Currently, almost 90% of patients living with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
So, it’s not surprising that losing weight is the single best thing you can do to prevent or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes. If you’re overweight and living with type 2 diabetes, losing weight should be one of your top priorities.
To help you on your weight loss journey, we’ve put together some important tips to help you get started with managing your weight while living with type 2 diabetes.
Weight Loss Tips for Living with Type 2 Diabetes
Losing weight (and keeping it off) is a tough challenge for most people. This is why it’s so important to have realistic expectations when getting started.
Usually, a reduction in just 5 – 7% of total body weight (typically around 10-15 pounds) can have a significant impact on your life and can help slow down the progression of the disease. As an added advantage, cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels also benefit.
Losing more than 5-7% is a great long term goal but focusing on an achievable goal when getting started can have a significant impact on the success of your long term weight loss goals.
Changing Your Mindset
It’s important to talk with your doctor before beginning any major weight loss or exercise routines but, depending on your unique situation, there’s a chance that you might have to start your weight loss efforts with just a walking or mild-biking routine until you’re able and approved to advance to more strenuous exercises. If this is the case then you need to make sure you’re committed to what could be a long and slow journey, especially at the beginning when you’re most likely to quit.
Having or Getting Support
If you’re going to find success, it’s important to have people in your corner encouraging you to keep going. A great place to start is with close friends and family who will be there to push you.
If you don’t have the support of friends and family, ask your doctor about potential weight loss support groups you might be able to join. Connecting with people going through the same journey and struggle can significantly increase your chances of success.
If you’re in the Chicagoland area we provide a weight loss support group as part of our Weigh Less for Way Less program. Our program has helped many diabetics reach their weight loss goals and we often hear how important the support groups were to their success.
Working with your Doctor
Losing weight while also living with diabetes requires additional attention to your health, especially insulin and glucose levels. Exercise by itself, with or without weight loss, can improve your body’s level of sensitivity to insulin, which is why it’s important to keep a record of what you’re consuming, how many calories you’re taking in, and be sure to measure and record your blood glucose levels before and after exercise.
While intentional reductions in weight is generally a good thing, unintentional weight less, especially for people with type 2 diabetes, might not be good. If blood sugar levels are very high, individuals with diabetes will often urinate a lot, which leads to dehydration as a potential reason for weight reduction. Additionally, muscle break down may occur if blood sugar is too high, resulting in unhealthy weight loss. These are just a few more reasons to work with your doctor consistently throughout the weight loss process.
As we tell most of our diabetic patients, there’s been no better time to be diabetic than now because half of new diabetic medications help people lose weight by suppressing their appetite or loosening sugar through the urine. On average, diabetic patients lose 10-15 pounds on the new blood sugar medications alone. Don’t hesitate to contact us or ask your doctor about new blood sugar medication options.
When it comes to reducing your weight, especially while living with type 2 diabetes, ‘slow-and-steady’ wins the race. A proper diet and exercise plan that you’ll be able to stick to is better than one that you’ll want to quit before you even see results.
Remember to have realistic expectations and goals, prepare your mind, build a great support team, and always consult your doctor before getting started. Have questions or need a hand with your diabetes and weight loss efforts? Contact us to request an appointment with one of our Diabetes Specialists and be sure to ask about our Weigh Less for Way Less program.