Can Losing Weight Get Rid Of Diabetes
New research has found that the more weight you lose, the more likely type 2 diabetes will go away.
Diabetes that goes away is good. But whats most important is diabetes that stays away. From the physicians and dietitians at the Pritikin Longevity Center, get key facts on how to lose weight and lose diabetes permanently.
Can losing weight get rid of type 2 diabetes? Yes. In fact, important new research published in The Lancet has found that the more weight you lose, the more likely type 2 diabetes will go away.
How Does Refined Sugar And Flour Make Us Fat
Your body, digestive tracts and hormones are designed to process natural sugars, like those in fruits and vegetables. Refined sugar and flour affect our bodies differently than natural sugars:
- Natural sugars consist of long chain sugar molecules complex carbohydrates which are usually wrapped in fiber. Your body needs time to unwrap complex carbs to convert them to energy. This process breaking down complex carbs into smaller pieces so they can be absorbed and digested helps you feel full.
- Processed sugar and white flour consist of short chain sugar molecules simple carbs. Theyre not wrapped in fiber and are already broken into easily digestible pieces. Simple carbs are absorbed quickly by the body and cause a fast, substantial increase in blood sugar also called a sugar spike.
When we eat, our bodies secrete lots of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that directs sugar and calories to be burned for energy or stored in our fat cells as part of our normal, healthy body process.
Our bodies are time programmed to keep insulin in our bloodstreams long enough to break down carbohydrates. But our bodies cant immediately tell whether weve eaten healthy food or junk food, so even though simple carbs are absorbed quickly, the insulin hangs around and keeps lowering your blood glucose levels.
What happens when you have low blood sugar? You get hungry.
Weight Loss Can Normalize Blood Sugar
For DiRECT, the researchers recruited participants who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 6 years from the start of the trial.
For the study, the volunteers were randomly split into two groups: some were assigned best-practice care, acting as the control group, while others joined an intensive weight management program while still receiving appropriate care for diabetes.
After 1 year from the start of the trial, 46 percent of those assigned to the weight loss program had managed to recover and maintain normal blood sugar levels.
According to the researchers, the participants in the second group who did not achieve these results had not lost enough weight to do so, but still it remained unclear why their metabolisms had not responded to the regimen in the same way.
Now, Taylor and team suggest that the people who responded well to the weight loss program showed early, sustained improvement in the functioning of a type of pancreatic cell known as beta cells, which are tasked with the production, storage, and release of insulin.
And in this idea lies a new challenge to previously held beliefs specialists had always thought that, in type 2 diabetes, pancreatic beta cells are destroyed, contributing to the development of the condition.
This observation carries potentially important implications for the initial clinical approach to management, notes Taylor.
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Intermittent Fasting Extreme Calorie Reduction Or Skipping Meals
Any diet that promotes fasting for long periods can cause low blood sugar. Even if you arent taking diabetes medication, its important to maintain consistent eating patterns for weight management and blood sugar control. Be aware of how much you eat at any one time to avoid spiking your blood sugar.
Any weight loss diet that preaches very low caloric intake can also increase the risk of low blood sugar and reduced muscle mass. The bottom line: These kinds of diets should be supervised by your doctor.
Benefits Of Losing Extra Weight
There are so many benefits to losing extra weight both physically and emotionally.
Extra weight around your waist means fat can build up around your organs, like your liver and pancreas. This can cause something called insulin resistance. So losing this weight could help the insulin you produce or the insulin you inject work properly.
And as you start to lose weight and get more active, you and your healthcare team may need to look at your medication, especially if you treat your diabetes with insulin or sulphonylurea. This might mean reducing the dose or making other adjustments, but talk to your healthcare team about it. For some people, needing fewer diabetes medications is a great motivation for losing weight.
Although getting type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with weight, losing any extra weight will help you reduce your risk of complications and could mean injecting less insulin.
And if you have type 2 diabetes, losing around 5% of your body weight can have real benefits for your health. If you have obesity, you are more likely to put your diabetes into remission if you lose a larger amount of weight,15kg , as quickly and safely as possible following your diagnosis. This could mean coming off your diabetes medication completely a life-changing possibility. This is even more likely if you lose the weight nearer to your diagnosis and quickly. It’s a myth that losing weight slowly is better for you.
