Weight Control - Losing Weight Doesn't Have to Be Complicated
If you have type 2 diabetes, chances are good that you may benefit from losing a few pounds. Being overweight can make your blood sugar levels more difficult to control and can lead to other health complications.
A Little Weight Loss Means a Lot
Fortunately, losing a relatively small amount of weight can yield significant benefits. If you lose only 5 to 7 percent of your body weight—just 10 to 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds—you’ll help keep your blood sugar under better control.
If you take insulin or other types of diabetes medications, your doctor may be able to reduce your dosage or eliminate one or more medications entirely. Do not change your dose or stop taking your medication without first discussing it with your doctor.
Losing weight doesn't have to be complicated. Generally, you’ll be able to lose weight if you change two things: your activity level and what you eat. Talk to your doctor before making any changes so he or she can help you make the best choices for your particular situation.
Every type of regular physical activity—from raking leaves to chasing your kids or grandkids around the park—will help you keep your weight under control.
Generally aim for about 150 minutes of exercise a week. This equals 30 minutes a day five days a week. But if you only have smaller blocks of time available, you’ll still see results. Walking, swimming or water aerobics, and cycling are all excellent forms of exercise that many people can easily do, even if they’re overweight. Exercises that strengthen your muscles are also recommended twice a week for 20-30 minutes each time.
Testing Your Blood Sugar
Make sure to test your blood sugar before and after you exercise. This will help you learn more about the effect that exercise has on your blood sugar levels, and you’ll be able to make sure that they don’t fall too low. This can cause you to become dizzy or confused and can lead to more serious problems. Always carry some form of fast acting sugar with you for emergencies.
Making recommended changes to your diet can also help you keep your weight under good control. Your doctor and dietitian or diabetes educator can help you develop a healthy plan to lose weight.
You’ll need to watch your intake of calories and eat foods that help keep your blood sugar under good control. Fortunately, the foods that are good for your diabetes are usually also good for helping to maintain a healthy weight. There’s no need to deprive yourself. In fact, most people with diabetes can eat three meals and two nutritious snacks a day.
Foods to Eat in Abundance
A healthy diet should include plenty of the following foods:
- All non-starchy vegetables, such as: leafy greens, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.
- Lean meats
- Non-fat / low fat dairy products
- Foods that contain “healthy” plant-based fats, such as almonds, olive oil, avocado
Foods to Avoid
The following foods should be generally avoided:
- Bagged and boxed snacks (such as chips and cookies)
- Processed foods, which can contain a lot of trans fats
- Fatty meats (bacon, sausage, luncheon meats, hot dogs)
- High-fat dairy products (whole milk, heavy cream, half & half, ice cream)
- Deep-fried foods (french fries, fried chicken, doughnuts)
- Alcohol and drinks with sugar (punches, juices, regular soda)
By combining a moderate exercise plan with a sensible healthy diet, you’ll find it easier to keep your weight—as well as your diabetes—under good control.