Achieving weight loss can be tough in today’s food landscape given social eating and mass marketing of poor nutritional choices. Add insulin resistance to the picture and weight loss can be even more challenging. It is important to consider that weight loss of 5 – 7 % of total body weight can significantly reduce your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes. Therefore, if you weigh 200 lbs., by losing even 10 – 14 lbs., you can decrease your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. So, is it harder to lose weight if you have Type 2 diabetes? It can be more challenging but weight loss with Type 2 diabetes is possible.
People with Type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance, which means that normal metabolism has been disrupted. Therefore, when we look for tips for losing weight with Type 2 diabetes, fuel or energy utilization looks different from those without Type 2 diabetes. For weight loss to be effective, try to incorporate as many of the following tips as you can into your daily routine. Changing daily habits can be challenging so it is important that you stick with it and celebrate small successes! Remember even modest gains can impact health!
▪ Make the right dietary changes. Focus on eating whole foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and high-quality fats. Attempt to limit carbohydrates especially the “whites” (white pasta, breads, and flours). With a low carb diet, the body begins to use healthy fats & protein to become the primary source of energy and feed the cells. Additionally, with a low carb diet, blood sugar levels are more likely to stabilize.
▪ Intermittent Fasting is an effective method to lower blood sugar levels naturally. Intermittent fasting involves a simple strategy of eating only during a 10-12-hour window and then fasting the remaining 12-14 hours. This simple strategy is thought to help cells become more sensitized to insulin during the “eating window” and give the pancreas rest when not eating.
> An effective strategy commonly used is to quit eating after 6:00 p.m. and not resume eating until after 6:00 – 8:00 a.m. for a 12 – 14 hour fast!
▪ Stay Active. Regular exercise improves insulin sensitivity and helps lose weight. Aim for 30-45 minutes, of exercise daily. Research has now found that walking works as an additional treatment to reduce body weight and increase insulin sensitivity.
▪ Practice Relaxation Strategies. Healthy eating and exercise can be sabotaged if you are constantly under stress. Stress contributes to a pro-inflammatory state which can contribute to insulin resistance and obesity. Find relaxation techniques that work for you like walking, meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness throughout the day to relax.
▪ Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep and continual fatigue are stressors that can worsen insulin resistance. Prioritize sleep by aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep on a daily basis.
▪ Correct Nutritional Deficiencies. Nutritional imbalances like deficiencies in Vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids can all reduce insulin resistance and fuel weight gain.
▪ Use Herbs and Spices. Cinnamon has been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control along with adding great flavor to foods. Other spices shown to have positive effects with blood glucose are cloves, ginger, garlic, curry, sage, marjoram, ginseng, and fenugreek.
Written by Carrie Company