My family has a history of diabetes problem. My grandfather, my uncle and some close relatives have experienced this problem. I have seen them facing the problems associated with the disease such as slow healing process of cuts and sores, frequent urination, leg pain, and blurry vision among others. There are various factors responsible for diabetes, heredity could be one of the factors – people who have a family history of diabetes are more susceptible to this disease. Both Type1 and Type2 diabetes can be caused due to hereditary problems.
When I was young, I never cared about what I ate or exercising. However, it now seems that the time has come to take some precautionary measures. I am in my thirties and it is high time to follow a disciplined diet routine and exercise plan so that I could resist my body from diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, etc.
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In the present time my body is putting up weight frequently as my food habit is very bad. I skip regular meals and often stick myself with junk foods especially fried and fat rich products. But I want to control my eating plan. I have designed some four nutritional goals, which I want to stick on. My personally developed nutritional plan will address my eating habits, will offer easy to follow dietary guidelines and keep me on track.
- Never skip regular meals
- Eat balanced diet that includes proteins, vitamins and other micronutrients
- Avoid fat rich diet and junk food
- Regular exercise to tone up my body
Actions taken to meet each goal
Well, the reason why I was not so disciplined in my life was due to my laid back attitude towards life. I never took care of my health but thankfully I have understood the meaning of being healthy and disease free. I will definitely not skip my meals. To stick to my dietary goals, I will plan for my breakfast in advance. For example, I will keep things ready such as eggs, sprouts, and milk. From my past experience, I have realized why I used to skip my breakfast, and lunch often. And the simple answer is the unavailability of resources. Again I will make sure that I am taking regular meals on time. Since human biological clock is such that once it is used to something, it will remind you at the exact time. For example, if I am taking my breakfast at 8AM, it will remind me exactly at the same time everyday and I will feel hungry.
As far as balanced diet is concerned, I will definitely take care of the nutritional values of the diet I will be taking. Since my aim is to keep myself away from problems such as diabetes and heart diseases, I will definitely control eating fat rich products such as red meat, cheese, milk products, etc.
However, according to American Diabetes Association (ADA), protein rich foods and foods high in fiber are good for health, as they have low calorific value and do not raise blood glucose level inside the body. In addition, ADA approves food such as vegetables and fruits (spinach, green beans, berries), whole grains (wheat, barley, brown rice, oats and bran), and food products rich in proteins such as eggs, nuts and legumes (beans, lentils, peas). Well, as far as calorific values and food contents are concerned, it is always desirable to ask a dietician for the same. Dieticians will provide a comprehensive list of food items with calorific values and other necessary information.
In addition, I will follow food pyramid that will guide me easily and effectively. The diabetes food pyramid helps make wise food choices. The pyramid consists of starches at the bottom, fruits and vegetables just above the starch. The next level consists of milk, meat and meat substitutes. And at the top of the pyramid fats and sweets are there. The level has been divided on the basis of what they contain. Eat more at the bottom and less from the groups at the top.
Glycemic Index Diet:
According to the Glycemic Index Diet (GI Diet) foods are ranked as per their ability to break down in the body to form glucose. In other words, it is a method of rating foods based on their ability to raise blood glucose. The glycemic index uses a scale that ranges from 1 to 100. The higher glycemic number indicates the food that raise blood sugar higher than foods with low glycemic numbers. Food products such as sugar, candy and other sweet foods possess a high glycemic index. On the other hand, foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits have a lower glycemic index. The glycemic index range helps diabetic patients food choice. For example, a low glycemic index range is 55 or less, an intermediate range is 55 to 75 and high glycemic index rate varies from 70 or higher. I will take care of glycemic index in my diet plan and food choices.
Though I used to drink alcohols regularly, I want to check this habit to some extent. Alcohol is consumed in the body in a similar fashion as fat is consumed and processed. Therefore, alcohol is not good for diabetics and those susceptible for the same. However, occasional consumption of alcohol is not a bad idea. In addition, smoking is one of the main causes of heart diseases and that’s why I have permanently quit smoking.
Physical exercise is a must to burn extra calories. Since obesity is one of the major causes of diabetes and heart disease, I will definitely go for a morning walk. In addition, I will join a gym so that I could stick to my daily exercise routine. The benefit of joining a gym is that you get motivated as you interact with the trainer and the other people who come for exercise. So, I will definitely join a gym for that matter.
Outcome by which to measure success
Well, if I follow a disciplined routine, the outcome would obviously be good. However, I will definitely check my weight on a weekly basis and if possible, my blood pressure and blood glucose. If I see good results, I will make myself more disciplined
Health Risks if the plan is not implemented:
If I don’t follow the routine and continue my old eating habits, I will definitely suffer from obesity that could lead to diabetes, and many heart diseases. And in advanced stage, I might end up my life without experiencing the positive side of the world. Well, for obesity, BMI (Body Mass Index) above 30 will determine my severity towards obesity. On the other hand, blood glucose level and Blood pressure will help determine the susceptibility of diabetes and heart related problems.
How your plan may be adjusted to fit your changing nutritional needs:
Well, the basics of nutrition involve how you plan your calorie intake correctly. Assessing the daily calorie intake is the very first step in forming a healthy diet. There are various methods that can help determine the daily calorie intake:
Daily Calorie Intake: Calorie intake depends on the amount of energy body needs to derive from foods consumed everyday within a 24-hour period. According to psychologists, women roughly require 2100 calories a day and men require 2900 calories per day in order to maintain the present weight. However, factors such as weight, height, and age can lower or raise the values considerably.
Simple Calorie Calculation Method: Well, if you want to maintain your present weight then you can calculate the calorie value by multiplying your current body weight by 16 calories to determine your total daily calorie intake.
However, according to USDA, daily calorie requirements are as follows:
- Seniors: 1,600 calories
- Children: 1,600 calories
- Inactive women: 22,00 calories
- Moderately active women: 22,00 calories
- Teenage girls: 22,00 calories
- Active men: 28,00 calories
- Active women: 28,00 calories
- Pregnant and lactating women: 22,00 to 28,00 calories
All the above dietary plans and strategies will keep me fit and healthy.