The Truth About Weight Loss Supplements

measuring tape next to assortment of pills

Can weight loss supplements help you lose weight?

Ask Dr. Google, and the search results will try to sell you a magic pill, supplement, or cocktail of products. After all, the weight-supplement industry is worth an estimated $60 billion in the United States alone. (1)

If you’ve just pulled out your credit card looking for a quick fat-loss fix wondering if this diet, pill or product will help you lose weight, here’s the simple answer.

It probably won’t. There’s no magic pill, weight-loss supplement or potion that can make excess pounds melt away.

But it’s a big issue for a lot of people. An estimated 74 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. (2)

The Quick-Fix Fat-Loss Failure

If you’re looking for a quick fix to lose weight, you might think taking a diet pill or supplement is all you need.

A lot of people do. In the U.S., an estimated 34 percent of adults have tried some type of weight loss supplement. Americans spend about $2.1 billion a year on weight-loss supplements in the form of tablets, capsules, softgels, and drinks. (3)

Most are made with ingredients that could improve metabolism or suppress appetite like:

  • Green tea extract
  • Chitosan
  • Guar gum
  • Conjugated linoleic acid
  • Caffeine

However, a recent study found that diet and weight-loss supplements typically fail to help people lose weight. (4)

Researchers looked at 315 weight-loss studies that put different supplements to the test. They found that most did not result in weight loss. And only a few tipped the scale in the right direction by just a few pounds or less.

Type-2 Diabetes Drugs Used for Weight Loss

Even with new weight loss medications originally used to manage type-2 diabetes showing some promise, the risk for negative side effects is high.

One recent study found that people using these weight-loss drugs have an increased risk for: (5)

  • Stomach paralysis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bowel obstructions
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Allergic reactions
  • Increase heart rate
  • Suicidal thoughts

6 Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Weight Loss

Long-term weight loss and maintenance doesn’t come in pill or powder form. It’s a lifelong process. If you want to lose weight, skip the diet supplements, save your money, and adopt these 6 lifestyle habits to lose weight and keep it off:

  1. Eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fish. Avoid or limit sugary drinks, snacks, desserts, and candy high in calories.
  2. Be active. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days.
  3. Drink more water instead of soda, juice, energy drinks, or other sugary beverages.
  4. Practice portion control by counting calories, keeping a food journal, and being mindful of your food choices.
  5. Get your Zzzs. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Why? Lack of sleep alters levels of hormones (ghrelin and leptin) linked to hunger and cravings. And if you stay up late, you’ll have more time for snacking.
  6. Don’t give up. If you miss a workout or overeat, it’s not that big of a deal. Don’t use that as an excuse to overeat or skip workouts. Instead, just get back on track and keep going.

If you need extra help to lose weight:

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Join a weight-loss group for support
  • Ask your wellness coordinator for help, or…
  • Work with a trainer and dietitian

Getting help to develop a diet and exercise plan will help you tip the scale in the right direction and improve your overall health.

References

  1. Cadwallader, A., e tal. (2022). Which features of dietary supplemen industry, product trends, and regulations deserve physicians’ attention? AMA Journal of Ethics, 24(5):E410-418. From: https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/which-features-dietary-supplement-industry-product-trends-and-regulation-deserve-physicians/2022-05
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). Obesity and overweight. From: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm
  3. National Institutes of Health. (2023). Dietary supplements for weight loss. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. From: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/WeightLoss-HealthProfessional/
  4. Batsis, J., et al. (2021). A systematic review of dietary supplements and alternative therapies for weight loss. Obesity, 29(7): 1102-1113. From: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.23110
  5. Sodhi, M., et al. (2023). Risk of gastrointestinal adverse events associated with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists for weight loss. JAMA Network. From: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2810542

The 20-Minute Trick to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

STOP DIABETES

If you’re stressed, in a hurry, or both, it’s easy to inhale your food. And a lot of people do eat quickly…in the car, on the way out the door, at the office. Or maybe mealtime at home always feels like a mad dash. Sound familiar?

