5 Weight loss tips for diabetics

Sweet Life Diabetes Community, South Africa’s largest online diabetes community, shares diabetes information and advice both on their website and their Facebook community, Diabetic South Africans. Their goal is to show that it’s possible to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes. For more on Sweet Life, click here.

1. Focus on balancing your plate

Aim for half a plate of non-starchy vegetables, a small portion of complex carbohydrates and some lean protein (eg eggs, fish, chicken). Without the big portion of vegetables, it is hard to keep the portions of carbohydrates appropriate while still feeling full and satisfied – the vegetables are the key! Aim to do this every night for supper at first, then try to get a big vegetable portion at lunch too.

2. Choose lean proteins most of the time

They are lower in calories (but very filling).

3. Drink lots of calorie-free fluids

Many of our cravings stem from dehydration. Our bodies often tell us we are craving foods like fruits or yoghurt, when the body is actually just looking for more fluid. This leads to excessive calorie (and often carbohydrate) intake. A good tip to increase fluid intake is to ensure you drink a big glass of water before each meal.

4. Aim to prepare a few meals in bulk

When you have some free time. Pre-portion them and store them in the freezer. This helps when you are having a crazy week and don’t have the time/energy to prepare healthy meals in the evening. Having back-up meals available will reduce your reliance on convenience foods or fast foods, which are often extremely calorie dense.

5. Exercise is a key component in the weight loss journey

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, and aim to participate in social events such as the Park Run (lots of people walk it too!).

Lauren Moore, one of the dieticians on the Sweet Life Diabetes Community Panel of Experts.  She is a Registered Dietitian based at the Diabetes Life Clinic in Cape Town’s southern suburbs. Lauren holds a Masters degree in Nutrition and is a member of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa. She has a special interest in nutritional management of diabetes, kidney disease, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders. Her passion for dietetics stems from her desire to help people by empowering them with practical knowledge and giving them the confidence to make healthier choices and live more fulfilled lives.