With all the health concerns and solutions blasting the airwaves, it’s easy to get confused about what’s good and what isn’t. It’s a catch 22.
Sometimes it’s easier to NOT make changes. Skip the workout and check the pantry for snacks. What’s on TV tonight?
Alarmingly, there are 86 million people in America, 1 in 3 adults, who are pre-diabetic, many millions of them undiagnosed. Pre-diabetes means your blood sugar and glucose levels are elevated past normal. If you’re overweight (especially belly fat) and don’t exercise regularly, you’re probably at risk. You’re also at greater risk for a heart attack or stroke.
So now what?
There are legitimate health trainers and advocates that share great health tips. But sifting through the many voices to find them can take so much time and false starts.
The field is wide open for any marketer to promote diets, pills, books, and programs with excitement and even extreme hype that grabs your time and attention, but won’t tell you their answer until you take out your credit card. They offer instant, no-effort-on-your-part options. Or a complex eating and workout system that you’re sure will hurt you.
You’re bombarded with that magic diet pill where weight just drops off your body while you sleep. Exercise? Someone’s promoting “you only need to work out for 7 minutes a couple of times a week” and go on with the rest of your life as usual. Sounds easy enough. Just send $ to find out what the workout routine is.
And your food?
Just do daily fruit smoothies, some with peanut butter. Do you have any idea how many calories those fruit smoothies have, to say nothing of the sugar and high glycemic count? This is serious if you’re at risk for pre-diabetes.
Have you heard this one? Just eat one food, all day, every day for an extended period of time. The theory here is you’ll get so sick of it after 3 or 4 days that you’ll just eat less and less and that’s how you lose weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s steak, peanut butter, milkshakes, or carrots. And if you choose the milkshakes and get sick of it after 4 days, you’re most likely just going to quit. So, 4 days of high calorie, non-nutrition? It’ll probably set you back several more pounds. Sure, that sounds like a lot of fun.
I’ve spent countless hours researching and reviewing the various diets, exercises, supplements, and more. I wrote a book – Diabetes Diet Options – about how to regain health. It’s a simple, quick start guide that includes diabetes basics and lists several diet programs. Now I’m researching how to avoid or reverse pre-diabetes so you never actually get that diabetes diagnosis. Stop it in its tracks before you must deal with medications and horrible side effects.
Is there a simple, trustworthy answer? Yes.
- Decide. Mostly it’s about your mindset going in. If you want to be healthy and avoid disease, you can.
- Moderation. Learn healthy food choices, cutting down on portions. No drastic changes – too hard to maintain.
- Wise food choices. Eliminate white sugar, white rice, and white flour. All the nutrition has been stripped from them. Stevia, brown rice and whole wheat or sprouted grains are better. Choose meat and fish proteins, vegetables, and fruits every day. What about carbs? Yes, but not the white flour kind! Did you know veggies have good carbs needed by your body for good health? Carbs slow down the sugar spikes.
- Read food labels. Notice the number of calories and amount of sugar, fats, and sodium. Manufacturers use tricks like saying the product is 2.5 servings and each serving is X calories. You know you’ll eat/drink the whole thing so multiply the calories by the servings to get a real count.
- Avoid processed foods. The nutrition is compromised and what’s left might taste good but doesn’t benefit your body.
- Cut back on those things you know are not healthy. Like that donut, an extra piece of pizza or Snickers.
- Drink more water. Increase how much you drink gradually to 48 ounces a day or six 8-oz glasses. Add lemon or fruit slices to make it easier to drink throughout the day.
- Start an exercise program — slowly – like walking for 10-15 minutes 3-4 times a week. If you’re really overweight and out of shape, start with a walk to the mailbox and back. Seriously. When my husband and I started a healthy routine, his first exercise was pushing away from the table.
- Get a good night’s sleep. This affects your brain and how you process foods. Who knew?
- Be consistent and realize that it will not be an overnight, one-time solution. You’ll get into a rhythm of healthy choices. Cheesecake on a special occasion when you’ve been eating well isn’t a problem. You might even backslide now and then, but you’ll know how to get back on track.
I’ll be sharing simple steps, without the hype and Catch 22 confusion. Please send me an email with your comments and questions about your health and lifestyle. I’ll personally answer each one.
To your success and good health!