Type-2 diabetes remission or “reversal diabetes“ is a topic of hot debate within the patient and the scientific communities. While most affected individuals generally rely on medicines or insulin in severe cases, very few are aware that this disease can also be manipulated positively via drug-free methods. Here are the three common alternatives –
- Significant weight loss.
- Regular exercise, including strength training exercises.
- Bariatric surgery.
Important – Diabetes remission is not a myth; it is also a fact that recurrence is highly possible if you stop exercising or regain weight.
Understanding the Link between Weight Loss and Type 2 Diabetes Reversal
Insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity are some equations that affect blood sugar levels. Obese individuals are more prone to develop these issues and, thereby, type-2 diabetes. Interestingly, resistance and sensitivity are related to each other. In simple terms, if you have insulin resistance, it typically means you have low sensitivity towards this hormone.
On the other hand, individuals who are sensitive to insulin tend to exhibit lower resistance to this peptide hormone. Either way, it affects how the cells react to it. The consequence of this malfunction leads to type-2 diabetes because it triggers enhanced production of insulin. Overweight individuals generally have poor energy metabolism as well as compromised glucose metabolism. One needs to understand that apart from the genetic factor, obesity is one of the leading causes of type-2 diabetes, and obese people are at a higher risk of developing this disease.
Impact of Excess Weight on Insulin Resistance: Breaking the Cycle
Excess weight in individuals often leads to insulin resistance, thereby lowering the uptake of glucose. It also affects various metabolisms and the storage of glucose. Poor glucose transport means increased blood sugar levels, accumulation in the liver and reduced metabolic activities. One of the reasons for this compromised glucose uptake is said to be because of lipid accumulation in connective tissues and skeletal muscle. Glucose uptake and transport are the key factors, and obesity rattles the functioning of these systems leading to insulin conflict and high sugar levels. By simply reducing body weight, individuals with type-2 diabetes can reverse this situation, breaking the cycle of poor energy and glucose metabolism. Weight loss is one of the best ways to reverse prediabetes.
Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals for Diabetes Reversal
Weight loss is a slow process and easier said than done. The good news is that type-2 diabetes can be reversed by lowering body mass. To achieve success, you need to set up realistic weight loss goals. The million-dollar question is how? Mentioned below are some quick tips and inspirations.
- Consume fewer carbohydrates. It means you must avoid rice, potatoes, beverages, pastries and carb-laden foods.
- Replace the above with a fibrous diet such as leafy vegetables, spirulina, certain algae subsets, and fruits with good amounts of vitamins and high water content.
- Follow a set routine. Opt for mixed exercises. Squats, deadlifts, lunges, planks and a bit of cardio can do wonders. Alternatively, choose the ones that you are comfortable with.
- Consult a professional nutritionist.
- Drink more water and quit smoking.
Strategies for Successful Weight Loss: Exercise, Diet, and Lifestyle Changes
Having a handy glucose test kit is extremely important at the very outset. This is one of the critical requirements. The idea is to measure the blood sugar level each day during the weight loss. If you have consulted a nutritionist, then you are already aware of the do’s and don’ts. For others, some of the essential strategic steps would be to reduce carbohydrate intake and replace it with a salad containing assorted leafy veggies and fruits.
Popcorn and whole grains are fulfilling and tasty. Break the monotony by adding soups to your diet plan. Lifestyle changes include sleeping, rising at the right time, and quitting smoking and alcohol. Of course, exercise too will also be an integral part of this regime. Remember, it is not about muscle gain but about reducing body weight. It means cardio is better than power lifts.
Role of Calorie Restriction in Achieving Weight Loss and Glycemic Control
Here is a fantastic interpretation of calorie, weight loss and glycemic control chains.
“Reduced consumption of calories and regular exercise means your body will not only exhaust the sugar in its entirety, but it will begin to exploit fat and protein for energy needs. This, in turn, reduces weight and thereby optimises blood glucose concentration“.
Several studies state that diabetic individuals who were given less than 1000 calories ( a diet with a low glycemic index ) a day for 120 to 150 days and subsequently reintroduced to regular food got rid ( remission ) of type-2 diabetes. For individuals looking for “reversal diabetes” options, the first step towards this goal is to cut down calorie intake.
Choosing a Suitable Diet Plan for Weight Loss and Diabetes Reversal
The two most popular diet plans for weight loss are –
Ketogenic diet and Mediterranean diet: While the ketogenic diet is based on extremely low-carb and high-fat principles, the Mediterranean diet, in contrast, is a moderate version of it. In both these options, sugary foods and high-carb grains such as rice are completely boycotted. The Mediterranean diet makes use of legumes, fruits and whole grains. On the other hand, the Keto diet exploits fish and marine products which are low in carbs and high in omega-3 fatty acids. The idea is to reduce weight and correct insulin resistance.
Benefits of Strength Training for Weight Loss and Improving Insulin Sensitivity
Choosing the right exercises is extremely important for weight loss and insulin sensitivity. The idea is to not just reduce weight but improve internal functions as well. Diabetic individuals can reap huge physical and metabolic benefits through this strategy. Strength training for weight loss also offers the following gains –
- Improved response to various metabolisms ( energy and glucose ) and insulin.
- Improved conversion and transport of sugar and, thereby, blood sugar levels.
- And, of course, weight reduction is also a part of these gains.
Some popular strength training exercises and equipment include dumbbells and resistance bands.
Read More: Why Is Weight Management Important For A Person With Diabetes?
Weight loss for type-2 diabetes reversal is not just about lowering the body mass but also about improving various physical, cognitive and metabolic functions. A scientifically planned diet, targeted exercises, and optimised lifestyle changes will not only lower the blood sugar level but also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of insulin in energy and glucose metabolism. However, it demands dedication, time and proven guidance / professional help to achieve the desired results. A portable diabetes machine too plays an important role.
It is crucial to monitor your blood sugar levels using a smartphone-connected glucometer on a regular basis. If you feel doubtful about whether or not you should consume a particular item, you should do a quick sugar check before and after you consume it.
Being a person with diabetes, you can enjoy your favourite treats by making sure that you keep the portion size in check. Overindulging can lead to a spike in your sugar levels. It’s important to discuss with your physician how a food item can affect your blood glucose levels. If you have any doubts about what you can include as a part of your diabetes diet, you should always speak to your doctor or health coach.
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