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Diabetes Health Center

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How Not to Lose Weight With Type 2 Diabetes

Mistake #3: Counting too much on 'diet' food.

Drinking shakes or eating bars instead of meals as part of a diet strategy may help you lose weight. But you aren't going to use them forever. So do you have a plan for what comes next?

"You're not eating whole foods, and it's not sustainable," London says.

Another issue is that many "diet" foods are packed with a long list of artificial ingredients. "The goal for anyone -- whether they have diabetes or not -- is to eat mostly foods that are minimally processed," Brown-Riggs says. In general, you're better off eating whole foods that are as close as possible to how they're found in nature (for example, an apple instead of apple-flavored chips).

If you have a fierce sweet tooth, you may want to address everything that’s contributing to it, whether it's in a "diet" package or not.

Mistake #4: It promises speedy weight loss.

If it sounds too good to be true, you know it probably is, so forget the "cleanses" and crash diets.

"Cleanses aren’t a good way to lose weight, but they are a good way to become dehydrated," says Brown-Riggs, who notes that any weight you lose is likely to be from water, not fat.

Shedding weight slowly, at a rate of about 1 or 2 pounds per week, is your best bet if you want to keep it off. "Gradual weight loss is better, since you're learning how to eat well in the real world," she says. "Don't look for a quick fix. You need to make changes you can stick with forever."

Mistake #5: Counting on supplements.

Be wary of products that claim to help you lose a lot of weight very quickly, as well as those that say they're herbal "alternatives" to FDA-approved medications.

It's true that not all supplements are dangerous. Chromium, for example, may help promote weight loss as well as blood sugar control -- but the research is mixed. What's more, it can cause low blood sugar in people who take certain diabetes medications that increase the release of insulin, like Glucotrol, Amaryl, and Prandin, Brown-Riggs says.

The bottom line: Don't try any supplement without first running it by your doctor, even if it's "natural" or "herbal."

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