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Simple weight loss tips for diabetics that will help you take control today

Are you looking for weight loss tips for diabetics? We posted a helpful #diabetestip on Diabetic South African, and many of you replied asking for more. It’s not easy trying to lose weight with diabetes, we know, but these tips should help you feel empowered.

Weight loss tips for diabetics:

Here are some helpful weight loss tips from Lauren Moore, one of the dieticians on our Panel of Experts.

1. Eat half a plate of green vegetables

Aim for half a plate of green, non-starchy vegetables, a small portion of complex carbohydrates and some lean protein (eg eggs, fish, chicken).  The vegetables crowd out the other food on your plate.  Aim to do this every night for supper at first, then try to get a big vegetable portion at lunch too. Here’s a guide to which vegetables to choose.

2. Choose good quality proteins most of the time

Lean proteins (chicken, fish, eggs, meat without fat) are lower in calories, but very filling.

3. Drink lots of water

Did you know that when you’re thirsty you crave sugary or salty food? Our bodies often tell us we’re craving foods like fruits or sweet things when the body is actually just looking for more water. The next time you feel like eating something unhealthy, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes to see if it helps. A good tip to increase how much water you drink is to drink a big glass of water before each meal.  

4. Buy bulk and save

If you buy bulk and then cook a few meals when you have some free time, you’ll be making your life a lot easier. Dish them into the right portion sizes and store them in the freezer. (Here’s a guide to portion sizes if you need it.) This helps when you are having a crazy week and don’t have the time or energy to prepare healthy meals in the evening.  Having back-up meals in the freezer means you won’t turn to readymade meals or fast foods, which are not healthy options.  

5. Exercise, a little every day

It’s so important to move your body every day. Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week (5 days x 30 minutes), ideally a combination of resistance exercise (push ups, lunges, squats and gentle weight) and cardio.  Download a free app (like the 30 Day Workout) to motivate you, or take part in social events like the Park Run (lots of people walk it too!)

Losing weight with diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint. But if you can teach yourself some good habits – like the tips here suggest – you’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of healthy living.

What to read next?

Exercise, a little every day: Exactly how to exercise with diabetes.

Fat loss and diabetes: The ultimate diabetic guide to losing weight.

What is BMI? Understand BMI and get your BMI number with this easy calculator.

What to read next
Join South Africans with Diabetes on Facebook

Join our diabetes community


  1. Cynthia Amponsah Dacosta Cynthia Amponsah Dacosta

    Am not fiabetic but i want to eat healthier,

    • That’s a great plan, Cynthia! You don’t have to be diabetic to eat a healthy diet 🙂

  2. paseka paseka

    my HbA1c results are 42 mmol/l (6%) . what can i do do to reduce the risk of being type2 diabetic?

    • Hi Paseka!
      Take a look at this article for tips on how to manage Type 2 diabetes – many of the tips are the same for reducing risk:
      Ideally, you want to cut out refined carbs and sugar and eat a healthy diet, lose weight if necessary and exercise regularly. Good for you for being so pro-active about your health!

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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.