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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Obesity Tips

June 12th, 2008 · 17 Comments

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Santa Cruz, California — Shortly before I came back to California to cover the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions in San Francisco from June 6 to 10, I had the opportunity to listen to talks by the endocrinologists in my town, Boulder, Colorado. Like the emphasis on obesity at this year’s ADA, one of those doctors has the same focus.

That doctor was in fact my wife’s endo before my wife died last year. That doctor is still pushing bariatric surgery as she did to Catherine. That was the main reason why Catherine stopped going to see her.

Catherine thought, as I still do, that bariatric surgery is a last resort for reversing obesity. I know many people who agree. In fact, one person in the audience listening to that doctor’s recent talk muttered “barbaric,” when the doctor showed slides of the procedure.

Still, the good doctor also presented a great slide with tips to lose weight short of bariatric surgery. The slide simply asks if we do any of the following:

1. Do you eat out on weekdays?

2. Do you watch TV while eating?

3. Do you skip breakfast?

4. Do you eat processed foods at home?

5. Do you drink sodas?

6. Do you have an erratic sleep schedule?

7. Do you have an erratic meal schedule?

8. Do you do comfort/stress eating?

9. Do you not eat mixed meals?

Then, she suggests, we eliminate one of them for the next five weeks.

Eliminating any one of them might get you to overcome the inertia of your weight habits.

These tips can certainly help. Other strategies exist, of course. I discussed many of them in my book, Losing Weight with Your Diabetes Medication.

And at the ADA I happened to run into a thin man. He told me that he had lost 40 or 50 pounds recently.

“What strategies did you follow?” I asked him.

“Just one,” he replied. “I stopped eating anything after dinner. That’s all I did differently.”

His strategy is a great one that I have finally been able to follow. It was hard to get started, but with a little time and determination I can now control my eating, rather than having my eating control me.

As to the doctor’s nine tips, I do generally follow them now. However, I’m now vacationing in Santa Cruz with my friend John.

We are doing a lot of hiking together:

Pastor John Dodson (left) and Me

But we also eat out a lot. It is possible to stay on a low-carb diet, and we are doing our best to do that.

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

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17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 maggie // Aug 4, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Hi,
    I have just discovered your website and find it very informative yet overwhelming. I am a personal trainer and want to develop somewhat of a manual to give to clients to facilite their weight loss in a safe manner. I attended a nutrition course this weekend and have heard about the GI diets before but was reintroduced to the idea this past weekend. I am a little confused by your comment that you are trying to follow a low carb diet while vacationing, I did not have that impression of using the GI index…I just thought that the objective was to eat healthier carbs in the sense that higher GI index would normally mean less processed/higher fiber etc. Can you clarify? Have I missed the point? Should I advise clients of the GI load or would that be too complicated? What advice do you have in terms of following the GI index for weight loss?
    thanks for your time
    Maggie

  • 2 maggie // Aug 4, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    sorry for the typos and I meant to say a lower GI would mean less processed and more fiber…

  • 3 David Mendosa // Aug 7, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Dear Maggie,

    I do not think now — as I once did — that following a low glycemic diet will lead to weight loss.

    The only things that I know of that will work for sure are the medicine Byetta and/or following a very low-carb diet.

    David

  • 4 Karen // Aug 13, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    David,
    I am newly diagnosed and was referred to your website by the Becker book. I do not yet have a meter and am selecting dietary choices based on one meeting with a nutritionist from which I most firmly gleaned the need to count carbohydrates and keep them within a 40/15 limit for meals/snacks. I am not losing weight rapidly on this plan yet and have much fine tuning to do. However, two years before diagnosis, I began following the plan in “The Body Ecology Diet” and found endless relief in a multitude of categories, chiefest of which I sought was control over a systemic yeast infection plus the loss of 23 pounds in three weeks. Personal factors took me away from the plan, weight was regained and the infection returned. Now that I have a diagnosis, I more understand why I had been troubled for many years with this infection. Now, after diagnosis and my meeting with the nutritionist, I am nervous about food choices, particularly carbohydrates, and don’t know if I should try this plan again. Do you have any familiarity with this program and any comment on it’s recommendations within the diabetic treatment protocols? Thanks, Karen

  • 5 David Mendosa // Aug 14, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Dear Karen,

    Sorry, but I am not familiar with that diet.

    David

  • 6 Vadim // Aug 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Mr Mendosa! My name is Vadim, I am a 36 years old Russian-jewish-American guy. Have struggled with weight related issues for as long as I can remember. I took on a minor in nutrition to only suffer from paralysis from analysis. Have been on so many diets that it would take weeks to list. Finally convinced myself to stick with low carb and still am. I am a big proponent of Dr Eades, even met them twice. I heard your podcast with Jimmy Moore, it was very informative, thanks. If its noit too personal what do you usually eat during the day? Do you snack? Do you eat or drink milk product? Do you eat at night?

  • 7 David Mendosa // Aug 26, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Dear Vadim,

    I am happy to share what I eat.

    For breakfast I almost always have two poached egg whites.

    For lunch I almost always have a big salad. Usually it has spinach, green peppers, cucumbers, green onions, radishes, and other low-carb vegetables. I use an olive oil and vinegar dressing.

