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Weight loss for diabetes: Here’s how to shed those extra kilos

Weight loss for diabetes: Here’s how to shed those extra kilos
Diabetes control needs the right balance of diet, exercise, and medication. ©Shutterstock.

The link between obesity and diabetes is undeniable. Maintaining an ideal body is necessary for all. But weight loss is all the more necessary for diabetes patients with excess body fat.

Written by Paras Hemrajani |Updated : November 25, 2019 4:34 PM IST

Weight loss is the top priority of millions across the world and for good reasons. One of the essential reasons behind the importance of shedding those extra kilos is diabetes, a hormonal condition characterized by high blood sugar. Affecting a large cross section of the global population, diabetes has been linked with obesity by scientists. In fact, there are innumerable studies stating that 9 in 10 people who suffer from type-2 diabetes is overweight.


It is not yet clear if there is any cause-and-effect link between obesity and diabetes. However, several studies have proved that being overweight can increase your risk of this condition and managing weight is essential for people suffering from high blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, losing weight is a tough task for diabetics. Diabetics are unable to use insulin hormone in their body efficiently. This, in turn, leads to the increase of fat tissues in the body. Increased fat, on the other hand, reduces the body's capacity use insulin sufficiently. Inefficient usage of insulin makes it tough for diabetics to metabolize sugar, leading to weight gain as a result. This is a vicious circle. Well, this may make it sound weight loss to be a mission impossible for people living with high blood sugar. Well, it is difficult, but not impossible.

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According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, losing just 7 per cent of your body weight improves your insulin sensitivity by 57 per cent. By losing weight, you are improving your body's glucose tolerance and insulin resistance while reducing the risk of common diabetes-related complications like eye diseases (retinopathy), neuropathy (nerve damage especially to your feet, which may lead to amputation), kidney failure, liver damage, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.


According to the experts, if you are a diabetic, you need to target the fat around your waist first as central obesity is the greatest risk to your diabetes and its effects. Here are few ways in which a diabetes patient can lose weight.

Healthy Diet

While starting your weight loss plan, start by assessing what you are currently eating. To achieve this, the aim should be to strike a right balance between carbohydrates, fats and protein. You should cut back on carbohydrates from your diet. This is because, in order to digest carbohydrates, your pancreas has to release insulin, the hormone which is insufficiently produced or inefficiently used in case of a diabetic. If you have to eat carbohydrates make sure choose the ones that are less likely to spike your sugar level. Have carbs in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Other than cutting off carbohydrates, there is another step that you need to take in terms of food: Adding enough protein to your diet sufficiently. At least 20 percent of your diet should include lean protein, which is found in fish, tofu and chicken. When it comes to fat, leave out bad fats (saturated fats) and include good fats (unsaturated fats) found in canola oil flaxseeds, nuts, etc. Filling up on high fibre foods can help in keeping your blood sugar steady and your tummy full, reducing the frequency of meals. Consulting a nutritionist about your diet regimen is a must for a person living with diabetes, especially if he or she needs to shed those extra kilos.

Physical activity

This is a must foe your weight loss mission to be successful. If you stay fit and active, you have a better chance of reducing your weight and controlling diabetes. Exercise is considered as probably the best way of managing type-2 diabetes because muscles can use glucose without insulin when you're exercising. When you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down. Workouts can also make your insulin more active, which helps your cells use glucose more effectively. People suffering from diabetes and obesity are at a high risk of developing blocked arteries, which can lead to stroke or heart attack. Exercise helps in reducing bad cholesterol level in the body, which is blocking your blood from passing through the arteries.

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