Ginger Vieira was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 13, celiac disease a year later, and fibromyalgia in 2014. Ginger provides great insights into life with multiple chronic illnesses, including how to make the most of your life despite your health setbacks.
Are you frustrated because you feel like you're doing everything you're "supposed" to be doing to lose weight, but the scale hasn't budged at all? While you might be following all the guidelines for weight-loss, there are many things you might be doing that are actually preventing your body from burning body fat for fuel.
3 common habits that prevent weight loss
1. Blood sugar roller coaster
If your blood sugars are constantly too high or too low, the last thing your metabolism is concerned with is burning fat. When your blood sugar is high, your body has so much excess glucose on board that it has no need to burn fat for fuel. When your blood sugar is low, you're required to consume more calories. Think about how many lows you experience each week and add up the extra calories you consumed just to treat those lows. It can be significant! If you live with diabetes and want to lose weight, your first priority is your blood sugar levels.
2. Eating too little
You're probably thinking this doesn't make any sense, because according to every magazine you've ever read, calorie reduction is supposed to lead to weight loss. But consuming too few calories (under 1200 calories a day) can actually cause your body to go into "starvation mode" and begin storing everything you eat as body fat because you simply aren't eating enough. The average woman can aim to eat between 1200 to 1500 calories a day, and 1800 to 2000 for the average man. More active women should aim for 1800, more active men can aim for at least 2200. Spread your calories out, aiming for four to five meals a day about three to four hours apart in order to fuel your metabolism properly!
3. Too many "diet" foods
If your grocery cart is full of "low-calorie" and "low-fat" and "low-sugar" foods, it might be time for an intervention! The problem with most "diet foods" in the store today is that while they're low in calories, they're also low in nutrients and overall quality. Instead, shifting to more whole foods (meaning they rarely come in a box that has a label) like veggies, fruit, fish, healthy sources of lean meat, healthy grains like oat bran and quinoa, and even good quality dairy (Greek yogurt, string cheese, low-fat cottage cheese) will give you nutrient-rich food that will keep you feeling satisfied. Yes, they have more calories in volume, but if you're getting something that satisfies you and it comes with good protein, fat, carbs and vitamins and minerals, your body will thank you!
Ditch the dieting fad and focus on the basics of your health: your blood sugar, fueling your body well with food, and choosing more whole and natural foods.
How have you found success in losing weight with diabetes? Comment with your experience below.