Douglas Twenefour, our Deputy Head of Care and dietitian
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Ask Yourself: Is It Hunger Or Habit
Analyze your home and work environment. Do you have easy access to high-calorie, sugary foods? Do you snack because youre hungry or because you saw someone else eating?
When and how much you eat may make a difference as well. Many newer studies say its beneficial to eat more food earlier in the day and then less as the day goes on, Dunn adds. If youre skipping meals all day and then eating dinner and snacking all night, that may be why youre not achieving your goals.
Wheres All The Sugar Coming From
You dont have to have a sweet tooth to be eating too much sugar.
Processed foods are Americans main source of sugar. These foods have been altered from their natural state so they look and taste good when theyre stored on supermarket shelves. Fat, salt and most importantly sugar are added in large quantities to most processed foods. In other words, theyre the opposite of the untouched, natural foods our grandparents lived on.
Its easy to find foods that are made with the worst ingredients you can eat refined sugars and white flours. Bread, pasta, soda, fast food, gourmet coffee drinks and cereal bars may taste good, but the amount of sugar in our food is making us fat, diabetic and miserable.
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What Is The Glycemic Index Scale
Have you ever wondered why certain foods make you feel full, while others leave you feeling hungry? The Glycemic Index scale is a measure of how quickly glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream.
High GI foods have a higher carbohydrate content which enter your system quickly and cause rapid rises in blood sugar levels, which are followed by drops that could leave you wanting another sweet or starchy treat. The GI scale was developed by researchers at the University of Toronto in 1981 to help people manage blood sugar levels and combat diabetes .
Low GI foods are slowly digested, releasing glucose into the bloodstream gradually, leaving you feeling fuller for longer .
There is no universal definition of what constitutes a low or high food on the GI scale it all depends on the type and amount of carbohydrate present within a particular food.
For example, boiled potatoes usuall have a higher glycemic index than mashed potatoes because theres more carbohydrate in them likewise, fruit juice has a higher GI rating than pieces of whole fruit because it contains more carbohydrates per serving. Some protein-based foods like dairy products also have a significant impact on the overall rating certain foods have.
Getting Blood Sugar Back To Normal
The good news: When we shed the body fat, insulin often starts working again. Thats because our bodys cells often start working again. Their doors kick open when insulin comes calling. Once again, insulin can ferry glucose out of the bloodstream and into our cells. As a result, blood glucose falls into healthy, normal ranges.
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Why High Carbohydrate Diets Alone Dont Work
Lets begin with our protein hormone insulin the center of discussion. Insulin is a hormone in the body that allows the uptake of glucose into the cells for energy metabolism and blood sugar balance. . Higher doses of insulin in the body, whether Type 1 diabetic or not, will help to build muscle as well as aid in the storage of adipose tissues .
If you are a Type 1 diabetic this may seem fairly obvious, that as you increase the carbohydrates in your diet so too does this cause variability in your blood sugar. Consuming 55% or more of your total calorie needs from carbohydrate dramatically increases the insulin that you must take. Increased daily doses and round the clock insulin on board can lead to more carbohydrate metabolism from foods you eat and from glycogen stored in your muscles. These higher levels of insulin throughout the day leave little time when fat from the body can be burned and or metabolized. Keep in mind, insulin tells the body to store fat and burn glucose or glycogen from the muscles .
In my experience with our T1 diabetic athletes, its rare that they ever bonk as most will learn with coaching how to track their total daily doses and make sure they have enough gas in the tank to drive across town. Total carbohydrates should flex up on more active days and ramp down for inactive ones, simple as that.
Losing Weight And Insulin Resistance
Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body and helps your cells convert blood sugar into energy. In some people with diabetes, however, blood sugar levels are high for a sustained period of time, causing the pancreas to produce more and more insulin. Eventually, the cells stop responding to that insulinbecoming insulin resistant. Losing weight with insulin resistance is more difficult because your body converts blood sugar into fat instead of energy.
The solution? For a start, reducing the sugar and processed carbohydrates in your diet while increasing healthy fats along with vegetables and whole grains. Even a small improvement can make a big difference. Studies show that a weight loss of just 57 percent is enough to reduce the risk of diabetes by 58 percent in a person who has a high risk of the condition.
