If you really want to lose weight, or if you are newly diagnosed with diabetes, here are a few tips for you, especially when eating out.
1. Always bypass the bread at the restaurant. The bread is just empty calories, filled with carbs that you do not need before you eat a meal.
2. Pay attention to portions in restaurants. There probably is 4 portions in your dinner! Restaurant sizes are notorious for being over-sized. Do not be afraid to ask for a kids portion, and if they are not willing, ask for a 1/2 portion of a regular meal. ( that will probably be 2 portions instead of 4!). You may also try ordering an appetizer instead of a meal. I do that a lot!
3. Remember that there are extra calories not only in desserts- but in dressings. Some creamy dressings for your salad may cost you 500 extra calories. Ask for the low fat versions of dressings- or oil and vinegar where you can pour your own. Another tip- always ask for the dressing on the side, that way you can control it.
4. Do not necessarily jump on the low carb diets out there. If you are diabetic follow your doctor’s advices and the recommendations of the ADA ( American Diabetes Association) intake recommendations. They recommend using the Diabetes Food Pyramid.
Here are some recommendations:
Grains and starches: breads, pasta, starchy veggies. You should eat 6-11 servings a day
Vegetables: at least 3-5 servings a day
Fruit: 2-4 servings a day
Milk: Use nonfat or low fat varieties. 2-3 servings a day
Meat: Try to eat lean. Beef, chicken, turkey and fish. Keep your portions small ( about 4 -6oz/day)
Fats: This includes sweets and alcohol. You should consume as little as possible!
Type 2 diabetes can have a phasing in period where you are heading toward diabetes but do not have it yet. If this is you- it is called prediabetes.
The primary sign of prediabetes is glucose levels being higher that the ideal range- but not high enough to be considered in the diabetic range.
What is the good news about having Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a sign- like the handwriting on the wall! It gives you a chance to help yourself. You can change your outcome by making some changes in your life such as eating a healthier diet, developing a fitness routine and losing some weight. This can make a difference in whether you “come down with” diabetes in the future.
Taken in part from:Hoogwerf, B (2005). Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. Deerfield Beach, Fl. Health Communications, INC.
For more information on eating better, go the the ADA Web Site at www.diabetes.org