Many people with type 2 diabetes need to lose weight. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs most often among overweight and obese adults. The problem with diabetes is that the body cannot use insulin to move sugar from the bloodstream to the cells, so it builds at concentrations that are too high in the blood stream. If left uncontrolled, diabetes can produce serious complications including kidney problems, heart disease and vision problems. There is no cure for diabetes, but medications are sometimes used to regulate blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, the medications often have side effects, sometimes causing severe weight loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. Type 2 diabetics who need to gain weight can do so safely and without harming blood sugar levels, by changing their diet and exercise regimen just slightly.
THINGS YOU'LL NEED
- free weights or resistance bands
Add more healthy fats and protein to your diet. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University states that foods with carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, rice, and fruits raise blood sugar levels. Eating too many carbohydrates can promote the onset of symptoms like fatigue and dizziness for diabetics. However, protein and fat do not raise blood sugar levels. Eating more protein- rich foods like chicken, turkey, lean beef, cheese and tofu can help you to gain weight without triggering problems related to diabetes. It's very important that you eat the right type of dietary fats instead of just aiming to eat more fat. The Mayo Clinic explains that saturated fat, which comes from animals and is found in foods like bacon, steak, whole milk and butter, can increase the risk of heart problems for diabetics. Yet unsaturated, healthy fats that come from fish, nuts, avocados and olive oil can actually improve heart health while helping a type 2 diabetic to pack on extra pounds.
Eat more often throughout the day. Instead of eating three square meals, try eating five or six small meals a day. Snacking often benefits diabetics who need to gain weight in two different ways. First, snacking often helps to regulate blood sugar levels. If you go too long without eating, your blood sugar levels may become dangerously low. Second, eating often will help you to be able to get enough calories for weight gain without feeling too full. Ultimately, weight gain is a mathematical equation; a matter of eating more calories than you burn. It may be hard to eat more calories than you burn simply with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacking often on nutrient and calorie-dense foods will help you to gain weight.
Replace intense cardiovascular exercise like jogging with strength training. You can still enjoy walks and other moderate forms of cardiovascular exercise, but doing too much of it can cause you to lose weight as it burns calories quickly. The University of Michigan Medical Center states that strength training, like using resistance bands or free weights, can help diabetics to control their blood sugar. Weight training can also help you to gain muscle, instead of only fat as you gain weight. Try strength training exercises for a half an hour, three to five times per week.