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Why is it Relentlessly Hard to Lose Weight in Diabetes?


If weight and size have been your struggle, finding the right reasons and technique for you can bring you success. Over half of European and American women and two thirds of the men are overweight or obese, even though we’re bombarded with idealised images of thin people. Most of us would like to be a healthy weight, yet we struggle to lose and keep off even a few pounds.

In Type 1 Diabetes excessive insulin (which is a fat storing hormone) can cause weight gain, whereas with Type 2 Diabetes, you have to lose weight while improving your glycemic index at the same time.

Why is Obesity on the rise?

Life has changed – we snack, graze and eat out more, constantly encounter high calorie convenience foods, sugary drinks and our work, social and emotional lives often revolve around food and alcohol.

We’ve also been steered towards high sugar substitutes for high fat foods and are less active, thanks to cars, computers and labour-saving machines.

Weight loss may not be a simple matter of eating less and moving more. Our brains can mistake dieting for starvation and try to make us eat/conserve more energy. Researchers are increasingly saying that hormones (chemical messages) between our stomachs and our brains can affect whether we feel hungry or full and the way we store energy (calories).

Why is being overweight so bad?

Being obese can sap our self esteem and lower energy levels.

We may feel ‘fat but fit’; however, European researchers recently said that even if our blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels are normal, being overweight still increases heart disease risks by 25%.

We’re also more likely to develop diabetes, breast, womb and other cancers, as well as osteoarthritis, limiting the length and/or quality of our lives.

What’s my BMI?

Check your body mass index (BMI your height in metres multiplied by itself, divided into your weight in kilograms). If it’s 25 or above, you’re overweight. At 30, you’re obese and above 39.9 means morbid obesity — although ranges can be misleading as muscles are heavier than fat.

Being apple-shaped means excess fat around your internal organs. Try to lose weight if your waist size exceeds 80cm (for women), 94cm for men.

The Best Diet

Although rapid weight loss (such as very low-calorie diets) is encouraging, losing several stones can take months or years. So it’s more important to find a long-term, healthier way of eating that satisfies you, is affordable, suits your lifestyle and provides all the nutrients you need — the best diet is the one you can stick to! If you have medical or mental health problems, or are morbidly obese, ask your GP whether psychological therapy or weight loss surgery could help.

Fasting (no snacking, and/or prolonging the time between your evening meal and breakfast) can help blood and insulin levels and other metabolic processes. Reduce carbohydrates, sugar (starchy foods) and opt for whole fruit and veg, rather than juices and smoothies.

10 Ways for Diabetics to Stay Motivated

1. List the reasons you want to lose weight, problems you may face and how to overcome them.

2. Weigh and measure yourself. Aim to lose a pound a week.

3. Use a smartphone app to record your progress and what you eat.

4. Try photographing everything you eat and eating in front of a mirror.

5. Find a weight-loss ‘buddy’, join a support group, plan meals in advance and limit ‘no/sometimes’ foods.

6. Allow yourself a daily treat — a few squares of 85% cocoa solids chocolate or a small glass of wine.

7. The occasional ‘day off’ (for example, eating out) can boost your mood and metabolism.

8. Exercise every day for example, 30 minutes of brisk walking.

9. Stress-bust using relaxation techniques, mindfulness or a warm bath, instead of comfort eating/drinking.

10.  Don’t despair when you have lapses — draw a line and start again tomorrow.

E270 – Why is it Relentlessly Hard to Lose Weight in Diabetes? –

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