Here’s something no one tells you about dealing with diabetes – you get a lot of ‘free’ advice. Everyone from your milkman to your third cousin wants to help with friendly suggestions about what you should do. Their intentions are good but is the information factual? Now, before you whip out your smartphone and start tapping, know that everything you read on the internet about your condition is not verified by medical professionals.
When it comes to medical advice, trust only certified healthcare professionals. That is why, we had our Diabetes Care Expert, Jayashree Salian, debunk some of the most common myths.
Myth 1: Exercise always leads to weight loss
Fact: Exercise helps in toning the body which eventually leads to weight loss. It increases the tissue repair post workout so; the body works more towards repairing and make new muscles leading to newer and denser muscles. When you exercise regularly more glycogen is stored in your body to fuel that exercise. So, it doesn’t necessarily imply on the scale that you have had a muscle gain or fat loss since muscle is much denser than fat. If you include strength training into your workout routine, it is a definite possibility. Fat loss, although cannot be seen on the scale but is easily identified by inch loss.
Myth 2: A person with diabetes shouldn’t exercise as their blood sugar levels may become too low
Fact: A person with diabetes needs always to be prepared in case of an emergency. They must also have a fair understanding of their blood sugar trend. It is generally applicable advice, even for a person who is not diagnosed with diabetes, that it is healthy to have a carb-rich meal before a workout and a protein-rich meal after. If one follows this, the possibility of a low-sugar episode can be taken care of. Also, it is advisable for a person with diabetes to carry a sachet of powdered sugar or a cube of dark chocolate with them while working out.
Myth 3: People with diabetes shouldn’t play sports
Fact: Moderate exercise is necessary for better blood sugar control and general health as well. Exercise helps elevate metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity. If you choose sports instead of going to the gym or yoga – that works too. There is no restriction on a person with diabetes from playing sports.
Myth 4: Exercise can cover-up for a bad diet
Fact: A balanced diet and exercise run parallelly to help you lead a healthier life. A bad diet can’t be solved for with exercise. A bad diet can lead to diseases like obesity, hypertension, etc. Exercise can aid to improve the condition but can neither be relied on for eliminating the disease nor can be used as a cover up for a bad diet.
Remember: Just because you went to the gym today, it doesn’t give you a wild card to eat a whole bar or chocolate. Your blood sugar will spike if you binge on unhealthy food.
Myth 5: The more you work-out, the better
Fact: While exercising is good, it is not safe to exhaust yourself beyond a certain limit. It is advisable to consult your doctor before starting your exercise routine to ensure you are doing it safely. One also needs to eat the right food and be well-hydrated; the dietary requirement for workouts is specific.
Myth 6: The only way to lose weight is to cut back on calories drastically
Fact: Reducing calories is important to lose weight. But choose your foods smartly. Often, when you get off your crash diet, you the extra weight that you lost comes back.