Question:

I’m 67 years old and weigh 208 pounds. I would like to lose a lot of weight. I’m a diabetic and take insulin 4 times a day. I can’t afford the trainers at LA Fitness. Any advice would be appreciated.

– Candace B.

 

Answer:

Ask your endocrinologist for a referral to a certified diabetes educator (CDE®) which may be covered under a health insurance plan. These specialists help you understand how medication, exercise and diet all play a role in weight and blood sugar control and can provide advice tailored to you.

In general, I will say that regular exercise helps lower blood sugar so that less insulin may be needed. It’s like training your cells and tissues to be more metabolically active and efficient. In combination with a mild to moderate reduction of intake and shift to lower glycemic load (blood sugar response) meals, an increase in exercise should induce weight loss. Raw, unprocessed fruit, legumes, popcorn, non-starchy vegetables and whole grain products tend to be lower glycemic carbohydrate foods. By switching to these in managed portions and incorporating nuts, lean meats and healthy fats, you can lower the glycemic load of a meal.

The American Diabetes Association is a host of information on meals, recipes and fitness tips. Check out their resources at www.diabetes.org. In addition, www.diabetes.ca and www.diabetesaustralia.com.au are credible sources offering nutrition and healthy living resources in English.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.


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