Overweight and diabetes are a lethal combination. The poor patient has to do battle on two fronts – get rid of existing fat; adopt a highly restrictive diet in combination with drugs to combat diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important steps you can take to manage your diabetes. Diabetes and overweight can raise your blood glucose level and cause high blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart and circulatory problems.
Why overweight and diabetes don’t mix
Your weight can influence how easy it is to manage your diabetes and can make a difference to the type and dose of any medication you take. Diabetes and overweight makes controlling your blood glucose level, blood pressure and cholesterol more difficult and increases the risk of complications. Keeping your weight within the healthy weight category for your age, gender and height will bring about some semblance of normalcy to your life.
Overweight and diabetes: why body shape matters and how to calculate your risk factor
If you carry extra fat around your abdomen rather than around your hips, you have increased risk of developing heart and circulatory problems. Even if you are not in the healthy weight category, your risk of heart disease is reduced if you have less fat around your abdomen than around your hips.
Measure your waist and your hips at the widest points and divide your waist size by your hip size. For a man if the result is more than 0.9 and more than 0.85 for women, you have a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart related complications. The sooner you can get back to a healthy weight the better.
Overweight and diabetes – what causes weight gain?
Some people with diabetes and particularly those with type 2 tend to put on weight. There are a number of reasons why this might happen:
- Taking more insulin than required will trigger your body into storing glucose as glycogen in your liver and muscles and as fat beneath your skin. Your insulin dose should always be precisely calculated.
- Some of the prescribed tablets for diabetes have a known side effect – they trigger weight gain.
- Over indulgence in comfort food due to depression.
- Reduced activity level.
Diabetes and overweight – how to lose weight
The most effective approach to reaching a healthy weight is to eat less and add more physical activities to your daily routine. However, it is important that the weight loss be gradual so please do not resort to crash diets and crash weight loss courses as these can do more harm than good.
Aim to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. Losing weight is not a precise science so you might lose weight in the first week and none in the next. Don’t panic – your body is adjusting to the new routines you’ve set yourself. Follow the USDA recommended ‘Myplate’ dietary advice. Adopting portion control plates, bowls and glasses will make it easier. Ensure your diet always stays healthy, stick to your goals and you will reach your healthy weight target.
Introducing Precise Portions, a dietitian-designed portion control dinnerware system that makes it easy to eat well. Taking the guesswork out of healthier eating; retraining you to eat the right amounts of the right foods, in the right proportion. Improve your healthy eating habits and control your weight to prevent or improve chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. You can find more healthy eating information & practical tips on Precise Portions blog.