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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Pre-Diabetic - what can I eat?!

Hi, I have just been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Have a lot of tummy fat. Dr has told me in no uncertain terms that I MUST lost the weight to become non pre-diabetes again and to ensure that I do not slip into diabetes type 2. I am so scared and not sure what to eat and what not to eat. I am not a fan of vegetables and I think I should not have too much fruit at the moment. I love fruit. I have cut out biscuits and sweets from my diet as he said to cut down on treats. Please advise. Am feeling really stressed about all this.

A.

Our expert says...

Hi there,

Thanks for your email and sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

The good news is that, as your doctor has already told you, losing weight is a way of reversing the onset of pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Try not to be scared about this because we can help you to lose the weight you need to through healthy eating and exercise to get you on the right track.

Losing weight gradually is really important - this means you're learning about a new way of eating and exercising, and not just finding a quick fix. Long term you're much more likely to keep the weight off, and in your case, stave off the pre-diabetes for years to come.

The first thing we need to do is to work out the right calorie level for you to aim to lose about 1-2lbs per week. Your individual calorie allowance will give you enough calories to do all the things you want to do, but is set as a deficit so that you start to burn fat stores in your body. For you this is 1,436 calories which is your daily target. The next thing to do is to take a look at what you're eating now and see if there are any changes you can make to make it healthier.

You should be aiming to have regular meals - 3 mains meals with a couple of snacks per day. Aim to have about 20% of your calorie allowance for breakfast, 30% for lunch, 30% for dinner, leaving you with 20% to have as snacks during the day.

At breakfast time, choose wholegrain options where you can - so good options could be poached egg on wholemeal toast, wholegrain breakfast cereal with milk and fruit, toasted wholemeal crumpets with low fat spread, fresh fruit salad with low fat yogurt, porridge and fresh fruit etc.

Mid morning have a small snack so that you don't get ravenous before lunch - a piece of fruit, some rice cakes, wholemeal crackers, salad veg sticks + houmous are great choices.

For lunch again choose wholegrain where you can, so a wholemeal bread sandwich with tuna and cucumber for example, wholemeal pasta salad, soup with a wholemeal roll, jacket potato with beans and salad etc.

Mid afternoon have another small snack around 100 calories - a low fat yogurt, small cheese e.g Babybel, piece of fruit, small chocolate bar etc

Dinner - base your main meal around 1/2 vegetables or salad, 1/4 lean protein e.g. chicken breast, lean steak, grilled fish, 1/4 starchy carbs such as wholemeal pasta, a jacket potato, brown rice.

Throughout the day think about getting your 5 a day where you can. Fruit is fine for you to have but do try and have some veg too. If you don't like traditional vegetables, try salad vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers etc, or some more exotic veg such as sweet potato, aubergines, spinach etc for something a bit different.

As a pre-diabetic there isn't really a list of do's and don'ts when it comes to food choices, it's more about the balance of the diet and making better choices. Choosing wholegrain wherever you can and cutting down on very sweet foods such as fizzy drinks, pure fruit juices, sweets and cakes. It doesn't mean you can never have them, but it's more about everything in moderation.

I hope that this all helps you to see how to make some changes - if you need our support as you embark on this please don't hesitate to contact us again.

Best of luck

Janet

Disclaimer
You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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