Obesity and diabetes are closely related and often go hand in hand. In fact, one of the key risk factors for diabetes is being overweight. Unfortunately, we can’t control some risk factors for these diseases, such as having a family history. But there’s a lot we can control. Here’s what you can do to minimise your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Know your numbers
Regular monitoring of your BMI, body fat percentage, and blood glucose level is important in preventing these diseases, especially if you have a family history of diabetes, because the disease can start to develop before you get any symptoms. My videos on the anatomy of diabetes explain how the disease develops in a bit more detail.
When you see the numbers creeping up, set new, healthy goals, and put a flexible plan in place to reach them. If you don’t nip this in the bud early, it will be harder to fix down the line.
Be more active
A sedentary lifestyle is a huge risk factor in both obesity and diabetes. Exercise helps your body to use stored fat as fuel, and helps your body use insulin more efficiently.
Moderate-intensity exercise is ideal, but even brisk walking will do a lot of good. In general, be more active in your life wherever possible - use the stairs, rather than the escalator, for instance.
Eat less and eat better
To reduce your weight, you’ll need to eat less. This means monitoring what you’re eating by writing it down. Then, make small changes to your diet until your body fat percentage comes down.
You’ll also need to eat higher quality food. Unhealthy food causes excess acidity in the body. This reduces the oxygen available in your body, slowing down the metabolism. See my video series on obesity for a closer look at how this works.
Some good first steps are replacing processed foods with whole foods, avoiding sugary drinks, avoiding trans fats and limiting red meat consumption.
I hope this has given you some insight into how you can prevent diabetes and obesity from developing. These diseases can cause a lot of distress, but by taking the right precautions, you can go a long way towards minimising your risk.