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Many who are diagnosed with diabetes are then introduced to weight loss plans that are compatible with a diabetic nutritional diet. For most, diabetes is exacerbated or even largely caused by being overweight, but losing weight as a diabetic is not always easy thanks to the nutritional restrictions diabetics have.
The 1,300 calorie diet is one of the most common options given to patients to help manage weight loss. As its title implies, it's simply a diabetic-friendly diet that contains about 1,300 calories of daily intake. For most, this is enough to maintain energy levels, but not body fat, and it usually results in about 20 pounds of weight loss in 6 weeks or so.
Often called the "diabetic exchange diet" as part of a larger suite of diets with varying caloric totals, this diet uses simple exchanges of nutritional types to balance the needs of the patient with the lowered calories required to lose weight.
The "exchange" comes from the ability for the dieter to pick and choose various foods from specific groups. For instance, the "cup of nonfat milk" at breakfast can be exchanged for a 6 oz serving of non-fat, sugar free yogurt.
Foods are grouped into types: starch, meat, fruit, milk, fat, etc. So a typical 1,300 calorie diet breakfast would include 2 starches, 1 meat, 1 fruit, 1 milk and 1 fat. This could translate to 3/4 cup of whole grain cereal in one cup of non-fat milk, a slice of whole what toast with margarine (1 tbs), a single scrambled egg and an orange.
Lunch on a 1,300 calorie diet is similar with 3 starch exchanges, 2 meat exchanges, 1 fruit exchange, 1 vegetable exchange, 1 milk exchange and 1 fat exchange. Dinner (supper) would be 3 starches, 2 meats, 1 fruit, 2 vegetable, and 1 fat.
Any item can be removed from the menu at meal time and used as a snack between meals in most exchange diet plans as well.
Speak with your health care provider or diabetes support group for more information on exchange dieting and where you can find the resources and materials you'll need to begin. Make sure your diet is physician-approved before starting.
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