Exercise keeps off the weight. Research shows that people who increase physical activity along with reducing calorie intake will lose more body fat that people who only diet. For confirmation, look at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a database of 4,000 men and women who have lost 30 or more pounds and kept it off. Only 9 percent reached and maintained their weight-loss goal without exercise. Most people in the register chose walking as their form of exercise.
2. Eat breakfast
The most effective diabetes diet includes breakfast. Skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day when you become ravenous. This can sabotage weight-loss plans and cause blood sugar levels to surge. Studies show that eating breakfast, especially if it’s cereal, is associated with better weight loss. A common characteristic among the NWCR participants is that most of them ate breakfast.
3. Cut calories
The exact number of calories that people on a diabetes diet should consume depends on a number of factors, including age, gender, current weight, activity level, and body type. A reasonable goal for people with type 2 diabetes is between 1,200 and 1,800 calories per day for women and between 1,400 and 2,000 calories per day for men.
4. Feast on fiber
Does your diabetes diet include lots of fiber? If so, you’re doing your type 2 diabetes a favor. Generous amounts of fiber help lower blood sugar levels and speed weight loss. In one study, adults who consumed the most fiber-rich foods had the least amount of body fat. Aim for three servings per day of fiber-loaded fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Toss fiber-rich legumes, like chickpeas and black beans, into salads, chili, and soups.
5. Eat mini-meals
A diabetes diet structured with three or more small meals daily is better than a diet plan that includes only one or two big meals. Large meals can cause blood sugar levels to surge, while eating smaller meals more frequently will keep glucose levels lower after eating. Plus, a diabetes diet consisting of mini-meals spread through the day will help control hunger and calorie intake, leading to faster weight loss.