Ask an Expert FAQs — Your Weight Issues Questions Answered
1. I need to lose weight. How do I start?
2. If I lose weight, can I get off oral medications?
3. I want to join a weight loss program. Which one is the best?
Didn't find your question? Click here for more expert answers to questions from dLife members.
Q: I need to lose weight. How do I start?
A: Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone, but it is especially important for people with diabetes. Consider visiting a Registered Dietitian who specializes in diabetes. He or she can help you establish a meal plan and physical activity schedule that best meet your weight goal while keeping your blood sugar within target range.
Carbohydrate counting will help you to keep track of your blood sugar. Specified amounts of carbohydrate foods with some lean protein and small amounts of healthy fats at each meal are often recommended. The Registered Dietitian will show you how to include your favorite foods while maintaining a more active lifestyle. - Liz Quintana, MS, RD, LD, CDE
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Q: If I lose weight, can I get off oral medications?
A: Weight loss may result in higher sensitivity to insulin. For some people with diabetes, the need for oral medication may be reduced or stopped. Response to weight loss will vary greatly among people with diabetes.
Frequent blood sugar testing will tell you how your body is responding to the weight loss. Contact your doctor or diabetes educator when you notice consistent low blood sugars that occur after some weight loss. They can review your medication needs to better control your blood sugar.
It's important to remember that losing even a relatively small amount of weight can make a real improvement in reducing your risk for complications associated with diabetes. - Liz Quintana, MS, RD, LD, CDE
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Q: I want to join a weight loss program. Which one is the best?
A: Losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge for most people. It's important to begin a weight loss program with the help of your diabetes care team. A Registered Dietitian who specializes in diabetes can help you find ways to decrease calories but still eat foods you enjoy. They can suggest strategies to help you change old habits for new ones.
Avoid any weight loss program that suggests you eat a certain formula, food, or combination of foods for easy weight loss. Some of these diets may work in the short term because they are low in calories. They may not help you to control your blood sugar. They may not give you all the nutrients your body needs and they do not teach healthy eating habits.
A weight loss program should also include regular physical activity. Consider anything that you enjoy and get you moving, such as walking, dancing, or working in the yard. Physical activity does not have to be at a gym, sports, or using fancy equipment. When you're physically fit, you will feel better physically and mentally. It will also help you to maintain the weight you worked so hard in losing. - Liz Quintana, MS, RD, LD, CDE
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