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Popular diets for diabetics: why they don’t work

In this series of articles about fat loss and diabetes, we’re looking at popular diets for diabetics, why they don’t work, and what works better. Nicholas Caracandas from Diabetic Athletic is sharing his top tips for weight loss and diabetes – read on!

What are your physical goals?

Your goals for fat loss are what we call thermodynamics. Calories in vs calories out: how much you eat vs how active you are. If you have ever been overweight, it is because of this principle. More calories coming in than going out. You ate too much and your body didn’t require the amount of energy you ate for that day, week, and month.

Now, on a timeline: between you and your goals are things called methods.

methods for diabetes weight loss

Popular diets for diabetics

Let’s break down some popular diets: the Keto diet  is a method, intermittent fasting is a method. LCHF (low carb high fat) is a method. Atkins is also just a method.

Every diet you choose is and always will be a method . Regardless of the method you choose, one principle will always be present:  If you wish to lose body fat, you must consume less energy than you use up.

Let that sink in for a second. It doesn’t matter if you choose intermittent fasting or the cake and cookie diet… You have to put calories on the top of the priority list. You burn a certain number of calories a day. Just by living. You cannot exceed that amount if you want to lose weight.

The bottom line is, if you want to lose body fat, you must consume less calories than you burn. This can be done by eating less, moving more or in an ideal situation, both.

diets for diabetics

Why humans store body fat

It’s important to understand that the reason humans can store body fat in the first place is so that we have a readily-available source of fuel in the event of famine or being stranded on an island. We are designed to survive and to store energy. Women are designed to store more energy than men, because women are responsible for the human race.

Remember this the next time you binge. If your plan is set up for you to lose half a kilo every 7 days and you have been “good” Monday to Friday maintaining your calorie deficit (fewer calories eaten than calories burned). But then you go out on a weekend and overeat, if that overindulgence is larger than the past 5 days of effort, you will not lose any weight for that week.

How do you choose which method is good for you? Any method or diet that makes it easier for you to stick to the calorie allowances and eat well is a good choice for you.

Find the eating plan that works for you

We are all different. There is no one magic method for weight loss. The one you can stick to is the best method for you.

Some people need strict rules, others do better with more flexible approaches.

Your body has a storage capacity. Like a cup of coffee. This is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your cup is not the same size as the person next to you. Every time you drink from your cup it’s like movement. The cup empties and you can put more coffee in it. The more you drink per day the more coffee you can put in the cup. The amount you drink per day is equivalent to the amount of times you get active.

Every time you put something in your mouth you are filling up the cup of coffee. If you don’t move enough, your cup overflows. If you want to pour more coffee (calories), in your mug (body), you have to drink (move) more!

no magic diets for diabetics

No magic diets for diabetics

No diet will do the work for you. The best dietary approach is the method of your choice that you can do without fail. There are no magic tricks – there is no miracle supplement, superfood, meal-timing secret, or any other way to cheat the system. You simply need to eat less food than your body needs, and you need to do it long enough to lose the weight you want to lose.

Doing this is uncomfortable, and there’s no way around that fact.

It’s hard to do, and that’s evidenced by the large segment of the population that struggles with this problem and never achieve their goals.

Diabetes can be difficult – I can obviously relate, as I’m living with Type 1 diabetes. With the right kind of help, guidance and support this can all change in one day. If you’d like some tips or advice, please feel free to message me via my Facebook page @Diabetic Athletic or directly on 

In the next article, I’m going to provide you with some simple rules you can follow to help you succeed. 

Fat loss and diabetes: 4 parts

  1. Mindset and motivation. I am a huge believer in setting a solid foundation and promoting methods that are simple, tried, tested and easy to action.  Read: Fat loss and diabetes.
  2. How much to eat. How to calculate how much you should be eating in order to reach your fat loss goals with better diabetic control. Read: How much to eat to lose weight.
  3. Popular diets for diabetics. Everything you need to know about fat loss and why it does or doesn’t happen. Read: Popular diets for diabetics: why they don’t work
  4. Resources and tools along with four important principles of weight loss for life. Read: What to eat to lose weight.

Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

Published inExercise

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