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Diabetes Weight-Loss Advice You Can Use

Controlling your weight is one key to a healthy lifestyle. Shedding even a few pounds by being active and eating wisely may improve your diabetes control. But if you have diabetes, some weight-loss strategies aren’t right—or even healthy—for you.

Talking with your doctor is a good place to start. Ask these questions:

  • What’s my current weight? What is a healthy weight for me?
  • What changes do you recommend in my diet and exercise habits?
  • How do I keep my blood sugar from dropping too low during and after exercise—and what should I do if that happens?

Set a Realistic Goal

Now you’re ready to get started. Aim to lose one to two pounds per week—those fad diets promising you’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 days aren’t for you. Losing weight at this slow pace is safe and realistic for most people.

You’ll probably need to make some changes, but cutting calories doesn’t mean giving up on foods you like. The secret is to make every calorie count. Choose foods that are as nutritious as they are delicious.

Healthy Choices

Work with your doctor or dietitian to create a personal meal plan. Then keep these general tips in mind:

  • Eat plenty of nonstarchy vegetables. Examples include asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, greens, mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes.
  • Focus on high-quality carbs. Pick whole-grain bread, pasta and cereal rather than refined grains. Choose low-fat or nonfat milk and yogurt rather than the full-fat kind. Limit foods and drinks with added sugars.
  • Forget supersized meals. When dining out, try to order smaller-sized menu items. If that’s not an option, share a plate or take some food home.

Find Time to Exercise

Adding more physical activity to your day helps burn calories—and lowers your blood sugar. Many experts recommend getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week. Break your exercise into smaller chunks of at least 10 minutes if that fits your schedule better.

Writing down what you eat and how much you exercise can be a good way to see when you’re doing well and how you can improve. The American Diabetes Association has online trackers for eating and exercise at

Questions about diabetes and weight loss? Ask your Rite Aid Pharmacist.

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“Balancing Calories.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

“Be Active.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

“Blood Glucose Control and Exercise.” American Diabetes Association, undated,

“Understanding Carbohydrates.” American Diabetes Association,  

“Diabetes Overview.” National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse,

“Food and Physical Activity Tracker.” American Diabetes Association,

“Non-starchy Vegetables.” American Diabetes Association,

“Physical Activity Is Important.” American Diabetes Association,

“Take Charge of Your Diabetes.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,