Lifestyle Change Program?

Weighing 200 pounds at five feet eleven inches, with BMI of 27, Ernest joined the Diabetes Prevention Program. He wanted to prevent diabetes especially so his brother was already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His doctor told him he probably will have diabetes so he signed up for the DPP lifestyle intervention program.

Ernest had never tried to lose weight before so everything was new to him. his wife supported him 100% and in fact joined him in this intervention program. The 7% weight loss goal would bring his weight down to 186 pounds.

His goal for fat gram was to consume not more than forty-two grams of fat each day. He found it interesting to have to read the nutrition labels on the food they purchased. He was bent on making changes on his fat gram intake by reducing fat from salad dressings and butter. How did he do this?

He substituted lower fat variety of the butter and salad dressings. His wife started preparing food using less cooking oil and on days when they ate their favorite food with more fat content, Ernest looked ahead by consuming less fat at breakfast and next day's lunch so he won't go over his goal of the forty-two grams of fat per day when calculating his weekly consumption.

As for his physical activity, Ernest enjoyed playing basketball but he could do this only once a week. So he was not consistent with the 150 minutes per week that he would like to have. In order to get around this, Ernest thought he should put in lifestyle activities into his every day routine. How did he do it?

He decided to ride his bike to work every day. He also rode his bike to go home from work. He also asked a buddy of his to jog with him several times a week. Slowly but surely, he started to lose weight over the sixteen sessions of the lifestyle intervention program.

He observed a problem though. Every time he went on vacation he would gain some weight back. The same thing happened whenever he went to barbecues with his friends. His favorite food was Italian dishes which were sometimes high in fat. Do you think he will solve this problem? Tune in next week and let's see what happens to Ernest.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How Marie Did at the Diabetes Prevention Program Sessions

Marie tried harder and slowly she gained the energy she needed to walk thirty minutes a day without having to stop. This continued until she succeeded in walking for 45 minutes. Eventually, she made it to the sixty minutes of walk per day.

She reached 250 to 300 minutes of exercise per week and found she enjoyed walking outdoors. She was now carrying less weight and this lifted her spirits so much so she even participated in the annual walk sponsored by the American Diabetes Association.

Everything was not rosy as Marie suffered some lapses. Her main weakness is going on vacation cruises and she emphatically did not want to give this up. She did a work around this challenge by planning ahead on her meals and activities.

Normally on these week-long cruises, she would gain five to ten pounds but with the planning, she was able to limit her weight gain to two pounds. How did she do it? She walked laps around the deck and planned not to eat everything she saw.

She chose the food more wisely by having soup or salad for the appetizer which made her feel full. She also did not use butter for her bread. She did have an occasional dessert. She also stopped herself from cleaning up her plate at every meal.

By week 24, Marie reached her 7% weight goal of 226.5 pounds. She was so happy. And that's not the end of it because she lost a few more pounds and is now 222 pounds. Hurrah, for Marie! She did it, she really, really did it by eating the correct diabetes food. It should not really be called this as it is just healthy food for everyone. And she has prevented diabetes.

When her fat grams went over 50 grams a day, she kept watch of her fat intake for the next few days so that she would be able to keep the average at 50 grams per week. She never had to be concerned about the calories. Her main problem was her fat consumption. This paid big dividends for she can now proudly say that she has changed her lifestyle.

Her high risk was in taking the cruise and also in sometimes feeling miserable and stressed out. It was during these times when she could overeat. She used her skill of problem solving to deal with these situations. She continued to keep the weight off. She joined water aerobic classes in the winter and walked outdoors during the other three seasons. Next week , I will tell you how Ernest did it.