Low carbohydrate diets
Low carbohydrate diets involve cutting down on your intake of carbohydrate foods such as sugar, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Research into this has had encouraging results for large numbers of people. However, the weight loss is not always maintained, which can lead to a yoyo effect. If you are on insulin you will need to reduce the doses dramatically while you restrict your intake of carbohydrate. Always speak to your diabetes healthcare team before adjusting your insulin dose.
Low fat diets
A more conventional low fat diet is often recommended. This involves reducing your intake of saturated fat, whilst increasing oily fish and complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal pasta and bread. Studies of low fat diets in people with Type 2 diabetes suggest that weight loss is around three to seven per cent after a year.
Glycaemic Index (GI) diets
Low GI foods are essentially low in refined carbohydrate (sugar), and include more complex carbohydrate (starches) and soluble fibre. These foods will release glucose more slowly into your blood, providing a more steady blood glucose level with fewer and lower peaks.
Partial meal replacement diets
Some food companies have products that replace up to two meals with lower calorie alternatives. The weight loss on these diets is about seven to eight per cent within a year, which is generally slightly more than a conventional reduced calorie diet.
A number of organisations promote dieting and lifestyle change through group work. This approach can be very effective for encouraging people to stick to a diet and exercise programme. There is no doubt that companionship in dieting makes long-term success much more likely.