What you eat certainly makes a difference when it comes to your health. But a recent study found that how you eat may also affect the way your body responds to food.1

In the study, researchers found that eating fast may be linked to an increased risk for diabetes. Your mom was right…chew your food.

In the U.S. about 37 million people have type 2 diabetes. And another 96 million people have prediabetes.2 Left unchecked, diabetes can lead to:

  • Poor circulation
  • Kidney failure
  • Blindness
  • Strokes
  • Heart disease
  • Amputations
  • Early death

Is there anything you can do to prevent diabetes?

There’s some simple things you can do that can prevent or control type 2 diabetes, if you’re consistent:

  • Eat a healthy diet (mainly plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and legumes).
  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you need to.
  • Get regular exercise (even 20 to 30 minutes of walking makes a difference).
  • Avoid fad diets and junk foods (like soda, sugary sweets, and foods make from refined carbohydrates)

And there’s at least one more thing you can do to help prevent type 2 diabetes…

Slow down at meal time.

Here’s how:

  • Time it. Set a timer or stopwatch for 20 minutes. Use all the time to eat a normal-sized meal.
    Chew your food. Take small bites and chew slowly.
  • Be quiet. Eat silently for the first five minutes. Think about your food, what it looks like, how it tastes, and what it took to produce.
  • Slow down your eating. Try using your nondominant hand to hold your fork. Put your fork down when you chew. Or try using chopsticks

References

1. Gudi, S.K, et al. (2020). Eating speed and the risk of type 2 diabetes: explorations based on real-world evidence. Annals of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, 25(2): 80-83. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336266/

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). The facts, stats, and impacts of diabetes. From: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/diabetes-facts-stats.html

5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

Christmas weight gain

When Scott Calvin (played by Tim Allen) wakes up one morning in the holiday movie The Santa Clause, something isn’t right.

His pajamas are tighter. His belly is bigger. He thinks there’s something wrong with the bathroom mirror and scale.

You’re not going to gain 40 pounds overnight like the guy in the red suit. In fact, research shows the average adult only gains about 1 pound during the holidays.1

That doesn’t sound so bad, right? Here’s the problem. Most keep packing on extra pounds year after year. And that starts to add up to 5…10…20…30 pounds or more.

It’s one reason 73 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can still enjoy the holidays without tipping the scale in the wrong direction. Enjoy the food, family time, shopping, travel, and all the other things that make the holidays special to you.

If you want to prevent holiday weight gain, here’s a few things you can do…

1. Be active at least 30 minutes a day

Try brisk walking, weight lifting, or aerobics. Or dust off that piece of exercise equipment and actually use it.

Here’s a few more ways to make this happen.

  • Get up and go for a walk after dinner.
  • Take a walk on your lunch break.
  • Or park in no-man’s land when you go to the mall or grocery store and get in some extra steps.

2. Eat healthy foods and portion sizes

Keep it simple. Most of your food should come from fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Drink more water. And avoid or limit red meats, high-calorie drinks, fast food, and desserts.

If you’re going out to eat during the holidays, here’s some food for thought.

In a recent study, researchers found that 92 percent of all restaurant meals contain more calories in a single meal than health experts recommend.2

Try this: Order from the kids menu or the senior menu for smaller portion sizes. Split an entree with someone, or put half your meal in a to-go box for later.

3. Start the day with a healthy breakfast

Based on data from the National Weight Control Registry, people who lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast daily.

But that doesn’t mean you chow down on holiday cookies or donuts and gulp down frothy hot chocolate or coffee loaded with creamer for breakfast

Eating a healthy breakfast can help you avoid overeating later in the day. Try starting your day with a morning breakfast of whole-grain toast or steel-cut oats, fruit, or Greek yogurt.

4. Track your progress

Weigh yourself every day. Too much? Maybe not.

In a recent study published in Obesity, researchers found that stepping on the scale every day during the holidays helped people prevent weight gain, make better food choices, and be more active.3

Think about it this way. Stepping on the scale is a simple way to keep your choices in check during the holidays.

Another way to track your progress…keep a food diary.

Write down what you eat use a mobile app to record your weight, food choices, and exercise. It’s a good way to help you be accountable, and remember to make healthy choices.

