Shockingly, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, reports the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2016, over 190 crore adults were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese, says the WHO. What is alarming about the rising numbers is its impact on people's overall health. Obesity and being overweight increases one’s risk of metabolic conditions, such as diabetes mellitus type 2, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and higher triglyceride levels. Speaking with Only My Health, Dr Tushar Tayal, Consultant- Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, lists down ways obese diabetics can lose weight safely.
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Understanding Obesity And The Risk Of Diabetes
Dr Tayal says, “Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify obesity in adults. Another indicator for obesity is Waist-Hip-Ratio (WHR).”
According to the WHO, high BMI is a major risk factor for several diseases including cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, some cancers and diabetes.
As per Dr Tayal, Type 2 diabetes is a combination of low amounts of insulin production from pancreas and peripheral insulin resistance, which is influenced by the body fat percentage. “Higher the body fat, higher is the insulin resistance and worse are the sugar levels,” he says. Having said that, maintaining a healthy weight and fitness level is crucial. So what should diabetics do?
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How Diabetes Patients Can Lose Weight Safely
A balanced diet
Diabetics should focus on eating a diet rich in foods with low Glycemic Index (GI), complex carbs, moderate protein and fats, says Dr Tayal. Secondly, a calorie deficit diet is necessary in obese individuals to lose weight. Calorie deficit means eating fewer calories that you're burning.
According to Dr Tayal, besides eating healthy, one must indulge in regular exercise. 150 minutes of exercise per week is mandatory for all individuals, especially those with diabetes. He says, “Exercise should be inclusive of aerobic exercise and resistance training. Aerobic exercise includes activities, such as walking, cycling, jogging, and swimming. Resistance (strength) training includes exercises with free weights, weight machines, body weight, or elastic resistance bands. Flexibility exercises, balance exercises, and yoga should also be included as they improve range of motion around joints and prevent falls.”
Lastly, when it comes to exercise, the doctor warns against exercising on an empty stomach as it may cause blood sugars to become low.
Dr Tayal encourages diabetics to practise pranayama and says that it helps decrease stress hormones which in turn improve blood sugar levels.
Being obese can put you at a greater risk of health problems, which is why you must work towards maintaining a healthy weight. Regular exercise, eating healthy, and keeping stress at bay are some of the ways you can lose weight safely. Make sure to be in constant touch with your doctor to receive proper advice and guidance.