ONE in ten adults are expected to have diabetes by 2030, with the nation facing a “ticking timebomb”, a leading charity warned this week.
Rocketing obesity rates has seen the number doubling over the past 15 years, which has created a “public health emergency”, according to Diabetes UK.
But there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being part of that statistic.
Marion Shirran is a stakeholder in NICE, the National Institute of Care and Health Excellence, working in the field of weight management, and is also involved with the All Party Parliamentary Group for obesity.
She is also a developer of www.myweighless.com an innovative, downloadable weight loss programme she designed with husband Martin.
They’ve also created the “Gastric Mind Band” and “Pause Button Therapy” since launching their business in 2004.
Based at their Elite clinic in the Costa del Sol, Spain, clients from around the world have successfully reversed type 2 diabetes thanks to their long-term weight loss treatment.
Marion says: “Clients often come to us to lose weight to improve their appearance, or self-confidence.
“But it’s always particularly rewarding when they also experience life-changing health benefits, such as normalising their blood sugar control, stopping the onset of diabetes, lowering high blood pressure and reversing fatty liver disease.”
These tips can help you to take back control of your weight and help prevent a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
1. Stop and think
Ask yourself one question, are you eating because you are actually hungry?
Or is it because you are tired, sad, lonely, depressed, bored, or maybe you are eating just to please somebody else, for example if you go for dinner, or you’re out with someone and they are hungry?
Make a point of only eating when you’re physically hungry. Resist the temptation to reach for food just because it’s there in front of you.
2. Cut back on the alcohol
Not only is it full of empty calories, but it plays with your mind. Medical research has shown that when you consume alcohol, it stimulates the production of a hunger-increasing hormone, ghrelin.
Alcohol also alters the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for the control of thought processes, behaviour and emotion.
As a result, it impairs your judgement, obliterating your decision-making skills, and lowers your resolve, self-control and willpower.
Maybe it’s not surprising then, that more people break their diets following alcohol consumption, than at any other time!
3. “Pay in advance”
How about paying in advance? Basically, decide what you want to eat, it can be anything you like, but first work out the number of calories it contains.
Then you pay up-front by way of exercise.
Afterwards, if you still want it, then eat it.
So, if a bar of chocolate contains 250 calories that’s fine. But before you eat it you must run up the stairs 42 times.
This tip helps you to stop and think twice about your food choices, and encourages you to go for the healthy option more often, rather than reaching for things that are calorie dense, but nutritionally poor.
4. Drink water before a meal
Drinking one, or ideally two large glasses of chilled water before a meal, everyone’s heard it before but how many of us actually do it.
After you have drunk the water the stomach’s receptors will perceive the fullness, the stomach will be stretched this will quickly dampen your appetite.
Drinking water also flushes out toxins and helps to increase metabolism. Therefore you burn more calories too! It will also ensure you have healthy skin, and may reduce loose skin following weight loss.
5. Get moving
It is reported that some people find it annoying.
But did you know that fidgeting, or just moving, can burn ten times more calories than just sitting still, which is great news when it comes to keeping your metabolism ticking over at a higher rate.
One study confirmed that fidgets burned around 350 more calories per day. That could potentially equate to successfully shedding more than a few pounds. And all achieved just by tapping your feet!
But, more realistically, think about getting moving more often.
Stand up and walk around the house or your workplace every half an hour or so. Some people use alarms to remind them.
6. Cut the junk
Limiting your intake of highly processed foods that are often full of refined carbs and empty calories will help you to eat less food in general.
These foods light up the reward centre in the brain, and cause the feel good hormone, dopamine to be released.
It’s much harder to stop eating ultra-processed foods, compared to non-processed foods, so you are more likely to keep going and end up over consuming.
7. Improve your mood
Covid and the subsequent depression made weight gain inevitable for many people.
The connection between obesity and depression has been known for a while.
But even someone suffering with a low mood will find themselves taking comfort from high carb foods without even knowing why.
Therefore, if you find yourself in a rut of low mood, taking steps to lift it will encourage you to make healthier choices around food and as a result it’s so much easier for you to achieve successful weight loss in the process.
If you think you have depression, make sure to seek help.
8. Manage your stress levels
Research has found that the stress hormone, cortisol not only slows down your metabolism, but at the same time it causes you to crave highly palatable foods that have an addictive combination of sugar, fat and salt.
Studies have shown that cortisol also triggers excessive abdominal, or visceral, fat deposits in the body.
It’s well-known that excessive visceral fat increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
So, reducing your stress levels will boost your metabolism, improve your food choices and help you to get rid of that toxic abdominal fat too.
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