Losing Weight in a Diabetic or Non-Diabetic Patient: The Secret of a Holistic Slimming ProgramCreated by:
Ariel S. Torres, M.D.
Center Medical Doctor, International Slimming Center
When diabetic clients come in for a slimming program, the first thing that they say is, “Doc, I’m a diabetic so I cannot go on a diet. So just recommend to me the treatments that I need to undergo but no diet, please.” This is totally wrong. Nothing can be farther from the truth because the diet given to a non-diabetic person in a slimming program is similar in many respects to what we give a diabetic patient. In connection to sugar, there are 3 common denominators in persons who want to lose weight, whether diabetic or non-diabetic: a) blood sugar levels should not dramatically go up or down, b) there should be no excess sugar that eventually will be stored as fat, and c) sugar burning should be promoted as a prequel to fat burning. All these 3 are actually directly intermingled and related causally.
Before I discuss what I mentioned above in more detail, let me first give you the secret of losing weight in a holistic slimming program. There are those who go on crash diets and lose 10 lbs in 10 days. There are those who exercise rigorously: morning, afternoon and night, and lose more weight together with additional body shaping and muscle firmness. Then, there are those who take a cocktail of diet pills and not only lose weight but also several inches in body size in a dramatic “wardrobe-changing” fashion. But if after 3-6 months they regain the pounds and inches they lost, then it’s as if they never lost them from the start. This is called recidivism (losing weight intentionally and regaining the same weight unintentionally). Most of the time due to rebound phenomenon, they even add more weight and inches from what they originally lost and they end up worse than when they started. The secret of losing weight is actually being able to maintain whatever you will lose AND NOT HOW MUCH YOU CAN LOSE IN A SHORT SPAN OF TIME. From the medical point of view, weight loss may be defined as any weight lost and maintained for at least a year. Therefore, the weight loss should not only be apparent (for motivational purposes) but more importantly, sustainable. This is where proper nutrition and good eating habits come in. The food SHOULDN’T BE THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU TO LOSE WEIGHT. However, it should be able to maintain your weight and not add to the existing problem. The food should just be enough for your daily activities. So just by increasing your calorie burning processes whether thru physical exercises on your own or scientific treatments at internationally renowned slimming centers, you will lose weight. Anytime you stop these additional activities, you won’t be regaining the weight you lost because you were maintaining your weight before you added these activities. The only advantage of slimming centers is that the treatments do not increase your hunger stimulus since the parameters are set in a controlled and tested fashion, unlike physical exercise (especially anaerobic and strenuous types) that may sometimes increase your food intake. In the latter cases, you won’t be losing weight because even though you increased your activity, you concurrently increased also your food intake. Worse is when you stop exercising but do not lower the increased food intake commensurate to your decreased daily activity. This is typical of what happens to athletes that go on retirement. In some instances, this has led to their demise (and not necessarily old age or their mature age upon retirement).
Now going back to the 3 common denominators in persons who want to lose weight, whether diabetic or non-diabetic, being able to maintain weight is the final end result of these 3 for a non-diabetic client while being able to avoid the insidious deleterious multi-organ effects of abnormal blood sugar levels is the ultimate goal of these 3 for diabetic patients. First, blood sugar levels should not go dramatically up or down. The blood can maintain only a high sugar level for a short time. The sugar then enters the cells for use as energy. If not used, they are stored as glycogen in the muscles and the liver. If still in excess, it is then stored as fat. Therefore, high blood sugar levels should be avoided to prevent deposition of fat. On the other hand, a low sugar level will promote hibernation. The normal metabolic rate will slow down in response to starvation, which means less calorie burning. Practical Application: HAVE SMALL FREQUENT MEALS. AVOID LARGE MEALS THAT ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. Second, there should be no excess sugar that eventually will be stored as fat. Metabolism is two parts: catabolism and anabolism or in layman’s term breaking down to use energy and creating to store energy. This happens concurrently in our body all throughout the day. However, we are more catabolic at daytime and more anabolic at nighttime. This is the diurnal variation of metabolism. We need more energy at daytime for activities and we replenish or repair at nighttime when we rest and sleep. Therefore, carbohydrates are good if you can burn them but are bad and turns to fat if you don’t burn them. Practical Application: HAVE MORE ENERGY FOOD DURING THE EARLY PART OF THE DAY BUT LESS DURING THE LATER PART OF YOUR DAY. INSTEAD, HAVE MORE REPAIR FOOD DURING THE LATER PART OR YOUR DAY. THIS ACTUALLY APPLIES EVEN DURING THE LATER PART OF YOUR LIFE (since older people get damaged tissues more easily and need more repair than younger ones). Third, sugar burning should be promoted as a prequel to fat burning. In order for sugar not to accumulate as glycogen and spill over as fat deposition, sugar should be burned by cells so that there would be continuous demand for its conversion from blood. This is best done thru the oxygen rich process of glycolysis of sugar as against beta oxidation of fat. Practical Application: PROMOTE REPETITIVE LOW ENERGY AEROBIC ACTIVITIES AND AVOID SHORT TERM HIGH ENERGY ANAEROBIC ACTIVITIES. However, doing simultaneous aerobic and anaerobic levels but intermittently in one specific type of exercise is still good since you burn sugar and fat at the same time. A classic example would be running, wherein you sprint for a short time and then jog for a long time and repeat the process continuously.
Special Note: Though 60% of diabetics can be cured by diet alone, there will always be patients who will require medication. These medications will either be dictated by the diet of the client or in rare instances the other way around. In short, the medication and the food that will be given (either before or after) should be planned and go hand-in-hand in maintaining a trough level of blood sugar. Before weight loss or slimming can occur in a diabetic patient, the blood sugar should be controlled first. This means that the sugar is being drained from the blood and pushed into the cells for eventual use in oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria. Otherwise, no amount of activity will make the patient lose weight since the sugar in the blood but outside the cells cannot be used. In fact, metabolic acidosis will even be promoted if beta-oxidation of fat will be the one responsible for supplying energy for strenuous activity in a chronic manner.