Six quick steps to stay healthy

Lose weight easily

If you, like most of your friends and family, have piled on the pounds over the festive season – a cup of eggnog here, a turkey and cranberry sandwich there – now is the time to get beach ready by shedding those unsightly inches.

According to the merits of taking up regular physical activity for preventing chronic health conditions and helping lose weight are hard to ignore.

Aquatic Training Specialist Laura Ribbins and Certified Diabetes Educator/Registered Dietician Chad Collins have plenty of practical experience of how to help motivate you to achieve your weight loss goal sensibly and fast.

When advising diabetic clients, Mr. Collins says: ‘Eating less and exercising more on your current insulin or medication for diabetes may put you at risk for low blood sugars that will make you feel unwell and constantly hungry, not the ideal scenario for weight loss. You will also be at a higher risk for having an insulin reaction, which can be very dangerous.’

Check out their top six tips on how to eat less while staying healthy.

Think big, start off slowly

Even if you do not reduce your food intake initially, simply exercising to the point where you are slightly out of breath and sweating moderately by the end of thrice weekly 40-minute sessions will help you lose weight and motivate you to eat less. Start off slowly by taking up activities after work like walking the dog while the kids ride their bikes and walking on the beach to introducing family games at your local park. Combining quality family activity time with healthy activities.

Make it a family project Make it a family commitment to eat less. That way you have a ready-made support system if you back slide. Introduce an individual or group rewards system for healthy weight loss to encourage each other. When you feel tempted to overeat remember the staycation you have promised each other up east or the massage, or back rub you may forfeit for not sticking with the programme.

Step to it

Put on some music in the house and dance. This will not only raise your heart rate and burn calories, lower your blood pressure and harmful triglycerides but releases lots of mood enhancing endorphins, which will help you stay on track.

Eat sensibly

Increase the amount of raw or unprocessed foods you and your family eat. Teach everyone in the family the basics of reading food labels so that they can lower their intake of high fat foods, sugary snacks and sodas. This type of information will empower them to take responsibility for what they eat when not at home and encourage them to leave such foods for occasional treats.

Keep a record

Many find that keeping a log or a food diary helps. Not only will you be able to check at a glance what types of foods you are eating but you will be able to identify your weak spots (like late night snacking). There are plenty of well thought out online resources like that can help the family monitor.

Mr. Collins says: ‘People with diabetes, whether Type 1 or 2, can lose weight most effectively and safely when working in combination with their doctor and dietician. Appropriate adjustments in diet and medication/insulin, can help to lose weight effectively while keeping blood sugars from going too high or too low throughout the day and night.’

Diabetics should consult a dietician

They can develop a meal plan and sensible guidelines that work best with your routine and medications/insulin and will work with your doctor if changes in medication are needed.