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A diabetic weight loss plan is crucial

Creating a diabetes weight loss plan is no easy task, don’t get me wrong. Eating sensibly and keeping active are the keys to successful weight loss. But putting these practices to work can be more complicated than it seems. Our society is set up to make it easy to gain weight, not lose it. We ride in cars, take elevators, use an array of labor-saving devices, and spend hours in front of computers and television. High-calorie foods are widely available, and fatty foods taste good. We’re bombarded with commercial messages urging us to eat, and large portions are the norm.

To lose weight, you have to go against the grain. You have to be willing to change your habits. And there’s no magic bullet or quick fix to help you out. No matter how much you hear about diet supplements or trendy diet plans, the human body can’t defy the laws of nature. To burn fat, you have to expend more energy than you take in, which means eating fewer calories and moving more. Sound boring? Not if you have the right attitude. Rather than saying you’re dieting, view your efforts as a lifestyle improvement. And don’t focus only on the result; enjoy the process of getting there.

The clear answer is: Yes, there is a diabetes diet!

For some, this may sound disappointing at first, as recently, headlines have often been made with the message that people with diabetes can eat anything today. However, there is truth in the above statement.

Therefore, it is essential to clarify which food and drink can provide people with diabetes with the most significant possible benefit for their health and, at the same time, the desired enjoyment, according to the current state of knowledge.

Newly gained research results of the last years have shown that one can forget many so-called “old customs” in the food for people with diabetes.

For example, the complete exclusion of certain foods, such as sugar, cannot be justified. The blood sugar rise after household sugar is comparable to the blood sugar course of several other foods and even less rapid and steep than, for example, after white bread, minute rice, or cornflakes, if the same amount of carbohydrate is eaten in each case. Studies on the glycemic index have made this clear.

Not yet so well realized is the vital recommendation to reduce saturated and hydrogenated fats and to give preference to monounsaturated fats, which are found, for example, in rapeseed oil, olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Good fat selection would help people with diabetes significantly reduce their high risk of vascular damage, early arteriosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

Some work also remains to be done to make it understandable that the recommendation to consume at least 2-3 servings of fresh vegetables and 2-3 servings of fresh fruit per day has multiple health benefits for the person with diabetes. Vegetables and fruits are suppliers of fiber and (antioxidant) vitamins that act as protective factors for cardiovascular disease. A few grams more fiber in the diet already helps improve the long-term control of diabetes, as measured by HbA1c, and reduces the high risk of coronary heart disease in people with diabetes.

It is now recognized that too much protein in the diet regularly places unnecessary stress on the diabetic’s kidney and is often associated with diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage). Therefore, especially animal protein sources should not be consumed too abundantly. Meat, sausage, and cheese in large portions supply at the same time usually also undesirably much fat. Fish with favorable fatty acids and vegetable protein from legumes and grain products, on the other hand, are recommended for the diabetic’s diet.

Modern insulin therapy and new medications allow people with diabetes much flexibility in their diet today. Strict calculation and counting of bread units can be omitted. Instead, the diabetic and the physician jointly select a therapy regime that considers both the diabetic’s preferences for the number of meals and their composition and the requirements for reasonable diabetes control. The basis of nutrition in diabetes is a healthy diet, but depending on the clinical picture, food possibilities for the health of the person with diabetes are to be used individually and specifically therapeutically. For example, the dietary recommendation for a person with diabetes with dyslipidemia and hypertension will have a different emphasis than for a pregnant diabetic, a person with diabetes with severe nephropathy, a very overweight diabetic, an adolescent with familial hypercholesterolemia, and high risk for coronary heart disease, or a person with diabetes with eating disorders, to name a few examples. Appropriate diets can be preventive and therapeutically successful for these health disorders and risks.

Indeed, the word ‘diabetes diet,’ still associated for many from the past with restriction and joyless eating, can be replaced by ‘proper eating’ in diabetes or ‘nutritional therapy in diabetes; but more importantly, people with diabetes should seek the advice of a competent diabetes physician and diabetes team so that they can receive the appropriate dietary recommendation for themselves. Reasonable here means that they receive the request for which, according to current knowledge, individual health benefits can be expected.

No one can make you burn belly fat. Pressure from others only makes matters worse. It would be best to be internally motivated to lose weight because it’s what you want. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do it all alone, spouse, family, and friends. Your doctor or a registered dietitian can help you develop a diabetic plan to lose weight. In addition, you can ask for support from your friends and family. To help determine if you’re ready to change your eating and exercise habits, ask yourself the following questions:

Diabetes dieting motivation

  • What’s going on in my life right now? If you’ve just been diagnosed with a health condition, such as diabetes, now may be the right time to lose weight. Your thoughts and energies are focused on improving your health.
  • Do I have time to track what I eat and how much I exercise? Studies show that keeping food and exercise records increases your chance of success.
  • Do I genuinely believe that I can change my eating behavior? To be successful, you have to think that you can change.
  • Am I willing to find ways to be more physically active? Fat burn isn’t just about what you eat. Exercise is an essential part of the process.
  • Can I view this as a positive, even pleasurable, experience? If you can take pleasure in what you’re doing, your success chances are greatly improved.

dieting for diabetics how to get started

Setting realistic goals

Losing weight is often more manageable when you have a goal to strive for. But it would be best if you started small. For example, if your goal is to lose 50 pounds within a year, break it into smaller goals. Your first goal might be to lose 3 to 4 pounds within a month. Once you achieve that goal, set a new one. Another goal might be to increase your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Plan also how you’re going to achieve your goals, losing those 3 to 4 pounds or eating more fruits and vegetables. You might make it a goal to walk for 30 minutes 5 days a week or try a new recipe each week containing fruit or vegetables.

how to make a diabetic diet plan

Follow your personalized eating plan

If you’ve developed a diabetes weight loss eating plan to manage your type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’re one step ahead of many people trying to lose weight. The same eating plan for controlling your blood sugar also can help you burn fat, as long as you pay attention to the total amount of calories you consume each day. A dietitian can help you determine a daily calorie goal to help you lose weight. They consider various factors, including your weight, sex, activity level, age, height, and overall health. For example, if you’re a woman and weigh less than 250 pounds, your calorie goal may fall between 1,200 and 1,400 calories each day.

If you’re a man and weigh less than 250 pounds, your daily goal may be between 1,400 and 1,600 calories. These calorie amounts may seem restrictive, but they consider that most people consume more calories each day than they think they do. If you weigh more than 250 pounds, your calorie goal will be higher. For many people, simply replacing a few servings of fats, dairy products, or meat with lower-calorie fruits, vegetables, and grains is enough to reach their calorie goal.

Related: Complete diabetic fitness guide – Be proactive and take back your health!

Minor changes also add up. For example, switching from whole milk to skim milk saves 60 calories a cup. If you drink a cup of milk each day, that’s 420 calories a week. Generally, eating less than your calorie goal isn’t recommended because you can’t eat enough food to keep yourself satisfied, and you’re soon hungry again. Eating fewer than 1,200 to 1,400 calories can make it challenging to get enough of certain nutrients you need for good health.

Keep a food record

Research shows that people who record the foods they eat each day typically are more successful at weight loss programs than those who don’t keep track. For one thing, most people underestimate the number of calories they eat by at least 20 percent. So, each day, write down everything you eat. You might also start a food journal. A food journal is an expansion of a food record.

Related: Dieting solutions for diabetics – Choices for a type 2 diabetes diet

In addition to recording what you eat, you include information on when and where you eat, whether you’re hungry, and your mood or feelings when you eat. You may find that certain feelings trigger particular eating behaviors. Maybe you overeat when you’re depressed, angry or sad. Or maybe you eat when you’re bored, even if you’re not hungry.

Essential knowledge for people with diabetes: building blocks of nutrition

Our food contains three primary nutrients that provide energy every day: carbohydrates, fats, and protein. For people with diabetes, the most important thing is the proper ratio: Carbohydrates should provide 45 to 60 percent of total energy, fat about 25 to 35 percent, and protein 10 to 20 percent.

Furthermore, the following applies to the diet for diabetes:

  • Avoid being overweight and consume only as much energy as you use.
  • Give preference to carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (slow-acting carbohydrates, see below).
  • Be mindful of the fat quantity and fat selection.
  • Drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water or unsweetened tea daily, but only moderate amounts of alcohol.

Glycemic index: fast- and slow-acting carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the only nutrients that directly affect blood sugar levels. They are found in almost all plant foods and milk and dairy products. In their simplest form, they consist of a single sugar component: glucose (grape sugar) or fructose (fruit sugar). However, flour, bread, and potatoes consist of complex carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion and pass through the intestinal mucosa into the blood. If the blood sugar rises, as a result, the pancreas secretes insulin. This hormone makes the body’s cells receptive to sugar energy.

In diabetes, the sugar supply should be as even as possible because blood glucose levels that are too high or too low put a strain on the metabolism in the long term. The glycemic index (GI) expresses the blood sugar-increasing effect of carbohydrates is expressed by the glycemic index (GI). A high GI means that carbohydrates are rapidly absorbed into the blood. With a low GI, blood sugar rises slowly. Studies show that low GI diets can improve blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. Especially high-fiber foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and legumes have a low GI.

Not all fat is the same.

One gram of fat contains nine kilocalories, more than twice as much energy as one gram of carbohydrate (four kilocalories) or protein (four kilocalories). Fat should not account for more than 30 percent of total energy to lose weight. An exceptionally healthy lifestyle is achieved by eating beneficial fats.

Important essential components of fats are fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids from meat and dairy products are considered somewhat unfavorable. This is because they raise blood cholesterol levels, damage blood vessels, and increase cardiovascular disease risk. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are considered valuable. They are found in vegetable oils and fish and can positively affect blood lipids.

Recommended fats

High-quality vegetable oils include virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil, linseed oil, walnut oil. Also: fatty fish such as herring, salmon, tuna, mackerel.

Use with restraint

Lard, cream, fatty cheeses, fatty meat and sausage products, margarine and deep-frying fats made from hardened fats, and products made from them, such as potato chips, nut-nougat cream, and pastry mixes.

Protein as a building material

Proteins are the building blocks of our body and are involved, for example, in muscle formation and maintenance and blood and hormone formation. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, our body cannot store protein. Therefore, we should consume 60 to 120 grams of protein daily in our diet. Good protein sources are low-fat meat, fish, legumes, and dairy products.
Recent studies indicate that a high-protein diet may benefit people with type 2 diabetes. Experts suggest that a diet that is low in calories and at the same time high in protein is better maintained because the satiety level of proteins is higher.


Review your food record or food nutrition journal weekly to identify potential problems or barriers to success. Click here to check real food nutrition facts for fruits, vegetables, dairy food & preservatives information for your diabetes weight loss plan.

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