According to the data collected by the World Health Organization, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Research has even shown how the number of people affected by diabetes in a span of 34 years has gone from 108 million to 422 million based on information gathered by the WHO.
Contrary to common belief, too much sugar is not the only reason why people are diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, there are many things that could be the root of this disease. But before we get into that, let’s first get into some basics.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong health condition that affects the body’s ability to convert food into energy. A huge percentage of the food we consume on a daily basis gets broken down into sugar (aka glucose) before it gets introduced into the bloodstream. Whenever the blood sugar spikes, signals are sent so that the pancreas releases insulin. This then prompts the release of blood sugar which is then used as energy once introduced to the cells of the body.
Individuals who suffer from diabetes are either unable to produce ample amounts of insulin or their body is unable to properly utilize the insulin it creates as efficiently as it should. An excessive amount of blood sugar remains in the bloodstream when there is an insufficient supply of insulin or if the body no longer responds to the insulin present. Aside from diabetes, other serious health repercussions can include kidney disease, heart disease, and the loss of vision.
Several types of diabetes exist today. However, of all the types, these three most common ones are as follows: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Here is a quick rundown on each of the types.
Type 1 diabetes is believed to be the result of an autoimmune issue. This is when the body mistakenly attacks itself which then causes the body to cease producing insulin. On the other hand, type 2 generally affects how insulin is used by the body. And oftentimes, though insulin is still being produced, it is no longer being efficiently or effectively used.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy when the woman’s body is not as sensitive to insulin as it used to be. For the most part, it does not manifest in all pregnant women, and will often go away after the birth of the child.
How to stop weight loss in diabetes
It’s true that most people with diabetes usually have to deal with gaining weight. But there are still some who experience severe depletion in weight. Diabetics with this dilemma lose fat and even muscle mass. To combat this, there are several practices you can implement with ease. Here’s what some to get you started:
Track your calorie intake
Knowing what foods you can and cannot eat are part of the delicate dance that diabetes brings about. Whether you are trying to gain weight or simply stop any weight loss, one good and not to mention simple method is to track your calorie intake. Instead of relying on standard info which is unreliable, seek a dietician who can help you create a custom diet or meal plan.
This is vital since each person’s calorie intake will depend on various factors. Age, weight, gender, activity level, and even height can play a role in determining the number of calories the body will need.
Steer clear of caffeine
Caffeinated drinks such as black coffee and tea are known beverages that are known appetite suppressants. Thus it goes without saying that drinking coffee when you are trying to maintain a healthy weight can be counterproductive.
If you or anyone you know has diabetes, a nutrient-dense and high-calorie alternative for a snack should replace hunger masking beverages. Some examples are whole-grain toast, full-fat Greek yogurt with some granola, apples, peanut butter, walnuts, and bananas.
Introduce healthy and nutritious oils to your diet
As much as possible turn to healthy oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, and avocado oil. Use it for cooking or as a salad dressing. Healthy oils ensure you get the right calorie to boost your body’s needs.
Embrace full-fat dairy products
It is no secret that full-fat dairy can contribute to weight gain. However, it does pay to be mindful of the number of saturated fats, as well as carbs that you consume. After all, for diabetics proper management of blood sugar levels is essential.
Eat a lot but in smaller portions
Are you noticing the pounds melt away even though you are eating three times a day? When this happens, try eating more. Not larger portions, rather go for smaller servings but take these meals throughout the day. This gradual increase is a great way to encourage a better appetite and take in more calories than you are losing.
Ramp up your protein intake
Proteins will help you bulk up when weight loss is happening fast. Look towards lean proteins like turkey, boiled eggs, chicken, and fish. But you aren’t limited to meat, plant-based protein sources like beans, lentils, soy, and quinoa.
Consider adding resistance training workouts
Aside from watching what you eat, including a workout regimen is also helpful. Proteins will help you bulk up but exercise will ensure muscles are developed. This can introduce weight gain that doesn’t come off as easily. To transform your calories into muscle, consider adding strength training routines. And before you think that adding weights would turn you extremely muscle-bound, this isn’t what resistance training does. Simply, it is a good method to put on weight since the practice also helps you store excess fat.
Look into using diet supplements
Sometimes getting ample vitamins and nutrients from food alone can be tricky. Many health enthusiasts like to pair their healthy diet with supplements that are designed to help increase their appetite and even encourage weight gain.
Whey protein and casein are two prime supplement examples that lots of people turn to when trying to gain some weight and add some mass. This is a good trick to use when you want to stop weight loss in diabetes. Supplements like whey are best taken when added to food and drinks. Countless people add them to shakes, yogurts, puddings, and cereals. Supplements come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, in order to find one that suits your needs best and won’t interfere with any diabetes medication you are taking. Always make it a habit to consult your dietician or doctor. Randomly selecting health supplements can prove problematic in the long run.
Knowing when to contact your doctor
Anyone with diabetes can attest to the countless ill effects that this condition brings about. One of these effects is severe weight loss. While that may sound appealing to some people, for those who suffer from this ailment, unexplained weight loss is not something to rejoice.
Diabetics with an insulin deficiency do not get an ample supply of glucose in the bloodstream thereby they lack energy. As a result, the body ends up burning fat from fat and muscles in order to generate energy which in turn causes a sudden loss of body weight. Typically this unexpected reduction of overall weight loss is visible in people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and sometimes those with type 2 diabetes as well.
Assuming you have not been actively trying to trim off 5% or more than 10 lbs of your body weight in as little as 3 months to a year. If this happens then it may be time to seek out your physician since they will be able to best determine exactly what’s causing you to lose weight. In any case, there are a few things that you can do to stop any weight loss occurring if you are a diabetic sufferer.
There is no sugarcoating it
Diabetes need not restrict your dietary options or overall lifestyle. With the assistance of a health care practitioner and with some simple changes in your daily routine, diabetes can be manageable. Although most people associate this disease with weight gain, it is possible to experience the opposite.
Essentially, keeping tabs on your insulin level and sustaining a standard range ascertains that the fat and muscle aren’t broken down in place of glucose. When this mixup occurs, it is then that diabetes sufferers experience weight loss.
By combining the right food with a proper diet and workout regimen, any diabetic can build muscle that encourages weight gain and a healthy appetite. The worst thing a person with diabetes can do is to ignore the advice of their doctor. While there is nothing wrong with conducting your own research and looking into alternative medication, know that the tried and tested methods of managing your insulin levels will trump these. Err on the side of caution when attempting a holistic approach. Aside from other diabetics, your doctor is still the best person you can turn to when health concerns crop up.