By losing weight, people with type 2 diabetes can feel better and, in some cases, even be cured. Those who are affected shouldn’t punish themselves by starving themselves or going on crash diets. Only a healthy diet helps in the long run. There are a few easy rules to follow.
Everyone needs sugar to get energy to their body cells. When we eat carbs, our bodies break them down into sugar in the gut and send it to the blood. When the amount of sugar in the blood rises, the body makes insulin. With the help of this hormone, sugar in the blood can be sent to the muscle cells or temporarily stored in the liver. Insulin works like a key: it lets the sugar into the cells.
This mechanism is broken for people with type 2 diabetes. The insulin no longer works right in the cells, so they use less sugar. ” Insulin resistance” is the term for this. Because of this, the blood sugar level goes up, and the pancreas makes more and more insulin.
The problem is that insulin not only lowers blood sugar, but it also turns extra sugar into fat around the belly. In turn, having too much belly fat makes insulin resistance worse. Because fat cells release hormones that make muscle cells and the liver less sensitive to insulin. The good news is that if the fat in the belly is cut down, the cells can once again respond better to insulin.
Lose weight with the three-meal principle.
You don’t have to starve yourself or give up fun in order to lose weight. Most people can lose weight by eating three healthy meals a day and cutting back on snacks like cookies, chocolate, and chips that are high in sugar and calories.
Eating only three times a day has a big benefit: when you go longer without eating, your blood sugar level drops. Because of this, less insulin is made. Since insulin is a hormone that makes you gain fat, having low levels of insulin helps break down fat.
In theory, even two meals a day could be enough. Intermittent fasting is a way for people with type 2 diabetes to lose weight. For instance, you might skip breakfast or dinner and give your stomach 16 hours to rest. Recent studies have shown that intermittent fasting is a good way to lose weight and has many other health benefits as well.
But this way of fasting isn’t good for people who are more likely to get low blood sugar. This risk is especially high for people who inject insulin or take sulfonylurea pills. Before starting intermittent fasting, people with diabetes should talk to their doctor to see if there are any health risks.
Lots of vegetables, few carbs, good fat
Nutritionists recommend the plate principle, which states that half of a plate should be covered with vegetables, a quarter with protein-rich products, and a maximum of a quarter with carbohydrates. Bread is allowed, but only with one meal, in the form of high-fiber whole grain bread.
The most important details are that if you want to lose weight, you should eat 500 grams of vegetables every day, including herbs, nuts, and low-fructose fruit. Sugar should be avoided as much as possible, especially in sodas and sweet juices. Apple juice contains at least as much sugar as cola, and ready-made products from the supermarket contain added sugar.
Oil can be used without guilt, but it should be the right one. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those from rapeseed, linseed, and nut oils, are particularly recommended. Olive oil also has positive effects on health, but sunflower oil contains omega-6 fatty acids. Oatmeal can be used to combat insulin resistance, with 75 g of oat flakes boiled in water three times a day and smaller amounts of fruit, herbs, and vegetables.
Weight loss in small increments
If you want to lose weight, it makes sense that you would want to do it quickly. But this is even harder for people with diabetes than for healthy people, especially if they inject insulin or take medicine that makes insulin come out of their bodies more quickly. Because insulin makes it hard to lose fat.
Experts warn against expecting too much at once, as long-established eating habits cannot be changed overnight. Crash diets are discouraged, as pounds that are lost quickly are usually put back on. Patient people will be rewarded if they succeed in improving their diet over time.
Can you cure type 2 diabetes by losing weight?
Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with weight loss, according to a 2017 British DiRECT study. Almost half of participants were able to reduce their diabetes within a year, with 86 percent for those who lost 30 pounds. However, the effect is only permanent if you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What role does sport play in weight loss?
Sport is beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, improving blood sugar, blood pressure and lipid levels. However, it does not help with weight loss, as physical exertion leads to more hunger and appetite hormones being released, leading to more eating.