Weight Control for Diabetics

Diabetic weight-loss and weight control can be critically important . . .

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are a must when it comes to controlling your weight. A weight management plan depends on whether you are overweight or underweight.

An easy way to determine your own desirable body weight is to use the following formula:

Body fat and body mass measurements are used to determine whether a person is under or overweight. A registered dietitian or exercise physiologist can help you calculate your body fat. The recommended amount of body fat differs for men and women.

For Women:

For Men:

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a indirect measurement of your body composition. It takes into consideration both your weight and height. BMI helps determine your risk for certain diseases, including diabetes and hypertension.

To calculate your BMI, see Body Mass Index.

It is important to note that the terms "overweight" and "obese" do NOT mean the same thing. See obesity.

Weight management for people who have been overweight involves continued physical activity and monitoring of the amount of food eaten.


Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are eating disorders associated with a negative alteration in body image. Anorexia nervosa is a disorder of extreme self-imposed limitations of food, resulting in dangerously rapid weight loss to the point of starvation. This disorder is most commonly found in adolescent females, but may also occur in males, children, and adults.

Bulimia is binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting and is frequently associated with anorexia nervosa. Often times there is no significant weight loss and the condition may not come to medical attention until the individual seeks help.

Excessive intentional weight loss can cause a person to be dangerously underweight. For these people, weight management involves maintaining sufficient intake of food to prevent losing the weight that has been gained.


To maintain one's weight, the following formula can be used:

Activity Levels:


Do not eat meat more than once a day. Fish and poultry are recommended above red or processed meats because they are less fattening.

Avoid frying food. Your food absorbs the fats from the cooking oils, increasing your dietary fat intake. It is recommended that you bake or broil food. If you do fry, use polyunsaturated oils such as corn oil.

Cut down on your salt intake, whether it be table salt, or flavors intensifiers that contain salt such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Including adequate fiber in your diet is very important. Fiber is found in green leafy vegetables, fruit, beans, bran flakes, nuts, root vegetables, and whole grain foods.

Do not eat more than 4 eggs per week. Although they are a good source of protein, and low in saturated fat, eggs are very high in cholesterol, and should be eaten in moderation for that reason.

Choose fresh fruit for deserts rather than cookies, cake, or pudding.

Too much of anything has its drawbacks, whether it be calories, or a particular type of food. A well-balanced diet with variety is best suited to your needs. Follow the recommendations of the food guide pyramid.


For weight management to be successful, following is a summary of basic guidelines:

Aerobic physical activity will assist in increasing muscle tissue and also in burning calories.

Physical activity should be balanced with diet to maintain a desired weight.

Gradual changes in eating habits will help encourage a permanent lifestyle change. Counseling and behavior modification may be necessary.

Eat a healthy well-balanced diet.

Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation.


A registered dietitian is an excellent resource for individualized weight management. The registered dietitian can provide information on classes and programs available in the community.