Do I Have to Be Friends with My Scale?
Whether you are prediabetic, recently diagnosed, or a long term type 2 diabetic, there’s no doubt your physician has spoken to you about obtaining a healthy weight. All you have to do is walk through the aisles at the grocery stores and browse the magazine titles to know that achieving a healthy weight is important for everyone, not just those with chronic illness. Here are some reasons we believe a healthy weight is so important and how you can accomplish it!
Science has told us for many years now that a healthy weight leads to longevity of life. This is because obesity puts us at risk for all kinds of health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, elevated cholesterol, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Carrying around extra weight can strain our organs, making it difficult for them to do their job to the fullest potential, leading to the need for assistance with medication or other lifestyle changes.
The BMI chart has been the standard for assessing a healthy weight. Your physician will calculate your BMI using your current height and weight. The goal is to be in the green. This indicates a healthy weight for height ratio and therefore decreased risk of developing chronic disease. It may seem unreachable to move to green if you are in the overweight or obese category, but doctors believe that any weight loss, even 10-15% can help decrease risk.1
Losing the weight
Weight loss has been widely studied as it pertains to diabetes. Many may find they are able to lose weight and improve their A1C for 6-12 months but they may later hit a plateau. This is no reason to stop trying. As mentioned previously, any amount of weight loss can be beneficial for longevity of life. “It is likely that early in the course of the disease process when insulin resistance is still prominent, either energy restriction or weight loss will improve blood glucose levels.”2 People that are long-term diabetics may instead have a goal of weight maintenance. Some diabetics may find it is harder to lose weight than for their non-diabetic counterparts. Bariatric surgery, increased physical activity and energy intake restriction have all been studied as weight loss tools for diabetes. Many people that undergo bariatric surgery may have rapid improvement in blood glucose as well as A1C levels, possibly due to the very restricted energy intake. Food restriction as well as increased exercise may be more available options for most patients. Speak with your physician if you have questions about your weight loss goals.
You may be tired of hearing it now but increasing your activity level can help in a wide range of ways when it comes to your diabetes management. Not only can it lead to weight loss, it can also lead to less insulin resistance and better blood glucose control. Physicians recommend we strive for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. You could try walking, biking, swimming, or your favorite sport. Ask a friend or family member to be your workout buddy to help make it easier to follow through. If you have any specific concerns about what kind of physical activity regimen is right for you, please speak with your doctor.
Tips to remember:
- Even small amounts of weight loss can be beneficial for longevity of life
- Reaching a healthy BMI is a great goal
- Physical activity is a great way to meet weight goals
Have you experienced any foot complications from diabetes?