Successful Dieting Diabetics Do Well
And he practices what he preaches. "It is my personal choice to weigh myself every day and make sure that in the course of the day, I don't take buses, cabs or subways, and walk instead," says Bernstein, who has type 2 diabetes. "If somebody gets off the bus two stops early on a regular basis, that alone will improve their medical condition," he says,
Acknowledging that getting overweight people with type 2 diabetes to lose weight and exercise more is a major problem, Barry J. Goldstein, MD, PhD, the director of the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolic diseases at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, says that people need to find incentives to lose weight.
"What helps is a lot of contact and support such as peer group support or groups that walk together, exercise together, get weighed, and meet with counselors," he tells WebMD. Another important component is "real nutritional instruction because people are very confused about aspects of diet and need exercise recommendations."
His exercise prescription: "Try something that can fit into your daily schedule. No one is going to change their life, join a health club, and start working out four times a week," he says. But everyone can find ways to walk more throughout the day, he says.
And when it comes to diet, moderation also is key, he says.
"If you lose just 7% to 10% of your body weight, which is about 20 pounds, it is enough to make a significant improvement," he says. And "it's achievable. You don't take someone who weighs 300 pounds and tell them to weigh 165 pounds; you need realistic goals."