People diagnosed with diabetes can manage their illness by managing their weight. Weight is a big factor in diabetes. It is a known fact that being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing diabetes. The excess fat can cause the blood sugar levels to dramatically increase and the body to become insulin resistant. Often, people with diabetes need only to lose about 10 to 20 pounds in order to manage their condition. Many people who get down to their recommended weight are able to get off their diabetic medications and start living a normal, healthier lifestyle.
Losing weight to manage diabetes is a good idea. However, people diagnosed with diabetes should not attempt to go on a weight loss diet alone. Before starting on a weight loss diet, diabetics must first talk to a doctor as well as a diabetic educator. They should also set up an appointment with a registered dietitian first. It is not safe to start on a weight loss diet without the supervision of a doctor since it there are other things that must be factored into the weight loss diet. Diabetic medications would likely need adjusted as the weight comes off.
Doctors often recommend cutting back about 500 calories a day for diabetics who want to lose weight and manage their diabetes. This amount of calories is generally safe for most diabetics and will promote slow, but steady weight loss. A diabetic's weight loss diet needs to have less carbohydrates, fats and proteins, cutting back on each in equal amounts. Ideally, a weight loss diet for diabetics should be 50% to 55% carbohydrates, 30% fats and 10% to 15% proteins. Carbohydrates is vital in a diabetic diet as it can greatly impact blood sugar levels. Early on in the digestion process, the carbohydrates are broken down into sugars. Diabetics need to have a basic understanding of the role of carbohydrates in their weight loss diet as well as how to measure carbohydrates.
Diabetics need to carefully watch their blood sugar levels while they are on a weight loss program. This is because they may become hypoglycemic (low on sugar) if their weight loss program involves exercising and they haven't adjusted their diabetic medications. It is important to check blood sugar levels right away if nausea, sweating or inability to concentrate is experienced. Diabetics on a weight loss program can avoid becoming hypoglycemic by always carrying snacks or fruit juices with them.
Blood sugar levels are affected several ways depending on the type of exercise that is done. For instance, blood sugar levels immediately drop when aerobic exercises (exercises that gets the heart rate up) are performed. On the other hand, weight lifting and other strenuous exercises will cause blood sugar levels to drop several hours later. Thus, diabetics who are on a weight loss exercise program must carefully plan the exercises they perform.
Diabetics who are on a weight loss program must keep their doctor regularly updated of their progress. A weigh loss program for diabetics must be approved by a registered dietitian or diabetic educator. In order for any weight loss program to work, it must be followed. So for diabetics, the only way they will be able to manage their diabetes is if they learn how to properly manage their weight.