Type 2 Diabetes- What to Do ?
Losing weight with diabetes
When you have type 2 diabetes, losing just 5% of your weight can improve blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. However, as if dropping pounds isn’t tough enough, diabetes can make it even more difficult. Many people who begin taking insulin to control their blood sugar see the scale tick up, and other diabetes drugs, including sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and meglitinides, have also been associated with weight gain. (Although some, like metformin, may help you lose weight.)
What’s more, hormonal changes that occur in your late 30s and early 40s add to insulin resistance, which is when your body fails to use insulin efficiently, says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. “Metabolism slows down and the risk of gaining weight increases, especially around the midsection,” she says. Here, top experts give their best advice to make losing weight with diabetes a little easier.
Move as much as you canThe best way to overcome insulin resistance is with exercise, says Dr. Hatipoglu. “Exercise improves the body’s insulin resistance and helps get rid of the fat,” she says. In fact, exercise can be as powerful as medication at lowering your blood sugar. Take every opportunity to get up and walk around during the day and avoid sitting for long periods of time.
Some simple lifestyle tweaks: take the stairs instead of the elevator; get off one stop early if you use public transportation or park at the back of the lot if you drive; and walk over to your coworker’s desk to ask a question instead of shooting an email or instant message. Aim for a total of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a day.
Including breakfast in the daily routine is a common denominator for successful weight loss and maintenance, says Rene Ficek, RD, lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating and a Certified Diabetes Educator.
“This may work because breakfast suppresses midmorning hunger, produces better blood glucose and elevates basal metabolic rate,” she explains. An Israeli study showed one-third of people with diabetes who ate a big breakfast that included protein and fat were able to reduce their diabetes medication and lower their blood sugar levels compared with only 17% of those eating a smaller breakfast.
Eating breakfast also typically results in fewer episodes of imbalanced, impulsive, or excessive eating later in the day increases fiber intake from veggies and whole grains; reduces dietary fat intake; and encourages improved health consciousness.
Check body weight frequently
In addition to a reduced-calorie diet, frequent weighing is an integral part of successful weight loss, says Ficek. “Monitoring weight on a regular basis is a form of accountability and self-monitoring, and consistent self-monitoring is associated with improved weight loss.” Ficek recommends weighing yourself one to two times a week. Be consistent with the time of day and weigh yourself with the same clothes—don’t wear your shoes one day and leave them off the next.
Plan before dining out
It happens: A big project keeps you at the office late, and you have nothing to eat waiting for you at home. Instead of pulling into a drive-thru and asking for the first thing that looks good to you, have a list of healthy options saved in a note on your smartphone so you know exactly what to order, suggests Weisenberger.
All major fast food chains have nutrition information available on their websites. Find out which options have an amount of carbs and calories that your nutritionist could give a thumbs up. Good bets: healthy salads with nuts (skip sugary dressings!), half sandwiches or breadless options with vegetables, lettuce wraps, asking for mustard instead of mayo, and fruit parfaits.
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Slashing empty calories from sugary sodas and juices is a no-brainer when you have type 2 diabetes. But if you can’t stand the idea of drinking plain water, skip diet drinks (they aren’t any better for you than the sugary stuff) and make your own flavored H2O, says Weisenberger. “Flavor your water with fruit, vegetables, and herbs.” Try cucumber and mint, peach and basil, lemon slices, and strawberry, lime and rosemary. Before adding the herbs, crush them lightly in your hand to release their flavors, she suggests.