5. Be consistent

Eat right and stay active, even on the weekends.

If you overeat at a holiday party or skip exercise, because you got too busy, it’s no big deal.

Don’t beat yourself up about it. Hit restart and get back on track the next day.

Start now and give yourself the gift of good health this holiday season.

7 Lifestyle Habits to Prevent Diabetes

Prevent Diabetes

What’s your blood sugar level?

There’s only one way to find out. Get a basic blood test.

It’s a simple way to find out if you’re at risk for a serious chronic disease that’s one of the leading causes of death in the United States and costs more than $330 billion a year in medical care.

Diabetes.

Did you know about 34 million adults in the United States have diabetes? Another 88 million have pre-diabetes, but most don’t even know it.

The Trouble with Diabetes

Here’s the thing. Left unchecked, diabetes causes high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, and it can lead to:

  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Poor circulation
  • Nerve damage
  • Amputation of limbs
  • And other serious health problems

But it’s largely preventable. Some research shows diabetes is even reversible with surgery, diet, exercise, and lifestyle interventions.1

The Risk-Factor Checklist for Type 2 Diabetes

Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?

If you are, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can take steps to prevent or reverse the disease.

Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include:2

  • Too much body fat (73 percent of adults are overweight or obese)
  • Age 45 or older
  • A family history of diabetes
  • High blood pressure (Half of all adults have elevated or high blood pressure)
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • Not physically active (Only 20 percent of adults get enough exercise)
  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • History of depression
  • Diabetes during pregnancy
  • History of polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Smoking
  • Poor eating habits
  • Race and ethnicity: African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Asian American

If you have any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about getting tested for type 2 diabetes.

7 Ways to Prevent, Manage & Reverse Diabetes

Want to prevent, reverse, or control diabetes?

“Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, or even reversed with a plant-based diet,” says Dr. Michael Greger.” It’s one of the most effective ways to keep blood glucose and insulin levels in check.3

But it’s not the only way. Healthy habits to prevent diabetes include:

1. Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. About 73 percent of all adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can greatly cut your risk of diabetes.

2. Don’t smoke, or quit if you do. Research shows smokers have a 30 to 40 percent higher risk of diabetes than non-smokers.4

3. Be more active – 30 to 60 minutes each day. Breaking it up into shorter 10 to 15 minute sessions will help.

4. Eat healthy fats. Skip saturated fats and trans fats found in butter, sour cream, red meat, and processed foods. Instead, eat more healthy fats found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil.

5. Follow a plant-based diet. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Why? These foods are low in calories and high in nutrients, and help regulate blood glucose levels.

Junk foods like sugary snacks, and white bread are high in calories and cause rapid changes in blood sugar levels.

6. Drink more water. One large study found that replacing just one sugar-sweetened drink per day with water may lower the risk for type 2 diabetes by 14 to 25 percent.5

7. Get a blood test. The best way to find out if you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes is an A1C blood test. This measures blood glucose levels over a three-month period. Ask your doctor about this test. Once you know where you’re at, you’ll have info to help you make any necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Want to live longer, feel better and be healthier? Adopt these healthy lifestyle habits to prevent diabetes.

9 Ways to Make Holiday Recipes Healthier

Young Woman Cooking

So you’re hosting the holiday party and want to make the meal a little healthier? That’s great.

You don’t have to give up those favorite family dishes. But you can make simple-ingredient swaps (without compromising taste), to serve healthier food during the holidays.1,2,3

And you don’t need to be a food scientist, nutrition expert, or culinary genius.

Here are some simple substitutes you can make:

1. Dairy Products

  • Replace whole milk or cream with fat-free milk or soymilk.
  • Substitute plain, fat-free or low-fat yogurt for sour cream.

2. Spices & Seasonings

  • Use a variety of herbs and spices in place of salt.
  • Use low-sodium bouillon and broths, instead of regular bouillons and broths.Large spice and herb collection

3. Oils & Butter

  • Instead of cooking with lard, butter, shortening, or other fats that are hard at room temperature, use a small amount of vegetable oil.
  • Replace hard-stick margarine with regular-soft margarine made with vegetable oil. Healthier margarine includes no trans fats and lists liquid-vegetable oil as the first ingredient on the food label.

