Whether you feel any of these risk factors describe your situation, or whether you feel you need to lose weight or not, if you have been classified as having prediabetes or diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes, then prevention or management of symptoms requires a complete change of lifestyle.
Reducing body weight (losing weight) can greatly improve how the body responds to the hormones that regulate blood glucose levels, potentially reversing your diagnosis. Exercise is one of the most effective methods of doing so, along with altering your diet and eating less overall. The trick is to do all three at once. Of course, here, I’m not suggesting eating less than your body needs, but rather cutting out the unnecessary calories that you don’t need.
Tips about How to Lose Weight
1. Planning: Eat Less While Doing More
Firstly, you must be realistic about your weight loss goals and have a detailed plan about what you want to achieve to avoid disappointment – both a dietary plan and an exercise plan. There is a fine line between being ambitious with goals, and overdoing it, so if you tend to be ambitious, then take it easy with your goal setting and time frames. Here it's essential to understand what weight you should be for your height, age, and gender. To determine this, consult Body Mass Index (BMI tables) and have your body fat assessed.
Start simply, in combination with the suggestions below, schedule brisk walking more often in your daily routine, while maintaining the same calorie intake you can lose weight. Exercising just 30 minutes a day while not consuming more you can greatly reduce excess calories and reverse your diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.
As you do some of the above, you will feel better, and consequently, you will most likely be able to do more and want to.
2. Drink More to Lose Weight
Often, when you feel hungry, you are actually thirsty. Drink a zero calorie, unsweetened beverage such as water or tea before resorting to eating food to see if it alleviates your hunger. Avoid sweetened soda at all times.
3. Eat and Sleep at the Optimal Time
Eating and sleeping to a fixed schedule are key to a healthy lifestyle. The schedule you choose should also meet certain criteria.
What this means is, don’t skip meals because routine is your friend. If you skip a meal usually you will end up eating more at the meal thereafter.
For breakfast, it is better to eat earlier rather than later, but if you aren't hungry when you wake, leave it a while, but no more than a few hours. This can be difficult to manage if your work schedule does not allow for it. Again once you select a breakfast time, stick to it.
Adjust your dinner time to 3 hours before going to bed to avoid snacking in the evening. Here it's important not to go to bed late because people tend to eat snacks when tired. So again, make your bedtime a fixed time, based on your own sleep needs.
Don’t deprive yourself of sleep, because when someone is mentally tired they tend to eat the wrong things and deprivation can lead to overeating the next day.
4. Change What You Eat
Try to change the content of your meals to include more green vegetables and less fatty meats. Educate yourself about what to eat by learning about the Mediterranean diet and use the diabetes plate methodology. Using recipes designed for people with diabetes (get 30 recipes for free), this can be of great assistance. If you enjoy meat, perhaps the best choice is to adopt a Mediterranean diet; this is because although this is predominantly a pescatarian diet consisting mostly of vegetables, tiny amounts of tasty meats are still used to add flavor to meals.
If you fancy, you can try adding superfoods to your diet, like Eucommia bark extract. It's an alternative medicine mostly used throughout Asia and it's used to help lower blood pressure and suppor the endocrine system. Some studies show it can be helpful even in diabetes management. It may help to reduce insulin resistance and improve renal fibrosis, so why not to try?
5. Educate Yourself about What to Eat Using the Glycemic Index
Here the glycemic index (GI) can be of great assistance because it is used by diabetics to determine how any food will impact blood glucose levels. Substitute your current habitual energy-dense foods for tasty foods with a high fiber ones (as they tend to have lower Glycemic Indexes as well) for significant body weight reduction over time.
6. Avoid Processed Foods
Not only are processed foods full of additives in order to add texture and flavor, but they are also high in fat and salt, and they pack a mean punch when it comes to calories. Low-calorie options use alternative natural or artificial sweeteners, many of which have been linked to many health issues. Avoid packaged snacks and make your own snack using whole foods.
7. Change How You Cook Your Food
Eat less oil-fried food, opting for boiled, or oven-cooked meals. Instead of oil frying, buy an air fryer; granted, - the cooked food tastes differently, but you’ll get used to it.
8. Learn How to Cook
We often resort to fast food when we are pushed for time, and this is usually in the absence of any decent, fast ‘n tasty recipe options or when your pantry is empty. If you know great recipes that taste great and plan ahead, you will be less likely to eat the wrong things.
9. Write a Fortnightly Food Plan
Another obvious reason we end up eating the wrong thing is that we naturally opt for the easiest, tastiest option available, especially when you don’t know what to eat, i.e., this usually occurs when nothing is planned. So plan ahead, and know what you want to eat for every meal - every day.
This doesn’t stop you from changing the schedule if you don’t feel like a particular scheduled meal; rather, it should be swapped to another mealtime.
10. Shop Infrequently
By writing a fortnightly food plan, you will be able to write a more accurate shopping list. Shop for the items you need, make an allowance for a few tasty treats, but stick to the plan. You’ll lose weight and save money by preventing repeat trips to pick up forgotten items.
Weight Loss Conclusion
Do these ten things, and you will lose weight, feel better and potentially reverse your prediabetes or type 2 diabetes diagnosis. If you feel you do the above suggested things already and feel stuck, search for a dietitian to help you further. Creating meal plans can feel overwhelming and so it's always advisable to seek professional help.