For diabetes management, weight loss is key. Losing a small amount of weight, even 10 to 15 pounds, can help you lower your blood sugar and risk of diabetes-related complications. You may also be able to minimize your symptoms. While it may not be easy, it can be done with planning and support.
Talk With Your Doctor
Before you put together your weight loss plan, talk to your doctor. Weight loss for diabetes must be paired with strict medical management, as changing your diet and activity levels can have an immediate impact on the amount of medications you need to take to control your Type 2 diabetes. Your doctor may also help you avoid losing weight at an unhealthy rate; for diabetes management, slow and measured weight loss is ideal.
Set a Goal
After talking with your medical team, determine just how much you would like to lose, and write that number down. This will help you commit to your goal. Keep track of your weight loss every week.
Prepare a Meal Plan
Put together a meal plan you can live with. Be realistic about what foods you like to eat, and will eat on a regular basis. Ask your doctor to look over this meal plan, and tell you how to adjust your Type 2 diabetes medications appropriately.
Start With Exercise
Exercise is key in weight loss for diabetes management. Incorporate exercise into your daily life by choosing parking spots far from the entrances, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking the dog regularly. Talk to your doctor about how to adjust your Type 2 diabetes medications during and after your exercise sessions.
Join a weight loss for diabetes management support group. You can learn how other people use weight loss for control of symptoms. For diabetes weight loss to work, you need to be committed, and having a support system can help.
Is Surgery Right for You?
Some people with Type 2 diabetes have seen dramatic improvement after undergoing bariatric surgery. This technique resects the stomach so fewer nutrients and calories enter the bloodstream. The surgery is serious, and it’s not recommended as a standard treatment for weight loss for diabetes. Talk to your doctor if you think it might be right for you.
American Diabetes Association. (2010). Overweight.Retrieved January 5, 2011, from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/checkup-america/overweight.html
American Diabetes Association. (2010). Healthy weight loss.Retrieved January 5, 2011, from http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/weight-loss/healthy-weight-loss.html
Totty, P. (2009). A big bone of contention: Should bariatric surgery become a standard type 2 diabetes therapy?