Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Dieting. Upon hearing the word, many of us cringe and maybe feel a little guilty. Lots of us have struggled with weight and have been on various weight-loss diets — official and fad — that either haven't worked, or worked but didn't produce sustainable weight loss.
Why don't diets work? In general when we use the word, "diet," it's in relationship to fad diets and misleading weight-loss products that promise substantial, quick results. Weight regain is common after weight loss, even on nutritionally balanced diets. There seem to be many medical- and behavioral-based reasons for weight regain, which I'm not going to cover here.
Ultimately, long-term behavioral and lifestyle changes are keys to maintaining and keeping weight off. Many of us see weight loss as a short-term goal and don't maintain the new lifestyle skills as a permanent way of life.
I think we need to give credit where credit is due when weight loss is concerned.
Have a good week!
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
Wow, reading this great article was - itself - an accomplishment!
I have type 2 diabetes. I've been struggling to the point of depression with controlling my numbers. I am ready for fasting to get the numbers down but also interested in any books or dietary methods that can stable or cure this horrific disease.
Thanx in advance
What a great article, all these weight loss programs out these days are just fad weight loss programs that reduce fast a fantastic simple eating plan made up of a fantastic balance of necessary protein carbohydrate food and requirements body fat is key to keeping glucose levels low and fantastic heart health!
Reviewing accomplishments off the scale are extremely important because the scale can mislead due to water weight, etc.
When I am tempted to eat unhealthy food, I think about the inches I've lost or the blood sugar control I've achieved and that usually helps me make a different decision, which perpetuates the positive results. Positive reinforcement is SO much more effective than negative results. AND I don't feel guilty when I do allow something sweet because I plan it with protein so the effects on blood sugar are minimal and it's within my calorie goals. This approach has allowed me to eat "normal" with minimal guilt and a great feeling of accomplishment daily.
Daily low dose aspirin can lower the risk of a heart attack, but is not safe for everyone and can cause stomach irritation. Check with your doctor first before starting aspirin therapy to determine whether it's safe and how much to take.
Some probablistic info or renimmecdatoons with limited downside would be more useful than the comment above by Mayo.If I am having a first suspected heart attack with no prior medical history, should I take the aspirin?Is it likely to help?Would the answer be different if there was likely a long delay in getting medical assistance eg live half an hour from hospital and ambulance and doctor?Apart from ringing for assistance what are the steps that are highly likely to likely to help?What are commonly talked about things I should not do?
Thank you so much for your positive analysis. After almost six months of dieting or new life style adoption, I came to realize the importance of positive feedbacks that kept me going and got me closer to a healthier life style. It was a constant struggle every day and every step of the way. There were more setbacks than positive milestones, but it was worth it. I could no longer affort to be obese. Diabetes has claimed the lives of both of my parents and has struck several of my siblings. I finally decided to do something about my weight if I wanted to live a health life and healthy retirement. Last week, I reached my target weight after I lost almost 51 pounds and I am working super hard to maintain my new weight.
Very Informative, enjoyed reading your article. Thank you for sharing. :)
for the person who discovered there is more sugar in lower fat milk: Those who package these "special" foods know that they need to keep the flavor. So, they almost always add something so we can stand the taste. Fat for salt or sugar. salt for fat, sugar for salt or fat, etc. If I could milk Bessy, I would. then I would know what I was drinking. I don't do low-fat. sugar-free, sodium-free, etc. I begin with food as simple as I can get it. Then I know how much of these things is in it. I also don't do "all natural" or "organic". I feel these things just cost more money without any reason to. So called "all natural" foods tickle me. Did you ever see a box of cereal growing in a garden? Did you ever see a pill growing on a plant or swimming in the ocean? They're no more "natural" than any other food or med. They were altered! And also not controlled by the FDA. So, one thing you can be certain of is: You don't know what they are! turkey insteak of pork or beef. Yeh, if you kill the turkey yourself. But did you ever try to fry a true turkey burger? They have to add suet or it will over cook and be dry. Learn what nutrients are in what foods. Then control what you eat on that basis. If you have time, "KISS IT" (Keep It Simple, Sally!
