Diabetes & Lifestyle Choices – Reducing The Risk Factor

Award winning Michael  Williams is an highly motivational Healthy Lifestyle Coach with a passion for helping people to  make healthy lifestyle choices. With 18 years of working as a fitness professional, and a background in Nutrition and Psychology, he approaches health in a holistic way, empowering his clients to use food and exercise as medicine, and put their health and wellbeing at the forefront of their priority list.

There are 3.8 million people  living with diabetes in the UK and 90% of those people have type 2. This does not include the figure for those who are as yet undiagnosed and researchers believe the final figure is much higher. The Government has been investing in programmes to increase awareness of lifestyle changes that can be made to reduce the risk factor and it’s never too early nor too late to start.
Michael is a naturally engaging speaker and has the wonderful ability to translate and convey serious topics concerning health and wellbeing with humour and easy-to-digest practical advice.  He runs a variety of workshops that focus on helping people to reduce stress levels and encourages people to develop healthy habits such as  eating mindfully and intuitively. By breaking through barriers and developing a positive mindset  he believes  one can achieve powerful, healthy lifestyle transformations with lasting success.

Take Control

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is up to 3 times more common among African and African-Caribbean people, but addressing 3 controllable risk factors can pack a powerful punch in fighting it.    

  Diet

T2D is mostly linked to sugar consumption, but excessive carbohydrate intake is the main culprit, so:
•Avoid snacking on all forms of carbohydrates between meals.
•Eat lower glycemic index foods (e.g. pulses, vegetables, fruit, root vegetables, seeded bread, nuts, whole grains) as they cause blood glucose levels to rise and fall slowly which reduces your appetite and promotes weight loss. Higher glycemic index foods have the opposite effect, so eat less of them (e.g. sugar and sugary foods, white rice, white bread, potatoes and breakfast cereals).
•Reduce carbohydrate portion sizes:  just 1 or 2 slices of toast at breakfast, 4 to 8 tablespoonfuls of cooked rice (not 20!) for dinner.
Exercise
Think of it as medicine – regular doses help you burn calories, gain leaner muscles and lose body fat. Exercised muscles use glucose much more than non-exercised muscles. Aim to:
•Reduce sedentary time and increase your daily physical activity – use your car less, take stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus a stop earlier and walk.
•Each week aim for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise – that’s just 30 minutes a day for 5 days of brisk walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, badminton, netball, or running. If you’re not currently active, start doing 10 minutes a day and gradually progress.
•At least twice a week do some resistance training such as lifting weights or using bands, or do squats or press-ups.
Lose Weight
90% of adults with T2D are overweight or obese. Losing just 1kg of weight has been proven to reduce the risk of T2D by a staggering 16%.
•Low carb or Mediterranean diets, eating healthy portions of wholesome foods including healthy fats, are excellent for weight loss. Not for everyone, but intermittent fasting (e.g. eating only during an 8-hour window, maybe 9am to 5pm or 12noon to 8pm) can also help as it puts the body into fat-burning, as opposed to fat-storing, mode.
•Set realistic short and long-term goals for your weight loss.
•Be mindful of what you eat, not mindless. Eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
We can’t control our age, heredity or race, but by addressing 3 controllable risk factors – diet, exercise, and weight – we can reduce the risk of developing T2D!
This article is an excerpt from Editions Lifestyle Black History Month Magazine®  written by our Healthy Living Contributor Michael Williams