If you have diabetes, you may wonder if losing weight is possible. After all, carrying extra weight can make managing your diabetes more difficult. The good news is that you can lose weight if you have diabetes. In diabetics, a lack of insulin prevents the body from delivering blood glucose to the body's cells for use as fuel. When this happens, the body begins utilizing fat and muscle for energy, which results in a loss of total body weight.

Causes of Diabetes Weight Loss

Uncontrolled diabetes of either type 1 or type 2 frequently manifests as unexpected or unplanned weight loss.

When a person has type 1 diabetes, their immune system destroys the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Glucose builds up in the bloodstream because there isn't any insulin available to transport it into the body's cells. After then, the kidneys strive to eliminate this extra sugar through urination. Since the body cannot utilize sugar as energy, it begins to burn fat and muscle for fuel, which causes diabetes weight loss.

Type 1 diabetic patients may unintentionally lose weight. Those with type 1 diabetes who need to lose weight can do so without risk by cutting calories. To lose weight, some patients may under-treat their diabetes, but this is extremely risky. By passing insulin, one risks developing diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition with a high risk of death.

Under-treating diabetes to lose weight might be an eating disorder sign. To receive specialized assistance and therapy if you believe you have an eating disorder, speak with your doctor or a mental health expert.

Benefits of Diabetes Weight Loss

When your body develops insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes develops, leading to sugar accumulation in the blood. Obesity and being overweight increase your risk of diabetes and make controlling blood sugar levels more difficult.

In fact, according to research, persons at high risk for the disease may reduce their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by more than 50% by decreasing just 5 to 7% of their body weight.

When you have type 2 diabetes, decreasing weight has several advantages. These consist of:

  • Decrease of insulin resistance Using Trusted Source, it is simpler to achieve desired blood sugar levels.
  • Increases to mood and general energy levels improvements to mobility
  • Decrease triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels
  • Decreased risk of diabetes complications like renal or heart disease

In certain situations, losing weight might even bring blood sugar levels back to normal, removing the need for type 2 diabetes drugs. If you have type 1 diabetes, you could gain weight after starting insulin therapy. You may need to adjust your insulin dosage, calorie intake, and carbohydrate intake to lose weight. Insulin resistance is a condition that can develop in people with type 1 diabetes, and in that case, losing weight would help the person need less insulin.

How to lose weight with diabetes

The best approach is probably to combine a healthy diet with exercise if you have diabetes and want to lose weight. Even minor dietary adjustments can have a big impact.

You should strive for a diet rich in whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, and lean protein.

  1. Diet

The American Diabetes Association for meal preparation suggests the Diabetes Plate Method. Use a plate that is about 9 inches wide for this technique, and take these three quick steps:

  • Non-starchy vegetables should make up half of the plate. Non-starchy vegetables contain more vitamins, minerals, and fiber while containing fewer carbohydrates. If fresh vegetables are unavailable, canned or frozen vegetables will do just fine. Leafy salad greens, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts are a few examples.
  • Lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, turkey, tofu, tempeh, and beans, should make up one-fourth of the plate.
  • Complex carbohydrate foods like brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole grain bread or pasta, and dairy items like low-fat yogurt should occupy the remaining quarter of the plate.

Always choose water or unsweetened tea for beverages.

  1. Exercise

Exercise is crucial for weight loss in addition to dietary changes. Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. Start by establishing modest targets. You can start walking for 10 to 20 minutes daily, either outside or on a treadmill. Increase your walking time or speed after a week or so. According to research, exercising at a moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes per week is sufficient to improve blood sugar control and aid in weight loss significantly.

When to see a doctor

Consider consulting a dietitian or nutritionist if you're unsure of how to eat for diabetes or if you need assistance with weight management. You might be qualified for Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity if you have Medicare. This includes visits with a healthcare professional for up to a year for in-person weight-loss counseling. Professionals known as Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CDCES) offer people with diabetes individualized, one-on-one support. 

Get Quality HealthCare from BCHFC

Losing weight can be difficult, but it is possible with the right self-care plan. If you struggle to lose weight and have diabetes, consider talking to your doctor about your options. Broward Community & Family Health Centers, Inc. (BCOM) offers quality healthcare to help you manage your diabetes and reach your goals. Book an appointment today or call to learn more about our services.