Weight Loss and Type 2 Diabetes

Being overweight or obese is a known risk factor for various conditions such as heart disease, cancer, mental illnesses such as clinical depression and anxiety, and developing or advancing type 2 diabetes. Nearly 9 out of 10 people who have diabetes are obese.

Losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge for many people. Having type 2 diabetes may make losing weight more challenging because insulin resistance and other medications can cause weight gain in some patients. But if a patient has type 2 diabetes and carries extra weight, it is a significant advantage to lose those extra pounds. Losing weight and reaching a plateau is normal and does not mean a loss of willpower or discipline. A weight plateau often comes with the progression of type 2 diabetes. Doctors may adjust treatment plans according to the needs of the patient.

Reaching the ideal body mass index (BMI) is recommended for people with diabetes. Research states that 15% or more of body weight can have disease-modifying effects on patients with type 2 diabetes, and patients can’t get this effect with other glucose-lowering interventions. For patients suffering from obesity, reaching the ideal BMI might not be realistic. Losing even 5% of body weight can positively impact overall health.

Six Ways to Lose or Maintain Weight With Diabetes

Here are some ways that might help you feel and stay motivated to lose weight.

Start Small
Reaching small, realistic goals can help you see progress sooner. These goals can also become a habit that can improve your routine.

Improve Eating Habits
Schedule your meals (don’t skip breakfast!), cut your calorie intake and increase your fiber intake. Consult your doctor to find the right mix for you.

Move More
You don’t have to be sweating in the gym for hours. You can take a walk after dinner, park farther away from your destination or take the stairs when possible. These may seem small, but they can significantly improve your health over time.

Engage in Positive Self-Talk
Words matter. How you talk to yourself influences how you think and act. If you miss your routine once or twice, remind yourself that it’s okay. It’s just a setback, and you can do better next time.

Find Support
Staying motivated can become challenging when you’re alone. There are various support groups online and offline that can help you stay motivated.


Type 2 diabetes needs treatment and management with a doctor. You can increase your wellbeing by having a healthy diet and remaining physically active.

Find a Doctor

American Diabetes Association
Centers for Disease Control
Science Daily
Medical News Today

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