So how can you lose weight? Draw up a plan.

David Kinshuck


Weight..why is it a problem?

diagram of compications of obesity



Being overweight is harmful.

First, it makes your body 'resistant' to insulin, so you need more insulin that you would if you were an ideal weight.

Diabetes is caused by the shortage of insulin, so with less insulin there is worse diabetes.

But being thinner reduces the need for insluin, so thin people are 'less diabetic'

Losing weight makes diabetes easier to control, as well as help lowering blood pressure and helping arthritis.

Secondly, the pancreas is damaged by the extra fat, so with more obeisty and fat it will produce less insulin.

Third, weight increases the risk of retinopathy significantly, even in type 1 diabetes.

So there are many reasons to lose weight, but like many things in life, losing weight is often a very hard battle. However, if you avoid all the food that is very fattening, like cakes, chocolate and full fat dairy food, and have small portions of fattening food like meat and fish, and combine this with an hours walking a day (perhaps 2 x half hour walks), most people will make good progress.
Below is more specific advice that everyone, even if they do not have diabetes, needs to follow to keep healthy.

"Obesity is perpetuated by a series of vicious circles, which...accelerate weight gain." BMJ....the "runaway weight gain train".  The wait gain is usually very slow, by 100 gm a day, equivalent to a large bowl of cereal of 1/2 a mars bar every day.


How does being overweight cause or contribute to your diabetes?

causes of type 2 diabetes

fat & too little exercise causes resistance to insulin enlarge

In type 2 diabetes muscles need more insulin than normal: this is due to resistance to insulin caused by large amounts of fat and lack of exercise. Details.

For example, a 15 stone or 110kg person needs more insulin that a 11 stone of 70kg person. So if your pancreas, the gland which makes the insulin, is running out of insulin, it may have enough insulin for the 11 stone 70kg person. But if you were 4 stone or 40kg heavier, you would not have enough insulin for the extra weight, so you would be diabetic. (This is a simplified explanation.)




A plan

food input has to be less than energy output if you want to lose weight

enlarge weight = balance between intake and output

Our weight is a balance between intake and output.

If we take in more calories than we burn up exercising we will put weight on.

Large portions, or the wrong food, are likely to contain too many calories. So we have to ensure we eat smaller portions, healthy food, or have more exercise.

If you are serious about losing weight,


Portion size

small portions of fattening foods if you are trying to lose weight

small portions..a critical step


For most overweight people the portion sizes are larger than thinner people (proven scientifically here & here). See

For most people in the UK, a portion of meat or fish should be no bigger than one weetabix. A cupful of potatoes/rice/pasta, and unlimited salad/vegetables are ideal amounts. See how to calculate portion size for a very active day.



What is a balanced meal?

a balanced meal

A balanced meal enlarge

The meal should be balanced to keep healthy:

(fish, meat, pulses such as beans or lentils)
same size as a weetabix
same size as your thumb
size of one fist (UK)
size of 2 palms

Fish and pulses are particularly healthy. Two small portions of fish a week helps your circulation.


Individual advice..see a dietician

see a dietician for individual advice...picture factorhealth.com

see a dietician for individual advice

Individual advice from a dietician is important when you are newly diagnosed with diabetes. If your diabetes is difficult to control, or if you cannot lose weight, a dietician can usually offer advice to you as an individual, so ask for an appointment.

Everybody with diabetes should see a dietician each year for individual advice. Ask your GP to refer you. This is naturally especially important if your diabetes is not controlled or you are overweight.  If you are very overweight, your GP may be able to refer you to an Obesity clinic, where there may be a doctor specialising in obesity, a dietician, a physiotherapist, and may be a psychologist. For more success losing weight it is very helpful to have personal support, see.

Join Weight Watchers or an equivalent weight watching group.



walking in Dovedale...good fun and keeps you fit

exercise...improves glucose and control and makes people feel happier



Exercise is critically important. 10000 steps a day are needed to lose weight. See Exercise page. If you are disabled, exercise is still very important, try to walk round the house every half hour, and go out and walk outside for short walks, perhaps 4 times a day.

