Do you have a hard time losing weight from having type 2 diabetes?
Losing weight has many benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, including better control over blood sugar levels.
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Losing weight by making small tweaks to your diet may reduce insulin resistance.
Losing weight is at the top of many of our to-do lists. But for people who have type 2 diabetes, weight control is especially important.
Anyone who’s tried to lose weight — and keep it off — knows it isn’t easy. It is possible, and the benefits for people with diabetes are great, but how do you get started? Experts say the right way to lose weight is to incorporate a healthy diet into your overall diabetes management plan.
1. Set small and realistic goals.
Losing the weight is one thing; keeping it off is another. While everyone wants to see the pounds fall off in the first days of a diet, drastic diets and extreme exercise plans aren’t sustainable. Try to focus on changes you can maintain for the long haul.
“Don’t try to transform your body all at once,” advises McLaughlin. “That can be a recipe for failure.” Instead, set small, realistic targets, such as walking around the block four times a week or having dessert only on the weekend rather than every day.
After these goals become habits, move on to your next objective. You’ll have a feeling of accomplishment as you progress toward your ultimate weight loss goal. And remember that setbacks happen to everyone, so don’t give up!
2. Get active.
Studies suggest that diet is hands-down the most important factor for losing weight, but exercise is key to successfully keeping the pounds off over time. “Research shows that people who increase physical activity along with reducing calorie intake will lose more body fat than people who only diet,” says McLaughlin.
About 90 percent of people who reached and maintained their weight loss goal said they exercise, on average, about an hour a day. Most people in the registry chose walking as their form of exercise.
Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 30 minutes per day at least 5 days a week. And remember, fitness doesn’t necessarily have to involve sweating for hours at the gym. Try to find ways to stay active throughout the day.
3. Schedule your meals, including breakfast.
A common characteristic among the NWCR participants is that most of them ate breakfast. Skipping breakfast is thought to possibly lead to overeating later in the day, which can sabotage weight loss plans and cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. People who eat breakfast may also have more energy to stay more active throughout the day. Experts say an effective diabetes diet involves eating three meals at regular times of the day to help the body better use insulin.
4. Cut calories.
Eating too many calories and too much fat can raise blood glucose levels. Cutting back on calories is key to losing weight.
5. Feast on fiber.
Cutting calories isn’t always easy, especially if you’re hungry shortly after you finish your meal. Enter fiber: Your body can’t break down this plant-based carbohydrate, so it slows the digestion process as it moves through your system, which helps control blood sugar levels.
6. Keep track of your goals and progress.
Writing down the details of your weight loss journey helps you set healthy targets and notice patterns. You’ll be able to appreciate your progress over time, as well as notice when your diet might have gotten a bit off track.
7. Get support.
Staying motivated to stick with a weight loss plan can be difficult when you’re going it alone. Connecting with others can provide the emotional support you need to avoid giving up. Many weight loss programs are founded on the concept that support networks aid motivation.
8. Use tricks to prevent overeating.
These sneaky strategies can help keep you from overdoing it on diet-damaging foods.
It’s important to continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly even after reaching your weight loss goal. That’s why it’s so important to set realistic goals from the get-go: The healthy habits you initiate to lose weight should last a lifetime so you can keep it off.
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