Keep It Simple Silly
greeat article! common sense always makes sense. However, I don't believe "diet gurus" and most doctors pay enough attention to chemical and genectic aspects. I have learned fom experience (both in dieting and not dieting), that these things are very important. I have gained weight while dieting. And I have lost considerable weight while not even thinking about dieting. I've made connections to the meds that increease or decrease my appetite. I pay attention to what I'm feeling when I want to binge.No, it isn't depression or other psycholoical problem: not for me anyway. I lost it gained it lost it again etc. I now try to be aware of what I eat and accept my body as it is. Not to say I don't still "diet". I have too. I have a predispotion for obesity! I'm 66 years old and have finally,lost and kept off 50 pounds. However,I'm still obese (almost to just overweight). But I've stopped beating myself up for not being thin. I've accepted that my body has found a comfortable weight. I still concider every aspect of weight gain and loss. And I watch what I eat accordingly. I think, I will gradually begin to lose again... Just as unexpectedly as I did when I lost 50# after one of my meds was stopped. I monitor my meds. If I start a new medication and my appetite increases, I ask my doctor to change it. Or,simply put up with the problem if it isn't lifthreatening. I also no longer have to take my oral diabetes med. I focus on doing what's right for my body. thanx
What a great article, all these diets out today are just fad diets that fade fast a good simple diet consisting of a good balance of proteins carbs and essentials fats is key to keeping blood sugar low and good cardiovascular health!
I have recently come upon some interesting and relevant stats. The CDC tells us the national childhood obesity rate has nearly tripled in the past 30 years. Over the same time, health spending in America has followed the same trend. In 1965, health spending in America, as a % of GDP, was 5%. In 2010 it was 18%. It steadily rose in the intervening years. If the rising trend in obesity is not halted and reversed, it will continue to consume an increasing % of GDP as the years go by. It is my view that the rising trend of obesity in this country will not be halted and reversed until there is a MASSIVE education campaign that teaches people, children and adults alike, about nutrition, healthy eating and the need to lead a physically active lifestyle to live a healthy life.
I began a diabetic eating program on the 27th of December. I stand 6 ft. 4 in. male, small boned. Weighed 165 at the age of 35. Turning 77 in Sept. I have, as of the 1st of Sept. lost 55 lbs on a 1200 calories pre day regime. It has not been easy as I have always eaten to taste and I enjoy all food. I also lke my wine with dinner. It has also not been easy as I have IBS which acts up constantly in either the "C" stage or the "D" stage. I want to loose 5 more lbs. and I will be at the 165 I was when I was 35. Since dropping the lbs. my Asthma is almost non-existent and I recently tossed my blood pressure med. From an old man, who now that the wrinkles have been ironed oout really looks his age: Hang in there. Take it easy. Play what ever games you need to play to stay as close to you plan as possible. Don't be swayed with phrases like: Well, it's just one meal with us so eat up and all the other comments -- particularly as you begin to wrinkle. When eating out, split a plate if you can and/or ask for a take-away sack. If all else fails, eat around the edges and leave the rest -- a great waste of food but it's your health that counts. Now, I am wondering how the challenge will be when I get to where I want to be (5 lbs of wiggle room) and keep it off. I think that is going to be a tremendous struggle for me. However, it is a JOB and has to be tackled as such. Good luck to anyone who reads this.
I am also having the same issue as Cheryl below - eating approx. 15g carbs/day, maybe around 1000 calories - for the first 3 weeks I lost 20 lbs. but now I'm gaining weight - can someone please let me know what I'm doing wrong - is this starvation mode?
I am trying to take control finally in my Diabetes. I have joined a gym and have a personal trainer 2x a week. My question is I am trying to eat healthier and watch my callorie/carb/fat intake. I have made it sort of a game. I am 62 years old and have had diabetes for 20 years (slow learner) I have lost over 20 pounds and need to loose about 40 more by my doctors advise. My question is I keep running across information saying if you go below a certain number of calories your body will go into starvation mode and slow your metabolism down. How many is too low??? I eat around 900 to 1200 a day, is that too low? I don't feel bad and I am loosing from 3 to 5 pounds sometimes less per month. I am confused I eat protein and complex carbohydrates before exercising and a small supper after. Please help me if you can with some guidelines. Thanks
Carolyn, you can buy a meter over-the-counter and test your blood glucose fasting 1 to 2 times a month. A good target would be a blood glucose below 120 mg/dl or 6.6 mmol. If the blood glucose is consistently over the target contact your health care provider; medication may be required.
