You may dread going to your primary care provider and having the dreaded "you need to lose some weight" conversation. After all, you already know you have put on a few extra pounds due to life stressors, the pandemic, a busy schedule, and general aging- it's the very last thing you want to be discussing when you go in for your regular checkup. But, your provider isn't telling you to lose weight so you can start a modeling career or fit into your old jeans from high school- they are telling you to drop weight because excess weight can lead to serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Unnecessary pounds can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood glucose (sugar). Rest assured, your provider doesn't care about what you look like, they care about your health! The good news is you don't have to lose a whole lot of weight to reap health benefits, either; Simply dropping 10 to 15 pounds can make a world of difference! In fact, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Diabetes Prevention Program showed that losing about 15 pounds can lower the risk of developing diabetes by a whopping 58%.
Maybe you've tried in the past to lose weight and have found that it's very difficult because you made a lot of changes at once and got overwhelmed. Think of healthy weight loss as a marathon, not a race. Implement tiny, easy-to-stick-to changes, and you'll see results over time. 3 Easy Tips for Dropping Weight: 1. Ditch the labels When you go grocery shopping, shop for items that don't have labels first. That means stock up on those fruits and veggies, and then shop the perimeter of the store for eggs, meat, and dairy. Of course, some of your food will be packaged, but keep in mind that the majority of your food should be fresh. Remember to use the Nutrition Facts label to see how many calories and grams of carbs, sugars, and fat are in the food you choose. Then find a great recipe that works for you and you will be on your way to shedding those few extra pounds!
2. Move your body Movement is a key component in dropping a few pounds. Our bodies are created to move, and when we get in that much-needed activity, we feel better. But you're never going to stick to an exercise plan if you hate it, so pick some time of activity that you truly enjoy! It can be your favorite Zumba class, CrossFit, swimming laps, or simply walking around your neighborhood! Just aim for about 30 minutes, 5 days a week of moderately-intense exercise (so make sure you are breathing harder and your heart is pumping faster). 3. Track your progress It may seem a bit tedious at first, but tracking your weight, food intake, and exercise can truly make a difference in your weight loss journey! Research actually indicates that people who keep track of their food, activity, and weight reach their goals more often than people who don’t. There are tons of free apps that can download to your smartphone, too, so take advantage of them!
Sometimes, you need a little extra help to lose weight, and that's where Medical Center Barbour comes in! All of our MCB Family Care Clinic locations offer weight-loss services, and Dr. Saville's clinic location offers a specialized, weight-loss program for people struggling to lose weight with diet and exercise alone. To make an appointment at any of our MCB Family Care Clinics, please call 334-688-7410. To make an appointment with Dr. Saville, please call 334-687-7372. Together, we can help you prevent diabetes from ever occurring in your life, or manage your condition if you do develop it. Remember, we are here for you, not just during National Diabetes Month, but every month of the year!