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Diabetes and Metabolic Health

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Weight loss and other lifestyles changes can be beneficial for type 2 diabetes management and may also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight. However, for many individuals, especially those with diabetes, weight loss is not as simple as ‘eating less and moving more’.

Today we will be discussing the relationship between type 2 diabetes and weight management. As well as the benefits of analysing your metabolic health to support an individualised approach to reducing your weight and diabetes risk. 

What is diabetes?
Diabetes is medical condition which results in excess glucose in the bloodstream. Long-term high blood sugars can lead to health complications such as blood vessel and nerve damage in the heart, kidneys, eyes and feet.

In Australia, Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, affecting almost 1.3 million people. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistance to the effects of the hormone insulin, resulting in reduced ability to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, which is an auto-immune condition, lifestyle changes can help with the management and potential remission of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes and weight management
Weight loss is not only beneficial for diabetes management, but it may also reduce your risk of developing diabetes if you’re overweight. For some, weight loss can also result in the remission of type 2 diabetes. This requires a calorie deficit to reduce fat deposits in the liver and pancreas which results in improved insulin sensitivity.

For people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss may be more difficult compared to the general population. This is because high insulin levels promote the storage of fat and inhibit fat burning, leading to an increase in body fat stores. On the flip side, low blood sugars can also promote weight gain. This is particularly relevant for those on blood sugar lowering medications.

Understanding your metabolic health
You now know the benefits of weight loss for those with diabetes (or those wanting to reduce their risk of developing diabetes), however you may be wondering what the best approach to this is. For many of us, weight loss is not as simple as increasing calories burned and reducing calories in. Successful weight loss is also affected by multiple lifestyle, metabolic and psychological factors.

Metabolic testing can act as a tool to aid the development of an individualised approach to weight management. This allows the measurement of your resting metabolic rate, as well as how effectively you’re using your fat stores as fuel in a fasted state. This data can be used by a dietitian to provide a personalised plan to support your progress towards your weight loss goals.
If you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic and working towards a weight loss goal, why not book in a metabolic health assessment appointment today and be one step closer to a personalised approach to weight loss!

Pi-Sunyer, F.X., 2005. Weight loss in type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetes Care, 28(6), pp.1526-1527.
Kelly, J., Karlsen, M. and Steinke, G., 2020. Type 2 diabetes remission and lifestyle medicine: a position statement from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. American journal of lifestyle medicine, 14(4), pp.406-419.
Lau, D.C. and Teoh, H., 2013. Benefits of modest weight loss on the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Canadian journal of diabetes, 37(2), pp.128-134.
Ludwig, D.S. and Ebbeling, C.B., 2018. The carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity: beyond “calories in, calories out”. JAMA internal medicine, 178(8), pp.1098-1103.
Diabetes Australia. “Type 2 diabetes”. Diabetes Australia. (Accessed June 20, 2023)


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