Type 2 diabetic weight loss mistakes will make an already difficult path much harder. If you get discouraged and quit, the consequences to your health and quality of life are much too high a price to pay.
Type 2 diabetes is the result of insulin resistance, and that in itself can cause more weight gain. On top of this, every medication you were given to control your blood sugar adds to weight gain, including injecting insulin.
Why It's So Hard to Lose Weight With Type 2 Diabetes
Our Western style diet of convenience food is loaded with sugar, fat, nitrates and MSG among other things, and everywhere it has gone the local people have seen an enormous rise in obesity and in type 2 diabetes. This is most noticeable among the younger population, probably because they adopt the new ways of eating so much faster than their elders do.
So trying to lose weight while continuing to eat a convenience food diet is going to frustrate a type 2 diabetic who is already fighting insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. But as David found out with Goliath, it's not how strong your enemy is, it's how well you pick your stones and your targets. Just like the six smooth stones, here are six mistakes you can avoid.
Not Eating Enough
There is such a thing as a 600-calorie diet, and there are people who try it. I've done it myself. It will lead you to lose weight but it has two problems. First, you cannot get the things you need to keep you healthy at such a low level, and if you try to exercise on that kind of low calorie diet you will fail. Building muscle is impossible without calories.
The second problem is that once your body has adjusted to this diet, it will lower your metabolism to match your intake, and if you raise your calories, your clever metabolism will store as much as it can in the form of fat. That's so it can survive the next starvation diet.
Since type 2 diabetics already store fat because of insulin imbalances, you are doing the opposite of what needs to be done to reverse type 2 diabetes. This is why not eating enough is the first of the diabetic weight loss mistakes.
What you need to do is learn the best calorie range for your desired weight loss, and remember that it is not the calories you eat but the carbohydrate balance that makes for easy weight loss. That leads to the second of the diabetic weight loss mistakes.
Concentrating on Calories Instead of Carbohydrates
The latest news in diet studies is that a 7-days-a week low calorie diet was beaten by a 2-days-a-week low carbohydrate diet. Not only did the low carb dieters lose a lot more weight, they lowered blood sugar and reduced insulin resistance.
If you are a type 2 diabetic and you eat a low calorie diet you will lose weight, but if you are on a low carbohydrate diet you will lose weight more easily, and you will reduce your body's need for insulin and blood sugar medications too.
Use the glycemic index, stay away from refined carbohydrates, and you'll find yourself on a low carb diet without having to cut so far down on your calories. And you will lose weight.
Watch Out for Expectations
We are human. We may jump off the low carb wagon, or we may hit plateaus during a diet. Diabetic weight loss mistakes include expecting too much, and it can lead to stress and depression. One week you might lose 2 pounds, and the next week not lose any weight.
The best way to diet is not to diet. Choose how you will live, what foods you will eat from now on, and see it as your new life, not as a diet you will be on until you get to a certain weight.
Type 2 diabetes requires doing things differently for the rest of our lives. We are replacing lifetime eating habits, and slip-ups will happen. But we will change if we don't give up.
Diabetic Weight Loss Mistakes Include Not Exercising
Trying to lose weight without exercise is going to lead to frustration. It is much more difficult to continue weight loss and keep it off if you are not active. How often and how long should you exercise? That depends on you.
If you are trying to lose weight, exercise needs to be part of every day. And after you've increased your exercise time to a good hour you will see steady results. That's because you are building muscle, and muscle burns calories and uses free insulin.
That hour does not have to be all in one chunk either. However, the more time you commit to being active, the better you will do. Participants on the Biggest Loser TV show are exercising all day long. They are also on a healthy weight loss diet, but it is the exercise that does the job. So get active every way you can.
Eating While Doing Other Things Is a Diet Breaker
If you watch TV while you are eating, you have fallen into one of the common diabetic weight loss mistakes, and it will lead you to failure. Unconscious eating keeps you from being aware of what or how much you eat. You will not know when you are full either.
This habit often occurs at night during or after supper when you are relaxing. The best advice for those of us who have the habit of unconscious eating is to serve food and sit at the table to eat it. We can't allow ourselves to eat in front of the TV or at a computer or while reading a book.
The serve and sit rule will change many bad eating habits if you will make yourself abide by it. If unconscious eating is a problem this will break it. I confess it's something I still struggle with late in the evening.
Cleaning Your Plate Is a Bad Habit
Your mama said to clean your plate, but that is one of the diabetic weight loss mistakes you need to stop. There is no need to eat everything that is on your plate. In fact, it's good practice to stop eating while there is still food there.
How many times have you filled your plate because you felt very hungry and then realized halfway through the meal that you no longer felt hungry? Yet you probably kept eating because it was there on your plate. We were raised to do that, but it's not a good habit now.
It's important to know when you are full and stop eating the moment you are no longer hungry. If you obeyed the diet tip of using a smaller plate, that helps too. But not finishing what is on your plate is now a desirable trait to have. That goes double if you are eating out. The portions are often way too large anyway.
On the subject of eating out, here are some good habits. Limit salad toppings, serve less pasta, don't use whipped toppings or gravies, and don't order a soda with the meal. If you get dessert make it one of those mini desserts.
Avoid Diabetic Weight Loss Mistakes
Trying to lose weight can be hard and heartbreaking for a type 2 diabetic, but it is possible. Fighting against hunger pangs from high insulin levels and low blood sugar is tough enough without the added problem of sugar addiction that is promoted by our convenience food diet.
My advice? Do the best you can today, forget yesterday, and don't worry about tomorrow. While you are counting carbs and calories, don't forget to count your blessings too. God bless you.