Charbel Abou Khattar
Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist
International Natural Bodybuilding Champion
Being diabetic is an opportunity to improve! Everyone knows that being active and eating well are important aspects of leading a healthy life. And, if you are diagnosed with diabetes, then you have extra reason to get in shape, control your calorie intake, and live a balanced and active life. Why Exercise? Working out properly will help increase insulin action and keep blood sugars in check. Exercise also helps you lose weight and improve balance, which is important because many people with type 2 diabetes are at risk for obesity and therefore prone to falls as they age.
Tips for getting in shape
Make it a Lifestyle choice
Pick up an activity that you have enjoy: biking, swimming, outdoor running, etc. and aim to do it 3 times a week. In between you can go to a gym for a full body workout or do some walking.
Start planning your food a day ahead and calculate your calories and macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats). This can be done simply by downloading a calorie counter application on your smartphone. There are many apps available to choose from and many are free.
Decrease your sugar intake
If there is one nutrition tip I would offer to everyone reading , it would be to avoid sugar. Sugar causes blood glucose to spike and plummet. Unstable blood sugar often leads to mood swings, fatigue, headaches and cravings for more sugar. Cravings set the stage for a cycle of addiction in which every intake of sugar makes you feel better temporarily but, a few hours later, results in more cravings and hunger. Studies have shown that a diet high in sugar can be linked to multiple negative side effects, including:
- increased the risk of obesity and heart disease;
- lower immune system function;
- higher chance of developing chromium deficiency;
- risk of tooth decay; and
- increased stress
So, avoid sugar, eat a healthy balanced meal, exercise regularly, and turn any situation to your advantage and enjoy your day.