PS: I should have mentioned that my BMI is within normal limits.
Seven weeks ago my doctor told me I was "borderline diabetic (type 2) and my cholesterol was above normal. I immediately went on a low carb, low fat diet and have stuck to it faithfully. I have lost 6 pounds and believe I am eating and living healthfully. I would like to be able to monitor my blood sugar myself to see what my levels are. Is it appropriate for me to do this? If so, when and how often would it be good to check it. I am not on any medication. I am determined to avoid the need for meds if possible.
I los 25kgs by sticking to a low GI diet. Been on my goal weight for 3 years now. It is worth it!
Helen: Ask your physician for a referral to a dietician who can help you with a diet that meets your needs.
i would lioke to do the ideal protein diet because it deals with the pancreas and blood sugar levels, can this diet be used with type 2 diabetes
I'm trying to eat a nutritional diet and alway have tried to do so. With diabetes (diagnosed 2 months ago for the second time) I'm losing weight and I panicking. I don't want to. I am smalled boned, some would sat tiny boned, and skinny except for my waistline. I'm losing weight except from my waistline and I don't want to lose an ounce more. Is this natural? I'm almost 70. I once weighed 88 and looked anorexic years ago and don't want to look like that again. I have a cholesterol prob', HBP meds, now sugar.
I don't understand the movement to go to fat reduced dairy products. They are so much higher in sugar. I look at the g of Sugar and pick the lowest. Am I wrong?
I think for me, lapses are hard. I tend to beat myself up over diet or exercise lapses. I am very good at beating myself up in my mind over a vending machine candy bar at work. Which causes more problems! So I think its good from the outset to consider lapses as natural, normal, and just get back up the next day and get right back on track. Well, this works for me, otherwise I just have more mini-lapses into sweet-tooth heaven or 'no exercise today' exultations.
its good article to guide the patient in proper manner
After I got diagnosed in 2007 I retired and started concentrating on my health. I managed to lose 35 lbs over an extended period by trying to eat better and exercising. For 6 or 8 months now I have developed sugar cravings (I used to prefer savory things) and hardly test at all. Consequently I have regained 22 lbs and feel tired all the time. It's a new year and I am back at the gym and in the pool so I guess I will just have to chip away again. At least I did not gain all the weight back and do recognise that I better do something sooner rather than later.
It's easier to make a lifestyle change with a good attitude. Once I got past the initial pity party I found a support group. It helps to have friends who don't need an explanation. I let my glucometer be the "boss" and I don't think of it as a "diet". It's just that some foods aren't an option. I have new favorites.
I think that for many people diet is a dirty word. But, I think it is just about making the right choices when it comes to eating.
Since accepting that I have to do something about my diabetes, I've also accepted that I have to watch what I eat. I think all these comments are great. I fully understand Janice's comment about being tired of not eating what I would like to eat. But it is about taking small steps and remaining positive. Sure, I would love to eat what I want. At the same time I don't want to make myself sick by eating it.
I was doing so well for the first 8 years. All of a sudden I got tired of not being able to eat what I shouldn't and started nibbling a little here and there and depressed. It's also hard on family because then need to ensure you can eat their food when you visit. No surprise that my recent testing was much higher than it should be. I live on my own so no real support team.
I am trying to get back on track with more exercise and watching what I eat.
Your article definitely helped.
It is good to remain positive. I think we diabetics are often too hard on ourselves. It's easier to accomplish our goals if we feel good about ourselves. Even small changes over time can make a big, cummulative difference.
Thanks for posting this. It helps to be reminded of the smaller goals and baby steps. I think it's easy to become discouraged by setting goals we cannot reach, at least not at first.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not for profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.