Living with diabetes series

Why Weight Management Is Crucial In Diabetes

Photo by Amauri Mejía on Unsplash

The most important benefits of weight management in diabetes are better control of your blood glucose levels and blood fats including cholesterol and blood pressure — reducing the risk of developing long-term complications.

Why weight management in diabetes?

Being overweight makes it tougher to control diabetes. The excess weight makes it harder for the body to use insulin properly, regardless of whether you are on insulin injections or whether your body is producing insulin. Insulin resistance is mainly associated with extra fat around the waist. Besides this, it also increases the chances of heart attack and stroke.

If you are overweight, losing even ten percent of your body weight can make all the difference in helping you manage your diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol better and reduce the risk of diabetes complications. You can accomplish this with exercise and diet and lower the risk of other health issues as well.

Once you decide to lose weight, make sure your goals are realistic. Aim for slow and gradual weight loss to sustain it.

Here are some healthy weight loss tips

I know every post about diabetes harps on this but this is important.

  • Resolve to eat healthily and get regular exercise. This will lower your risk for insulin resistance and improve your heart health.
  • Make small changes in how much you eat and what you eat. Exercise at least 5 days a week. This will help you stay healthy and put you on the path to reducing your diabetes drug dose. It helped me cut my medication in half.
  • Regardless of what your goal weight is, plan ahead before you take action. Discuss your plan with your doctor to know what is right for you. Set clear goals that you can easily follow to lose weight. If you foresee any obstacles, have a backup plan to overcome them.
  • Remember that you must want to lose weight. Don’t do it because your doctor said so. Taking personal responsibility is the first step. Think about why it is important to you to lose weight. This will help you stay on track even when your motivation is low. Take me, for example. I want to lose weight because . . .

— I want to keep up with my family

— I love to travel and want to be fit enough to have a good time

— I want to reduce my chances of heart disease and other diabetes complications

— I don’t want to feel tired

— I don't want to depend on anyone for my daily routine

— I want to manage my diabetes and be healthy

See what I mean? You have to want it enough to put in the effort with enthusiasm. I have written down all the reasons and put them up where I can see them every day. And I find it is a great reminder to inspire me to keep at it.

  • Set diet goals you can achieve
  • Avoid fad diets or crash diets that promise quick weight loss and restrict what you can eat. These seldom work in the long run and usually result in binge eating where the weight comes back quicker than you lost it. Set small goals and steadily work towards them. Make healthy changes that turn into healthy long-term habits. Here are some examples:
  • I will opt for whole-grain cereals and low-fat milk instead of a muffin
  • I will avoid eating out. If I have to eat out, I’ll plan what to order before I go out
  • I’ll opt for fruits for dessert and skip the ice cream
  • I’ll exercise portion control and use the plate method
  • I’ll avoid packaged goods
  • I’ll maintain a food journal to track what is working for me
  • Set activity goals that are doable. Daily activity is really the best way to control blood sugar and boost your energy. Some easy ways to do this are:
  • Go for an after-dinner walk for 30 minutes three days of the week
  • Get off the bus a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way
  • Join a fitness or yoga class in your area or online
  • Track your activity in a calendar
  • Look at what works best for you. Begin slowly and build up incrementally. I go for a brisk 40-minute walk every day in the evening as this is the time when there are no distractions. You can consider walking, dancing, climbing the stairs, swimming, taking your pet out, and more. Check with your doctor to see what is safe for you.
  • Count your calories. Talk to your doctor about your daily requirement.
  • Remember that you burn more calories than you eat on a daily basis to reach your goal. Look for healthy eating tips and make a plan that will help you.

Finally, don’t forget to celebrate your successes. It is not easy to make lifestyle changes overnight, but it is worth the effort when you start seeing the benefits in the form of better health, better blood sugar levels, healthier cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.

The key is to lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off. Discuss this with your doctor to make a plan based on what works for you specifically.

Stay healthy!

Disclaimer: The information in this post is purely for educational purposes only and does not substitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your physician for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.

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I love Medium and the wonderful writers I engage with. One of the reasons I write is to support underprivileged children. Currently, the Medium Partner Program is not open to writers based in India. Would you consider buying me a cup of coffee? Thank you so much!

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Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

Writing about Self Improvement, Mindfulness, Meditation, Parenting, Health, Travel, Life, Books. Showing my diabetes who’s boss. Visit: https://vidyasury.com