7 Silent Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes

Fatigue, extreme thirst, and four other symptoms of pre-diabetes—explained

Still, there are signs and symptoms you can watch out for. And you should, since pre-diabetes can be treated and reversed through dietary tweaks and healthy lifestyle changes when it’s caught earlier. But the longer it goes undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the chance of it turning into full-blown diabetes, which is much harder to rebound from. So in honor of November, which is American Diabetes Month, we asked Gupta to share some of the most common red flags of pre-diabetes. If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms on the slides ahead, ask your doctor to test you as soon as possible.


MYTH: Constant Grazing Boosts Your Metabolism

Are six small meals really better for your metabolism, than a healthy three-meals-a-day diet? It’s time to get to the bottom of this popular weight-loss myth.

The Truth: The exact opposite is true: If you keep eating small amounts of food throughout the day, you’ll never burn any fat.

This myth is an easy one to buy into, because at face value, it seems like it makes sense. By eating frequent, small meals, you’re continuously stimulating your metabolism, and thus burning more calories, right? WRONG. Here’s why:

By grazing around the clock, you’re preventing your body from burning fat. When you’re constantly eating, you’re consistently releasing insulin, which puts your body into its “absorptive phase.” Basically what this means is that the insulin in your body is storing sugar — and not letting other enzymes in your body release sugar to break down fat. The goal is for your body to be in “postabsorptive phase,” where it uses your energy stores for sustenance, and burns more fat.

Grazing can cause you to lose track of your calories consumed. When you have three, well-balanced meals a day, it’s easy to keep count of all of the calories you’re consuming and it’s much easier to nutritionally balance your meals. Conversely, when you have six, small meals — it becomes harder to count and remember how many calories you’ve eaten in a particular day. It also becomes more difficult to ensure that each time you’re eating, you’re consuming the appropriate combination of macronutrients like healthy proteins, fats, and carbs.

You’re left feeling unsatisfied. Studies have shown that many people don’t feel satiated following a small meal, which can then cause them to overeat later, to make up for it. Psychologically, grazing can leave you wanting more because you never sit down to have a full meal. Instead, I want you to eat every four hours — three meals per day with one snack between lunch and dinner. Eating every four hours stabilizes your blood sugar, optimizes insulin production and manages hunger.

The Bottom Line: Three balanced meals, spaced out every four hours — with a snack between lunch and dinner is the ideal meal plan for weight loss. Your body will use your energy stores and burn more fat!

6 Trainers’ Favorite Workout Moves for Stronger, Flatter Abs

These go-to exercises are seriously challenging—and seriously awesome.

Get ready to revamp your abs strengthening routine. We asked six trainers to share their ultimate move for creating a flat and strong core, and they definitely delivered. Check out their go-to exercises—from dead bugs to body saws—so you can tone your belly without a single crunch. Seriously.


Dead Bugs

Why This Move Is Awesome: The major perk is that it targets your absand prevents “cheating” by keeping your lower back in a neutral position.  The key to this move: taking it slow. “Ideally, you should focus on exhaling all of your air out as you lower your arms and legs,” says Gentilcore. You should also make sure you keep your lower back flat against the floor the entire time.

How to Do It: Lie faceup on the floor with you arms at your sides. Raise you legs off the floor so that your hips and knees are bent 90 degrees (A).Brace your abs and bring your left knee toward your chest a few inches and your right knee away from your chest a few inches. At the same time, raise your left hand up and over your head (B). Bring your right knee toward your chest and your left knee away from your chest, as you raise your right arm overhead and lower your left arm back down to your side (C). That’s one rep.


One-Arm Dumbbell Carry

Why This Move Is Awesome: This exercise makes you work harder to stabilize your core because of the uneven load you’re carrying. (Plus, in addition to activating your core, it gets your whole body involved, especially your shoulders and hips.) To get the maximum benefits from this move, focus on keeping your ribs pulled down, clenching your glutes, and keeping your toes pointed forward.

How to Do It: Grab a dumbbell and hold it like a suitcase, keeping your shoulders square and upright (A). Maintain that posture as you walk with the dumbbell at your side (B). One step is one rep. Put the dumbbell down, pick it up with your other hand, and walk back (C), again counting one step as one rep.


Swiss Ball Body Saw

Why This Move Is Awesome: When it comes to creating a flat stomach, this move does double duty, says Romaniello. He says that planking forces your body to stabilize by working against gravity, which activates the deep abdominal muscles (a.k.a. the transverse abdominis). And the back and forth movement of this exercise adds another element to engage your core muscles. While performing the Swiss ball body saw, be sure to use your forearms to support your upper back, and don’t let your chest sag towards the ground, says Romaniello.

How to Do It: Assume a pushup position, but place your elbows and forearms on a Swiss ball. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles (A). Squeeze your abs and glutes as tight as you can, then move your forearms forward and backward just a few inches in a sawing motion (B). That’s one rep.


Med Ball Side Slams

Why This Move Is Awesome: This total-body exercise torches tons of calories, says Cosgrove, which will help reveal your toned tummy. Cosgrove says it’s important to concentrate on keeping your abs engaged and your core as stable as possible throughout the entire movement.

