Here's the real skinny on fat

The headlines scream from the magazine covers: "Lose 10 pounds in 2 days," "Eat Your Way to Slim" and "Five Secret Foods that Burn Fat."

I have gleaned all of my professional publications for some factual basis to support these claims and regret to report that there is no express lane for weight loss.

Weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories than what your body uses.

To help us to eat less, portion control and eating "Mother Nature" foods are crucial. There is a direct correlation between larger food portions and increasing obesity and diabetes. As a reminder, a serving of protein is the size of a deck of cards and a fruit is the size of a tennis ball.

Try to fill half of your plate with salad or vegetables to take the edge off your appetite and ensure that you consume essential nutrients. "Mother Nature" food refers to food in the form that Mother Nature created it so that your body must process it, not a factory.

We are fortunate to have access to fresh local produce at the farmer markets with U-pick strawberries, blueberries and blackberries readily available. When you have diabetes, be cautious with fresh fruit since the sweetness comes from fructose, a natural sugar, just like milk contains lactose.

Eat fruit in moderation and as your dessert so that other food will slow its digestion and glucose spikes are less likely.

For the "exercise more" part of the equation, take advantage of the longer daylight hours and spend time outside. Exercise for 30 minutes on days that you eat. Ride a bike, water walk at the local pool, shoot baskets, walk your dog ... whatever will get you moving and enjoying the summer weather.

Exercise controls glucose by using it for energy, makes your cells more receptive to insulin and naturally lifts your mood. Any exercise is better than none at all, so just start doing something.

If you have mobility problems, exercise in a chair or use the chair for support. Stretch bands or cans of food as weights provide economical and effective exercise.

Enjoy the summer sunlight and fresh produce.

Susan Sorensen is a registered nurse who does diabetes education in the community and can be reached at

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