Skip to content

How to lose weight with diabetes: expert tips to help you succeed

South Africans with Diabetes want to know how to lose weight with diabetes. It’s not easy, we know! But it is so important – one of the 4 most important things to manage your diabetes, in fact. Remember TEEL?

Take your medication
Eat healthy food
Exercise, a little every day
Lose weight, if you need to


How to lose weight with diabetes

Let’s start with why to lose weight with diabetes. Why is it such an important step? Excess fat, especially around the tummy (if you have a tummy ‘roll’ of fat) often leads to Type 2 diabetes – or makes Type 2 diabetes more difficult to manage. Why? Because that fat builds up deep in the abdomen (stomach) and raises the risk of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is often a big part of Type 2 diabetes. Here’s a helpful article that explains insulin resistance. And here’s a guide to reversing Type 2 diabetes.

If you are overweight, weight loss is the most important thing you can do to help control your blood glucose levels (blood sugar). Weight loss allows the insulin released by your body to work much better. Losing excess weight also helps to reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure. We know how hard it can be to lose weight with diabetes, but even if you just lose 5 to 10% of your current body weight, that can make a big difference.

how to lose weight with diabetes: drink more water

Change your habits

It is so hard to change habits – we know! But if you can train your body to drink more water, eat half a plate of green vegetables with lunch and dinner and exercise, a little every day you will see the results. We asked dietician Lauren Moore to give us her top 5 weight loss tips: read her tips in detail here.

  1. Eat half a plate of green vegetables
  2. Choose good quality proteins most of the time
  3. Drink lots of water
  4. Buy bulk and save
  5. Exercise, a little every day

Not sure how to get active? We’ve written the ultimate guide to exercise with diabetes here.

A step-by-step guide to weight loss

Type 1 diabetic and health coach Nicholas Caracandas has outlined a step-by-step guide to fat loss and diabetes. The first step? Motivation.

Motivation comes from results. All you have to do is get started. You will be motivated once you start seeing the results that you’re getting: losing fat, building muscle, or having less dependence on your medication.

Nicholas Caracandas, Diabetic Athletic

The next step is making the right food choices for weight loss: here’s everything you need to know about that. The most important thing to remember is that the energy you burn (through exercise) has to be more than the energy you consume (through food). You have to be working off more than you’re taking in. Here’s how to choose the right kinds of food to lose weight.

If you’ve been trying a diabetes diet and wondering why it’s not working, here’s the answer. The thing is that because diabetes is a chronic condition, you have to find an eating plan that works for you – every day. Here are some meal plans to choose from.

Managing Type 2 diabetes is about more than just how to lose weight with diabetes, of course. Here’s a detailed guide to how to manage Type 2.

What to read next?

How to reverse Type 2 diabetes: There is a ‘recipe’ for how to reverse Type 2 diabetes, and we’ve outlined it step-by-step here.

Exercise, a little every day: The ultimate guide to diabetic exercise, including how to make it fun!

Managing Type 2 diabetes: All you need to know to manage Type 2 diabetes in a healthy way.

Photo by Nigel Msipa on Unsplash

What to read next
Join South Africans with Diabetes on Facebook

Join our diabetes community

Be First to Comment

What do you think?

Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.