Dietingdirection.com – Individuals with type 2 diabetes are often recommended to lose weight. Attempting to lose weight while managing this chronic condition can be a challenge, however. Your doctor may offer instructions to help you lose weight and manage your diabetes, although these guidelines explain how to shed pounds without harming your health.
Counting carbohydrates is a common technique used to manage your diabetes by controlling blood glucose levels. Carbs increase your blood glucose, so it’s important to keep track of how many carbohydrates you consume and don’t go over your limit. The American Diabetes Association recommends 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates per meal, so make sure you remember to read nutritional labels on food.
1. Stick to Calorie Intake Guidelines
To successfully lose weight you’ll need to lower the amount of calories you take in each day. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse has guidelines in place to help you decide an appropriate daily level of calories for weight loss. For men, consume between 1,600 and 2,000 calories per day. Women should eat between 1,200 and 1,600 calories per day. Never go below these recommended levels, as research has shown that cutting too many calories from your diet can slow down your metabolism. Eating too few calories can also harm your overall health by putting your body into starvation mode. This puts you at risk for heart problems, low blood pressure, gallstones, dizziness, hair loss and a range of other issues.
2. Use Portion Control
Measuring cups and even a kitchen scale are helpful tools to help you eat correct portion sizes at each meal. Portion control is very important to manage diabetes by ensuring you get enough nutrients without getting too many carbohydrates. It’s helpful to remember that a portion of meat is the size of a deck of cards, a 1/2 cup serving of pasta or rice is equivalent to a tennis ball and 1 teaspoon of butter is the size of a small dice.
3. Small, Regular Meals
With type 2 diabetes, it’s crucial to eat small meals throughout your day to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Never go more than 6 hours without eating. If you’re traveling or away from home, carry small snacks like nuts to keep your blood sugar levels from dropping or spiking dangerously until you’re ready to have a meal.
4. Eat Plenty of Fiber
Fiber is a carbohydrate but it is not digested by the body. Unlike sugar and starches, fiber will not increase your blood sugar level. Research has shown it actually has the ability to help regulate blood sugar levels, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study found that diabetics who consumed 50 grams of fiber daily controlled their blood glucose levels better than diabetics who ate a lot less. Fiber can also help you feel full, which is an important tool to help you lose weight and consume less calories each day. Eat foods made from whole grains, including whole-grain pasta, bread, brown rice, and quinoa.
5. Eat Vegetables Daily
Vegetables are very low in calories and good for any weight loss diet, although they’re particularly helpful for diabetics because they’re low in carbs. Attempt to eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables daily including green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and carrots.
6. Replace Fatty Desserts with Fruit
With diabetes, it’s important to avoid calorie-, fat- and sugar-laden desserts like cake and brownies. Instead, make fruit a healthy and filling dessert. Fruit is high in fiber yet low in calories. Keep in mind many fruits are high in carbohydrates, though, so it’s still important to count the carbohydrates you eat from fruit. Look for diabetic-friendly dessert recipes to incorporate low-carb fruits into your diet.
7. Good Fat versus Bad Fat
Type 2 diabetes increases the risk for heart disease so it’s important to avoid unhealthy fats like trans and saturated fats, commonly found in processed foods and meat. Monounsaturated fats, on the other hand, are shown to have heart-healthy benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods like olive oil, avocados, fish, and almonds, so make these foods an important part of your diet.
8. Use an Exercise Program
Finally, you’ll need to get regular exercise to lose weight, regardless of diabetes. With the condition, however, it’s important to check your blood sugar before and after working out. Always incorporate a warm-up and cool-down period with your workouts and try something low-impact like walking. Along with aiding in weight loss, exercise will help to manage your blood sugar levels.