We have started to see questions from people who have diabetes, metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes who want to know what kinds of meals they should be eating. Usually in a situation like this we would answer with a boilerplate "you have to ask your doctor" kind of thing.
The problem with this response is that your doctors advice is probably not that great. Very few MD's specialize in nutrition and overall the subject is poorly understood. As a general rule, doctors in the US treat the symptoms of disease, rather than focus on root cause. Think about your visits to the doctors office over the last 5 years-- you are probably in and out of the doctors office in ten minutes. (After waiting an hour.)
And then you leave with a bunch of prescriptions. And that is pretty much it. Now, the drugs that are made today are truly extraordinary. They work really well
. But if you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes
or warned that you are at risk, you need to start focusing on the root cause as well as the symptoms.
Your eating and meal plans are a key part of addressing the root cause side of the equation.
The most important thing you need to focus on is a plan for long term weight loss. You don't want to get on a diet where you are just going to gain the weight back. Mapping out a strategy is key. First of all, You will need to forget the food pyramid in planning your meals. The base of the traditional pyramid is grains and cereals. You will need to make vegetables, salads and beans the base of your personal food pyramid and meal planning as a long term goal.
The stuff that is in plants is the key to long term health. But if you are reading this, you probably eat very few fruits and vegetables each day, and you probably can't imagine eating this way. And that is ok, just understand that making a shift in this direction will be easier than you think. The trick is finding very practical ways of doing this.
At PEERtrainer, we focus on helping people make the changes they are able to at the moment. The first thing you need to do right now is just lose a couple pounds and start to develop the "weight loss success muscle." You can lose weight and you can keep it off. You just need to learn how to. The following is a sequence of ten things you can do over time to eating right.
1. The first place to start is simple portion control. You need to learn how to do this yourself, or you need to have someone help you with this. NutriSystem is a good place to start for many people because they prepare familiar foods for you in the correct portions at a good price. We have written a detailed review of NutriSystem programs for diabetics
2. It might be that you need some in person support and guidance, and Weight Watchers does a very good job in this department. They have a new Momentum Program
which will help you with portion control and also help you get more vegetables, salads and beans in your diet with tasty recipes. The link takes you to the PEERtrainer review of their program.
3. Get a copy of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's "Eat To Live
." This book will teach you in detail about why you need to make the long term transition to a much more plant-based diet. The basic idea is that in every group of people on the planet, as consumption of animal protein goes up, so do diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke etc.
4. Get more support. PEERtrainer has a free weight loss program called the "Tip Of The Day
." Each day you will get an email with one idea to focus on that day. It is a very innovative program and it is easy to do. People find that it is a great reminder service to stay on track, and it does introduce a lot of practical ideas to make the changes you need to over time. Over 15,000 people get that email each day!
5. Understand that changing how you think will help your health and that you can do this quickly. We have a great article published on the site called "How To Change Anything In Your Life
" and it goes over a seven step process that will help you.
6. Assess your belief that weight loss is possible. Have you decided to make a change but deep down inside you expect that you will either not succeed or that you will gain the weight back? There is a HUGE difference between your expectations and desires when it comes to weight loss. You can read this article
to help you understand what your real expectations are.
7. Learn that "No" is a complete sentence. So much of our food decisions result from subtle pressure from friends, family, even the waiter/waitress at a restaurant. You are going to need to develop the "No" muscle whenever you feel pressured.
8. Get inspiration from others. We just published a letter from a reader which we ended up sending to the entire community. It is called "How To Feel Great Right Now
." If you want a positive jolt right now, read it.
9. Get out of the mindset that you have to be on only one diet. Learn to mix and match. We call this "Diet Fusion
10. No matter what, know that weight loss is possible and use as many tools as you can. You can't build a house with just a hammer...
PEERtrainer Diet Blog