4. Eggs

In baking or cooking, use egg whites or an egg substitute.

5. Meats & Poultry

  • If you eat meat, choose a lean cut of meat and remove any visible fat.
  • Remove skin from chicken and other poultry where fat is stored before cooking.

6. Sandwiches & Salads

  • Use fat-free or low-fat mayonnaise, instead of regular versions.
    Make your own low-calorie vinaigrette salad dressing with equal parts water and vinegar or lemon juice, and half as much oil.
  • Garnish salads with fruits and vegetables instead of cheese and meats.

7. Soups and Stews

  • Use cooking spray, water, or stock to sauté onion for flavoring stews, soups, and sauces.
  • Remove fat from homemade broths, soups, and stews by chilling after cooking. Before reheating the dish, lift off the hardened fat that formed at the surface.
  • If you don’t have time to chill the dish, then float a few ice cubes on the surface of the warm liquid to harden the fat. Then, remove and discard the fat.

8. Breads

  • When making muffins or quick breads, use 3 ripe, well-mashed bananas for each 1/2 C of butter or oil called for in the recipe.
  • Applesauce also works as a good substitute for butter, margarine, oil, or shortening in muffins, quick breads, and cookies.

9. Desserts

  • Make your own pie crust without the trans fat used in pre-made pie crust. Use vegetable oil in place of butter or shortening.
  • For chocolate desserts, use 3 T of cocoa instead of 1 ounce of baking chocolate. If fat is needed to replace the fat found in chocolate, add 1 T or less of vegetable oil.
  • To make cakes and soft-drop cookies, use no more than 2 T of fat for each cup of flour.

Before you start cooking, review this list of substitute ingredients and make sure you have everything you need to make your holiday meal a little healthier.

You Hungry? The Truth About Cravings and Sleep

It’s 3 p.m. You’re tired and stressed. And you can’t stop thinking about chocolate, cheesecake, burgers, and fries.

Maybe your junk-food craving is so strong, it’s like you’re being pulled to the vending machine, drive-thru, or nearest quickie mart by an unseen force to get your fix, and munch your way through some high-calorie junk food.

Or maybe you manage your cravings during the day, but overeat when you get home, and top off dinner with snacks and dessert.

That ever happen?

The Hunger Games

Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not alone. Research shows that as your workday unfolds and your stress level rises, cravings go up.1

So how do you curb those less-than-healthy cravings?

More will power: I’m only going to eat fruits and vegetables when I get hungry.
A bare-bones diet: I’m going to cut calories to avoid overeating.
A regimented eating schedule: I’m going to eat three meals and two snacks, at the same time, every day. That’s it.
Deep breathing and meditation: I am in control of my mind and body. I am acknowledging my hunger, and choose to eat mindfully.

There’s nothing wrong with these strategies to help you curb hunger cravings. But the truth is, they often don’t work…especially if you’re sleep deprived.

Use Your Pillow to Curb Hunger Cravings

Managing stress in healthy ways can make a difference. But it’s not the only factor that influences food cravings.

“Another key finding showed how sleep helped people deal with their stressful eating after work,” according to researchers. “When workers slept better the night before, they tended to eat better when they experienced stress the next day.”

Want to curb junk-food cravings and eat healthier? Use your pillow.

Research shows that 7 to 8 hours of sleep is a good recipe for healthy eating.

Sleep helps reduce stress, improve your mood, and control cravings linked to hormones ghrelin and leptin.. Here are some ways to get a good night’s sleep:2

  • Keep to a regular sleep schedule 7 days a week.
  • Exercise daily. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity. Being physically tired at the end of the day helps people get to sleep sooner, and stay asleep longer.
  • Relax before bedtime (e.g., take a hot bath, read, meditate).
    Create a comfortable sleep environment. It’s best to make your room as dark as possible and eliminate distractions (e.g., outside light, a messy room, pets, room temperature) that could keep you awake.
  • Avoid media before bed such as watching TV or using your computer or mobile devices in bed.
  • Don’t eat a large meal or drink a lot of liquids late at night.
  • Don’t exercise or nap late in the evening.
  • Don’t drink alcohol right before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine for 8 hours before going to sleep.

