Garden City Telegram

Defeating prediabetes; overeating your exercise benefits

Q: I have been diagnosed with prediabetes - my fasting glucose level is 118. What's the smartest way to avoid going on to develop full-blown Type 2 diabetes? - Gregory Y., Albany, N.Y.

A: Prediabetes is something 88 million American adults have (although many do not know they do!), and it comes with its own health challenges, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Without intervention, around 70 percent of folks with prediabetes go on to develop Type 2 diabetes. But that does not have to happen to you. You can reverse prediabetes and reclaim your health. 

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at 1,028 folks who were at high risk for Type 2 diabetes and found that some familiar behavior changes reduced their two-year risk of developing the disease by 40 percent to 47 percent.

The lifestyle upgrades included losing 7 percent of their body weight in the first six months of the study; reducing the amount of fat, and specifically saturated fat, in their diet by eliminating foods such as full-fat dairy, and red and processed meats; working up to doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week or more; and aiming to do muscle-strengthening activity that achieves 160 to 300 reps on two to three days a week.

We think if you add in the guidelines in Dr. Mike's book "What to Eat When," you can slash your risk even more dramatically. Timing your food intake so you eat most of your food between, say, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and do not eat after 7 p.m. and making sure you get seven servings a day of fruits and veggies has a profound effect on your blood sugar control and reduces bodywide inflammation. For additional support, find out about your local Recognized Lifestyle Change Program(s); a listing is available on Participation will offer you the support and structure that makes your goal of defeating prediabetes easier to achieve.

Q: I have started exercising five days a week for an hour, and I am gaining weight! How can that be? What can I do to prevent that? - Janine R., Rockford, Ill.

A: It is possible that you're adding muscle mass. Since muscle weighs more than fat, as you shed fat and gain lean tissue, you can put on a couple of pounds. A quick check: Is your waist circumference smaller than it was? Are you seeing better muscle tone already? If your answer to both is yes, that might indicate you're "beefing up."

But we hate to pop your bubble - it's far more likely that you are simply out-eating your exercise benefits. Increased muscle mass should provide more calorie burn for you and shedding fat does reduce weight, too. So if you're like lots of folks, we bet you overestimate what you can eat post-workout without gaining weight. 

Exercising regularly doesn't mean you don't have to think about what - and how - you eat. You still need to take in fewer calories than you burn off, avoid unhealthy fats and refined carbs, and eat only while the sun is up.

If you weigh 155 pounds, an hour of moderate intensity walking on a flat surface burns around 232 calories. That quarter pounder you think you've earned by doing that? 520 calories! Heck, a healthier-sounding chicken Caesar salad at Applebee's delivers 800 calories. 

Also important: It's smart to think about the kind of exercise you do - especially if you are out of shape or getting older. While aerobics is heart-healthy, it is weight training, even with your own body weight, that improves post-exercise calorie burn as well as muscle tone, balance and strength. Gradually increasing the number of reps you do will help you burn fat while building muscle. Dr. Mike's favorite strength-training routine, available for free at Google Play and the Apple App Store, is the J&J Official 7 Minute Workout. Do it once a day, no equipment needed. 

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen at youdocsdaily(at sign)

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.