Step 1: Think small
You don’t have to become a slave to the gym or drastically slash kilojoules to lose weight and achieve better blood glucose levels. Diabetes Australia says ‘a small weight loss – five to 10 per cent of body weight – can make a big difference to your diabetes management and, as a consequence, reduce your risk of developing complications such as heart disease, stroke and some cancers’. In fact, a recent review of diabetes prevention trials around the world showed that for six out of 10 people with pre-diabetes, shedding a small amount of weight stopped their condition from progressing to type 2.
And the benefits don’t end there. ‘With 10 per cent weight loss, people will see a change in their daily blood sugar levels and also in their three-to-six-monthly HbA1c readings,’ says dietitian Dea Krismarietta. ‘You’ll also decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and notice a change in how you feel,’ she adds.
Step 2: Know your numbers
The next step is to wrap a tape measure around your waist at belly button level. The ideal waist measurement for women is less than 80cm and for men it’s less than 94cm. Now, step on the scales and record your weight. Also ask your doctor for cholesterol, blood pressure or HbA1c readings if these are of concern.
TOP TIP To stay motivated and to track your progress, measure your waist and check your weight once a week. Do this at the same time on the same day (for example, at 11am every Sunday) as your weight will fluctuate over the course of the day.
Step 3: Set personal goals
How do you feel right now? How many stairs can you comfortably climb? How happy are you with the way your clothes fit? How do you feel after a typical meal? Answering these questions can help you set specific goals that can lead to a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle. Your goals may include:
● Keeping your blood glucose levels steady
● Reducing your cholesterol and blood pressure levels
● Having the energy to play with children or pets
● Feeling able to go for a brisk walk after dinner
● Learning to cook one healthy new recipe every month
● Meeting the recommended 5-6 serves of vegies each day
The key is to pick goals that are meaningful to you personally. Write them down, stick them somewhere visible and refer to them when you lack motivation.
By Natalie Filatoff