Weight Loss and Diabetes


As in all things health related discuss your course of action with your doctor/nurse/ dietician before embarking on a diet. You may have other health conditions that have to be taken into account.

Losing weight for diabetics has to be thought of in terms of controlling your blood sugars as well as reducing your food intake.

Many of the ‘ready- made’ diets such as Weight Watchers, South Beach etc may look good in terms of losing weight but they often have high carb levels in their meals even though they say they are suitable for diabetics.

Carbohydrates are what affects blood sugar levels and, in diabetes we have an inability to process the carbs properly because of some sort of damage to the pancreas be it total beta cell destruction as in Type 1’s or insulin resistance/deficiency in Type 2’s.

With those with insulin resistance there is too much insulin in the body because the pancreas produces more and more insulin to try and cope with the ingested carbs turning into glucose.

Carbs = glucose= insulin= fat.

If you eat too many carbs this will convert to glucose. This then requires insulin to try and lower the levels of glucose in your blood, either naturally produced or injected insulin. An excess of insulin in your blood stream then gets converted to fat. If you can break this cycle by firstly reducing the carb intake to lower levels you will then find that you can reduce the quantity of insulin that you need, this in turn will lower your blood sugar levels and also have the beneficial effect of reducing/stopping any fat production.

This is a simplification of the complex metabolic process going on inside each and every one of us.

For each and every one of us however the processing of these carbs will be different. Some can tolerate certain types of carbs with regards to blood sugar control and some can’t. It is only by keeping a food diary and a record of your blood sugar levels before and after a meal that we can gradually learn to work with our food so that the food helps us not hurts us.

Some small tips.

1.Portion control. You may think that your portions are ‘healthy’, for a week weigh everything out so that you get to know visually what a 30gm portion is (or whatever portion you are aiming at). Every month or so do this again as our eyes sometimes deceive us !!

2.Use a smaller sized plate. The plate looks full so you feel full as well.

3.Prepare as much of your food as possible yourself using fresh products that are as natural as possible. For instance fresh meat has little to no carbs whereas processed meat may have a lot of carbs.

4.Read the packets ! Look at the TOTAL carb content of the product this includes the sugars and gives you the proper carb value. Do not just look at sugars as this is misleading when you are diabetic.

5.Don’t beat yourself up if the weight loss stalls, it happens, keep to the diet and it will probably start again. Try increasing exercise if you are able, this increases metabolism and gets weight loss going again.

6.Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon now and again. We are all human and all do it now and again. You are changing your lifestyle. It takes time.

I used this method and lost three stone. This is just my experience.