Question: I'm having problems losing weight with diabetes, what can I do?
Quick answer: 3 simple yet effective ways to boost weight loss with type 2 diabetes include keeping a food diary, eating a lower carb diet, and exercising more. Read on for details.
Let's face it, losing weight is hard. Losing weight when you have diabetes can be even harder because of foot pain, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, and the list goes on.
Sometimes it may feel like there are a hundred barriers standing between you and your weight loss goals, but there are some weight loss habits that are scientifically shown to help people lose weight (and hopefully keep it off).
Now let's get down to business and talk about those helpful habits…
One thing to remember is that everyone is different and no one thing works for all people when it comes to weight loss.
But keeping that in mind, there are some basic things you can do to help kick start your weight loss journey. Here are a few ideas…
Start by Keeping a Food Diary
A great starting point would be to look at what and how much you are eating throughout the day. We often think we eat healthy until we focus on every single thing we put in our mouth.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks…all these need to be accounted for.
What about that small piece of candy you had this afternoon….it was so small that probably isn’t worth noting, right?
Wrong! All of it counts.
Those little tastes of something here and there add up to the calories that we consume during the day. If you take in too many calories, then that can lead to weight gain or work against your weight loss efforts and cause you to maintain your weight.
Keeping a food log may open your eyes to certain eating habits like mindless snacking, large portions, or a diet high in processed foods (versus whole foods). A change in these habits could lead to a decrease in calories and aid in weight loss.
For a review healthier food choices, see our weight loss food list.
Is There a Best “Diet” for Weight Loss?
This may have you wondering if there is a certain eating style you “should” be following.
When we analyzed various studies, we found that the low carb diet led to higher average weight loss compared to low fat, Mediterranean, and vegan diets.
Here at DMP, we do promote the low carb style of eating with our meal plans, but we know that diets are not one size fits all.
A good general rule, even within the guidelines of a low carb diet, is to choose more whole foods and avoid the junk.
A person on a low carb diet who snacks on pork rinds and eats processed foods may not have as positive an outcome as a person following another diet who is eating mostly whole foods.
Remember, eat real food. That often works miracles on the body.
Get Your Body Moving
Another weight loss barrier to be mindful of is whether you are more active or sedentary. This too is an area that we may not be aware of until we track it.
Those who track their physical activity along with food intake and weight may experience more weight loss.
A 2017 study found that participants who experienced a higher percentage of weight loss had more days per week logging their food, more activity minutes per week, more steps per day and more weigh-ins per week.
If you find that you are not as active as you thought, then a good starting point could be to decrease sedentary behavior and increase light physical activity.
Don’t sit longer than thirty minutes at a time, stand and walk during commercial breaks, park further away in parking lot, take the stairs…..we all know these little movements and tips. They seem small, but these active minutes add up during a week.
Check out our tips on exercise for the benefits of physical activity, examples of exercise and things to consider before starting a program.
We all want the quick fix pill, but the truth is there is no magic secret to weight loss.
Go back to the basics of healthy eating and regular activity. Set goals for yourself to keep you motivated.
If you need more support, join us as a member – we are there with meal plans each week and support from nutritionists and other members in the community.