Being a healthy weight won't halt the progression of your diabetes but it will slow it down. It also reduces your risk of other complications linked with diabetes. If you lose excess weight, it should lower your blood pressure, increase your levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and improve your blood glucose levels. Being a healthy weight is also good for your general health and sense of well-being.
Am I overweight?
One of the best ways to find out if you are overweight is to work out your Body Mass index (BMI). You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight by the square of your height in metres (kg/m2). A BMI of between 20 and 25 is generally considered to be healthy, 26 to 30 indicates overweight, whereas over 30 is a sign of obesity.
Your body shape is also important. People who are naturally "pear-shaped", storing fat on their bottom and thighs, are at a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than people who are "apple-shaped" and store fat around their middle. This is called central obesity and is the reason why waist measurements can be taken as a "risk indicator" for developing diabetes.
Although the majority of people who develop Type 2 diabetes have a tendency towards being overweight, there are exceptions. If you are within a healthy weight range or underweight, this does not mean that a diagnosis of diabetes is wrong, although it may come as more of a surprise.
Weight loss & insulin
Insulin can lead you to eat even if you are not hungry. Remember to check your blood glucose level before eating something extra. Be careful not to eat too much when your blood glucose level is low, 10 to 15 grams of glucose is usually enough. Even if you are still hungry, wait 10 to 15 minutes before eating anything else. This will give your blood glucose level time to rise. If you are dieting to lose weight, try to decrease your food and insulin intake at the same time. It can be difficult to find the right balance between insulin and food. Always talk to your diabetes healthcare team before adjusting your diet and insulin doses.