You’re probably wondering how can a diabetic lose weight quickly and the answer is really very simple, you just have to understand how their body works. When you are diabetic you need to be much more aware of your sugar level in your blood, as well as diet and exercise if you want to get into great shape. Of course you will have no problem finding out how can a diabetic lose weight quickly based on me saying that, but I feel it is important for you to know the truth.
How Can A Diabetic Lose Weight Quickly
Why Does Diabetes Cause Weight Loss?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that is destructive if left untreated. Symptoms are often so subtle and sometimes gradual that people don’t realize they have the condition. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational.
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy tissues of the body and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. The damage from these attacks causes the pancreas to stop making insulin. Type 1 diabetes can appear at any age but usually develops during childhood or adolescence.
- Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use it properly. People usually acquire type 2 diabetes later in life, however, with a rise in childhood obesity, children are developing type 2 diabetes at an increasing rate. Being overweight is a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes. This is the most common form.
- Gestational diabetes is pregnancy related and usually subsides after the baby is born.
In all forms, diabetes functions similarly. Most of the food we eat is broken down into a sugar called glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream. When blood sugar rises, it prompts the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to deliver the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.1
When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream.2 When glucose doesn’t move into the cells, the body thinks it is starving and finds a way to compensate. It creates energy by burning fat and muscle at a fast pace. This is what leads to unexplained weight loss in people with diabetes.3
When there is a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream, the kidneys also begin working overtime to eliminate the excess in the blood. This process uses additional energy and can cause damage to the kidneys.
How Much Weight Loss Is a Concern?
Unexplained weight loss is when someone drops a significant amount of weight without a change in diet or exercise or without making other lifestyle changes.
Losing 10 pounds or more, or 5% of body weight, during a period of six to 12 months is when healthcare providers become concerned there is an underlying health issue.4
Unexplained weight loss occurs most often and is more serious in people aged 65 and older. People in this age group may need to see their healthcare provider if they lose fewer than 10 pounds or less than 5% of their body weight without trying.
Weight Loss in Children
Unexplained weight loss can occur in people who have type 2 diabetes, but it’s more common in people with type 1. Type 1 diabetes usually affects children and adolescents. Parents are often the first to notice an unusual weight loss in a child with type 1 diabetes.3
Weight loss in kids with diabetes can occur even in those who have a normal or increased appetite for the same reasons it happens in adults with diabetes. Once kids are diagnosed and treated for diabetes, weight loss ceases and typically returns to normal.
Symptoms of diabetes are often too subtle and gradual for people to recognize. Weight loss is just one indicator.
Excessive thirst or hunger and urination are telltale signs of diabetes. These symptoms can be especially dangerous if left untreated because they can cause dehydration.
Prolonged dehydration can cause:
- Rapid breathing
Dehydration also causes someone to urinate less often, which allows excess blood sugar to build up in the bloodstream. When this happens, blood sugar levels rise too fast.
Be sure to watch for these other signs of diabetes, too:5
- Itchy skin: Diabetes caused by high blood sugar can make someone prone to dry skin. Skin infections or poor circulation can also contribute to dry, itchy skin.6
- Dark skin around the neck and armpits: Dark skin in the neck folds and over the knuckles sometimes appears before a diabetes diagnosis. Insulin resistance can cause this condition, known as acanthosis nigricans.
- Cuts and bruises that don’t heal: Having high or poorly controlled blood sugar for a long time can lead to poor circulation and nerve damage, which can make it difficult for the body to heal wounds. The feet are most susceptible. These open wounds are called diabetic skin ulcers.6
- Yeast infections: When blood sugar is high and the kidneys can’t filter it well enough, sugar is released through the urine. More sugar in a warm, moist environment can cause urinary tract and yeast infections, especially in women.
- Unusual fatigue: Several underlying causes of fatigue may relate to high sugar levels, including dehydration (from frequent urination, which can disrupt sleep) and kidney damage.
- Mood changes: This can include irritability.
- Vision changes: Early on, people with diabetes may have trouble reading or seeing far away objects. In later stages of diabetes, they may see dark, floating spots or streaks that resemble cobwebs.7
Other Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
Similar to adults, hallmark early signs of diabetes in children are increased urination and thirst. When blood sugar is high, it triggers a reaction in the body that pulls fluid from tissues. This will leave a child constantly thirsty, causing them to drink more fluids, which will result in a need for more bathroom breaks throughout the day. Dehydration in children becomes a risk if this occurs.
In addition to the signs of dehydration, children may have these symptoms, too:
- Sunken eyes or cheeks
- No tears when crying
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Not enough wet diapers
Here are some traits of diabetes found in kids:8
- Fatigue: If a child is often tired, it may be a clue that their body is having trouble converting sugar in the bloodstream into energy.
- Vision changes: High blood sugar levels can cause blurred vision and other eyesight problems.
- Fruity smelling breath: This sign could be indicative of too much sugar in the blood.
- Extreme hunger: When a child’s muscles and organs aren’t receiving enough energy, it can cause extreme hunger.
- Unusual behavior: If a child seems moodier or more restless than normal—and it’s in conjunction with other symptoms that could indicate diabetes—it could be cause for concern.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heavy breathing
Diabetes can be life-threatening if left untreated. If your child is showing signs of diabetes, it’s important for you to schedule a healthcare provider’s appointment as soon as possible.
8 Steps for Weight Loss Success if You Have Type 2 Diabetes
1. Set small and realistic goals
Losing the weight is one thing; keeping it off is another. While everyone wants to see the pounds fall off in the first days of a diet, drastic diets and extreme exercise plans aren’t sustainable. Try to focus on changes you can maintain for the long haul.
