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Have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and looking to the internet for best food advice and weight loss strategies? Be mindful, there are no quick fixes...

No matter what your age is many people with diabetes want to lower their blood sugar and reduce related health risks such as cardiovascular disease. While the internet will offer many fad diet solutions that seem like an easy way to shed pounds and lower health risks, often they do more harm than good. To help - read below to discover more about fad diets and why they are not the best choice for people with diabetes.

Just these past couple weeks, I have had several conversations regarding two very important topics:

  1. Why is it that I gained much more weight back after I stopped dieting?

  2. Are medications prescribed for weight loss a successful strategy?

These are questions that must be asked to your health care team, reviewing relevant information that applies to you. Internet information must not be a sole source of determining ones self care plan.

Here are some facts about fad dieting:

  • A variety of fad diets exist-often times making a consumer pay X amount of dollars upfront and often make radical claims of success. Often these diets do not take into consideration carbohydrates, sugars or the basic nutritional requirements people should consume each day. People with diabetes could be putting their health at risk by following these diets.

  • A diet is a temporary way to lose weight. Once the diet is over, you are likely to return to the poor habits that caused you to gain weight. The long-term key to success is to make lifestyle changes rather than go on a diet. Your goals are to lose weight, keep it off and change unhealthy dietary habits for optimum health when you have diabetes.

  • Fad diets often cause your blood sugar to plummet creating a dangerous situation. If you take medication to reduce your blood sugar you may need to reduce the dose based on your physician’s advice. Whenever you reduce your calories it is important to frequently monitor your blood sugar. You should also monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure levels when dieting.

  • Low-carbohydrate diets put the body into ketosis by severely restricting carbohydrates. Ketosis occurs when the body burns its own fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. A low carbohydrate diet is often higher in fat and cholesterol which can take on different risks.

  • Following the glycemic index may be a good way to control blood sugars based on the type of carbohydrates you include in your diet. Low glycemic foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans which cause blood sugar levels to rise more slowly. High glycemic index foods including sugary cereals, mashed potatoes and white bread will cause a spike in blood sugars. The glycemic index can be used as a tool to help those with diabetes follow a healthier meal plan.

  • Meal replacement diets and liquid diets can be harmful because of the level of carbohydrates consumed and the drastic reduction of calories. People with diabetes are advised against fasting. Never go on any diet without consulting your physician.

  • Fad diets are rarely the solution to long-term weight loss and optimum well-being. People with diabetes should eat three meals and two- three snacks each day. Portion control is important. Eating on a schedule is critical.

  • To control your weight, it is essential to eat a healthy balance of whole grains, healthy fats and lean dairy as well as fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Severe calorie restrictions and fad diets should be avoided.

Fad diets hit the market constantly and rarely benefit anyone. While fad diets may seem tempting they only last for the short term. People with diabetes should steer clear of them. There is no substitute for a well-balanced food plan and daily exercise.

Source: National Academy of Sports Medicine

Fad Diets: Be Careful What You Wish For With 69% of adults being overweight and 35% obese, as well 20.5% of teenagers being obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013), it is no wonder that millions of people every year are looking to lose weight. Unfortunately, most people tend to look for a “fast and dirty” way to lose those extra pounds. Even though, in most cases, it took years to put on all those extra pounds, most people want to take them off in a matter of weeks or a few months. This goal leads many individuals to seek out “fad” diets, which advertise quick weight loss without much effort. Although many people lose a significant amount of weight quickly on these types of diets, research has clearly shown that after about a year most people have gained back the weight and then some. Therefore, most doctors, researchers, and reputable institutions/ hospitals recommend that trying to lose about two pounds per week is a safe and reasonable goal.

The fact is our genetics do play a role with reference to body composition. Are you talking to your doctor about medications as an effective weight loss strategy?

There is research material that can help us understand more about this topic if it is a consideration.

I refer to Dr. Sue's research and data as a credentialed medical doctor, Specialist in Endocrinology & Metabolism, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

Her lastest blog can be found here:

No matter what path you are on or what your goals are - be aware a short term mindset for restricting certain types of foods or calories is exactly that "short term". Lifestyle interventions are not easy and require long term changes to create positive health habits. Your Best Life is in reach, how will you reach your goals?

Have an amazing solar eclipse day!

Danielle Pointon

Live Blue Consulting

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