Lifestyle changes for diabetes

Making healthy lifestyle changes can really help to tackle type 2 diabetes.

Losing weight has been shown to get blood sugar levels under control and even go as far as reversing the progress of T2DM (remission of diabetes).

This means that some people can stop their lifelong medications (with sustained weight loss and lifestyle changes) and dramatically reduce the risk of serious health complications.

*Wilding, The Importance of Weight Management in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, International Journal of Clinical Practice, 2014

Weight loss and BMI

Evidence-based nutrition guidelines published by Diabetes UK in 2018 have shown:

  1. Improvement in blood sugar control and reduction of cardiovascular risk ( risk of heart and blood vessel problems) with a 5% weight loss.

  2. If you are overweight or obese (determined by BMI- see below) a 15kg weight loss minimum can lead to remission of T2DM.

This weight loss needs to be sustained (NICE recommend 5-10% weight loss per year) and accompanied with physical activity.

BMI is something you may come across at the GP.

It shows how healthy your current weight is when considering height and ethnicity.

The picture to the left shows what these numbers mean.

Click the NHS link to calculate your BMI and to find out more about what this means.

Some thing to note:

  • For Asian and Black ethnicities a BMI of 23 and above puts you at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart problems etc.

  • A BMI of 27.5 and above puts these populations at high risk

  • N.B. BMI cannot tell you how much fat you are carrying so might not be as accurate for people with high muscle mass, or those who are pregnant.

How to lose weight

Losing weight is all to do with watching what you eat and becoming more active.

Daily calorie intake is key to this. Calories represent how much energy there is within food and there is a fine balance of eating too much or too little as shown below.

Losing weight require you to consume less calories than the energy you burn off during the day.

To calculate the amount of calories you need per day to lose weight click here.

Tips for making healthy lifestyle changes

*Please remember that if you are struggling and need support make an appointment with your GP *