These are ingredients for a good night’s sleep that will help you make better food choices and curb cravings.

5 Foods to Help Control Blood Sugar Levels

More fruits, vegetables & whole grains make a difference

How’s your blood sugar level?

If you’re anything like the typical American, there’s a chance it’s a little higher than it should be. Fortunately, what you eat can make a difference.

The trouble with high blood sugar

Higher than normal blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to poor blood flow, organ damage, and vision loss.

Diabetes can raise your risk for heart disease or stroke. It’s also the leading cause of amputations and the 7th leading cause of death.

Think you don’t need to worry? Consider this. About 34 million adults in the United States have type 2 diabetes. Another 88 million have prediabetes, and many don’t even know it.1 Another way to look at this…1 in 3 adults has diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Is there anything you can do to lower your risk for diabetes and control blood sugar levels? Start with healthy lifestyle habits like:

  • Get regular exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke, or quit if you do

And there’s at least one other lifestyle factor that has a lot to do with blood sugar levels…your diet.

5 foods to control blood sugar levels

Food is a big reason for higher-than-normal blood sugar levels.

Americans eat a lot of fast food, burgers, sugary drinks, cereals, and biggie-sized desserts. Sound familiar?

These “junk” foods are digested quickly. This, in turn, can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

Are you ready to improve your blood sugar level and reduce your risk for diabetes and other health problems? Eat less junk food and choose healthier options like:

1. Leafy greens
Try kale, broccoli, spinach, or chard. Leafy greens are high in fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, and other nutrients that can help control blood sugar. Perfect as a side dish, in a smoothie, or in a salad with vinaigrette or olive-oil dressing.

2. Brightly colored vegetables
Most adults should eat about 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. But only 9 percent of adults eat enough vegetables.2 Try red bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, and cabbage. Serve steamed, baked, grilled, or freshly cut on aControl Blood Sugar with food vegetable tray.

3. Low-calorie drinks
Skip sweetened drinks like soda and sports drinks. They’re loaded with empty calories that can lead to diabetes, weight gain, and other health problems.

Instead, drink water. It’s usually free and has zero calories. If you prefer a bit of flavor, add a squeeze of lemon or lime. Don’t like water? Then drink herbal tea or a low-sugar drink.

4. Berries
If you’re craving something sweet, you might be tempted to scarf down a candy bar. But that’s a recipe for a spike in blood sugar levels. Instead, try blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries. These fruits are sweet. But research shows berries can help control blood sugar levels.3

5. Whole-grains
Here’s one more food that should be part of your diet if you want to be healthier and manage blood sugar levels…whole grains.

It’s found in foods like whole-grain breads, pasta, cereals, and oats. The high-fiber content takes longer to digest and helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Want to keep your blood sugar levels under control to prevent or manage diabetes? Take a closer look at your diet, and eat more of these five kinds of foods.

Do THIS 30-Minutes a Day to Prevent Diabetes

Prevent Diabetes

“Do everything you can to prevent diabetes.” That’s advice lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Gerard McLane has been sharing for decades.

Why? An estimated 34 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes. And more than 88 million (or 1 in 3), have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Left unchecked, diabetes can lead to serious health problems like:

  • Nerve damage
  • Poor circulation
  • Kidney failure
  • Vision loss
  • Increased risk for a heart attack or stroke

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Lace up your shoes and go

New research shows that walking for just 30 minutes a day can lower the risk for diabetes and control blood sugar levels.1

The study followed about 45,000 people for 18 years. Researchers found that physical activity, including walking cut the risk for diabetes by:

  • 12% with low levels of activity
  • 20% with moderate levels of activity
  • 25% with 30-plus minutes of activity per day

Based on the findings, researchers believe regular walking and physical activity could help prevent about 19% of all diabetes cases.

