Managing Diabetes and Obesity: Healthy Eating Tips, Medication, Exercise, and More

November 15, 2023Katie

More than a way to fuel our bodies, eating is a satisfying experience, especially when trying various foods and cuisines. However, health experts are concerned with Oklahomans’ increasingly unhealthy eating behaviors, such as drinking sugary beverages and eating less than the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. In fact, only 9.4% eat vegetables more than three times a day, contributing to the rising obesity rates among Oklahoma’s adult population (40%).

Besides healthcare costs and productivity losses, obesity must be treated as a severe condition here in Oklahoma because it increases the risk of other chronic illnesses. One of which is type 2 diabetes, where the body’s cells resist insulin, and abnormally high blood sugar levels develop into serious complications. Fortunately, individuals can adopt the following healthy habits to manage their weight, blood sugar, and overall wellness.

Prioritize whole, unprocessed foods

Diet and nutrition are crucial components of diabetes management, as food choices can regulate blood sugar levels while providing essential nutrients for bodily functions. Meanwhile, successful weight loss relies on healthy eating to limit calorie intake without sacrificing nutritional value.

The good news is that prioritizing whole, unprocessed foods — such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, beans and legumes, and grains like oats and brown rice — allows you to meet all these dietary needs for both diabetes and obesity. Moreover, one of our previous posts includes healthy meal ideas like kale quinoa black bean salad and pecan-crusted steelhead trout, which include said food groups while also being delicious and easy to prepare.

Consider weight management medications

Since both diabetes and obesity are still medical conditions, dietary changes may not be sufficient to address the biological causes of excess weight gain. Therefore, individuals may consult with their doctor about taking metformin for weight loss, which is a generic medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of diabetes and weight-related conditions like obesity.

Metformin works by regulating your appetite and reducing cravings, thus allowing you to adhere to a healthy diet and achieve a calorie deficit. This appetite change can lead to clinically significant weight loss among diabetes patients struggling to manage their weight.

Engage in low to moderate-intensity exercises

Besides diet and prescription medication, individuals with diabetes and obesity are also advised to exercise regularly to improve insulin function, burn calories, and keep blood sugar levels in check. Among the recommended types of exercise are low-intensity activities like brisk walking, yoga, and tai chi for cardiovascular health and glucose regulation, as well as moderate-intensity workouts like weight training to lose weight while maintaining muscle mass.

As you incorporate these exercises into your daily routine, remember to fuel up properly before, during, and after a workout. Protein-rich foods like chicken breast, turkey, eggs, and legumes can boost feelings of fullness and help you gain muscle mass.

Improve sleep quality

Lastly, pay attention to how many hours of sleep you get each night, as lack of sleep can contribute to or worsen diabetes complications. Such complications included increased insulin resistance, hunger, and cravings for foods high in sugar and carbohydrates.

Additionally, this means too little sleep can make it harder for you to lose weight, as you’re more likely to overeat and exceed your recommended calorie intake. To improve your sleep quality, try avoiding large meals close to bedtime and limiting your alcohol intake.

While diabetes and obesity make for a deadly combination, following the healthy lifestyle tips mentioned above can help you lower the risk or manage these conditions effectively. For more tips on healthy eating and overall lifestyle, check out the rest of the articles here at Dishin & Dishes.

Don't be afraid to comment! I LOVE to hear from my readers!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post Next Post