Managing your weight

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Around 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight at diagnosis. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, maintaining an ideal weight or losing weight if you are overweight will help you to manage your blood glucose levels.

How do I lose weight?

You do not need to achieve your ‘ideal weight’. A 5 - 10% weight loss will have health benefits such as reducing blood glucose, blood cholesterol and blood pressure. For example if you are 95 kg (15 stone) you need to aim for 9.5kg (1 ½ stone) weight loss.

Aim for a gradual weight loss of ½ to 1 kg (1 - 2lb) per week.

Evidence shows that a 15% weight loss can even put type 2 diabetes into remission.

Tips for weight loss

Weight loss depends upon eating less and being more active.

There is a lot of information on how to Eat Well, Move More and Live Longer on the NHS Change for Life website.

Long term weight loss and keeping the weight off is the key. Fad diets which offer a quick fix are often over restrictive and offer no benefits in the longterm.

  • Start by keeping a food diary to become more aware of what you eat and when.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and reduce your portion sizes.
  • Find a dietary approach that you can stick with
  • Reduce snacking

If you need to snack to prevent your blood glucose from dropping discuss this with your diabetes team as your medication may need to be adjusted. Also consider eating smaller portions at mealtimes so the snacks are not extra food- the food is just spread out over the day.

  • Fill up on vegetables and reduce portions of meat and starchy carbohydrates (for example potatoes and pasta).
  • Limit your alcohol intake as it is high in calories.
  • Monitor your weight weekly to keep your motivation up.
  • Increase your activity levels.

Some people find a slimming group or support group helpful. Ask your GP or practice nurse if they can refer you to one or if they can provide support within the surgery.

How do I gain weight?

If you are underweight it is still important that you eat a balanced diet. Try increasing your intake of nuts and monounsaturated fats.

More information

Diabetes structured education can help you learn more about your diet and managing your diabetes. Education courses are available across Worcestershire and you can also ask your GP or practice nurse to provide you with a login for Mapmydiabetes.