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Obesity & Diabesity/Globesity Epidemics

Losing Weight the Mistake-Free Way, contributed by Jane Sandwood.

As many as one in four Canadian adults and one in ten children suffer from obesity, equating to approximately 6 million Canadians living with the condition. As the leading cause of Type II diabetes, cardiac disease, strokes, cancer and arthritis, obesity impacts not only individuals but their families, friends, employees and even the government as well. Obesity has skyrocketed so much in recent years that many organizations including the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Obesity Network now considers the condition to be a chronic disease.

Combating obesity largely relies on following a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise. It is unfortunate though that many people do not know how to go about losing weight in a healthy manner. The internet especially is inundated with contradicting weight-loss solutions, often leaving those desperate to make healthy lifestyle changes feeling overwhelmed and falling off the wagon even more. It is normal to make mistakes when trying to lose weight but by following sound advice from reputable sources your weight loss journey will become a lot easier and enjoyable.

Rev your routine if you are constantly active

After spending a couple of hours running errands it may feel like you have done enough exercise for one day and have even lost some weight. Unfortunately, despite hauling around shopping bags or even spring-cleaning the house, you probably have only burned approximately 400 calories. Short bursts of intense activity are known to burn a lot more calories, and 36% more fat. While strolling around the mall try to pick up the pace for every one minute out of 5 to increase your calorie burn-rate by up to a third. If you enjoy swimming, then switch from the easier strokes like freestyle and breaststroke to the more challenging butterfly or backstroke every couple of reps.

Do your dining-out research in advance

Looks are often deceiving when we dine out. The chicken sandwich may seem an obviously healthier choice than the triple-cheese pizza but once you have a closer look at the bread, cheese and mayo of the aforementioned, you will realize that your sandwich probably contains around 970 calories. In comparison, two slices of pepperoni pan pizza only contains about 520 calories. It is important to look up nutritional facts before eating out. Most renowned eateries have nutritional information available online or instore you may be very shocked by what your research uncovers.

Be careful what you snack on

While you may be watchful about what you eat, research shows that unplanned bites and tastes can rack up as much as a few hundred calories in a single day. Eating while distracted or tasting while cooking can see you pack on the pounds fast. Avoid eating when your mind is preoccupied, whether it is with watching TV, reading, talking to friends on working on the computer. Eliminate any unnecessary distractions and focus on eating mindfully.

As hard as being obese may be, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. If you simply put your mind to it and follow a balanced lifestyle you can and will lose your excess weight and boost your health significantly.

What is HB A1C [Hemoglobin A1C?

Your HB A1C number

Consider your HB A1C number (also known as HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin) as a snapshot of your blood glucose levels over two to three months. Over time, glucose naturally attaches itself to your blood cells. When this happens, the cell is considered glycated. The more glucose in your blood, the more glycated A1C cells you have.

Whats an optimal A1C number?

The recommended A1C target for a person with diabetes is 7% or lowersome people remember this figure as lucky number 7. However, while your A1C number gives you and your doctor an idea of how your diabetes is being managed over time, it does not tell you about drastic drops and elevations in your day-to-day blood glucose levels during that period.

How do fluctuations in my blood glucose levels affect my overall health?

While drops (hypoglycemia) and peaks (hyperglycemia) in your blood glucose levels outside of your target zone can have an immediate impact on your sense of well-being, research shows that the long-term consequences of such fluctuations can be dangerous. Studies show that hyperglycemia can increase your risk of developing heart, eye and kidney disease. Your A1C is an important part of your diabetes management, but it cannot replace daily self-monitoring, which highlights how your body and blood glucose respond to meals, physical activity, medications, illness and stress over short periods of time.

How often should I test my A1C?

Generally, you should test your A1C no fewer than twice a year, and most medical professionals suggest testing every three months, which is the approximate lifespan of blood cells. Speak with your healthcare professional to determine where and how frequently you should test your A1C level.

Reducing your A1C value to a healthier level can decrease your risk of many diabetes-related complications, so you can live a fuller, healthier life.

References
1 American Diabetes Association. A1C test. Available at: http://www.diabetesarchive.net/type-2-diabetes/a1c-test.jsp.

2 American Diabetes Association. A1C. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-wi

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