Prediabetes and obesity, the truth about weight loss
Posted On June 9, 2021
The link between prediabetes and obesity has been proven. Of course, not all obese people are type 2 diabetic and it is possible to be diabetic without being overweight.
But obesity increases the risk of developing prediabetes. As obesity becomes a global problem, the link cannot be ignored.
In 2000, there were more than 1.1 billion overweight people in the world and an estimated 312 million were obese. The numbers have tripled in areas where the Western diet has recently replaced traditional local foods.
Places like the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, India, Southeast Asia, and China are seeing this happen. Diabetics are expected to increase from 84 million in 2000 to 228 million in 2030.
The connection between obesity and our Western diet seems clear. When fast food chains flooded Australia, cases of type 2 diabetes soared there and four times faster among Aboriginal people than in the rest of the country.
Why is our western diet so bad?
Eating prepared foods, products with added sugar, and fast food lead to high triglyceride levels even in people who are not overweight. Heart and blood vessel problems, as well as inflammatory syndromes, have been linked to high triglyceride levels.
Your pancreas, especially the beta cells that control the way your body handles food, become unbalanced due to high triglyceride levels and inflammation. You will then see an increase in fat stores, leading to abdominal obesity and insulin resistance.
In most cases, insulin resistance will develop into prediabetes even without adding genetic factors. The higher the obesity, the faster insulin resistance will push you into type 2 diabetes.
When insulin-resistant cells send a message that they need glucose, the liver responds, making things worse. Beta cells are already under attack by an inflammatory diet. As diseased beta cells try to restore order by producing more insulin, they become weaker and weaker.
The progression from prediabetes and obesity to full-blown type 2 diabetes is slow, so there is time to do something about it. But you can’t waste time doing things that don’t work.
Diets cannot end obesity
When you think about fighting prediabetes and obesity, your first thought is probably diet. But which one should you choose? Every man-made diet has its success stories. There are so many options.
Perhaps this will help you decide. Studies have been conducted for many years comparing popular diets. Researchers follow them all, from low-calorie to Atkins and every other modern diet. This is what they found.
After a year, all the diets worked equally well. None of them were better than the other for long-term weight loss. Every dieter succeeded or failed based on one question. Did they stick to the diet or did they stop it?
So your weight loss success comes from staying strong. Flip that statement over and you will see the truth. It is not the diet that works, but making a permanent change in what you eat and how much. This is what will stop prediabetes and obesity.
Why the diet won’t work
I hate the word diet. It implies that we can “go on a diet” for a while and then go back to our normal habits. That is the real reason diets don’t work. Following dieters for many years has proven this.
People who study prediabetes and obesity have published their work in medical journals intended for the eyes of physicians. The articles urge doctors to stop asking their obese diabetic patients to expect a normal BMI (fat-to-muscle ratio).
Everyone knows that a normal BMI has led to remission of type 2 diabetes in some very famous people who were once obese. So why are they advising doctors not to set this goal for their patients?
This is because these researchers are looking at the average results for diabetics who follow the advice of doctors and go on a diet. They find that most dieters lose 5-10% of their starting weight in the first six months and then stabilize. On average, they maintain about half of the weight loss for another six months and do not continue to lose weight at all.
Why Do Diabetic Dieters Stop Trying? The problem seems to be in the high expectations. Doctors urge you to reach your optimal BMI, so try a low-calorie or low-carb diet, or perhaps a portion-controlled diet from the frozen food section of the grocery store.
There is no limit to the things you can find to try. But all diets work best in the first few months and then stabilize. You hit a plateau or gain weight on your diabetes medications.
At the beginning of your diabetic journey, runaway blood sugar causes weight loss no matter how much you eat. But since medications force blood sugar to return to normal, weight gain is a common side effect.
If you have to take insulin, like I do, it will make you hungrier. Another problem is that insulin tells your body to store calories as fat. That’s what it was designed for.
Losing weight becomes a real struggle. Unrealistic weight loss expectations lead to giving up. And most people give up. The average duration of most diets is six months to a year.
The best way to fight obesity is to forget about diets. Don’t fall into the trap of losing weight without changing your clothes. Any weight you lose will not stick.
Even people who go through gastric surgery pain often regain every pound they lose. Believe it or not, the fight against obesity is not about losing weight. It’s about changing the things that made us obese.
When we understand this, the weight we lose will be a great thermometer to measure how we are changing, not a goal we try to reach to return to our old ways.
The path out of prediabetes and obesity includes eating primarily fresh whole foods, not processed foods, and fast food. Change takes time, but every permanent change in the way you eat will make you healthier.
Five tips to beat diabetes and obesity
- If you are going to beat obesity, it is important to set realistic milestones for your weight loss. Losing and maintaining 10% of your starting weight won’t give you the perfect BMI cure for diabetes, but it will add years to your life.
- Increase your physical activity. Exercise will increase your quality of life and help you continue to lose weight and keep it off for years. Physical exercise ends prediabetes and obesity if you don’t stop doing it.
- Don’t give up when your weight won’t budge. The stage is going to happen. Remember why you started and how far you’ve come. Gratitude fuels determination. Then wait for your next realistic goal to keep hope alive.
- Remember that high expectations for weight loss lead to giving up. A sustained 10% weight loss is better for you than losing 100 pounds and getting it all back.
- When the weight refuses to go down, don’t eat less. That is a common weight loss mistake. Instead of eating less, exercise more.
Are you already type 2 diabetic? No matter. These tips will work for you too. Insulin and medications will not prevent you from reaching the milestones you seek. Only one thing will stop you, and that is to give up.
I learned this lesson at 62 even though I have type 2 diabetes and take insulin every day. Go to the weight loss page of my website and you will see how much I have lost.
Never, never, never give up. Winston churchill