Regular physical activity can help you lose weight. Losing weight lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke because it helps you control blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. You don’t have to lose a lot of weight to see the benefits. Even a loss of 10–15 pounds can help a lot. Weight loss requires changing the way you eat and how much activity you get.
How to cut back on calories and fat-
-Eat smaller servings of high-calorie favorites.
-Split a main dish with a friend or family member when eating out. Or take some home for another meal.
-Ask for salad dressings and sauces “on the side” and then use as little as possible.
-Include a fruit or a vegetable with every meal or snack.
-Cook in lower-calorie ways: roast, broil, grill, microwave, steam, or bake. Use nonstick pans or cooking sprays.
-Cut back on high-calorie toppings such as butter, margarine, sour cream, regular salad dressing, mayonnaise, and gravy. Instead, season your food with herbs, spices, salsa, lemon juice, and other low-calorie choices.
-Check food labels. Choose foods with fewer calories than your usual choices.
-Keep serving sizes small for snacks, and eat low-calorie snacks such as popcorn, raw veggies, and fruit.
How to be more physically active
-Take a 30-minute walk every day. Or split up your daily activity. Try a 10-minute walk after each meal. Start off with a 10- to 15-minute walk every other day, then little by little walk farther and walk more often.
-Find an activity you enjoy. Swim, dance, bike, or do the exercises on a TV fitness show.
-Be active around the house. Work in the yard, play with the kids, and walk around while you talk on the phone.
-Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
-Walk or ride your bike instead of driving whenever you can.
-Park at the far end of the parking lot and walk to the store or mall entrance.
-Get up and move every 90 minutes if you sit for long periods of time.
Source: American Diabetes Association, Inc., 2022.