STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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The only way to be sure how much you are eating is to weigh your food. In theory, people with type 1 diabetes should eat a diet of about 16 calories per pound of body weight. This means if you weigh 130 pounds, you should eat about 2,000 calories a day. This number may need to be adjusted down to prevent weight gain. Once you find the best schedule and calorie requirement for you, keep to that schedule, no matter how inconvenient it is. The alternative is wildly fluctuating blood sugar, which over time could result in complications such as kidney failure or circulatory problems that could result in blindness or foot or leg amputations.


Type 1 diabetes is believed to be an autoimmune disease, meaning the person’s immune system attacks its own body. Type 1 diabetes attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells produce the hormone insulin. You cannot absorb nutrients from your food without insulin. People with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin since their bodies can no longer make it. People with type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, may have plenty of insulin circulating in their blood, but for various reasons, their bodies cannot absorb and use it. Often the number of active beta cells decreases as you age. This is why sometimes all an overweight person needs to do to “cure” his type 2 diabetes is lose weight. His pancreas may still produce enough insulin to support 150 pounds, but it no longer has enough active beta cells to support 250 pounds. When the person loses the extra weight, the symptoms of diabetes disappear.


With the help of your doctor and a nutritionist, find a regimen that keeps your blood sugar in the normal range so you can live a happy, healthy life.

Larry’s lunch companion watched as he ate a huge hamburger and gobs of French fries. Then he ordered sugar-free ice cream for dessert. Knowing Larry suffered from type 1 diabetes, his friend wondered how high his blood sugar would soar an hour or two after his meal. The expression on his companion’s face must have betrayed her.


“It’s OK,” Larry said in answer to her unspoken question. “None of this stuff has sugar in it.”


Larry is a victim of a common misconception: that people with diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, can eat anything they want as long as it does not contain ordinary table sugar.


Wrong. As anyone who has ever been serious about losing weight has discovered, it’s total calories that count. All the food we eat contains calories derived from one or more of three sources of nourishment: carbohydrates, protein or fat. Carbohydrates and protein generally yield four calories per gram. Fat yields nine calories per gram. Most of the protein and fat we eat comes from meat or cheese. Most of the carbohydrates come from fruits, vegetables and bread. Meats and fish typically contain only protein and fat. Adding butter, lard, flour, sugar or other ingredients to make a dish tastier naturally adds calories.

THE TRUTH ABOUT DIABETES AND SUGAR

MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

Martha Evans Sparks is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by martha evans sparks

Calories from all foods raise blood sugar, although the calories derived from protein and fat raise it more slowly than calories derived from carbohydrate. This is one reason Larry was in trouble. He was consuming fried potatoes, whose high fat content and calorie count would raise his blood sugar just as surely as if they had been carbohydrates. The potatoes themselves contained carbs, and Larry should have considered that as well.


Another thing Larry did not observe was spacing his food intake through the day. The normal pancreas of someone without diabetes secretes a continuous drizzle of insulin, increasing the supply when more food is eaten. Carbohydrate loading – eating a huge amount at one sitting, even if you plan to eat less later – usually will overwhelm the insulin dose or type 2 treatment, resulting in skyrocketing blood sugar. Often the best solution for this is a rigid meal schedule. This may mean eating breakfast at 7 a.m., having a midmorning snack of perhaps 100 calories at 10:30 a.m., eating lunch at noon and supper at 5:30 p.m. and having an evening snack of about 150 calories at 9 p.m. Each person must find his or her best schedule for food intake and stick with it.