Medically Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on October 23, 2022
Set Small Goals

Set Small Goals

1/11

If weight loss feels like a daunting goal, start slowly and stay consistent. Pick one healthy habit to adopt, such as eating a veggie with each meal, and make it a practice. Then after a while, add on another. 

Self-reflect

Self-reflect

2/11

Eating and emotions are linked. You may eat to cope with stress, sadness, or boredom, for example. When you can identify these patterns and become aware of them, you can start to eat more intentionally. 

Don’t Skip Meals

Don’t Skip Meals

3/11

If you’re counting calories, you may be tempted to go without a meal, but don’t. When you go for longer stretches without eating, your blood sugar levels can plummet, plus your ramped-up hunger puts you at risk of making less healthy choices once you do. 

Go for Fresh Fare

Go for Fresh Fare

4/11

Fill up your belly with fruits and veggies first. Aim for at least five servings a day. Fresh produce is best, but canned or frozen works, too – just be sure to skip options with added sodium or sugar.

Try Meal Replacements

Try Meal Replacements

5/11

They shouldn't make up 100% of your diet, but meal replacement options tailored specifically for diabetes, such as low-calorie protein shakes, can be a quick and easy pre-portioned option to keep you on track during the day. 

Be Sip Savvy

Be Sip Savvy

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Think about what you drink. Are you downing empty calories alongside your food? Water is your best bet when you’re thirsty. If you need more flavor than plain water, add fresh cucumber, lemon, or lime.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise Regularly

7/11

When you work out consistently, even with a brisk walk or daily yoga, your body uses insulin more effectively. Be sure you’re getting a combo of aerobic and strength exercises, and talk to your doctor about how to manage your medications for physical activity. 

Ask About Weight Loss Meds

Ask About Weight Loss Meds

8/11

Recent developments in the use of medications for people with diabetes to lose weight have produced more effective and safer options, such as hormone-based drugs that improve glycemic control by prompting insulin release when you eat. 

Practice Portion Control 

Practice Portion Control 

9/11

Reducing the number of calories you take in helps you drop pounds. One way to lower your number is by serving smaller portions. Talk to your doctor about the ideal daily calorie count for your size and circumstances.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Get Plenty of Sleep

10/11

Having a sleep routine of at least 7 hours a night may be essential for helping you lose weight and managing your diabetes. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can make it harder to lose weight. Insufficient or poor sleep increases your appetite, raises your insulin resistance, and makes you more likely to make unhealthy food choices. 

Surgery May Be an Option

Surgery May Be an Option

11/11

If you’ve tried lifestyle changes without success, bariatric surgery may be the best path toward weight loss. Some people are even able to achieve remission from their type 2 diabetes after the procedure when they lose a significant amount of weight.

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SOURCES: 
Cleveland Clinic: “Diabetes and Weight Loss: What You Need to Know.”
American Diabetes Association: “Take Charge: Emotions and Eating.”
Mayo Clinic: “Insulin and weight gain: Keep the pounds off.”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “What’s New in Medications for Weight Management for People with Diabetes.”
CDC: “Sleep for a Good Cause.”