The facts are nine out of 10 people who are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. It is estimated that over 80% of the tens of millions of individuals who suffer from Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes fall into the overweight/obese category. This is one of the main contributors to the developing the disease of diabetes.
So as you might expect controlling your weight is important to controlling diabetes. Every diabetic should focus on slow, intentional weight loss over a period of time. This will decrease your need for insulin and/or improve your body's ability to produce insulin, improve your heart health, improve self-esteem, and make you sexy once again!
By losing those excess pounds you will also reduce their risk factors for developing stroke, heart attack, and retinal damage, kidney failure, along with dozens of other health benefits directly or indirectly related to diabetes.
I know and you know losing weight and keeping it off is as much of a challenge for those who have diabetes as it is for those who don't. If it weren't there wouldn't be thousands of weight loss programs making billions of dollars every year!
As a diabetic it is important that you seek the help of qualified professionals to help you lose the weight. You may require changes in medication and/or other treatments.
I want to clear one thing up here for a second. It is not so much about losing weight as it is about losing body fat! When you "lose weight", you lose muscle, water, and fat. You should focus on building muscle and losing body fat simultaneously. This is the most effective way to reap those benefits I mentioned earlier.
Losing weight as a diabetic is accomplish the same way that weight loss is achieved under any other circumstance.
Most people think weight loss is about eating fewer calories and burning more calories than eaten, which is partially true. Weight loss is about changing your mindset, changing the make-up of your diet and nutrition habits and throwing in some physical activity.
Weight loss (aka fat loss) of 1-2 pounds a week is a good goal to aim for. Don't be in a rush for that quick fix that I know you are thinking of. Losing 20 pounds in 5 days isn't realistic and it's not healthy by any means (I don't care who told you or where you read it).
The goal of any weight loss program is for gradual and steady weight loss that can be maintained over an extended period time till your end goal is reached, whatever it may be. This will eventually result in a healthy body and mind. Almost all the time this can also result in the elimination of any and all medications required to control your Type 2 diabetes.
Like mentioned earlier, exercise plays an important role in your weight loss success and in controlling your diabetes. There are two main reasons individuals should exercise. First, exercise reduces the body's need for insulin to control blood sugar levels and improves the body's ability to produce insulin to better control blood sugar levels. Second, it increases the body's metabolism, thus allowing individuals to burn body fat easier. Of course there are many other reasons to exercise but those are two of the main ones for diabetics and weight loss.
Here some basic steps to take to guarantee you are on the right path for weight loss and controlling your diabetes.
Think positive, be optimistic, and set goals- If you keep telling yourself "you'll never lose all this weight" then you won't! Conquer whatever fears and hang-ups you have inside yourself or else you'll end up getting frustrated and quit. Also, without setting any goals you'll never know where you're headed. Be specific-date, exact weight, how you'll feel, what will happen if you don't get there?
Get some support- therapist, family, close friends, support groups, etc. Weight loss is not easy, sometimes having people to talk and turn too can keep you on track and focused.
Eliminate any simple sugars- soda, deserts, candy, juice, etc.
Cut back on complex carbohydrates - pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, bread, etc.
Make protein foods a majority of your meals- fish, chicken, turkey, beef, seafood, nuts, etc.
Tons of fiber- vegetables, some fruits (berries), beans, nuts, and supplements (Benefiber, Metamucil, or any other)
Use healthy fats- olive oil, real butter, Smart Balance, canola oil, coconut oil, fish oil, and any sort of nut oil.
Drink tons of water- a gallon a day keeps melts the pounds away. Yes, I'm serious!
Exercise/Physical activity- either short bouts of high intensity exercise (e.g. 30 second sprints with 1 min of rest in between, repeated 10-12 times) or 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 4-5 times a week. (e.g. weight training, circuit training, cardio mixed with weights, etc.)
Be consistent- without consistency you will not get the results you are looking for. Consistently control your diet, exercise, stay in a positive state of mind, take to your support team, etc.
Using the tips I laid out above you will be well on your way to successful weight loss, better blood sugars, and a healthier life. Now it's all up to you to take the first step my friend.