Research shows that just modest weight loss, and then maintenance of that weight loss, is beneficial if you have type 2 diabetes.

Modest weight loss does a world of good

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People with type 2 diabetes (almost 30 million people) have lots to do to take care of their disease, including keeping regular doctor appointments, testing their glucose levels with a glucose meter, taking the correct dose of medication(s) at the right time, watching what and when they eat, and getting in some regular exercise.

Weight management is a factor in glucose control for people with type 2 diabetes. But everyone thinks it needs to be LOTS of weight loss to make a difference, and since it then seems overwhelming, nothing at all is done. However, research shows that just modest weight loss, and then maintenance of that weight loss, is beneficial if you have type 2 diabetes.

A weight loss of just 10 percent of body weight may result in

  • Reduction in diabetes medication dosage
  • Lowering of hemoglobin A1C
  • Higher HDL (good) cholesterol

What does 10 percent weight loss mean in terms of pounds?

  • 20 pounds for a 200-pound man
  • 15 pounds for a 150-pound woman                          

The small changes that you can make permanently in both diet and activity for modest weight loss can have BIG health dividends for you no matter what chronic disease you might have. And if all of your vital health numbers like cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides and blood pressure are good, you want to make sure they stay good as you age.

  • Reduce portions as you get older – you don’t require as many calories.
  • Drink lots of water rather than calorie-containing beverages. Those liquid calories add up AND spike your glucose levels.
  • Have more meals at home to control ingredients.
  • Don’t forget that daily walk. Thirty minutes daily does a world of good for your body from head-to-toe.
  • Engage family members in making the changes with you. It is so much easier that way!

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.