1 in 10 adults in the UK could have diabetes by 2030. In fact, cases of this disease have doubled in the last 15 years, with 90% of cases classified under type 2 diabetes. Among the risk factors for this specific type of diabetes are high blood pressure and obesity. Depending on the severity or how much the condition has progressed, it can even lead to complications such as amputation, kidney failure, sight loss, stroke, and heart disease. Early diagnosis is imperative for successfully managing diabetes. This also grants patients the chance to take actions which can be easily accommodated in their lifestyle. For instance, something as simple as eating healthily or being active can lead to losing at least 7% of your body weight— which is necessary to achieve stable glucose levels. In this article, we will discuss how a healthy weight management will result in positive effects for those with diabetes.
The positive relationship between weight management and diabetes
Weight management can help postpone the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. In the context of patients contending with type 2 diabetes, weight loss can improve glycaemic control (meaning balanced glucose blood levels) and decrease the need for glucose-lowering medicine. Several considerations for weight loss include a patient’s initial weight, body mass index, and weight gain patterns. These can inform which appropriate weight loss strategies you can take, such as behavioural counselling, dietary changes, medication, or physical activity. Of course, a challenge weight loss poses is that repeated failed diet attempts can lead to reduced self-efficacy. When an individual loses confidence in their ability to meet their desired goals, it can be difficult to practice healthy dietary behaviours for managing weight. Some studies suggest the intersection between increased dietary self-efficacy with the consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduced fat intake. However, the research for this claim lacks substantial material. One thing we can confirm though is that diabetics can manage diabetes-related outcomes and risk factors by adopting healthier food intake strategies.
The best weight management methods for diabetics
Create a specialised diet plan Weight reduction is encouraged in people with diabetes, however, methods such as crash diets or fad diets aren’t the best recourse. For instance, extremely low-calorie diets are similar to starvation and without medical supervision, calorie restrictions can present new hazards such as an increased risk of a heart attack or a stroke. This is why it’s crucial to look into a diabetic’s health history before creating a specialised diet plan. No two weight loss programmes are alike, and this is especially true for diabetics looking to incorporate a good food plan. A weight loss plan should include a personalised diet which equips diabetics with the right nutrients while limiting meals with added sugars or refined grains. One option is to take attributes from the vegan diet, which eliminates meat and animal products to reduce the overall risk of obesity and diabetes. The Mediterranean diet, which is based on fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, fish, and whole grains, can also decrease the risk of cardiometabolic events. A healthy diet is one of the most effective and safest ways for diabetics to manage their weight.
Get regular exercise For diabetics, regular exercise boosts your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which counters insulin resistance, and lowers your blood glucose levels. Some excellent examples of physical activity you can adapt to your lifestyle are aerobics and resistance exercises. Whereas aerobics training increases cardiorespiratory fitness and reduces insulin resistance, resistance training improves glycaemic control, insulin resistance, and lean body mass. Should you implement either exercise, it's important to gear your body for the activity. Generally, the most ideal time to exercise is 1 to 3 hours after a meal, as your blood sugar level is likely to be higher. Remember that if you use insulin, you should test your blood sugar before exercising. Stable blood sugar levels ensure you have enough energy to carry out your exercise routine.
Seek professional support Ultimately, weight loss doesn’t only entail proper diet and exercise. Several factors such as genetics, hormones, medications, and stress can shape your weight management journey as well. If you’re currently seeing a doctor for your diabetes, you can ask if there are diabetes management or weight loss programmes you can enrol in. Registered dieticians or certified diabetes educators can recommend healthy interventions that can aid in your weight loss. Tapping into professional support strengthens your accountability and dedication to sustaining your weight management plan. For more health tips, do check out our latest posts.