Most people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. For someone with Type 2 diabetes, keeping a healthy weight is sometimes difficult. Adding to this is the fact maintaining a healthy weight is good for the disease, as well as the other benefits the body can derive from a balanced diet. That’s why losing weight is important if you have Type 2 diabetes. Treating this form of diabetes with weight loss is a really good idea, but you want to lose fat, not muscle.
When a Type 2 diabetic loses weight, their body has the ability to go through some amazing changes. First is the effect it has on insulin. The problem is many Type 2 individuals are overweight. For these people, the excess fat works against the body by raising insulin resistance, or the body’s ability to use its supply of insulin properly. When a person with insulin resistance loses weight, the body utilizes its insulin supply much more effectively. This translates into better glucose management.
There are plenty of other benefits which you will see from weight loss. First, is the most obvious: an increase in energy. This is the incentive that you need to keep going and eventually work up to increasing your workout intensity. As your energy increases, that is the incentive to keep pushing on.
Weight loss also has the benefit of making blood sugar control much easier. Many Type 2 diabetics have been able to decrease their medication and, in some cases, even come off of it entirely by trimming down and eating healthily. This is not only an incentive psychologically, but financially, as some of these medications can be quite expensive. It certainly is a goal to strive for.
Weight loss is good for the other systems of your body, as well. Your heart and the entire cardiopulmonary system will revel in less fat, which is automatically accompanied by increased endurance and strength. Your respiratory system gets a boost too, by giving you more oxygen to your brain and throughout your whole body. This is not only good news for your tissue and organs, but blood vessels also reap the rewards.
It should be noted that anytime you are ready to start an exercise regimen, you should always be advised by your doctor and a registered dietitian. Your doctor can advise you on the medical scenarios that can occur, while the dietitian is trained to know what will work best for your particular case and what you can do to get started. A good exercise program is more effective if you go about it the right way, armed with accurate information. You want to avoid muscle wasting (sarcopenia), which occurs when you lose weight too fast or in any unhealthy manner. Less muscle results in a slowed metabolism and a tendency to regain weight more rapidly. And usually the weight regained is a higher percentage of fat than before.
It might be tempting to think simply popping a few pills or injecting insulin will take care of your problem. But Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes are diseases for which medication alone isn’t enough.