How to Do It: Grab a medicine ball and hold it above your head. Your arms should be slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart (A).Forcefully slam the ball toward the outside of your left foot as hard as you can. Pick the ball up and repeat, this time slamming toward the outside of your right foot (B). That’s one rep.


Overhead Dumbbell Reverse Lunge

Why This Move Is Awesome: While a lunge might not automatically come to mind when you’re trying to target your abs, Borden says that holding weights above your head instantly activates your core. While performing this move, focus on pushing the weights above your head “to the sky” to make sure you’re engaging your core the whole time, she says.

How to Do It: Hold a pair of dumbbells directly over your shoulders, with your arms completely straight (A). Step backward with your left leg into a lunge (B). Repeat with your right leg. That’s one rep.


Swiss-Ball Roll Out

Why This Move Is Awesome: Boyle says he loves this abs stabilizing move because it trains your core to be flatter by keeping your abs contracted and saves your back from injuries that can occur from the repeated motion of crunches. Throughout the movement, keep you glutes and abs tight, says Boyle.

How to Do It: Sit on your knees in front of a Swiss ball and place your forearms and fists on the ball (A). Slowly roll the ball forward, straightening your arms and extending your body as far as you can without allowing your lower back to collapse.


Use your abdominal muscles to pull the ball back to your knees (B). That’s one rep.

MYTH: “Going Vegan” Will Help You Lose Weight

A lot of celebrities these days chalk up their slim physiques to their vegan diets. Is veganism a valuable tool for weight loss? Let’s take a look at the facts.

The Truth: Going vegan isn’t about losing weight, it’s a lifestyle change. Though many vegans may lose a few pounds as a side effect of giving up meat and most processed foods, going vegan is not a reliable weight-loss plan.

Ever thought of going on a vegan diet to lose weight? All that meat, dairy, and seafood must be the culprit behind those extra pounds, right? If only weight loss were that easy! The secret to any type of weight loss is to focus on calories in versus calories out, and these calories have to be quality calories that are part of a well-balanced diet. Plus, eating a plant-based diet is a lot more difficult than you may think, and there’s no guarantee you’ll lose weight. Though many vegans may wind up losing weight after giving up meat and any foods processed with animal by-products, choosing to be vegan is more of a lifestyle change than a weight-loss plan. Believe it or not, the truth is that vegans can be just as unhealthy as omnivores who eat plant and animal-based foods.

Going vegan is harder than just giving up cheeseburgers.Vegans are considered the strictest form of vegetarian because they do not eat any type of animal product — no fish, meat, dairy, or eggs. In addition, many foods are processed with all sorts of additives — such as animal enzymes, gelatin (derived from pigskins, cattle bones, and hides), and whey (comes from milk) — that are not vegan-friendly. If you adopt a vegan diet, you need to do so thoroughly and learn which foods contain animal products and are therefore off-limits. It’s also important to note that since vegans do not eat any animal-based foods, they have to be vigilant about consuming enough of certain nutrients — such as calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins B12 and D — that omnivores and vegetarians get from dairy, meat, or seafood.

Many vegans may GAIN weight if they don’t learn to balance their meals properly. A lot of vegans turn to foods like bread, cereal, pasta, or other carbohydrate-heavy foods to satisfy their hunger. If they’re not adding protein to those carb-rich meals, they’ll wind up eating even more carbs and gaining weight. In general, vegan diets tend to have higher calorie values because many vegan-friendly foods — like nuts, for instance — are calorie dense. Some vegans may turn to soy products (like tofu, tempeh, seitan, and more) to provide protein in their diet. I’m sure a lot of you have already heard where I stand on soy — but it bears repeating: Excess processed soy can disrupt the endocrine system, encouraging abnormal cell growth and throwing your hormonal balance way off. I won’t tell you what to do, but I highly recommend you do your research on soy if you’re considering supplementing your diet with it.

There is junk food for vegans too. Going vegan doesn’t mean you’re automatically this super-healthy version of yourself. News flash: Junk food is marketed to vegans too. Not everything branded “vegan” is actually good for you. Nondairy smoothies and protein shakes sold at some vegan cafés are huge and loaded with calories. Vegan cupcakes, cookies, muffins, cakes, and pies can have just as much fat, sugar, and calories as the regular sweets made with butter and cream. So don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because it’s vegan, it’s “healthy”! Read your labels and allow yourself “treat” food as you would on a regular diet, indulging in it just 20 percent of the time.

The Bottom Line: Going vegan is not a quick-fix solution to slimming down. A vegan diet is part of a lifestyle that involves more than just not eating animals — and it can be very difficult to maintain. While those who have adopted a non-animal-product diet may in fact lose weight, it is likely the combination of the food and lifestyle changes that they made simultaneously; in other words, giving up meat and processed foods made with “unvegan” fillers will cut calories and fat and that, along with sticking to healthy habits like exercise, is what contributes to their loss. Reducing your calories, dumping all processed foods, exercising more, and eating more vegetables and whole foods is the foundation of a good, healthy diet — and you needn’t give up several major food groups to reap the benefits.