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Diabetes has turned into a global epidemic, increasing the risk of more health problems and deaths. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, diabetes was the ninth leading cause of deaths. Also, over the years, the term diabesity – the coexistence of both diabetes and obesity – has gained prominence. While a lot of experts emphasize on weight loss to bring diabetes under control, we wonder whether losing weight alone can slim down your Type 2 diabetes risk! And if yes, just how much weight would you need to lose? Come, let’s find out if weight loss for diabetes reversal works.
According to Dr Anjali Nakra, a lifestyle medicine physician, the answer to whether weight loss can lead to diabetes reversal, is “YES”.
“Around 15 kg weight loss is the magic figure for remission of diabetes from the research on diabetes reversal. Even losing 5-7 percent of body weight helps. Losing the extra fat from liver and pancreas, which hampers the glucose metabolism is the key,” Dr Nakra, Founder of Delhi-based Path to Health clinic, tells Health Shots.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and managed with lifestyle modifications like diet, exercise, sleep and stress management.
“weight loss may be effective for most people to normalise blood sugar, both in diabetes and Prediabetes, “it may not be the magic pill for some people,” answers Dr Nakra.
Still, you must indulge in healthy and sustainable weight loss techniques.
“After having lost weight, it is important to maintain it to reap the benefit of normal blood sugar,” adds the expert.
Go for low calorie foods. Vegetables and fruits are low calorie andnutrient rich, so pile your plate with them. Even if half your plate is full of steamed vegies, it will be less than 100 calories. The more colours you have on the plate, the more vitamins, and phytonutrients you get, and lots of fibre too.
Go for unrefined grains, and eat different grains. Whole millets are good alternatives for wheat and rice, experiment with different millets like sorghum, ragi, kodu millet, proso millet, quinoa to keep intake of usual grains like wheat and rice less.
Include protein in your. Eat plant proteins and they would have much less fat. Eat lean cuts, if you take animal protein. For example, a chicken breast will have much less fat than chicken legs. And remember to trim the visible fat always!
Have food as close to natural form as possible. Refined foods, or anything made from them, like cookies and bakery products are bad for blood sugar. They will not only increase blood sugar, will fatigue the pancreas also.
Go low on fat. Fatty acids in the blood block the entry of insulin, causing glucose to accumulate in the blood. Diabetes is indeed as much about high blood fats as about blood sugar.
Portion control for weight loss is an old trick! Eat small portions to control calories. Eating in a smaller plate and exercising conscious eating, will be helpful.
Make sure you include walk in your schedule. Walking for weight loss is a good idea. It’s a wonderful exercise and can be done anytime, anywhere. On a bad weather day, walk at home!
Indulging in strength training can improve your muscle mass and strength and make them burn more calories.
Keep a log of food, activity and weight. You will notice that it helps.