Diabetes And Weight Loss – The Healthy Way
For people with diabetes, weight loss can mean giving up insulin injections and other medications. Building a good weight loss plan for a person with diabetes is essential. There is no doubt that most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight and if they lose some pounds, they will have a lower level of blood sugar and a better overall health.
During the diet, blood sugar, insulin levels and drug usage should be monitored closely. Not making mistakes is very important, and the right way should be followed: regardless of a patient’s weight, blood sugar will drop even though the patient will only lose a few pounds. Some studies have shown that a combination of diet and exercise reduces the risk of developing diabetes by 58%. These included people who were overweight with an increased blood sugar level, but not so high in order to diagnose diabetes.
Weight loss of even a few pounds can lead to:
- Lower blood sugar
- Blood pressure values reduce;
- Improved cholesterol levels;
- Reduced pressure on the hip joints, knees, ankles and the legs.
In addition the patient will notice that he has more energy, is more mobile and can breathe more easily. If a person with diabetes follows a diet, fluctuations and changes in blood glucose should be checked carefully. Giving up a meal can affect the delicate balance of glucose, insulin and medication. It is therefore essential that all patients consult an expert when following a diet. It is best to consult with your doctor before starting the diet, and then seek the help of a nutritionist especially patients who are treated with insulin or oral hypoglycaemic medication.
A Balanced diet is important in patients with diabetes also patients are advised to avoid blood sugar imbalances. A lower energy intake by 500 calories a day is also recommended and cutting calories from all nutritional groups is the safest way to achieve this : proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is important that patients maintain a good percentage (balance):
- 50-55% carbohydrates
- 30% fat
- 10-15% protein.
Carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood sugar levels, because they are converted into glucose at the very beginning of digestion. The consumption of complex carbohydrates (blackened cereals and vegetables, for example) is a good thing because they are absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream and reduce the appearance of glycemic peaks. Giving up a part of carbohydrates – a common strategy people who want to lose weight adopt can be dangerous in patients with diabetes.
When the body does not receive the glucose it needs for metabolic processes, metabolic changes occur and lipids are burned (a process called ketosis). The person will feel less hungry and will eat less – but long term fat burning can have adverse effects on the body. Ketosis involves a decrease in oxygen transport to tissues, which overburdens the eyes, kidneys, heart and liver. This is why a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein (like Atkins) is not safe (recommended) for persons with diabetes. Diabetics need to maintain a balanced diet so that their body can use nutrients without triggering ketosis.
Problems that can occur with a diet in patients with diabetes
For any individual certain diets can be difficult, but patients with diabetes may find it to be more difficult as they must eat when blood sugar drops. It can be very difficult to reduce calorie intake when the patient must be careful to eat when blood sugar drops and prevent drug over-dosage. Both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are two important issues for people with diabetes.
Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) occurs when the amount of insulin the body is higher than it needs. In early stages, hypoglycemia can cause confusion, dizziness and tremors. In more advanced stages, hypoglycemia can be dangerous and it leads to fainting followed by coma. Hypoglycemia is common among dieters who want to lose weight, because reducing the number of calories affects blood sugar levels. If the patient does not reduce the dose of insulin or oral medication according with the new die, hypoglycemia is very probable.
Hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose) can occur when the patient uses lower doses of insulin than needed to control blood sugar levels. This occurs when patients with diabetes under insulin or hypoglycaemic medication therpay are not using the proper diet-dose treatment scheme.
The effect of exercise in diabetes
One benefit is that exercise helps maintain good blood sugar levels, so the patient should not cut too many calories during the diet. If the patient walks 20 minutes more per day, a reduction in the number of calories with only 200 or 300 calories each day and can still show good results. This way blood sugar levels can be adjusted. In addition, weight loss occurs gradually . It is important to remember that each type of exercise affects blood glucose levels in different ways.
Aerobic exercise can cause an immediate decrease in blood glucose levels. Weight lifting and exercise for muscle fortifying, may affect blood sugar levels several hours later. This can be a problem, especially in patients that rely on a car. Therefore, patients should check their blood sugar before they climb behind the wheel. It is also a good idea, as a diabetes patient to have snack in your car: fruits, biscuits, juice. It is recommend that patients monitor their blood sugar closely when doing exercise because physical activity leads to the blood,liver and muscles glucose consumption. Over time, if the patient maintains regular exercise, the dosage of hypoglycaemic agents and even doses of insulin will be reduced.
Starting the weight loss plan
Losing weight is never easy. Therefore, a nutritionist can develop a program that is tailored to the patient’s lifestyle, a program with realistic goals. Each patient needs a menu to follow every day, needs to know how to change the doses of insulin and medication based on what he eats and how much exercise he does, as this is the safest way to lose weight when suffering from diabetes.