In this report we will be telling you all about Diabetes 2 and weight loss, the benefits of weight loss and how to maintain a steady ideal weight.
Weight loss and diabetes 2
Type 2 diabetes is very closely associated with weight, with over 90% of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics above their ideal weight. Being overweight can hurt your confidence, and getting back to a healthy weight can seem like a never-ending challenge, and millions of people with diabetes find keeping to a healthy weight a huge struggle. You’re not alone in this, there’s support out there to help – a good first step is to ask your healthcare team for help and advice. Around 85% of people with Type 2 Diabetes are carrying extra weight or are living with obesity.
But when you have diabetes, there are huge benefits to losing weight if you’re carrying extra weight. You’ll have more energy, feel better in yourself, and you’ll reduce your risk of serious complications like heart disease and stroke.
So what are the benefits of losing extra weight, what’s a healthy weight to aim for, what diets/plans do you need to go on to maintain a healthy and do you need to exercise to maintain your weight?
Benefits Of Losing Extra Weight?
There are so many benefits to losing extra weight – both physically and emotionally.
1. Extra weight around your waist means fat can build up around your organs, like your liver and pancreas. This can cause something called insulin resistence. So losing this weight could help the insulin you produce or the insulin you inject work properly.
2. As you start to lose weight and get more active, you and your healthcare team may need to look at your medication especially if you treat your diabetes with insulin or sulphonylurea (another Diabetes medication). This might mean reducing the dose or making other adjustments, but talk to your healthcare team about it. For some people, needing fewer diabetes medications is a great motivation for losing weight.
3. Although getting Type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with weight, losing any extra weight will help you reduce your risk of complications and could mean injecting less insulin.
4. And if you have Type 2 diabetes, losing around 15kg could even put you into Diabetes Remission. This could mean coming off your diabetes medication completely – a life-changing possibility. This is even more likely if you lose the weight nearer to your diagnosis and quickly – it’s a myth that losing weight slowly is better for you.
What’s a healthy weight to aim for?
Before you get started, you need to know what a healthy weight is and what numbers you’re aiming for. This is about working out your Body Mass Index (BMI) and your waist size.
Know your weight
Research shows that the more weight you lose, the greater the health benefits, but even losing just 5% of extra weight will improve your health.
BMI uses your height and weight to work out if you’re a healthy weight. It doesn’t look at how much fat you have around the middle, so that’s why you need to measure your waist too. You can work your BMI out for yourself using this NHS tool – it will show you your target range.
For many people living with obesity, aiming for a healthy BMI may not be realistic.
Know your waist size
A healthy waist size depends on your gender and ethnicity. It should be:
- less than 80cm (31.5in) for all women
- less than 94cm (37in) for most men
- less than 90cm (35in) for South Asian men. Diabetes diet plans to lose weight
Diabetes diet plans to lose weight
There is no such thing as a special diet exclusively for people with diabetes. There are a lot of different ways to lose weight – but there’s no one-size-fits-all diet.
It starts with finding a way to eat fewer calories than you need.
A calorie (or kcal) is a unit of energy, which is in the food and drink we consume. Your body uses energy for everything we do – from breathing and sleeping to exercising. When you eat, you’re replacing the energy you’ve used, which helps you to maintain a healthy weight.
As a general guide, government recommendations are that men need around 2,500kcal a day to maintain a healthy weight, and women need around 2,000kcal a day. But most people need different amounts of calories based on how their bodies work, how active they are and any weight management goals.
We’ve put together some 7-day meal plans to help you lose weight. They’re all clinically approved, nutritionally balanced, calorie and carb counted, and can help if you want to lose weight:
- Low Carb Diet Plan – Cutting down the amount of Carbohydrates you eat – to 130 grams a day
- Mediterranean Diet – Including lots of fresh ingredients from lean meat and fresh fruit and vegetable and olive oil.
- Lower Calorie Diet Plans – like 1,200 or 1,500 calories a day
Evidence shows that the best approach is the one that you’re likely to stick to. So the key is to find a plan that you enjoy and fits in with the rest of your life. Everyone’s different and what works for some may not for others.
Whether you choose to try one of our meal plans, or another type of diet, it’s really important that you talk it through with your diabetes team first. Starting a new diet will affect your medication or blood sugar levels, so you need their knowledge and support.
Being active for weight loss
Regular physical activity has many health benefits and will help you in your weight loss journey.
But before you start any new physical activity, speak to your diabetes team. They can make sure you have all the information you need about how your diabetes might be affected. Especially if you treat your diabetes with insulin or certain diabetes medications like sulphonylureas, as being more active may increase your risk of hypos
Your diabetes team will support you to make the right adjustments to your medications to reduce your risk of hypos.
So there you have it. Weight can be controlled in Diabetes 2 by having the right diet and regular exercise.
That’s it for now. More about Type 2 Diabetes in coming reports.