If you have arthritis and cannot walk or take any exercise, you will only need 1200 calories a day...this is not much at all, and it is hard to eat so little.

Losing weight is important, but so is getting fit. Many people who are overweight have arthritis, and leisure centre gyms or fitness clubs can help. Staff there can tell you what exercise may help. Even if you cannot lose weight, exercise has many health benefits.

Swimming  is really helpful if you have arthritis in the knees. An exercise bike can help if the arthritis is only mild, but there are plenty of upper body muscle strengthening exercises a fitness instructor can tell you about. Once you know what they are, you can do some at home.

If you do not have arthritis, walking and cycling can be helpful. Do not drive when you are shopping for small items, walk. See losing 3.5 stones in 8 months.


eat regularly...clock from home-office-design.co.uk

Eat regular meals

Eating regularly is important to help you lose weight. Meals should be based around starchy carbohydrate foods (such as bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals), see . Don't eat other people's left overs...this is very fattening


1-2 pints a day...more than that makes the sight go away


Alcohol has many calories, so it is fattening. It also puts your blood pressure up. Try to drink alcohol only in moderation.

A reasonable amount is 2 units for women and 3 units for men each day. Always have something to eat with your drink or shortly before. See what binge drinking does to blood pressure here.



aim to lose 1lb a weekl

losing a 1lb a week is considered ideal

Be Realistic

It is no good expecting to lose too much weight too quickly. It is often best lost slowly, whilst at the same time changing your lifestyle (as below, essentially eating less rich food, more vegetables and fruit, and exercising more).

Even losing 10% of your weight is a really hard job, so do not expect to lose too much too quickly.
Losing 1lb a week is ideal. Even a little less will still be helpful. Losing weight to quickly tends to lead to a rebound increase in weight. Research using supplements did demonstrate that more weight loss is possible with expert help.

You do need to weigh yourself weekly to check your progress.


A Snack

fruit is an ideal snack especially if diabetic

fruit is an ideal snack

If you want a snack, fruit lor natural yoghurt or a cup of teac or coffee (not a latte) are much better that chocolates or biscuits.

Experiment with different snacks, but do not worry is your sugar rises a little after you eat. .



avoid certain situations if trying to lose weight; fruit is fine

Avoid situations

Some situations are just too tempting. Going to certain cafes, certain friends who tempt you, certain shops, may provide too much temptation. It may be best not to go to these places.

Ask your friends to help you by not tempting you with the wrong food or too much food. They may be overweight too.

I suggest keeping all 'junk' out of the house. As type 2 diabetes runs in the family, it would be wrong for grandparents to encourage their grandchildren to eat junk food in the house. If cakes, chocolates, sweets, and fast food are in the house, anyone of of us would be tempted to eat it at times. If you are tempted, stick to fruit. Remember, junk food is addictive ...it just makes you hungrier.


Sleeping well reduces obesity

Ssee  https://www.sleephelp.org/diabetes-and-sleep/


Everyday situations

build exercise and fun into yur life

build exercise into your life


Try to build in exercise into your daily life. Go shopping on foot; wash the dishes by hand; clean the house; visit friends on foot, go for walks. Grow some vegetables.

Just the opposite of routine 2014 life!

New hobbies and interests

dancing and other hobbies release endorphins in the brain, making us happy

enlarge  exercise releases endorphins from the brain..we feel happier and may eat less



Some new hobbies, like dancing, will be of obvious benefit. But most hobbies and interests will help by helping you feel better. Psychologists have worked out what makes us happy: the combination of exercise, music, sex, and learning is an ideal combination (as in dancing).

But simply learning any new skill, like surfing the internet, can help people feel happier. A happier person will be able to cope better with a strict diet!

Try and join a few clubs, developing new interests.

So if you think you eat because you are bored or fed up, this could be you. Try and get out and enjoy yourself, see your friends, and so on.



What other people do to lose weight

American Heart Association Recommendations 2000

Advice from the British Heart Association and others

The advantages of a 10kg weight loss


How does your weight change

from this report NEJM 2011

and was inversely associated with the intake of

Total dietary changes were associated with substantial wieght reduction of 1 lb/year.