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If You Dont Have Diabetes
Your blood sugar can fall if you wait too long to eat, such as if youâre fasting. It can also happen about 4 hours after a meal. This is reactive hypoglycemia. Or you might have symptoms similar to hypoglycemia if you have postprandial syndrome. This syndrome happens if you eat a lot of simple carbs and your body releases too much insulin to deal with it.
Use these tips to avoid having your blood sugar drop too low from either cause:
Eat small meals and snacks spread throughout the day. Aim for every 3-4 hours.
Stick with healthy eating habits. This should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and sources of lean protein. The fiber in plant foods, along with lean protein, will give you lasting energy and wonât crash your blood sugar. If you plan to eat or drink something sweet, do so as part of a balanced meal.
Limit caffeine. Its effects can mimic hypoglycemia symptoms.
Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia, especially if you have a drink without eating something. If you drink, keep it moderate: no more than one serving a day for women or two for men. A serving is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. And donât drink on an empty stomach.
How Much Weight Do I Have To Lose To Lower My Risk Of Diabetes
If you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, then losing 5-10 percent of your body weight can help improve your blood sugar numbers. If you are pre-diabetic and can lose this weight, you will lower your risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent.
In addition to helping you lose weight, exercise can improve your blood sugar numbers. Learn more about our weight loss services, as well as management of metabolic disorders.
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Weight Loss Options For Diabetes
For many people with diabetes, exercise and dietary changes arent enough to lose significant weight. Here are some other weight-loss approaches that work:
Medically managed weight loss. This approach involves a team of health care providers, including physicians, nutritionists and more, who create a weight-loss program uniquely suited to you. Support includes a reduced calorie diet that may feature meal-replacement products such as OPTIFAST®, an exercise plan, behavioral counseling and medication.
Weight loss medications. There are many types of weight loss medicationssome work by making you feel less hungry, others by making it harder for the body to absorb fat. Its important that you follow your doctors advice, as some diabetes and weight loss medications have serious side effects. Weight loss medications are typically prescribed and monitored through a medical weight loss program.
Bariatric surgery. Also known as weight loss surgery, this approach permanently alters the digestive tract to limit the amount of food you can eat at one time. It has proven to be an effective option, particularly for people with diabetes. Like any significant surgery, there are risks that you should weigh. There are also some lifestyle changes that go along with this type of surgery. Consult your doctor to see if bariatric surgery is right for you.
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How Diabetes Can Cause Weight Loss
Insulin is a hormone the body produces to absorb sugar, or glucose, from the foods you eat. Insulin converts sugar into energy that fuels your brain, muscles, and the rest of your body.
If you have diabetes, your body either doesnt make enough insulin or it cant effectively use the insulin it does make. As a result, the sugar stays in your bloodstream instead of being converted into energy, and your blood sugar rises.
Because the sugar stays in your blood, your body doesnt get the fuel it needs. As a result, it begins burning fat and muscle for energy, which can result in unexplained weight loss.
The most common types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin because the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells. Type 1 diabetes often develops in early childhood.
With Type 2 diabetes, the body doesnt produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to it. This type of diabetes often occurs later in life and is thought to develop due to lifestyle factors such as being overweight and inactive as well as genetic factors.
Why A Balanced Low
Given that there are positive aspects of both a high carbohydrate and high fat diet, the combination and timing aspect brings together the better of these two approaches and is furthermore enhanced when you introduce activity. The key is to use insulin timing, which is the same as timing carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Insulin has a leveraged effect at various times of our day and especially around activity. Lets look at an example:
You plan to do an activity first thing in the morning, whether its a walk, a run or bike ride. How much do you eat?What do you eat? For any activity less than 60 minutes, its perfectly okay to eat nothing. The reason for this is that your body has an amount of stored up glucose that it can access for approximately an hour. This means you dont need to consume carbohydrate immediately to sustain this activity and it also means you wont need insulin prior to or during which means you can burn more fat.
If you are in fact hungry and need to eat prior to your activity, you should consume a small amount of good fats to satiate you until you can have your first meal of the day. Good lean proteins also work well in this way however for Type 1s, some amount of insulin may be necessary which can make the fat burning session less successful.
Whether you are very active or lightly active the balanced approach should mix the macronutrients as follows.
Less Active Individuals % of total daily calorie needs
- Carbohydrate 30-40%
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