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What diet will help me lose weight the fastest?

This is a trick question, says Julie Cunningham, MPH, RD, and certified online diabetes educator. Why? People need to stop seeing a “diet” as something they start and stop and quit focusing on fast weight loss, she says. “An extreme diet is likely to be short-lived and result in a short-term weight loss with even more weight regained after the diet ends,” she explains.

Bottom line: Focus on making healthier food choices a permanent change in your lifestyle, not a short term “diet” that you’ll quit when the scale gives you the number you want, she says. To change your thinking, discover the power of mindful eating.

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North Carolina-based registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Julie Cunningham, MPH, RD, LDN, CDE said she was recently at a conference out of town and ended up at The Cheesecake Factory with friends after not having been for several years.

She opted for the white chicken chili, one of the lower-calorie options on the main menu, and took a slice of the fresh strawberry cheesecake back to her hotel, but said that she was too full to eat it.

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“The number one thing my patients do to sabotage their success in managing their diabetes is drinking sweetened beverages like regular soft drinks, sweet tea, and juice,” says Julie Cunningham, MPH, RD, LDN, CDE, in Hendersonville, North Carolina. “People don’t realize how much sugar can be consumed in liquid form, and how quickly that can spike your blood sugar. Juice and soda are used to treat low blood sugar because they bring low blood sugar up quickly. That’s great if you’re low. If you’re not low and you drink those same beverages, you’re going to be high pretty quickly.”

Cunningham suggests people with diabetes trade the sweetened beverages for unsweetened drinks and only use the sweetened ones when you need to bring up low blood sugar levels quickly. It will help to also know this list of best and worst diabetic drinks.