Part IV – Weight Control and Exercise for Prevention
Research shows that the two of the most helpful strategies for weight control involve following a regular eating schedule and recording everything you eat and drink in a food diary. A recent study found that people who kept a diet journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t record their intake. Writing down what you eat and drink aids in identifying problem-areas and where you may be taking in considerably more calories than you realize.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that patients aim for a small but consistent weight loss of a half to one pound each week. The majority do best on a diet that supplies at least 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day for women and 1,200 to 1,600 a day for men.
A pound of fat contains approximately 3,500 calories, so reducing your daily intake by 500 calories would create a loss of one pound a week. To determine your daily calorie requirement for weight maintenance or weight loss, based on age, gender and activity level, go to MyCalorieCounter and enter your data.
Regular physical activity is an integral part of healthy weight management. Most people are able to lose weight, but few manage to sustain the loss over time. Studies show that people who are physically active and engaging in moderate intensity exercise on a daily basis are far more successful in controlling their weight.
Exercise aids in weight control in the following ways:
1. Increases calorie intake ability
Exercising increases the amount of food you can eat and still lose weight—or avoid gaining—so you’re better nourished and less liable to overeat.
2. Prevents muscles mass lost
When sedentary adults rapidly lose weight on very low, calorie crash diets they significantly lower metabolism which makes regain inevitable. Exercising prevents the loss of muscle mass which can comprise up to 30 percent of the pounds lost on crash diets. Unhappily, this can lead to a progressive loss of metabolically active (muscle) tissue via a downward spiral of yo-yo dieting where fatty tissue alone replaces both fat and muscle losses.
3. Moderates appetite
In addition to moderating appetite, exercising at least one hour a day has been demonstrated to reduce the rebound hunger that occurs after weight loss.
Daily Physical Activity
Exercise significantly improves the body cells’ ability to use insulin and take up glucose. Findings from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study suggest that brisk walking for a half hour every day reduces the risk of developing diabetes by 30 percent. Research has also revealed that every two hours spent watching TV is associated with a 20 percent risk increase for diabetes as sitting in front of the television promotes overeating and weight gain.
One simple way to start moving more is by adopting the habit of walking for 30 minutes at least five days a week. Persons on blood sugar medications, particularly insulin, should consult their physician before embarking on a workout program. Blood sugar should be monitored before, during and after workouts as sugar levels can swing dramatically during and post-exercise.
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