How Not to Lose Weight With Type 2 Diabetes
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."
Mistake #6: Not including exercise.
Although what you eat matters most when it comes to losing weight, physical activity also is crucial. "Almost all of my patients who achieve remission from type 2 diabetes take exercise seriously," says Michael Dansinger, MD, director of the Diabetes Reversal Program at Tufts Medical Center.
He estimates that about 80% of weight loss is due to dietary changes, and the other 20% comes from activity.
"Exercise is important for weight loss and maintenance; plus, people who get regular exercise have lower blood sugar levels," London says. "Also, getting enough exercise can help you avoid diabetes-related complications."
Aim to get moving at least 3 or 4 times a week, and include some strength-training as well as cardio. Getting stronger gives your metabolism a kick, so you burn more calories.