Being severely overweight is a serious health issue that is becoming far too common nowadays. It puts your body at risk for a variety of dangerous conditions and diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. For individuals with Type 2 diabetes the risks are even greater.
Diabetics suffer from a much higher risk of heart disease. Their risk is six times greater than the normal person. And not surprisingly nearly 70 percent of all diabetes-related deaths result from heart disease. The good news for diabetics or anyone dealing with weight issues is that there are steps they can take to reduce the risks of heart disease and improve their overall health.
Losing Weight for a Healthier Life
A recent study published in the medical journal Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research, showed just how beneficial weight loss can be to individuals with diabetes. It can drastically improve their overall quality of life.
Losing just 18 pounds can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks in obese people who have Type 2 diabetes. This is partly due to the reduction in arterial stiffness that occurs after weight loss. Arterial stiffness is one of the major causes for strokes and heart attacks.
Although the study was focused on individuals with diabetes, it’s important to realize that anyone who is overweight faces health risks. Not to mention, obesity is one of the leading causes for diabetes. Therefore dieting offers significant health benefits to anyone who is overweight. And it’s never too late. Losing weight in a gradual and healthy manner can reduce the risk factors for a number of health conditions including diabetes and heart disease, and ultimately improve your overall health.
Choose a Balanced Diet
A proper diet is the first step toward weight loss and better overall health. Stick with a balanced diet that allows you to lose weight steadily not drastically. Avoid fad diets which involve any type of crash dieting. This is extremely unhealthy. Don’t skip meals or cut out essential foods either. Depriving your body of necessary nutrition in the name of weight loss is not only unhealthy, but it could ultimately lead to even more weight gain.
You should eat a minimum of three meals per day. However, smaller more frequent meals is an even better option. Eating more frequently is a great way to increase your metabolism and instigate weight loss. So if you can schedule it out, try to do four or five smaller sized meals each day. Your daily diet should primarily consist of grains, vegetables, fruit, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Try to stay away from foods high in sugar or fat. Here are some other smart food choices that you may want to add to your diet.
Moderation is the key to any successful diet. This is why calorie counting is such an effective weight loss method. When you consume fewer calories than your body is using each day, your body is forced to find energy elsewhere. The major downside to this method of dieting is that your body may not be burning fat. And calorie counting can only be successful if your body is burning fat. The last thing you want is for your body to break down lean muscle in its efforts to create more energy. After all lean muscle is one of your best tools for burning fat. It makes your body more efficient and allows you to burn more calories.
Protecting Your Lean Muscle
There are two important steps you can take to protect your lean muscle tissue. First of all, make sure your diet has enough protein in it. Protein is what feeds muscle growth. So include high protein foods like meat, nuts, and beans in your diet. The next thing you need to do is utilize all that protein by exercising. Exercising regularly will help you maintain or increase your body’s strength. By doing this you are sending signals to your body that it needs to keep the lean muscle. Hence more fat is burned.
Starting a New Exercise Program
For those of you who aren’t sure how to begin a new exercise regime, don’t worry. Sometimes figuring out where to begin can be the most difficult part. If you belong to a gym, the fitness trainers can usually help design an exercise program to suit your needs. Another option is to try a home workout program. There are some incredible programs available nowadays. Some of the more popular ones include Turbo Fire, P90X, and Insanity Asylum.
Following the weight loss tips in this article is a great first step toward losing weight and improving your overall health. The effects can be truly life altering. Just remember to choose a weight loss plan that includes a healthy diet and exercise. It is possible to lose weight solely from dieting, but you will lose many of the health benefits that come from exercising. Plus it’ll be harder to keep off the weight over the long term.