Losing weight in diabetes-Strategies, and Benefits

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Diabetes is a hormonal, metabolic disorder caused by high blood sugar levels, which can influence an individual’s body weight. There is a complex relationship between diabetes and weight, and it varies depending on the type of diabetes—type 1 or 2. Here, we will try and understand the intricate interplay between diabetes and weight, discussing how each type of diabetes affects body weight and the methods for losing weight in diabetes.

So, Read this complete guide on losing weight while managing diabetes.

Understanding Diabetes and Its Impact on Weight

Diabetes mellitus is a long-lasting condition that occurs when the body fails to produce a hormone called insulin that helps to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. Due to this, blood sugar levels can become uncontrolled, leading to various health complications over time.

Also Read: 6 Ways to Lower Your Insulin Levels

Type 1 Diabetes

A person having type 1 diabetes experiences unintended weight loss. This occurs because the immune system mistakenly targets the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, glucose cannot be regulated and never reaches the cells to provide energy. Consequently, the body resorts to breaking down fat and muscle tissues for energy, leading to weight loss. Unintentional weight loss in type 1 diabetes should not be used for weight management as it can lead to severe health complications, including diabetic ketoacidosis.

Also Read: Effective Teas for Easy Weight Loss

Type 2 Diabetes

A person having type 2 diabetes is often overweight or obese. In this form of diabetes, the body’s cells do not respond adequately to insulin. To compensate for this resistance, the pancreas increases insulin production. However, the pancreas may become exhausted, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Excess weight can increase the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and exacerbate the management of blood sugar levels.

Benefits of Weight Loss in Diabetes Management

For individuals with type 2 diabetes, managing body weight is important to control blood sugar levels. Weight loss can be achieved through exercise, lifestyle changes, and medications, which offer certain advantages.

  • Reduced Insulin Resistance: Weight loss helps combat insulin resistance, making reaching target blood sugar levels easier.
  • Enhanced Energy and Mood: Shedding excess weight often leads to increased energy levels and improved mood.

  • Improved Mobility: Carrying excess weight can strain joints and hinder mobility. Losing weight in diabetes improves mobility and makes you fit and flexible.

  • Healthier Cholesterol Levels: Weight loss helps in lowering the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes.

  • Reduced Risk of Complications: Lowering weight effectively can reduce the chances of developing diabetes-related health issues, such as heart disease or kidney problems.

It is also observed that weight loss can restore blood sugar levels to normal, eliminating the need for certain type 2 diabetes medications.

Also Read: Easy Homemade Drinks to Lose Weight fast

Managing Weight in Diabetes: Medications and Beyond

Effective weight management in diabetes often involves a multifaceted approach that includes lifestyle modifications, physical activity, and, in certain instances, medications. Here are some key considerations for weight management:

Diabetes Medications: Some diabetes medications can aid in weight loss. These include:

Metformin: This commonly prescribed diabetes medication not only helps control blood sugar but may also contribute to weight loss.

GLP-1 Agonists: GLP-1 RAs, including dulaglutide (Trulicity), exenatide extended-release (Bydureon), liraglutide (Victoza), and liraglutide (Ozempic), lower blood sugar levels.

SGLT2 Inhibitors: Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors are another helpful class of medications. They include canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance).

Medication Adjustment: As individuals with diabetes lose weight, their medication must be adjusted. Weight loss may also reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar levels. It is essential to work closely with a healthcare professional to adjust diabetes medications as needed to prevent low blood sugar.

Also Read: Supplements to Loose Weight & Gain Muscle

Effective Strategies for Weight Management in Diabetes

If you wish to lose weight, adopting an approach that combines a balanced diet with regular physical activity is essential. Even a small change in your diet can greatly impact weight. Here are some of the points to consider:


A balanced diet is fundamental for weight management and blood sugar control. You can plan your meals with the following points:

Fill half your meal with non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Allocating one-quarter of your plate to lean protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu, tempeh, or beans.

Devoting the remaining quarter of your plate to complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole grain bread or pasta, and low-fat dairy products.

Opt for water or unsweetened tea.

Avoid high-sugar, high-fat, or heavily processed foods like candy, cookies, cakes, fast food, and fried items.


Regular physical activity is integral for weight management and overall well-being. Consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. Start with small goals, like walking for 10-20 minutes a day; once you develop a habit, you can increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time.

Research indicates that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes each week can improve blood sugar control and weight loss. Aerobic exercises include walking, running, swimming, dancing, hiking, and playing a sport. To stay motivated, consider joining a gym, participating in a group fitness class, or exercising with a friend.

Consultation with a Professional

If you are uncertain about the dietary approach best suited for your diabetes management or require guidance on weight management, consider consulting with a dietitian or nutritionist. These professionals can offer personalized recommendations tailored to your needs.

Addressing Eating Disorders and Weight Concerns

It is important to prioritize safe and healthy methods when pursuing losing weight in diabetes, particularly for those with diabetes. Intentionally restricting insulin or under-treating diabetes to induce weight loss is dangerous and can lead to health complications, including diabetic ketoacidosis. Such behavior is often indicative of eating disorders.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is using insulin restriction or under-treatment of diabetes to lose weight, it is essential to seek professional help. Eating disorders are serious personality disorders; specialized support and treatment must be sought through healthcare providers and mental health professionals.


The relationship between diabetes and weight is intricate. Insulin deficiency may cause weight loss in type 1 diabetes while being overweight or obese is associated with type 2 diabetes.

Weight management is pivotal in achieving optimal blood sugar control and reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications. Some effective weight management practices in diabetes include lifestyle modifications, regular exercise, or medications. It is important to collaborate with a healthcare professional to adjust diabetes medication as needed during the weight loss journey.

Adopting a balanced diet that includes non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and regular physical activity can help individuals with diabetes achieve and maintain a healthy weight. If you require personalized guidance on diet, weight management, or diabetes care, consult with a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist.

Lastly, promptly addressing any concerns related to eating disorders or unhealthy weight management practices is crucial. Seeking professional help is essential to ensure physical and mental well-being for individuals with diabetes.

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