Diabetes And Weight Loss: Everything You Should Know!

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

For many, weight is a sensitive subject, and achieving an ideal, healthy weight is easier said than done. However, if you are overweight and have diabetes, decreasing weight has enormous advantages.

You might have a lower risk of developing life-threatening consequences like stroke and heart disease and feel more energized. In addition, you could better manage your diabetes by losing weight.

Additionally, if you have type two diabetes, decreasing weight might put your condition into remission.

However, many people with diabetes find it extremely difficult to maintain a healthy weight. At the same time, in several cases, it was seen that diabetes was also a case of sudden and rapid weight loss.

As a result, asking your doctor for guidance and assistance is a smart first step, as you are not in this situation alone. In this article, we will be looking at all about diabetes and weight loss.

All About Diabetes And Weight Loss

Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood glucose or sugar levels. Weight could be a significant factor in the disease as it might cause weight decrease or growth.

As per statistics, there are 35 million Americans who have diabetes. 10 percent of the population is represented by this. If diabetes is not treated, a person might lose weight.

On the contrary, once an individual begins insulin therapy, weight gain might also happen. This side effect is seen by almost everyone who receives the therapy.

However, there are alternative diabetes drugs that could result in no change in weight or weight reduction.

Following a balanced diet is crucial once diabetes is diagnosed for preventing weight loss and managing sugar levels which, per this 2011 study, accelerates the disease’s progression.

This entails eating balanced and healthful meals and also keeping an eye on portion amounts. A hormone known as insulin permits sugar to leave the bloodstream and enter cells where it is used as fuel.

When a person has diabetes, their cells do not react to insulin as they should. Insulin resistance is what causes this. To overcome the resistance, the pancreas generates more insulin.

The pancreas eventually runs out of insulin production capacity and is unable to deliver enough sugar to the cells. Sugar levels increase as a result of this.

The body breaks down fat to utilize as energy when cells cannot obtain the energy they require from glucose. Weight loss could happen from this. Diabetes might cause weight loss with no apparent explanation.

Taking diuretics medications that enhance urination, engaging in regular exercise, and dieting consciously are all obvious reasons for weight reduction.

How Can Diabetes Lead To Weight Loss?

Uncontrolled diabetes of either type one or type two often manifests as unplanned or unexpected weight loss. 

When a person has type one diabetes, their immune system destroys the pancreatic cells which produce insulin.

Glucose builds up in the bloodstream as there is not any insulin available to transport it into the body’s cells. After that, the kidneys strive to eliminate this extra sugar via urination.

As the body is unable to utilize sugar as energy, it begins to burn muscle and fat for fuel, which causes weight loss. Type one diabetic patients could unintentionally lose weight.

Those who have type one diabetes and need to lose weight might do so without the risk of cutting any calories. To lose weight, some patients might under-treat their diabetes, but this is very risky.

Bypassing insulin is a risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis. It is a dangerous condition having a high risk of death. Under-treating diabetes to lose weight could be an eating disorder sign.

To receive specialized therapy and assistance if you believe you have an eating disorder, speak with a mental health expert or your doctor.

Benefits Of Weight Loss During Diabetes

When your body develops insulin resistance, type two diabetes develops. It leads to an accumulation of sugar in the blood.

Being overweight and obese increases your risk of getting diabetes and makes controlling sugar levels more difficult.

In fact, as per research, persons at high risk for the disease could reduce their risk of getting type two diabetes by more than 60% by decreasing only 4 to 8% of their body weight.

When you have type two diabetes, decreasing weight has several advantages. These consist of:

  • Lower chance of developing complications from diabetes, like heart or kidney disease.
  • Lower LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides levels.
  • Improvements in mobility.
  • Improvements in mood and overall energy level.
  • Decreased insulin resistance, which makes it easier to reach target sugar levels.

In certain situations, losing weight could even bring sugar levels back to normal, which removes the need for type two diabetes drugs.

If you have type one diabetes, you might gain weight after starting insulin therapy. You might need to adjust your carbohydrate intake, insulin dosage, and calorie intake in order to lose weight.

Insulin resistance is a condition that could develop in people with type one diabetes, and in such cases, losing weight might help the person need less insulin.

Ways To Lose Weight With Diabetes 

Here are some ways to lose weight with diabetes:

  1. Diet

    A method known as Diabetes Plate Method is often suggested, for meal preparation, by the American Diabetes Association.

    Use a plate that is about nine inches across for this technique and take these 3 quick steps:

    Non-starchy vegetables should make up at least half of the plate. Non-starchy vegetables include more fiber, minerals, and vitamins while containing fewer carbs.

    If fresh vegetables are unavailable to you, canned vegetables will do as well. Brussel sprouts, peppers, leafy salad greens, tomatoes, and broccoli are a few examples.

    Lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, tofu, turkey, beans, and tempeh should make up 1/4th of the dish.

    Complex carb foods like quinoa, brown rice, whole grain pasta or bread, oats, and dairy items like curd should occupy the rest of the quarter of the plate.

    Always choose unsweetened tea or water for beverages. Avoid snacking on foods that are high in fat, highly processed, and heavy in sugar.

    In terms of foods to choose from, to be specific, one could add foods for diabetics, such as salmon, almonds, spinach, kale, flax seeds, etc to their diet so that their bodies can maintain appropriate sugar levels.

    The best approach is probably to combine a healthy diet along with exercise if you have diabetes and you want to reduce weight.

    Even minor dietary adjustments could have a huge impact. In general, you should strive for a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, and non-starchy vegetables.

  1. Exercise

    Exercise is essential for weight loss in addition to dietary changes. Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning a new workout regimen.

    Start by establishing modest targets. You could start by walking for 15 to 30 minutes per day, either on a treadmill or outside. Increase your walking speed or time after one week or so.

    As per research, exercising at a moderate level for at least 160 minutes a week is sufficient to significantly improve sugar control and also aid in weight loss.

    The exercise is aerobic and includes:

    • Running.

    • Walking.

    • Dancing.

    • Swimming.

    • Tennis.

    • Hiking.

    You might work out with a friend, or join a group fitness class, or a gym to help you stay motivated.


Untreated type one diabetes might cause unexpected symptoms including weight loss. Speak to a doctor if you have type one diabetes and you are losing too much weight.

On the contrary, those who have type one or type two diabetes and who are obese should lose weight as part of their treatment plan.

Losing weight could reduce insulin resistance and thus make it simpler to manage sugar levels.

Setting reasonable weight loss goals and also aiming for moderation are the best strategies if you have type two diabetes and want to reduce weight.

Make an effort to increase your regular physical exercise, consume a well-balanced diet, and take your recommended medications.

Never be afraid to schedule a meeting with a Certified Diabetes Education Specialist or consult a medical expert if you are worried about your weight.

A person with type two diabetes might lose weight. Some type two diabetes treatments could also result in weight loss or gain.

The diet of a person with type two diabetes is quite important for sugar management. Additionally, even a small decrease in weight when someone is obese could help them in controlling their disease.

In light of this, a person’s diet is crucial as it has an impact on their sugar and weight, both of which affect the way their diabetes develops.

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