Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars, by Richard K. Bernstein, MD (Little Brown, 2003)
Richard Bernstein, MD, FACE, FACP, CWS, of the Diabetes Center in Mamaroneck, New York, recommends normalizing blood glucose levels by limiting carbohydrates to 6 grams for breakfast, 12 grams for lunch and 12 grams for dinner.
Atkins for Life, by Robert C. Atkins, MD (St. Martin’s Press, 2003)
Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, by Robert C. Atkins, MD (Avon, 2001)
Robert C. Atkins, MD, blames carbohydrates for weight gain. He argues that if you switch your body from a carbohydrate-burning metabolism to a primarily fat-burning metabolism, you will lose weight.
The Schwarzbein Principle II, by Diana Schwarzbein, MD, et al. (Health Communications, 2002)
Diana Schwarzbein, MD, an endocrinologist in Santa Barbara, California, has devised a dietary program focused on reducing carbohydrate intake and using fat and protein to reduce insulin resistance. She advocates staying away from processed foods.
For people with type 2 diabetes, Schwarzbein recommends limiting carbohydrates to 15 grams for each meal and two 7.5-gram carbohydrate snacks daily.
Enter the Zone, by Barry Sears, PhD (HarperCollins, 1995)
Barry Sears’ dietary regimen, known as the “Zone Diet,” prescribes lots of water, vegetables, fruits, low-fat protein and monounsaturated fats as well as moderate exercise and meditation. Sears believes that starchy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and grains should be eaten only sparingly.
The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss, by Arthur Agatston, MD (Rodale, 2003)
The South Beach Diet emphasizes the consumption of “good carbs” and “good fats.”
Gastric Bypass Surgery
This controversial procedure is done in extreme cases of obesity. Talk with your doctor to see whether you are a possible candidate.
Weight Watchers (www.weightwatchers.com)
Weight Watchers uses a diet plan that counts “points,” along with weekly weigh-ins featuring motivational speakers. The diet is very flexible. Weight Watchers acknowledges that some people feel better and more energetic eating more carbs, while others do better eating more protein.
Basic rules for Weight Watchers:
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Drink lots of water
- Keep a food diary
- Don’t eat more than the prescribed number of points (calories)
- Attend weekly meetings to weigh in and get encouragement.
A physician-supervised customized treatment plan that uses a liquid formula diet produced by Novartis Nutrition.
Pritikin Diet (www.pritikin.com)
A diet that is low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, with approximately 3.5 ounces of meat a day. The program teaches people how to cook with less fat, beat the craving for fattening foods, read labels, make healthy choices in restaurants and exercise. As part of the exercise program, it also offers tai chi and yoga.
An online diet program designed specifically to control calorie intake through controlled food intake. People on the NutriSystem diet program eat NutriSystem’s pre-packed meals, and members monitor their weight-loss progress online.
The Slim-Fast plan has dieters eat a Slim-Fast shake or meal bar for breakfast and lunch and then have a sensible dinner, and advises drinking plenty of water and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Slim-Fast shakes and meal bars are available at Albertson’s, Safeway, Walgreens and other retail outlets nationwide.
Health Clubs and Gyms
There are many options for places to work out and take fitness classes. Your area probably has a YMCA or Jewish Community Center. These family- and community-oriented centers usually offer a broad range of activities and classes, along with a welcoming atmosphere. Many have personal training and childcare as well. Another good option is your local college or university fitness center—many are open to community members. Or visit one of the large commercial chains such as Gold’s Gym or 24-Hour Fitness, among others.
Clinical advisor’s note: Check with your physician for clearance before starting any resistance- or strength-training program. People with diabetes need to be particularly cautious about potential eye and heart problems.
Lifting weights is the most common form of resistance training. Weight machines are available at most health clubs and gyms. There are also many ways you can start a weight-training regimen without joining a gym. Try doing water aerobics at your local pool, or check out some exercise videos from your local library. You can learn simple strength-training routines that can be done at home with minimal equipment by reading fitness books and magazines.
Get a good pair of shoes and commit to a regular walking schedule with a friend.