“Don’t try to transform your body all at once,” advises McLaughlin. “That can be a recipe for failure.” Instead, set small, realistic targets, such as walking around the block four times a week or having dessert only on the weekend rather than every day.
After these goals become habits, move on to your next objective. You’ll have a feeling of accomplishment as you progress toward your ultimate weight loss goal. And remember that setbacks happen to everyone, so don’t give up!
2. Get active
Studies suggest that diet is hands-down the most important factor for losing weight, but exercise is key to successfully keeping the pounds off over time. “Research shows that people who increase physical activity along with reducing calorie intake will lose more body fat than people who only diet,
One small study published in March 2019 in Obesity found that exercise was actually more important than diet for weight loss maintenance among people who lost 30 or more pounds. Just look at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a database of 10,000 men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off: About 90 percent of people who reached and maintained their weight loss goal said they exercise, on average, about an hour a day. Most people in the registry chose walking as their form of exercise.
Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 30 minutes per day at least 5 days a week. And remember, fitness doesn’t necessarily have to involve sweating for hours at the gym. Try to find ways to stay active throughout the day. To hit the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) goal of watching less than 10 hours of TV per week, take a 10-minute walk around the block after dinner instead of hitting the couch. Park farther away from each destination to add more steps, and take the stairs when possible. All of these incremental changes can make a big difference over time.
3. Schedule your meals, including breakfast
A common characteristic among the NWCR participants is that most of them ate breakfast. Skipping breakfast is thought to possibly lead to overeating later in the day, which can sabotage weight loss plans and cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. People who eat breakfast may also have more energy to stay more active throughout the day.
The importance of a morning meal for weight loss has been debated. One meta-analysis published in September 2014 in Advances in Nutrition showed that eating breakfast was associated with better weight loss, but another review of studies, published in January 2019 in BMJ, found that breakfast may not always lead to weight loss. Still, the ADA recommends eating breakfast every day. Experts say an effective diabetes diet involves eating three meals at regular times of the day to help the body better use insulin.
Breakfast should include fiber-rich, healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and low-fat dairy, to help keep blood sugar levels in check. Always review labels before you buy packaged foods, and skip cereals and other breakfast foods with added sugar.
4. Cut calories
Eating too many calories and too much fat can raise blood glucose levels. Cutting back on calories is key to losing weight.
It’s a good idea to work with a registered dietitian or diabetes educator to figure out a diet plan that works for your lifestyle, goals, and tastes. They can help you find the right number of calories to consume, depending on a number of factors — age, gender, current weight, activity level, body type — while managing your blood sugar levels.
5. Feast on fiber
Cutting calories isn’t always easy, especially if you’re hungry shortly after you finish your meal. Enter fiber: Your body can’t break down this plant-based carbohydrate, so it slows the digestion process as it moves through your system, which helps control blood sugar levels.
Foods that are high in fiber tend to be lower in calories, so you can eat a larger volume than other foods for the same number of calories. Since they take longer to eat and digest, they can help you feel fuller for longer. A study published in June 2019 in The Journal of Nutrition shows that people who eat more fiber are better able to stick to a lower calorie diet and lose more weight.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women 31 to 50 should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber daily, while men in that same age range should eat about 31 grams. With age, calorie and nutrient requirements drop; women 51 and over require about 22 grams daily, while older men need at least 28 grams.
Most of us don’t get anywhere near the USDA’s guidelines. Try to find ways to incorporate fiber-rich foods, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans), and nuts into more meals. Add chickpeas and black beans into salads, soups, and chili. Toss spinach into pasta sauce. Or snack on an apple with a tablespoon of nut butter.
6. Keep track of your goals and progress
Writing down the details of your weight loss journey helps you set healthy targets and notice patterns. You’ll be able to appreciate your progress over time, as well as notice when your diet might have gotten a bit off track.
Try jotting down all of the foods you eat, including the serving sizes, in a journal every day. Not a fan of pen and paper? Try one of the many free apps. It’s a good idea to weigh yourself at least once a week, per your doctor’s or diabetes educator’s recommendation, to keep track of your progress. You might also want to write down when you exercised, what you did, and how you felt after.
7. Get support
Staying motivated to stick with a weight loss plan can be difficult when you’re going it alone. Connecting with others can provide the emotional support you need to avoid giving up. Many weight loss programs are founded on the concept that support networks aid motivation.
Keep in mind that support comes in many different forms. “For some people, online support groups can be just as effective [as in-person support groups], as well as more convenient and less costly,” says McLaughlin.
8. Use tricks to prevent overeating
These sneaky strategies can help keep you from overdoing it on diet-damaging foods.
- Fill up on low-calorie foods first. “Start every meal with the foods on your plate that are lowest in calories,” suggests McLaughlin. Non-starchy vegetables make the perfect low-calorie starter. By the time you get to the other foods, you won’t be so hungry.
- Change your salad dressing system. Instead of sprinkling or pouring dressing on your salad, dip your fork into a side dish of dressing and then your salad with each bite. You’ll be amazed how much less you use and how many calories you save.
- Take up a busy-hands hobby. If you’re idle, you’ll be more prone to eating when you’re not really hungry. Keep busy with activities like walking, knitting, scrapbooking, doing crossword puzzles, or gardening.
- Carry a toothbrush and toothpaste. Keep them in your purse or briefcase. When cravings hit, brushing your teeth with peppermint-flavored toothpaste can dampen your desire to eat.
- Arrive fashionably late to parties. Without as much time near the buffet table and calorie-rich appetizers, you’ll likely eat less.
It’s important to continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly even after reaching your weight loss goal. That’s why it’s so important to set realistic goals from the get-go: The healthy habits you initiate to lose weight should last a lifetime so you can keep it off.