Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center

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Change can be as easy as better choices

Michelle Dennison-FarrisMichelle Dennison-Farris, RD/LD, BC-ADM, CDE

Harold Hamm Diabetes Center Dietitian Diabetes Educator

As a dietitian and diabetes educator, patients often come to me for the “quick fix”. They want to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, just because someone claims to have done it on TV. Or they want to drop their hemoglobin A1c from a 12.5 to a 5.5 in 2 months even though they haven’t even begun to test their blood sugar. It can certainly be a challenge convincing people that they didn’t get in the shape they are in overnight and they aren’t going to get out overnight either. Weight loss, blood pressure control and blood sugar control take time and they take change. “Ick?!? Change?!?” You’re saying. “I don’t want to change, I like the way I am!” Relax. It isn’t as hard as it sounds. To begin a weight loss program, or to make a plan to control your blood sugar and/or blood pressure there are a few simple tips to follow.

Step 1: Find help

Talk to someone who has done it before and find out how they did it. Beware of those people who used fad diet or diet supplements to lose weight, these types of weight loss can often be unhealthy. If need be, talk to a health care professional, like a nurse or a dietitian. Their job is to help you make good and informed changes. The more informed you are about the changes that you need to make, the easier it will be for you.

Step 2: Start Small

Don’t think that since you were able to run long-distances in high school that you can still do that 30 years later, with no practice. That is just setting yourself up for failure. Maybe instead of starting out running you could start out walking 10 minutes a day for 4 days a week. Once you are comfortable with that ( it can take about 2 weeks) make it 5 days a week or increase your time to 20 minutes, or both. Or maybe you love regular soda pop. Instead of cutting out pop altogether, switch to diet pop. It’s an easy change, but very effective. Some patients have lost as much as 15# in 1 month by only making the change to diet pop.

Step 3: Don’t Give up

Change can take a while to be effective. Keep at it. If you are not seeing the results you expected, go back to Step 1: Find Help. Sometimes you may not see a weight loss on the scale, but you will notice your clothes getting loose. That usually means that you are replacing fat with muscle which is a step in the right direciton. Also a healthy weight loss is about 2 pounds per week. Losing more than 2 pounds per week can be unhealthy and is usually not recommended.

All in all change can be a very simple process. However if you want to change your health, you must change your lifestyle. Health does not change on it’s own. It has to start with you. Good Luck, Relax and Don’t Give Up.