If you have type 2 diabetes, then you know better than most how difficult it is to lose weight. Even when you think that you’re doing everything correctly with your diet and exercise plan, the weight never seems to fall off. Why is this?
Well, it could be a number of factors. Perhaps you aren’t eating as well as you thought. Or, maybe your medication is preventing you from losing weight effectively. Whatever the case may be, we’ll show you a few tips on how to lose weight with type 2 diabetes.
First things first, let’s talk about the benefits of losing weight with type 2 diabetes.
Benefits of Losing Weight With Type 2 Diabetes
When you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight should be one of your top priorities. However, for many, this is much easier said than done. Carrying excess body fat significantly increases your resistance to insulin, which makes your blood glucose management that much more challenging.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. The longer that someone has a high body mass index (BMI), the greater their risk of developing severe health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.
By losing weight effectively, those with type 2 diabetes can significantly improve their health and blood sugar levels. Experts say that the right way to lose weight is to implement healthy lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise and a well-balanced diet.
If you practice these healthy lifestyle choices, then you’ll not only see a major difference in your health and blood sugar levels, but also your energy, mood, attitude, agility, focus, flexibility, stamina, and so much more.
Set A Healthy Weight Loss Goal
It’s important to set goals for ourselves so that we have something to look forward to. Setting healthy, realistic weight loss goals is the best way to incentivize your success aside from the obvious health and wellness benefits.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t try to reach your weight loss goal overnight. While everyone wants a quick solution, drastic diets and extreme exercise regimes aren’t very sustainable. Try to focus on healthy lifestyle changes that you can maintain for the long term.
Once you’ve accomplished these goals the first time around, then you can learn how to practice these goals so that they can become habits.
It’s natural for setbacks to occur occasionally. When you have a setback, don’t be too hard on yourself or get discouraged. We’re only human, after all. The best thing that you can do is get back on track towards reaching new healthy weight loss goals for the future.
Move Those Muscles
Exercise and daily activity is an integral part of everyday life. Our bodies were not designed to stay still forever. We must move our muscles and break a sweat to maintain and improve our fitness health. In fact, research shows that exercise is the key to successfully keeping the weight off over time and that those who increase their physical activity will lose more body fat than those who only diet.
Try to aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week. And remember, you don’t have to work out vigorously to lose weight. You can practice moderate, low-intensity exercises to sustain healthy weight loss. Take a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood after dinner, or ride your bike along the trail in the mornings before breakfast.
Adding a few more steps and movements in your day can make all the difference. Don’t let your type 2 diabetes get in the way of your physical health. Get off the couch and move your muscles to achieve healthy weight loss!
Diet Till You Drop
Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t about cutting out all foods. Eating a well-balanced diet is about increasing your fiber and protein while decreasing your carbohydrates, sugars, and saturated fats. By eating a good diet and maintaining healthy blood glucose levels, you’ll drop the weight much faster and more efficiently.
The American Diabetes Association suggests that those with diabetes should focus on eating lean protein, high-fiber, less processed carbs, fruits, and vegetables. They also note that eating low-fat dairy and healthy vegetable-based fats like nuts, avocado, and olive oil can help you manage a healthy weight.
You should speak to your doctor about your daily caloric intake and formulate a meal plan to get you on track to accomplish your weight loss goals.
Best Foods To Eat With Type 2 Diabetes
You can find carbohydrates in fruits. Vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, and dairy products. Carbohydrates are rich in necessary vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These include:
- Whole grains (wheat, pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa)
- Nonstarchy vegetables (peppers, onions, asparagus, spinach, and broccoli.)
- Legumes & beans
At least 1/4th of your meal should contain a source of lean protein, including meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. There are also vegetarian options like beans and tofu to eat as a source of protein. These include:
- Fish (sardines, tuna, or salmon)
- Poultry (chicken or turkey)
- Lean beef (tenderloin or sirloin)
- Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
It’s a common misconception that fat is a bad thing. There are such things as good and bad fats. The essential key is being able to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy fats, enjoying both in moderation. These include:
- Seeds (sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower)
- Olive oil
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, and walnuts)
Low-fat dairy is a great source of protein. They are also low in saturated fats and sugar, giving you the energy that you need to get through the day. These include:
- Nonfat or low-fat milk
- Nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt (greek yogurt)
- Nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese
- Non-dairy milk (soy milk or almond milk)
- Reduced-fat cheese
Foods to Avoid With Type 2 Diabetes
It’s very difficult to maintain a perfectly healthy diet every day for an extended period of time. It is known that setbacks are natural, but you should do your best to not make these eating setbacks a habit. Certain foods that should be limited or avoided if you have type 2 diabetes include:
- Snack foods (chips, crackers, or pretzels)
- White bread or pasta
- High-saturated fats (bacon or fatty cuts of meat)
- Canned soups
- Microwavable meals
The Bottom Line
Maintaining a healthy weight is not always easy, especially for people with diabetes. However, if you really give it your all to lose weight properly, then you can take full advantage of the incredible health benefits associated with eating a diabetes diet along with regular exercise.
When you eat well and exercise, you can significantly lower your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, irregular A1C levels, and extreme weight gain.
Make sure that you’re practicing healthy habits daily to prevent type 2 diabetes-related illnesses and health complications. You owe it to yourself and those that you care bout most to make your health your # 1 priority.