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June 9, 1999

Daily Care, Exercise and Sports

Question from Olathe, Kansas, USA:

I was diagnosed 4 years ago. Do you have any suggestions for losing weight? Such as what kind of things I should include and not include in my diet, what kinds of exercise, and stuff like that?

Answer:

The key to permanent weight loss is regular exercise and moderate eating. Make exercise a part of your regular daily routine. Aerobic exercise is great for losing weight. Because you are exercising for an extended period of time, aerobic exercise burns the most calories. Some examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, bike riding, roller blading, swimming etc.

When it comes to making changes in your diet for weight loss, the key is eating sensibly. There is no need for a very low calorie diet. Keeping the amount of calories, particularly fat that you eat, down to a reasonable and healthy level will help you to lose weight and keep it off. The trick to losing weight is not only cutting down on the amount of calories you eat each day but also decreasing the amount of calories you get from fat. A general recommendation for fat intake is that less than 30% of your total daily calories should come from fat. My suggestion to you would be to work with your doctor, dietitian or diabetes educator to determine the appropriate amount of calories you should eat to meet your needs to develop a sensible food plan.

Remember, your food and exercise plan will be most effective and safe if it is created just for you. If you really want to succeed, make the extra effort in working with your health care team to formulate a beneficial and safe weight loss program for you.

PL