Nearly everyone can benefit from losing weight.
That’s especially true for people with type 2 diabetes. From 60 percent to 90 percent of type 2 cases appear to be related to obesity or weight gain, according to reports. Therefore, weight loss is a significant goal for anyone with type 2 diabetes, and it’s recommended by both the American Diabetes Association and the National Institutes of Health.
In general, losing weight can increase your energy level, lower your cholesterol level and protect your heart. If you have type 2 diabetes, weight loss also can improve insulin sensitivity, making it easier to control your blood-glucose level.
You are in charge of your health.
Gaining weight, on the other hand, increases the risk for hypertension (high blood pressure) and other conditions that can lead to cardiovascular disease. You can make choices about exercise, diet and medication that can all contribute to weight loss.
Guidelines for Exercise
• Exercise 30 to 60 minutes 3 to 5 times a week.
• Focus on high-intensity, not high-impact exercise.
• Monitor glucose levels before, during, and after exercise.
The American Diabetes Association recommends losing one-half to 1 pound a week, with an average diet of at least 1,200 calories per day. You can lose 1 pound a week by reducing your caloric intake by 500 calories a day. For diabetics the best route is counting carbs. Get a small carb-counting book and learn to count the carbs in the foods you want to eat.
Keep those carbs to 50 carbs each day for weight loss. Atkins recommends going to 20 carbs or under for the first two weeks, and that will speed up your weight loss immensely.
Guidelines for Diet
• Eat several mini meals to control hunger and calorie intake.
• Eat protein foods first – they will control hunger better than fats or carbohydrates.
• Plan meals ahead of time, instead of figuring out what to eat when you are hungry.
• Eat a healthy snack before parties so you won’t be hungry for junk food that may be sitting out.
• Team up with someone who has similar diet needs so that you can keep each other accountable and make delicious, balanced meals together.
• Try to eat three cups of green leafy vegetables, and non-starchy colorful veggies.
• If you must eat some type of bread try Sprouted Grain Breads or very low carb breads. These are located in the frozen cases in the grocery stores, or order here from Julian bakery. I do not get paid for this endorsement, I just like their products.
Guidelines for Medications
Type 2 diabetes patients often take medications to help control their blood sugar, but they can cause weight gain or weight loss.
- Biguanides, like metformin, can promote weight loss and decrease bad cholesterol. One study showed patients losing up to 11 pounds from taking metformin. And metformin can continue to help with weight loss for many years.
- DPP-4 inhibitors and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors generally do not cause weight gain or loss. These are also called gliptins.
- Meglitinides, sulfonylurea and thiazolidinediones can cause you to gain from 2-10 pounds. Two of these are Actos and Glipizide.
Most medications have some side-effects.
Actos, which is in the thiazolidinedione class, is the best-selling diabetes drug of all time. Unfortunately, it comes much more serious side effects than weight gain.
Studies have shown that Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer by 40 percent for patients who take it for more than a year. In addition, Actos carries a black-box warning for its links to heart failure. Eye disease and bone fractures have also been linked to Actos.
Patients have sued after taking Actos and suffering from serious complications, creating thousands of Actos Lawsuits . If you’re taking Actos, talk to your doctor about switching medications. Also, be aware of the symptoms of Actos bladder cancer: blood in the urine, increased need to urinate and pain while urinating.
Choosing the right amount of exercise, the right diet and the right medication can help you control your diabetes and your weight. Remember that losing just 10 percent of your body weight can dramatically improve glycemic control and reduce lipid and blood pressure risks.
This is a guest post written by Alanna Ritchie who is a writer for Drugwatch.com.
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