Diabetes and the Health Benefits of Losing Weight!

Diabetes and the Health Benefits of Losing Weight

If You Have Diabetes… Losing Weight Can Get You Off Your Meds!

If you are among the 232 million in North America (67%) who are overweight or obese, shedding pounds is a no-brainer way to save.

For example… even losing 7% of your weight can lower your blood pressure enough to erase the need for medications.

There is NO doubt about it… if you are overweight or obese and have Type 2 diabetes, dropping a few pounds here and there will lower your blood sugar, help you feel better and improve your over-all health.

Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City says… “No matter how heavy you are, you will significantly lower your blood sugar if you lose some weight.”

A health study conducted at the National Institute found that diet and exercise will reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58%. This study involved overweight people with an average body mass index of 34… they had high blood sugar levels, but were not yet diabetic!

Cathy Nonas also says… “We know it’s true — that if someone with diabetes loses 5% to 10% of their weight, they will significantly reduce their blood sugar.”

“We see it all the time: people can get off their insulin and their medication,” she says. “It’s wonderful. It shows you how interwoven obesity and diabetes are.”

The American Diabetes Association states that losing 10 or 15 pounds has its health benefits…

It Can:

  • Lower your blood sugar
  • Reduce your blood pressure
  • Improve overall cholesterol levels
  • Lighten the stress on your hips, knees, ankles, and feet

The chances are pretty good that you will have more energy, be able to move around easier, and even breath easier.

Did you know that cutting back on just one meal can adversely affect the delicate balance of insulin, your blood sugar levels and the medication in your body? So, check with your doctor before starting a weight loss program to flush your diabetes.

Christine Gerbstadt, MD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, warns: “You don’t want to run the risk of high or low blood sugar while you’re dieting. You’ll want tight glucose control while you lose weight.”

Gerbstadt states that reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories a day is best, “which is safe for someone with diabetes,” she says. “Cut calories across the board — from protein, carbs, and fat — that’s the best way.” She says that people with diabetes should maintain a healthy ratio of the intake of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

The ideal ratio:

  • 50% to 55% carbs
  • 30% fat
  • 10% to 15% protein

Luigi Meneghini, MD, director of the Kosnow Diabetes Treatment Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine says, “For anyone, losing weight is challenging enough, but for people who inject insulin, it’s even more difficult because they have to eat when they have low blood sugar. When you have to reduce calorie intake, prevent over-medication, and eat to correct your low blood sugar, it’s very challenging.”

Low Blood Sugar, known as hypoglycemia, in its early stages can cause dizziness, confusion, and shakiness. Later stages can cause fainting and even a risk of a coma.

Losing weight and cutting calories can affect blood sugar levels, so be sure to reduce your insulin dosage or pills to match your new blood sugar levels or you risk high blood sugar levels.

High Blood Sugar, known as hyperglycemia, can develop when your body’s insulin level is too low to control your blood sugar. This effect is caused by incorrect dosage of meds or by not following your diet.

Diabetes – Exercise Benefits!

One of the many benefits of exercise with diabetics is that it can help keep your blood sugar in balance, so you won’t have to cut as many calories for your diet.

Walking an extra 20 minutes a day can still give you excellent results in your weight loss goals, plus it can greatly increase your health and allow your calorie reduction for your diet to not be as extensive.

Something to keep in mind is that each type of exercise can affect your blood sugar differently.

Example: Running, aerobic, or a treadmill type of workout can lower your blood sugar immediately.

Strenuous exercise similar to weight lifting can affect your blood sugar levels hours later, so it would be a good idea to always have a ‘To Go’ snack, consisting of fruit, crackers, juice box or soda packed and with you all the time… especially while driving.

Your Diabetes Weight Loss Plan

Losing weight is NOT an easy task… this is where a diabetes educator or nutritionist can help. A diabetes educator or nutritionist can develop a program to fit your lifestyle and you.

You will need a meal plan to follow daily, so you will know how to alter your medications and insulin based on your diet and exercise program.

A consultation with a nutritionist or diabetes educator can cost from $60 to $70. Your insurance may cover 1 or 2 of your visits, but possibly may not cover any additional visits.

There are also support groups available, usually through hospitals… ask your doctor for recommendations.

Additional you can find Web sites with exercise and weight loss information like the ones listed below:

“Information is power, and the better informed you are, the better decisions you can make” ~ Luigi Meneghini, MD


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