Weight loss is a long term goal for you. What is most important is not so much your weight is how much fat you have and where this is distributed. If you have been an athlete where body weight is mainly muscle then this is better for you. If this is fat then this is your probelm.
Health and healthy eating is a journey not a destination. Each day you need to choose healthy lifestyle habits and be mindful of the things that you can do to be healthy. You can do it but remember it is for the rest of your life.
The principles around weight loss are simple, the implementation is difficult. And what is worse the blogs on healthy eating from “experts” means we now have no idea how to do it.
What we know about being overweight and T2 diabetes is-
1. There is a genetic determination
2. When this is combined with an obesigenic environment obesity occurs and T2 diabetes as well.
Some starting dietary principles
1. Get adequate protein to maintain muscle mass as weight is lost from FOOD, not supplements to maintain your metabolic rate as your reduce your energy and body weight. A Dietitian will help you work this out. Don't resort to protein powders they give too much and your body doesn't use it and we want the other nutrienst that protein foods provide. We often eat enough protein already but new research shows having a small amount 20-30gm ( no more) before exercise helps maintain muscle mass. Milk is great.
2. Get adequate amount of fresh fruit and vegetables. You do not need to restrict these. Despite what bloggers say the research here just doesn't support restrictions of fresh fruit (not juiced) They extrapolate research to support their arguement.
3. Get your carbohydrate from less processed forms like lentils, beans, legumes,wholegrain cereal grains like oat flakes, Quinoa, wholewheat flakes etc and dairy products. Foods in packets are more processed.
Make your own foods. A helpful tool is the Australian Healthy Food Guide, monthly magazine which has meal plans in the back and recipes to help you. Only $5.70/mon. Another good dietary pattern is the Mediterranean diet which is neither low carbohydrate or high saturated fat.
Meal Plans to avoid
1. Low carbohydrate- No one knows what this is but they talk about it as if they are all the same. It can be as low as 20gm/carbs a day which means you cannot eat any fruit and vegetables let alone dairy products. Or it can mean around 40%Energy from carbs which is about 200gm carbs on a 2000Kcal/day diet. This can be much more realistic and achievable . A Dietitian can plan something around this level 40-45% which is easier to maintain long term and keep you healthy while you are at it. Or it can just can mean no bread, sugar, potatoes or starch vegetables, rice or pasta .
2. High fat diet- this comes off the premise that a high carbohydrate diet is bad. High processed carbohydrate acts similarly to high saturated fat and bad for people with T2 diabetes. Research posted to support the high fat diet use high carbohydrate diets as a comparison with unknown source of Carbs , which could be mostly processed and work just like saturated fat.Anyone talking high carbohydrate without identifying the source of carbohydrate just doesn't understand the research. Any one telling you low fat diet is bad without identifying the replacement nutrient when fat is reduced, just doesn't understand the research also. Usually processed carbs replace fat when fat is reduced which works just like saturated fat as I have said before.
Bariatric Surgery is often required when you are this big . However you need to consider that all bariatric surgery may distort eating long term and success rates vary. Even if you go through surgery you still need to learn to have healthy lifestyle habits.
Whether you can reverse the damage from T2 diabetes is dependent on how long you have had the disease, your pancreatic function, complications you have now , how much weight you lose, how fit you become and whether you can maintain this long term.
I have seen very determined people who are big and have achieved weight loss without bariatric surgery but they need a supportive team around them for a long time. Good GP, Dietitian, Psychologist and Exercise physiologist.
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