How to Lose Weight with Type 2 Diabetes
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. And while many people around the world struggle with their weight, for people with type 2 diabetes, weight control is critical to balanced blood sugar and insulin levels (and might even be the cause of the weight gain in the first place). This can create a vicious circle of weight gain, leading to poorer diabetes control, which leads to more weight gain.
Weight loss can improve your health and help balance your type 2 diabetes
Incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into your type 2 diabetes management plan is not only great for losing weight, but it’s also ideal for improving your health, balancing your blood sugar levels and reducing your insulin resistance. When you lose weight, particularly around your midsection, your risk for heart disease and other medical complications associated with diabetes decrease as well. These can include eye diseases, neuropathy (nerve damage, especially to your extremities) kidney failure, liver damage, high blood pressure, and stroke. So, why aren’t more people with diabetes shedding their extra pounds? Want to learn more about reversing your type 2 diabetes? Read this blog post.
It’s harder for people with diabetes to lose weight
Firstly, people with type 2 diabetes often have high levels of insulin, a fat-storing hormone. The higher your blood glucose levels are, the more insulin your body produces, in an attempt to better move the glucose out of your blood. But insulin also promotes fat storage, so diabetics are likely to gain weight, or struggle to lose it. This is also true of artificially administered insulin and insulin-promoting medications prescribed by doctors. Secondly, “diabetes diets” can have you eating small meals throughout the day to balance your sugar - and leave you feeling hungry. And when you’re really hungry, you might break and eat something carb-rich that causes a fast spike in sugar (cue the insulin), and unwanted weight gain.
Tips and tricks to lose weight with type 2 diabetes
Talk to a nutritionist - Together, you can formulate a diabetes diet that meets your nutritional and hunger needs, while keeping your sugar levels as balanced as possible. You’ll be advised on plating, timing, snacking and the possibility of adding nutritional supplements to your daily diabetes diet.
- Plating - Switch to a smaller plate, fill it halfway with non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter of the way with protein and one-quarter with a complex carb.
- Timing - Follow a Mediterranean diet, where breakfast is fit for a king, lunch is bountiful, balanced and filling, and supper is more modest.
- Snacking - Drink water in between meals to keep hunger at bay, and when you really need a small bite, choose healthier snack options like fresh fruit and vegetables over-processed foods.
- Get active - Make sure to monitor your sugar before and after workouts so you can balance out with appropriate snacks. And always hydrate - dehydration can cause your sugar to spike!
- Join a support group - Meeting with others in the same boat will help motivate you to achieve your weight loss goals. Search the internet for type 2 diabetes weight loss groups like Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together.