Diabetes and Weight Loss

Diabetes and Weight Loss
Weight loss is important for anyone, but it’s especially vital for diabetics to achieve and maintain. Diabetes affects the body’s ability to use sugar for energy, so extra fat can lead to a vicious cycle of insulin resistance and weight gain. The good news is that a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you lose excess fat and reduce your blood sugar levels.
Obesity is closely related to diabetes and makes it worse, because being overweight increases the amount of fat cells in the body. These fat cells store up glucose and prevent the body’s tissues and organs from using glucose for energy. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to move glucose into these tissues for fuel. When the cells can’t use glucose, it stays in the bloodstream and causes high blood sugar.
When fat is stored in the belly (abdominal obesity) it tends to have a greater impact on blood sugar than other fat, because this type of fat can cause inflammation in the body, which makes insulin resistance even worse. The result is a cycle of weight gain, high blood sugar and insulin resistance, which leads to heart disease, kidney failure, and problems with teeth and gums.
A diabetic diet should be filled with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins. A diet that includes a daily serving of fish is also a smart choice because it provides omega-3 fatty acids, which lower your risk for heart disease. In addition, eating a regular meal schedule is important because it helps your body use insulin more effectively.
Some people with diabetes find that limiting carbohydrates, increasing protein intake, or avoiding processed foods helps them achieve their goal of losing weight and managing their blood sugar better. But everyone’s experience and preferences are different, so it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor or registered dietitian before making changes to your eating habits.
If you’re looking for support in your efforts to lose weight and manage your diabetes, consider joining a diabetic weight loss group or seeing a Certified Diabetes Educator or Nutritionist. These health professionals look at your overall lifestyle and medical history to help you reach your goals for both diabetes and weight loss.
Aerobic exercise, such as walking and cycling, is a great way to burn calories and improve blood sugar control. Try to aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Other types of exercise that can be beneficial include tai chi, which uses slow, fluid movements to strengthen muscles and lower stress; strength training to build muscle mass; and balance and flexibility exercises, such as yoga. Make sure to talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen. It’s also a good idea to check your blood sugar before and after exercising to ensure you aren’t exercising too hard and that you’re properly hydrated.





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