Many people are quick to go on diabetes medications when they are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but a moderate weight loss of just 10 percent can be just as beneficial in getting glucose levels back into the normal range.

Lose weight to improve type 2 diabetes control

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At the start of the new year, everyone wants to get on the weight loss band wagon. And whatever the effort, many folks do not make permanent changes for weight loss or for keeping off that weight. A large British study looked at weight loss after a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes to see what impact it might have on the diabetes. This is important because obesity is a big risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Here is more from this study.

The study included 867 people. Their ages ranged from 40 to 69 years of age. They were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and followed for five years. For many folks, weight loss soon after diagnosis brought their type 2 diagnosis into remission! Wow! So if a 250-pound man loses just 10 percent of his weight, that 25-pound weight loss makes a difference in his diabetes control.

Many people are quick to go on diabetes medications when they are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but a moderate weight loss of just 10 percent can be just as beneficial in getting glucose levels back into the normal range. And weight loss will have other health benefits as well. Weight loss lowers blood pressure, taking stress off of the kidneys, and lowers blood cholesterol levels, reducing heart disease risk which is now high because the person has diabetes. So tackle weight loss first, or in combination with medications if they are recommended by your health care provider, when you are initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

If you are trying to lose weight address dietary changes, of course. Assess what, where and when you eat to develop strategies for permanent weight loss.

  • The what: Healthy, less-processed carbs with more fiber are better to eat than processed carbohydrate foods. These include whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, multi-grain pasta, legumes and whole fruits. Women can keep carbohydrates to 40 grams per meal and men can keep carbohydrates to 50-60 grams per meal.
  • The where: More meals prepped and eaten at home – it gives you more control.
  • The when: Regular meal times, with breakfast within 1 hour of getting up and dinner at least 4 hours from bedtime, will help with both weight loss and glucose control.

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.