Diabetes and Your Weight: Healthy Weight Loss Tips
Set Fitness Goals You Can Meet
Be active every day. It will help you control blood sugar levels and boost your energy and overall mood. Moving your body every day will also help you take off extra weight. Look over these goals:
- I will walk around the neighborhood after dinner for 30 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- I will get off the bus two stops early and walk the rest of the way to work.
- I will sign up for the weekly low-impact aerobics class at the gym.
- I will track my exercise every day by writing it on my personal calendar.
To make your own list of goals, think about what will work for you. Be specific about when, where, and how you can reach each goal. It's fine to start slow and build up to 30 minutes of exercise a day, at least 5 days a week.
Mix up your routine. Plan different activities you can do during the week. Experts recommend a mix of aerobic and strength-training exercises. Aerobic exercise could include walking, climbing stairs, dancing, or swimming. Strength training uses weights or exercise bands to strengthen muscles. It should be part of your exercise routine at least 2-3 days a week. Tell your doctor before you start an exercise program to make sure it's safe for you.
Calories and Weight Loss
Keep in mind that you need to burn 3,500 more calories than usual to lose 1 pound. To lose 1 pound a week, you could cut 500 calories a day from what you eat, or bump up your exercise to burn 500 more calories a day. Or you could do some of each.
For instance, if you skip the cheese on your lunchtime sandwich, drink seltzer with lime instead of a regular soda, and eat a fun-sized candy bar instead of a large one, you'll cut out 300 calories. (Food labels and serving sizes can help you know how much you're cutting.) Add a 30-minute brisk walk and you'll burn about 200 more calories. You’ve met the 500 calorie goal!
That's just one approach. To create your own weight loss plan, you might ask your doctor to refer you to a registered dietitian, who can give you eating tips and help you make a plan.