    For dinner it varies. Quite often it is one or two organic chicken legs that I have cooked at as low a possible heat in simmering water. I often have strained yogurt with it.

    I drink coffee in the morning and often have a little single malt scotch in the evening.

    I do snack, especially when I am hiking. My favorite trail foods are sardines (canned of course) and nuts.

    Those are my mainstays.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 8 Henry Gasko // Sep 10, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Hi David,

    Re your daily diet: there seem to be a very small number of total calories in the food you have listed for a typical day. Do you know how many?

    What proportions are contributed by the different foods you have listed. Two egg whites for breakfast and then a salad for lunch could only be about 500 calories total (unless you are using an awful lot of olive oil). Two chicken legs for dinner would also add only another 500 or so.

    Any idea how much yogurt and other snacks you have in a day?

  • 9 David Mendosa // Sep 10, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Dear Henry,

    Excellent question. I wondered if listing those foods and only those foods would be misleading. Those are the basic foods I eat. And you are certainly right that they don’t add up to enough calories to maintain my weight. And I do maintain my weight — now that I am down to where I want to be, I just want to stay at that weight. Certainly that’s not all that I eat, but the rest is varied, so I didn’t mention it.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 10 Randy Cline // Feb 25, 2009 at 11:20 am

    I recently changed bottles of my test strips and had high readings until it was time to change again. After changing to the new strips my readings were back to what is normal for me . Has anyone else ever had a similar experience? Thanks Randy

  • 11 David Mendosa // Feb 25, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Dear Randy,

    In one of my previous articles here, I reviewed a CDC study that showed test strips becoming inaccurate even several months before their expiration date. That’s almost certainly your problem.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 12 Randy Cline // Feb 25, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I have read Dr. Bernstein’s book I got a lot of good advice from it but would like to know if you have found a source in the form of a list of foods to eat or not to eat the conforms to Dr B’s standards? thanks Randy

  • 13 SAVIKA GOMES // Feb 5, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Hello Mr. Mendosa,
    I am glad that i came across you website…quite by chance…..and i thank God!
    I’m Savika, from GOA in India, and was recently diagnosed with high triglycerides 216 and diabetes of 124. I panicked as i’m 37 yrs of age.
    After reading the material on your website i am confident that i can loose weight and become diabeties free. i am determined to exercise and watch what i eat only!
    I would love for you to comment…..
    All the best,
    Savika

  • 14 David Mendosa // Feb 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Dear Savika,

    You are already on the best path for controlling your diabetes. Your determination to exercise and improve your diet, especially so you can lose weight, are the crucial steps. As time goes by you can gradually do it even better — that has certainly been my experience. My advice for you now is simply to mention what you need to REMOVE from your diet (later we can talk about what you may need to add). You need to cut down and eventually cut out eating grains and fructose. The grains especially include wheat and, yes, rice. The fructose includes table sugar (sucrose, which is half fructose) and high-fructose corn syrup and most other sweeteners including honey and agave nectar.

    Besides diabetes, we have at least one other thing in common, although you are Indian and I am American. We both have Portuguese names!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 15 SAVIKA GOMES // Feb 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Dear Mr. Mendosa,
    I am 68Kgs, 5.5ft, and i have never feared diets. i am already off simple sugars, and milk/milk products. i do take wheat in my diet….but only in the form of 2 roti’s or indian bread. i exercise for 30 minutes brisk walking…and am working (desk job) so i take a break once in the morning half and in the afternoon and walk for 5 minutes each. i love walking/hinking. …but have neglected it for a couple of years.
    By the way….interestingly, the seeds you mentioned in your blog…..spanish seeds…are easily available in india…we use them in drink called falooda(like a milk shake)!
    Well, in goa….most of us are of portuguese origin…have dual passports…..and hardly consider ourselves as Indians! Goa is a country within a country….so to say! We do have a lot of “Mondonsa”’s in our midst as well :-)
    Thank you for taking time off your busy schedule to reply. I appreciate it, as here the doctors are so vague and hardly have any time for any explanations….they scare you with the prescriptions! I always resort to finding out the natural way to cure…..always!
    Peace,
    Savika

  • 16 SAVIKA GOMES // Feb 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Oh! and another mentionable : my doctor did prescride a substitute for sugar….i declined….i am determined to shrug off the substitute.
    One question. what about Jaggery…here in goa we get what is called organic jaggery and is extracted from coconut. Is that healthy to add in probably a broth of channa daal? was googling to find out but wasn’t successful.
    thanks!

  • 17 David Mendosa // Feb 6, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Dear Savika,

    We do have one completely natural and acceptable substitute for sugar, and that is stevia. It’s my sweetener of choice because it is natural and has no calories or carbohydrates.

    Regular sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets and is highly processed. Jaggery is unrefined sugar that comes from sugar cane or palm sap. Because it is unrefined it is undoubtedly not as bad for us as the highly processed sugar that most Westerners eat. Jaggery has some nutrients, but like regular Western table sugar it is essentially empty calories. It is also high in fructose, although probably not as high as Western table sugar, because jaggery has some fiber. It is not healthy for anyone.

    By the way, Wikipedia has a good basic article about jaggery at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaggery

    Best regards,

    David

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