By: Chef Cristian Feher
|Chef Cristian Feher with Paula Deen|
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. These statements are my unqualified opinions only and should not be construed as medical advice. If you have questions about diabetes please consult your doctor.
Now, I'm not suggesting that diabetes be the next trend in weight loss, but the condition of diabetes does prompt a person to make pretty effective life and diet changes. I recently worked with Paula Deen and learned first-hand about her incredible weight loss.
Before I tell you what I learned from Paula, a crash course in diabetes is in order. Too much, or too little sugar in your blood stream is not a good thing. In the case of too much sugar, your body has an organ called the Pancreas which regulates the amount of sugar in your blood by using a hormone called insulin. When your pancreas sense too much sugar in your blood stream, it sends out insulin. This chemical signal tells your body to get rid of that sugar - either by converting it to fat or by getting rid of it in your urine. But diabetics have Pancreas that don't work at all, or only some of the time. So when they eat too much sugar, without insulin to help, they can get sick, go into shock, or even die!
So you're probably wondering what the point of all this is, right? I'll get to it. Most diabetics, like Paula Deen, have to adopt a diet where they step in and take the place of their pancreas by a. Controling their sugar intake, or b. Taking insulin when their blood sugar is too high.
We all know Paula from years of television, magazines, recipe books, newspaper articles and cookware products - especially when it came to cooking fatty, sugary, Southern food - she was the undisputed queen of decadent Southern cuisine. I actually started to notice that no matter where i go, I can usually find her face printed in some fashion or another on some sort of product or media!
Now that Paula has been diagnosed with diabetes, she has had to adopt a complete lifestyle change: Her Southern cooking had to become "healthy" and she had to change the way she ate. Her weight loss over the last year has been phenomenal, and I learned that it wasn't all that hard. She stuck to a few key activities which made it happen.
1. Exercise. But not the kind you dread! You don't have to be a runner, swimmer, or cyclist. You don't have to do mud runs or zombie-thons. All you have to do is walk. Paula walks 1 to 3 hours per day. Even with her busy lifestyle she finds time to walk on hotel treadmills for an hour at the least.
2. She stopped eating sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
3. Moderation. She can still have some of her favorite butter-fried foods, but it has to be in moderation. A little bit here and there. And white refined starches such as white bread, flour, pasta and rice, are now low-glycemic options like whole wheat bread (not often), sweet potato and vegetables.
The key to her weight loss has been regular exercise and keeping her blood sugar under control, which is what a healthy person has to do to lose weight. If you can keep your blood sugar low (by not eating sugar and refined carbs) your body doesn't have the chemistry to store fat.
Eat like a diabetic, and you not only can lose weight, but you can also avoid diabetes in the first place!