Losing excess weight can help lower your blood sugar levels. The sugar in your blood is a necessary component to your body's physiological processes; however, too much is detrimental. It can lead to a variety of health complications, including type 2 diabetes and obesity. Talk to your doctor about your sugar levels as well as how to lose weight safely. He can recommend a diet and exercise regimen to lower your glucose levels by shedding unwanted pounds.
A majority of the food you eat -- even if it is not a carbohydrate -- is broken down into usable molecules of glucose, or sugar. Glucose is absorbed into the blood stream and then taken to hungry cells for energy use by the hormone insulin. Your biological processes need energy; however, the sugar your body does not need is stored as fat. Chronic high blood sugar levels -- particularly if you have diabetes -- may eventually lead to complications like heart disease, kidney failure and obesity.
Weight Loss and Blood Sugar
According to the American Diabetes Association, losing weight will reduce your blood sugar levels. Even shedding a few pounds can help manage your blood glucose and reduce your risk of more serious disease complications. In a June 2011 study published in the "Journals of Gerentology," postmenopausal women that underwent a six month weight loss and low-intensity exercise training program saw positive results. Along with overall weight loss, blood glucose, triglycerides and blood pressure levels decreased.
How Much To Lose
Though how much your blood sugar decreases with a certain amount of weight loss is not known, even a small decrease in weight can help. In the above-mentioned study, the participants lost between 11 and 15 percent of their body's total fat mass over the six month period. According to the Weight-Control Information Network, losing just 5 to 7 percent of your total body weight may improve your health and quality of life. Losing weight over time by making lifestyle changes -- which can help keep weight off -- is more desirable than dropping a large amount of weight quickly. Lowering your body mass index or BMI to under 25 is also recommended.
Healthy Weight Loss
Rather than beginning an extreme diet, talk to your doctor or nutritionist about a weight loss and exercise plan. Weight loss occurs when you eat less or burn more calories than your body needs to fuel its physiological processes. However, setting unrealistic goals -- such as aiming to cut more than 1,000 calories a day -- may only set you up to fail. Fill up on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats and fish while cutting out high-calorie drinks and snacks. Engage in physical activity almost every day; walking, gardening, swimming and biking are all considered healthy forms of exercise. Drink plenty of water and get adequate rest to keep your mood and energy levels high.
Is This an Emergency?
- FamilyDoctor.org: Diabetes
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International: Hyperglycemia
- American Diabetes Association: Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals
- "Journals of Gerentology"; Weight Loss and Low-Intensity Exercise for the Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Postmenopausal Women; L.J. Joseph et al; June 2011
- Weight-Control Information Network: Weight Loss for Life