Just having Type 2 diabetes is a good reason to think of weight loss strategies. So why is this diagnosis apparently associated with such a difficulty in losing weight? Not only that, why do many patients even complain of weight gain since the diagnosis?

Having Type 2 diabetes itself is unlikely to give us clues or answers to why people find it difficult to lose weight. This is not a reason or a focus and alternative explanations need to be found. There are some diabetes medications and regimes that may encourage overeating and identifying these may help.

Just being overweight itself encourages hormones in our body to promote weight gain. This therefore makes it doubly hard to lose weight. This seems to happen because we have an adaptive metabolic mechanism within us that always conserves energy.

Although the initial problem of gaining weight was caused by over eating, our bodies also have the remarkable ability to conserve weight at any price. If we try to lose weight, our metabolism being programmed to conserve weight, will counteract our efforts. Hence it is a very difficult thing to do. It requires great patience and a dedication to following a dietary pattern consistently and for the long-term to result in success. No short-term fix by following the latest diet fad will work long term.

The biggest myth of all is the misconception that eating sugar in the past has given you diabetes and that you have now been handed a life sentence of banned foods that contain sugar. This is a fallacy. There is no medical reason why anyone with Type 2 diabetes should be forbidden any food group. The best principles of nutrition apply to all of us whether you have diabetes or not. In part this is to understand the concept of balance and quantity in food choices.

Too much red meat, fat or sugar for anyone is not healthy.
Too much processed food is not healthy.
Too many cakes, chocolate or sweets in a short space of time is not healthy. Too much alcohol is not healthy.

Too much of these things is the cause of weight gain because excess weight is the result of overeating at some point in the past.

Unfortunately there are no magic solutions if you have weight concerns. There are no magic pills or particular food that will make the weight disappear. The most constructive weight loss and maintenance is about making food changes that will become a part of your habit and lifestyle and the most effective way is by incorporating what you like in a balanced way. So have those special treats but not everyday. Eat rice, bread, pasta etc but be careful about portion size and that really is the key.

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