So what are you waiting for? Lace up your shoes and go for a walk, jog or run:

  • Take a walk break during your work day.
  • Walk around the block at home after dinner.
  • If it’s close enough, walk to the store to run errands or buy groceries.
  • Or plan a hike for the weekend.

Walk at least 30 minutes a day, and you’ll be healthier and happier. You’ll also:

Burn calories. Walking burns calories (about 200 to 300 per hour) and fat. This helps you lose weight.

Reduce blood pressure. If your blood pressure is 120/80 or higher, you’ve got some work to do. The good news: Walking helps reduce blood pressure.

Lower cholesterol. If your cholesterol is high, it can clog your arteries, make them stiff, and raise the risk for a heart attack or stroke. Research shows brisk walking is an effective way to lower cholesterol.

Improve mood. Ever have one of those days? You know, you’re stressed out or feeling down about something. In one study, an easy 15 to 20-minute walk was just enough to help people turn things around and feel better.

If you don’t have 30 minutes in your schedule, take a few 10-minute walk breaks, and you’ll still reap the benefits.

Some research suggests a walk each day can also help curb food cravings, reduce joint pain, boost immune function, and help you live longer.

Want to be healthier? Put on a pair of comfortable shoes, and go for a walk.

Reverse Diabetes? 2 Lifestyle Habits for Success

What if you could reverse diabetes and cut your risk for complications?

Sounds like a tall order, right? An estimated 34 million people in the United States have diabetes. Another 88 million people have pre-diabetes, and many of them don’t even know it.

But left unchecked, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, poor circulation amputations, or worse. What’s the solution?

Consider this typical doctor-patient conversation:

Doctor: Your blood sugar levels are too high.

Patient: What should I do? Is there a pill or medication you can give me?

Doctor: If we don’t get this under control, the potential for complications related to diabetes will keep going up. I’m going to prescribe some diabetes medication.

Modern medicine has saved millions of lives. But medication alone isn’t the answer to treat, prevent, or even reverse diabetes, according to a recent study.1

In the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers were able to pinpoint the cause for high blood sugar levels, and reverse diabetes WITHOUT medication.

The cause: Researchers found that diabetes is triggered by excess fat in the liver. When this occurs, fat deposits spill over into the pancreas. And it’s the excess fat that makes it increasingly difficult for the pancreas to produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels.

The solution: In the study, people living with diabetes who lost an average of 30 pounds and kept it off no longer had markers for diabetes or required medication to help control blood sugar levels.

Ready to clean up your diet and reverse diabetes?

There’s two lifestyle changes that can help prevent or reverse diabetes, according to the study.

1. Eat more plant-based foods and less refined or processed foods. That means most of your food should come from:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • If you eat meat, fish and poultry are healthier options than red meat.
  • The drink of choice to reverse or prevent diabetes: water.

Take a closer look at this meal plan to reverse or prevent diabetes, and you’ll see pizza, burgers, fries, desserts, and sugary drinks aren’t part of the plan.

And it makes sense. These are calorie-dense foods high in carbohydrates, but low in nutritional value that can lead to weight gain and rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.

2. Be more active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose (more than 10 pounds), 60 minutes of exercise a day is better. Go for a walk. Take a fitness class. Dust off your exercise bike or treadmill. If your gym is open, go.

Like it or not, chances are pretty good you’re not getting enough exercise. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 77 percent of adults don’t get enough exercise to prevent weight gain and strengthen the heart, lungs, bones, and muscles.

Reverse diabetes with healthy lifestyle choices

Poor food choices and lack of exercise over time appear to be the two primary lifestyle habits linked to diabetes. But you can change that by improving your diet, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise.

In the not-too-distant future, the prescription to treat diabetes may not be medication, but lifestyle changes to support weight management and a healthy diet.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits: 7 Ways to Prevent or Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Ever wonder if you can prevent or reverse Type 2 Diabetes?  Did you know that what you eat today may impact your health down the road?

It wasn’t something New Jersey resident DeWayne McCulley was thinking about, even though an estimated 30 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes.1 And another 88 million have pre-diabetes.Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

As a biochemistry engineer, McCulley always liked to understand how things worked, and then make them better.2 He spent his career researching, testing, analyzing, and looking at data for every project he worked on. He knew his diet and exercise habits could be better, but he didn’t think much about it.

