Have you ever wondered why there is such an increase the diagnosis of diabetics? Well, one of the reasons is due to greater numbers of people being overweight, as this is one of the main risk factors for people developing Type II diabetes.
If you have diabetes, and are overweight, it will be much more difficult for you to control your condition. This is because your insulin, whether naturally produced, or received by injection, cannot work as effectively as it could, this is called insulin resistance.
Some people with Type II diabetes, can gain good control of their condition, with dietary modifications, and physical activity. They are often then able to reduce, or stop taking, their medication. However, diabetes is a lifelong condition, and it is simply being controlled by these measures, and not cured.
Therefore, there are major health benefits to be gained from losing weight, in relation to diabetes control. These include, improved blood glucose levels, and reduced cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure levels.
If you are unsure whether you are currently overweight, check out What’s Your Health Status?
Remember to be realistic with your weight loss. Try setting SMART Goals, which are achievable within a certain time frame. Most people are more likely to reach their goals if they record them. Therefore, it may be a good idea to write a list of your goals, and prioritise them in order of importance.
What about commercial diet plans?
If you do decide to follow a diet plan, Diabetes UK have set out a few pointers to be aware of, before choosing a new dietary program:
- Check with your healthcare team before joining and show them a copy of the diet and activity plan.
- Be wary of restrictive and nutritionally unbalanced eating plans.
- Always choose the meal suggestions that include starchy carbohydrates, such as, bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and cereals.
- Do not cut out snacks between meals if you are at risk of having a hypo. Check with your healthcare team to see if this applies to you.
- Monitor your diabetes control more closely while you are trying to lose weight, to see if you need to reduce your medication.
- Your diabetes tablets, or insulin, may need adjusting before you start, or during, the new diet and activity plan, and also as your weight changes.
- Consult your healthcare team if you have any concerns.
This is the third in a series of discussions on diabetes. Please be sure to contact me with any topics you would like to read on this subject.
Please note, if you have diabetes, you should be regularly monitored by your GP and dietitian. These notes are for general guidance only, and are not a substitute for regular diabetic checkups.