Monday, April 4, 2011

A Life Plan, NOT a Diet Plan

It seems like the first thing anyone asks when you say you are losing weight is, "What diet plan are you using?" But all of the diet plans in the world boil down to how many calories you take in versus how many calories you spend.

And at 60 years old, I don't want a diet -- I want a changed life.

So I had several goals starting out -- all of which had to do with breaking the destructive cycle that I was on.

First, I needed to figure out what kind of healthy, balanced diet would work best for a 60 year old body that no longer has a colon and does have diabetes. What foods would nourish me well, be digested easily with just a stomach and a small intestine, and would help level out my blood sugars throughout the day without those destructive peak and valley spikes?

After experimenting and taking copious notes, I have found for me that meant:
      a change to more protein,
      more vegetables (of the kind that have no fiber or  tough skins),
      about the same amount of fruit (of the kind with no seeds or peels),
      and less carbohydrates (especially sugary processed breads, etc.).
When I changed the balance of those foods, my blood sugar numbers came into a more narrow range.

Secondly, I needed to increase and get consistant with my exercise. I also needed to figure out the best times to exercise to keep my blood sugars steady.

Again, after experimenting and taking copious notes, I found my blood sugars dropped dramatically if I exercise about 1/2 to 1 hour after every meal. It didn't even have to be more than walking in place in front of the TV for 15 to 20 minutes to make a big difference. So my goal now is to do this consistantly and increase the time and intensity. Already, I have been able to drop my insulin dosage by 4 units per day.

Third, with the blood sugars fairly level and dropping, I needed to lower my daily calorie intake. The doctor wanted me to do this gradually and he suggested that I get down to a consistant 1800 calories per day by the time I see him again at the end of April. At this point, I am consistantly at about 2000 calories per day, and plan to lower that level this week. The eventual goal will be 1200 to 1400 calories per day recommended for a woman my height.

All three of these changes will make me healthier, help me lose weight, get my blood sugars under control, which will help me lower the insulin dosage and maybe eliminate the need for some of the other medications that I am on at the moment.

So, the journey continues!

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