Contributed by: NAPSA
(NAPSA) - 'Tis the season of New Year's resolutions, holiday eating guilt and shedding extra pounds gained during this festive time of year. For people with diabetes, losing weight can be challenging, but it can be an effective way to manage the disease.
For a person with type 2 diabetes, losing weight through diet and exercise is often the first treatment recommended by doctors. For some people, losing as little as five percent of body weight can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. For a person who is 200 pounds, that's only ten pounds. Most importantly, weight loss can help improve blood glucose control, the cornerstone of managing diabetes.
"Weight loss takes practice, patience and, most of all, commitment. It isn't something you decide to do for a week or a month. It's a major change in attitude toward a healthier lifestyle," says nutrition counselor and diabetes expert, Lorena Drago, MS, RD, CDN, CDE.
"The good news is there are diet and exercise modifications that anyone, particularly those with diabetes, can easily incorporate into their everyday lifestyles to help with weight loss and controlling blood sugar levels."
Drago recommends the following tips for people with diabetes to lose weight safely and help keep blood sugar levels in check.
Portion control or out of control? Today's portion sizes have become distorted. People with diabetes especially need to find their way back to "portion normalcy." Use familiar items to help keep portions in check: for instance, a serving the size of the palm of a woman's hand approximately equals 3-ounces of meat or the size of a baseball is equivalent to a serving of fruit.
Fine tune eating plans. Work with a registered dietitian who can help design a weight loss plan to meet individual needs. They may recommend products like Glucerna Weight Loss Shakes, which are specifically designed to help people with diabetes lose weight as part of a reduced-calorie meal plan. They contain slowly digested carbohydrates to help manage blood glucose levels.
Shake it up! Physical activity is important for everyone, but particularly for those with diabetes.
It can be as easy as selecting a favorite tune, putting on comfortable shoes and dancing. Dancing for 20 minutes can burn up to 100 calories.
Make a commitment to weight loss this year's resolution. For more tips, personalized meal and exercise plans or to receive a free quarterly newsletter (The Diabetes Health Connection), call 1-800-986-8501 extension 920.
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