Why You Need to Manage Your Weight If You Have Diabetes
One of the most prevalent chronic diseases in today’s age is diabetes. According to reports, 1 in 3 Canadians suffers from diabetes or pre-diabetes.
The disease has garnered prevalence in the last decade to the extent that in 2019 alone, more than 10 million Canadians were suffering from the disease.
This is only expected to multiply with every passing year. Many may consider diabetes a mild disease, however, diabetes often turns dangerous very quickly, making one susceptible to fatal complications such as cardiovascular diseases, nerve and kidney damage, to name a few.
In addition to taking medication, it is essential that patients who are diagnosed with diabetes (notwithstanding the type) alter their lifestyle to control their diabetes. If you are a diabetic and are wondering where to begin – start with managing your weight. Weight loss plays an integral role in controlling diabetes. Here are all the reasons why weight management should be the top priority of every diabetic.
Weight loss is the road to good health
Weight management is a life-long undertaking, a commitment that puts you to test every day. The results however, reward you with a healthier future. As a diabetic, your focus should be to reduce the weight around your waist. Extra fat around your waist indicates the build-up of fat around your body organs that can directly lead to a condition called insulin resistance.
If insulin does not get through the body, it causes high blood sugar. Your aim should to be to reduce your body weight at least 7%-10% — this will not only help reverse your diabetes, but also protect you from its adverse side-effects.
Diabetes, in its extreme forms can cause irreparable damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves and the heart, so it is essential that you regulate its impact on your body by maintaining your weight. For those with Type 2 diabetes, weight loss can do wonders to improve glucose, lipids and blood pressure in the body.
If you have prediabetes, which means that you have higher than normal blood sugar, but it is not high-enough to categorise you as a Type 2 diabetic, weight loss is the best medicine. Strong evidence suggests that increasing physical exercise and sticking to a strict diet can alone reduce the risks of the diabetes becoming more severe for at least ten years!
On reducing weight if you are a diabetic
There are a number of ways to regulate your weight if you’re a diabetic. But before you begin, you need to remember that working on your weight as a diabetic will be a life-long process. You will need to inculcate weight-loss activities in your daily routine for months and years to come.
Here are a few helpful ways to ensure weight loss:
- If you are a beginner, start with making minor changes to your routine and set small, achievable goals. Do not burden your body with high-intensity exercises; instead start with going for short walks.
- Spend at least 30 minutes every day to indulge in a physical activity.
- Consult a dietician or a certified diabetes educator who is aware of your condition and can help you create a suitable meal plan. It is essential that the meal plan is balanced with ingredients that offer your body sufficient nutrition and compels you to cut down on fat-foods.
- Fix your meal times. A meal plan will not help unless you have all your three meals at the same time every day. Fix a time and ensure that you follow it every day.
- Reduce your consumption of products that are high in calories. These include cheese, vegetable oil, white bread, sweets and beer, to name a few.
- Keeping a track of your progress is essential so that you can understand patterns and set your future goals. Remember to weigh yourself every two-weeks so that you can modify your diet and exercise.
- Most importantly, keep eating right and staying active even after you have achieved your target weight. Losing weight will not completely cure you of your diabetes, it will only help you reduce its negative impact on other parts of your body.
If you’re a diabetic or pre-diabetic but are only relying on medicines to cure you, you are likely to battle with the adverse side-effects that the disease brings with itself. It is essential that you re-programme your mind and inculcate discipline into your daily routine.
Diabetes is sure to change your life, but the extent to which it impacts you is completely in your hand. By simply following these seven steps and regularly taking your prescribed medication, you are guaranteed to lose or maintain your weight. Just a little effort to exercise and eating right will go a long way to keep you fit and healthy!