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Diabetes and Weight Loss – Proven Strategies to Get Healthy

By on July 3, 2013

diabetes and weight lossYour weight loss and diabetes guide! Losing weight seems to be an American obsession. Every time you turn on the TV or open a magazine, there is a new way to take the pounds off.

If you are reading this, chances are you are overweight. Chances are you have tried to lose weigh and not found success. Well, let’s see if we can change that.

For people with diabetes or pre-diabetes, weight loss can mean the difference between living well or suffering major health complications. But what is the top type 2 diabetes diet?

Most fad diets are often hard to follow, may be unhealthy, and even if they do work, the results are often only temporary. Instead, a good healthy lifestyle plan must be in place.

How is this done? You MUST:

  • Pick a HEALTHY eating plan
  • Pick a reasonable and doable exercise plan.

It’s an old mantra, but you know what, it works. Remember though, it took you decades to get where you are today, it will take some time to get things in order. Let’s take a look at a few options to figure out what works for you today and maybe where you have gone astray in the past.

Weight Loss and Diet options

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) acknowledges that there is no one right diet to follow if you have diabetes. To prove their own point, they have at least three main eating options.

I will touch upon this more below, but I believe that the average person has great difficulty following most of them, thus they fail. And, you know what? Failure sucks!

So, what does work?

Top Weight Loss and Diet Options

girl who lost weight

Hands down, this is my favorite diet. The studies supporting this diet for diabetes (including weight loss) are incredible. This way of eating may sound crazy to you, but please read my overview and think about giving it a try. You should lose a massive amount of weight on this diet, even without exercise.

After the plant based diet, this diet has some of the best supporting research in existence.

This diet is the best option available for those people who do not want to follow the plant based diet and absolutely need (or at least want) their meals prepared for them. Scientifically proven, I am not aware of a better meal preparation option on the market for diabetics.

This diet is loosely based on the Mediterranean diet (Phase 3 Maintenance Phase). If you need a little more support than the Mediterranean diet provides and you are not willing to give up meat, this is a good.

This is the ADA’s most easily followed diet. While I do not endorse the method over the above, I think it is the easiest to follow of the ADA options.
With the exception of the South Beach Diet, which has three different phases, all of the above diets are lifestyle choices. Meaning, they are designed to be followed indefinitely. No fads, here.

ADA Diet Options

The ADA has three main weight loss and diabetes diet options: The Exchange Diet, Carb Counting and The Plate Method (already discussed above).

  •  Carb Counting

I don’t know many people who actually follow this diet, thus I have not done a review of it. Basically, this diet requires you set a limit on the amount of carbohydrates you eat each meal.You “count” the grams of carbohydrates you consume to keep track of this pre-set limit.

The traditional cornerstone of the ADA’s diabetic diets is the diabetic food exchange diet. This diet requires participants to choose foods based on the foods “exchange” value as part of an overall nutrition plan. This diet is quite involved, so follow the link to learn about how this works.

In addition to the above link, I have written many other resources to help people implement this diet, as it is so popular. The diet utilizes extensive diabetic exchange lists, essentially lists of food with the corresponding serving size that equals one exchange value.

The diet typically is used in partnership with a specific calorie diet. I have compiled a Diabetic Exchange Chart that provides an overview of the recommended caloric intake for any given person at the appropriate calorie level.

Common calorie diets implementing the exchange diet include:

As you can see, the Exchange Diet is very involved. This is why I believe it is very difficult for most people to follow and have success

Other Weight Loss and Diet Choices

There are many other weight loss and diabetes diet choices in the market place. Are they right for you? Take a look at some of my thoughts and decide for yourself. Sometimes, you read about a diet and it just “clicks” with you.

Need Help With A Meal plan

While we have reviewed various popular commercial diets above, I have also taken a closer look at the diabetic menu plan options of many popular plans here:

EXERCISE

yoga and diabetes healthOkay, with all of the diet talk above, you knew I eventually had to get to the dreaded “exercise” discussion. All of the weight loss and diabetes diet programs work better when at least moderate exercise is done.

The key here is choose something you like to do. I like to walk, bike and hike. Also, I like to lift weights a couple of times a

week. What do you like to do? Do you like to do the same thing? Do you like to switch things up? The point is it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you start something and continue with it.

Check out our comprehensive diabetes and exercise section to see how to incorporate a fun and beneficial exercise program into your day today.

Nutritional Supplements

Scientists are loath to overly tout the health benefits of nutritional supplements.

Clearly, there seems to be a disconnect between formal medical opinion and what works for many people on a daily basis.

A good supplement regime can help you feel better, lose weight and achieve your health and nutrition goals. Check out our Diabetes Nutritional Supplements page for great information on top diabetic supplements.

By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed May 2013