And then it happened. DeWayne’s blood sugar levels reached dangerous levels. He went into a diabetic coma, and nearly died. When he was able to leave the hospital, he decided to engineer his own plan to improve his health.

What’s so bad about diabetes?

When your pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels, it leads to diabetes. Left unchecked, it’s a chronic disease that can cause:

  • Nerve damage
  • Poor circulation
  • Vision loss
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease, and other health problems.3
  • And there usually aren’t any symptoms…at least at first.

Sounds pretty bad, right? Fortunately, medication can help manage or control diabetes. But that’s not the only way to protect your health from this chronic disease.

“Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, or even reversed,” says Dr. Michael Greger, award-winner author and founder of NutritionFacts.org.4

What you eat today will impact your health tomorrow (Especially for Diabetics) and down the road.   So if your diet is bad today it will not show immediately rather than it will show in the future might not impact you tomorrow unless you are a Diabetic, but can affect your health down the road.

Your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits can have an even bigger impact, than medication alone to prevent, control, or reverse diabetes. It’s something McCulley learned as he engineered a new diet and lifestyle to improve his health.

7 Ways to Prevent or Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

If you don’t have diabetes, keep it that way. If you’re at risk for diabetes, or you’ve already been diagnosed, you may need to take medication to keep your blood sugar levels in check. But there’s more you can do. Research shows these lifestyle habits can prevent or reverse diabetes.

Here are 7 things you can do:

  1. Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. About 72 percent of all adults in the U.S. are or obese. It’s a risk factor for diabetes. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can greatly cut your risk for diabetes and complications.
  1. Don’t smoke, or quit if you do. Research shows that smokers have a 30 to 40 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than non-smokers.
  1. Be more active. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day. Take a walk. Go for a hike. Ride a bike. Pick your favorite workout video and follow along. Connect your favorite app or fitness tracking device to the FitLyfe 360 platform and keep track of your activity.
  1. Eat healthy fats. Skip saturated and trans fats found in butter, sour cream, red meat, and processed foods. Instead, eat more healthy fats found in nuts and peanut butter, seeds, avocados, fatty fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel, and olive oil.
  1. Drink more water. Drink a glass of water at meal times. Keep a water bottle with you to drink from throughout the day. And avoid or limit sugary drinks like soda, juice, and coffee with sweetener.

Get a blood test

    . It’s the best way to find out what your blood glucose levels are. A normal fasting blood glucose is less than 100 mg/dL. Ask your doctor or wellness coordinator about getting tested. Once you know where you’re at, you’ll have info to help you make necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle to prevent or reverse diabetes.

Eat more plant-based foods

If you’re serious about preventing or reversing type 2 diabetes, this is a game-changer.  First, remove processed foods as they are designed by the company to be more addictive which ultimately helps the company sell more product making a higher profit.  What you should do is add: more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These foods are low in calories and high in nutrients, and help regulate blood glucose levels. Research shows that a plant-based diet rich in vitamins and nutrients can help support weight loss and improve blood sugar levels.5

Want to prevent or reverse diabetes? Adopt, or continue with, these healthy lifestyle habits to keep your blood sugar levels in check, feel better, and live longer.  A quote by Robert Urich reads “A healthy outside starts with a healthy inside.”  Remember your health is the ultimate priority over corporate profit.

Sources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Type 2 diabetes. From: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html
  1. McCulley, D. (2012). Death to Diabetes: The 6 Stages of Type 2 Diabetes Control & Reversal. From: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009PGGJIW
  1. National Institutes of Health. (2016). Symptoms and causes of diabetes. From: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/symptoms-causes
  1. Greger, M. (2017). How not to diet from diabetes. NutritionFacts.org. From: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-not-to-die-from-diabetes/
  1. McMacken, M., et al. (2017). A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, 14(5): 342-354. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466941/
  2. 72 percent of all adults are overweight or obese. It’s so widely reported, I didn’t include the source. But it’s from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention.  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm