Reversing diabetes with weight loss is a healthy and natural way to gain greater control over your glucose levels and reduce your dependency on medications. Although studies have yet to find that diabetes can be completely “cured” by weight loss alone, scientific journals such as Pediatrics and the American Journal of Medicine have found that weight loss can indeed eliminate many symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
To understand why reversing diabetes with weight loss is possible, we must first examine the factors that cause Type 2 diabetes in the first place:
- Obesity – Being obese significantly increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, even if you have no genetic predisposition to the disease. Excess body fat, particularly around the abdomen region, increases your body’s blood sugar levels.
- Insulin resistance – One factor that sets the more common Type 2 diabetes apart from Type 1 diabetes, is insulin resistance. Excess body fat prohibits treatment with normal amounts of insulin, as the fat, muscle, and liver cells increase blood sugar and reject the insulin.
- Metabolic syndrome – Metabolic syndrome, which is caused by any combination of overeating, inactivity, genetics, and aging, makes weight loss difficult, leading to obesity and increasing your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Effects of Weight Loss on Diabetes
Reversing diabetes with weight loss is possible because virtually every cause of Type 2 diabetes can be traced back to obesity. Your risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome may increase depending on your genetics and your age, but the greatest factor is your weight and your level of activity.
If you improve your diet and portion size and start following an exercise routine, weight loss is a natural result. If you are no longer obese and you are physically active, the causes of Type 2 diabetes naturally go into reverse. Studies have shown that gastric bypass surgery in diabetes patients has lead to more productive brain-hormone-pancreas pathways, normalizing the levels of blood sugar in the body and decreasing, or even eliminating, the need for medication. You can achieve these results with natural weight loss, too.
Diet for Reversing Diabetes
Because of metabolic syndrome and a lifetime of poor eating habits, it can be difficult to begin the process of reversing diabetes with weight loss. First you must completely change what and how you eat. Progress may be slow, but you cannot let yourself become discouraged. Type 2 diabetes sufferers seeking to reverse diabetes with weight loss should consult with their doctors, and begin a diet regiment that includes foods that are:
- Low in fat
- Low in or devoid of sugar
- Devoid of caffeine
- High in dietary fiber
- Carefully portioned
If you are found to suffer from metabolic syndrome, your physician may recommend dietary supplements that boost metabolism as well.
Exercise for Reversing Diabetes
No diet in the world can achieve significant, healthy weight loss without regular physical activity. If you can afford it, consider signing up for a gym membership or a personal trainer, with which you will receive personalized instruction and supervision. Otherwise, start slowly and build up your tolerance for exercise. Activities such as walking, taking the stairs instead of elevators, and yoga can ease you into a physical activity routine that you can increase over time. Start by including just 30-60 minutes of physical activity per day, and increase as necessary once you become more used to the routine. Don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout!