If you have diabetes and you're overweight, don't despair. You don't have to get model-thin or fit into skinny jeans to manage your diabetes better and boost your health. Losing any amount of weight can lower your blood sugar levels, improve your blood pressure and blood fats, and make it easier for your body to use insulin.
If you're one of the nearly 24 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes, you know your body has difficulty using or producing insulin. What can you do to manage the disease? We asked Jill Crandall, MD, professor of clinical medicine and director of the diabetesclinical trials unit at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, to debunk some myths and help you learn to live well.
You can do it by making small changes in what and how much you eat and by getting exercise most days. This can help you lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. In 7 to 10 weeks, you can lose about 10 pounds. You'll improve your health, and you might even be able to cut back on your diabetes drugs if your doctor gives you the OK.
You might be thinking, "Well, I've tried this before and never got anywhere." The key is to think in terms of small steps. You're not trying to lose 50 pounds -- just a few pounds will do.
No matter how much you want to lose, it helps to plan ahead for weight loss before you start trying to drop those extra pounds. Always work with your doctor during the process, especially if you take any drugs. Weight loss is likely to affect them.
Start with these three steps:
Ask yourself why you want to lose weight, and why now.
Set clear goals that you can follow to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Think about the hurdles you might face, and plan ways to get over them.