Is Your Belly Like a Bowl Full of Jelly?

How To Lose Belly Fat When Living with Type 2 Diabetes

Of course genetics play a role in our health. They give us the genes that predispose us to a certain hair color, eye color, even height. But did you know that they also affect our body shape? You may have heard that body shape is important when thinking about health risks. Let’s see how your body shape could be affecting you.

What are the different body shapes?

There are two different body shapes that are used when discussing health risks: apple and pear. An apple shaped body carries extra weight through the middle of the body, right in the abdomen. A pear shaped body carries the weight lower, through the hips, leaving a smaller waistline. So which do you think is healthier? If you guessed pear, you are correct! An apple shaped body puts you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

I already have diabetes

If you already have diabetes, there are still reasons to decrease your abdominal fat. “An excess of belly fat ups your risk for numerous health problems, including heart disease, colon cancer, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. For people who already have diabetes, complications such as blindness and heart trouble are more likely with too much abdominal fat.”1 Two studies were done that also showed that people with diabetes and excess abdominal fat were also at higher risk for kidney disease.2 This is a problem as people with diabetes are already at high risk for kidney disease. “Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney disease. If you have an abundance of fat concentrated in your midsection, you have a higher risk for diabetic kidney disease, the study authors conclude.”2

What can I do about excess belly fat?

Although genetics plays a large role in where we gain weight, losing weight can still be helpful in decreasing your risks of heart disease and other diabetes complications. Here are some tips for trying to lose some weight. Even overall weight loss should lead to some abdominal shrinking. Here are a few tips when trying to lose weight.

Increase physical activity

Any increase in your activity level should help lead to weight loss. Be sure to speak with your physician before starting a fitness regimen. Simple ways to up your exercise may be taking small walks around the block or through the mall.

Make healthier eating choices

Try choosing vegetables over potato chips or other processed foods. Not only are they lower in calories but they also help you feel more full and satisfied!

Watch portion sizes

Remember that a serving of chicken should be the size and thickness of a deck of cards, your portion of pasta should be about the size of the front of your clenched fist, and one cup of non-starchy vegetables should be the size of a baseball.

You may not be able to change your body’s shape, but you can decrease the amount of abdominal fat leading to a decrease in diabetes complications!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
View References
  1. Diabetes Forecast. Belly Fat Raises Your Risk of Diabetic Kidney Disease (February 2017). Retrieved September 21, 2018, from http://www.diabetesforecast.org/diabetes-discovery/pi/belly-fat-raises-your-risk-of-diabetic-kidney-disease.html
  2. Abdominal Obesity Is More Closely Associated With Diabetic Kidney Disease Than General Obesity Jinbo Hu, Shumin Yang, Aipin Zhang, Ping Yang, Xueting Cao, Xiyue Li, Richa Goswami, Yue Wang, Ting Luo, Kun Liao, Qingfeng Cheng, Xiaoqiu Xiao, Qifu Li. Abdominal Obesity Is More Closely Associated With Diabetic Kidney Disease Than General Obesity Diabetes Care Oct 2016, 39 (10) e179-e180; DOI: 10.2337/dc16-1025

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