If you have diabetes and are overweight you are actually adding to your problems. According to American Diabetes Association, shedding even 10 to 15 pounds can have great effects on your other health parameters like blood sugar levels or cholesterol levels. Diabetes is a multifaceted illness and an expert’s advice is important before you make any moves. You need to be extra careful, especially when you are on ant diabetic medications, so as to avoid chances of lowering your blood sugar levels more than required.
Ideally, a healthy diet is suggested for diabetic people, which, if followed regularly along with other lifestyle measures will help in losing weight. However, in order to lose weight, a reduction of 500 calories from daily diet can be managed, or they can be adjusted if you work out more to burn the extra calories.
As a part of weight loss plan, the diabetic diet focuses on certain factors like,
- Carbohydrates: Watching your carbohydrate intake is very important to reduce weight as well as blood sugar. As they quickly result into formation of blood sugar, their intake must be controlled. The biggest challenge is maintaining the blood sugar level as the anti-diabetic medications lowers the levels and you must eat to maintain them. While you are on a calorie restricted diet, it becomes difficult to manage the right amount of intake with the medicines.
Taking complex carbohydrates is beneficial, as they, do not provide instant energy. They are slowly absorbed in the blood and help in maintaining the blood sugar level, while avoiding high and low spikes.
For example: Whole grain cereals, wheat germ, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
- Dietary fiber: It is important to include fiber in your daily diet as it provides roughage, reduces appetite and manages your blood sugar levels.
For example: Oatmeal, oat bran, flaxseeds, vegetables and fruits.
- Proteins: Proteins are essential in your daily diet as they will help you maintain your muscles and health.
For example: Fish, chicken, eggs, milk and milk products, legumes and beans.
Food to avoid
While it is necessary to consume the above foods, it is also important that your refrain yourself for taking certain foods.
- Avoid simple carbohydrates like sweets, puddings, sodas, juices etc and highly processed foods like cakes cookies etc.
- Cut down on all fat rich products. Replace them with good fats like olive oil for cooking. Avoid fried food and additional use of oil, butter or cheese. Use low fat dairy products.
Sample meal plan
- 1 bowl of oatmeal prepared in milk
- 3-4 berries
In between: 1 glass plain buttermilk
- 1 slice of sautéed salmon
- 1 bowl sprouts with broccoli, cabbage & tomato salad
- 1 apple
In between: 1 tsp ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 bowl plain chicken soup
- 1 bowl lettuce and peas salad with added olive oil.
- ½ mix fruit salad
In addition to this make exercise a part of your daily routine. It is advisable that you perform exercises for at least one hour a day. If you are a beginner you can go for walking, cycling initially for half an hour daily and gradually progress depending on your health.