If you are overweight or obese and have diabetes, losing weight can help improve insulin resistance and give you better sugar control.
The weight loss that will help you see a difference needs to be approximately 5 to 7 % of your actual body weight. For example, if you weigh 110 kg, you would need to lose between 5.5 – 8 kg before you see any benefits. This reduction in weight could improve how your body responds to insulin and your overall blood sugar levels.
Many people are unaware of whether they are a healthy weight, overweight or obese. So how will you find this out? You need to calculate your Body Mass Index or BMI. The formula to do this is [weight(kg) / height (m)2]. For example, an individual who is 1.65 m tall and weighs 85 kg (85/ (1.652) has a BMI of 31.3, which is in the obese category.
Refer to the table below:
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There are other physical measurements to consider besides your BMI when trying to assess obesity. These include body fat percentage, distribution of fat as well as waist circumference. It is not scientifically proven that weight loss alone has a significant impact on sugar control. Some research findings have shown positive changes in HbA1c and blood lipids such as triglycerides and cholesterol with weight loss in some diabetic patients but not in others. Good glycemic control is the best way to manage diabetes.
Eating healthy and doing enough exercise are important for diabetes management. With a registered dietitian and the rest of your diabetes healthcare team, you can choose a treatment plan that is most suitable for you. Working together gives you the best chance for success.
All in all, losing weight may help improve your diabetes outcomes if you are overweight or obese. The main aim is good glycemic control, and regular visits to a Registered Dietitian can help you achieve this.