Lose Weight for Better Health
Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are on the rise, but you can lose weight with a few diet and lifestyle changes and improve your health. In extreme cases — when a person needs to lose 100 pounds or more to regain a healthy weight — weight-loss surgery can be a life-changing option.
Obesity is a serious health threat, putting people at risk for high blood pressure, stroke, coronary artery disease, certain types of cancer and even premature death. Type 2 diabetes, one of the most common side effects of excess weight, is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 may be reversible with changes in lifestyle, diet and weight management.
Tips to Prevent Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise — “You can improve your blood chemistry in just 30 minutes a day,” says Donna deKay, Mills-Peninsula registered dietitian and diabetes educator. “Put on your sneakers and start walking.”
According to studies conducted by the American Diabetes Association, moderate daily physical activity, coupled with about a 7 percent reduction in body weight, produced a 58 percent reduction in diabetes risk.
Make your diet healthier — You don’t need to go on a liquid diet to get health results. Simple dietary changes can delay or even reverse the development of diabetes:
- Reduce fat intake
- Limit refined carbohydrates — particularly sugary sodas and drinks
- Increase the amount of vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet
- Pick a diet you can stick with for the long-term – skip fads and get-thin quick schemes
When appropriate, talk to your doctor about weight loss surgery — For some people, losing weight is extremely challenging, particularly when dealing with an extra 100 pounds or more. In these cases, weight loss surgery, called bariatric surgery, may be a good choice. Most patients lose 10-15 pounds per month in the first year after surgery.
“Bariatric surgery allows people to feel satisfied with a small amount of food by altering or reshaping the stomach,” says Albert Wetter, M.D., medical director of bariatric surgery at Mills-Peninsula.
While a slimmer appearance is exciting for most people, the real focus of weight loss surgery is on the medical benefits. “Our most dramatic results are with Type 2 diabetes,” says Mills-Peninsula bariatric surgeon Pamela Foster, M.D. “Ongoing weight loss and sustaining the weight loss help keep diabetes from coming back for the long term.”