August 6, 2019


According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there were over 72.9 million cases of diabetes in India in 2017, making India the “Diabetes Capital” of the world. This drastic rise in diabetes cases is thought to be the result of an alarming increase in obesity in India. More than 90% of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics are found to be above their ideal weight.

Weight loss could prevent you from developing diabetes, or help you to better manage already existing diabetes. Numerous studies have reported improvements in insulin function, glucose levels, and overall diabetes control even with modest weight losses of 7–10%.

The most important step in losing weight is determining your BMI (body mass index).

  • Your BMI is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can increase your risk of hypertension, diabetes and other diseases.
  • Understanding how much weight you need to lose can greatly help in achieving your goals in diabetes management.
  • Reducing your weight around the middle (waist circumference) is more important as central obesity is the greatest risk for heart disease and other complications of diabetes.
  • The Asia-Pacific classification of BMI has a lower cut-off for overweight and obese categories compared to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification.

Diet for weight loss

In order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories and substitute less healthy food with foods lower in calories, fat,and sugar.

The key is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups including

Medical Nutrition therapy has now emerged as a tailored nutrition plan to better control diabetes. Your doctor/dietitian can help you with a detailed MNT plan.

Exercise and diabetes

Exercise and other physical activities can help you burn calories and extra fat.

Aerobic exercise like brisk walking, bicycling/stationary cycling indoors, dancing, low-impact aerobics, swimming or water aerobics helps your body use insulin better.

  • Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week.
  • Do not go more than 2 days in a row without exercising.

Strength training (also called resistance training) makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose.

  • Perform some type of strength training at least 2 times per week along with the aerobic activity.
  • Strength training activities include:

  • - Weight machines or free weights at the gym

    - Using resistance bands

  • Lifting light weights or objects like canned goods or water bottles at hom

  • Push ups, sit ups, squats, lunges, wall-sits, and plank

A combination of diet and exercise can help you achieve your weight loss goals for better diabetes management.