Prediabetes and Weight Loss

Prediabetes and Weight Loss

Weight loss is often a sensitive issue for many people, but being overweight and prediabetic creates a double burden, making it even more difficult to achieve an ideal weight.

If you have prediabetes, losing 5-10% of your total body weight can make a huge difference!

Losing 10% of your body weight in 6 months significantly lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes for the next three years.

Weight loss is crucial for prediabetics because it lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and its associated complications such as heart disease, hypertension, kidney disorders, and stroke.

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Benefits of Weight Loss for Prediabetes

There are numerous advantages to losing excess weight, both physically and emotionally. Weight loss can reverse prediabetes in some individuals. In others, it may only prevent the progression of prediabetes to full-blown diabetes.

Here are other health effects of weight loss in a prediabetic individual:

Lowers Insulin Resistance

The visceral fat that accumulates around body organs such as the liver and pancreas greatly impairs the body’s normal functioning and metabolism. Losing the excess fat around your waist can help your body’s insulin function properly.

One study suggests that successfully maintained weight loss individuals are significantly more insulin sensitive. And those who achieved 15% weight loss were even more sensitive to insulin as compared to others. [Ref]

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Better Glycemic Control:

Weight loss improves insulin sensitivity which in turn reduces blood glucose levels along with better A1c test results.

According to the American Diabetes Association, an A1C test provides a picture of your average blood glucose levels over the previous two to three months.

Studies indicate that weight reduction in obese patients is linked to better glycemic control, low blood pressure, and low blood cholesterol levels. It also suggests that weight reduction is linked to increased longevity among obese people. [Ref]

Increased Energy and Activity

Weight loss helps to improve daily activity and increase energy levels. Losing weight through a healthy diet and daily exercise also improves mood and self-confidence.

Weight loss helps you physically and mentally by making you feel better about yourself.

This boost in mood might help to maintain healthy habits and further lowers the risk of diabetes.

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Weight Loss for Prediabetes: What is the evidence?

Researchers have shown a great interest in finding the effect of weight loss on prediabetes and diabetes management.

A great majority of these studies have concluded that weight loss is essential and beneficial for both prediabetes and diabetes.

One study concluded that weight loss in prediabetes had been shown to delay the onset or reduce the risk of T2DM, whereas weight loss in established T2DM has been shown to improve glycemic control, with severe calorie restriction even reversing the progression of T2DM. [Ref]

Another study suggests that even small weight loss effectively reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. [Ref]

Another study suggests that not all prediabetic individuals will progress to diabetes, but overweight individuals with prediabetes have a 7-fold higher risk while obese individuals have a 17-fold higher risk of getting diabetes. [Ref]

Research suggests that clinically significant reductions can be achieved by small reductions in body weight. All body weight change quartiles show improvement in glycemic factors and CVD risk factors. [Ref]

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Prediabetes Guide to lose weight

Different weight loss strategies can be adapted to lose weight. Some of the most recommended and useful strategies are discussed here.

Restricting Calories:

The basic daily calorie recommendation for men is 2500 kcal and 2000 kcal for women. This criterion is intended for healthy individuals who engage in significant daily activity. This criteria, however, does not apply to inactive people.

As a result, individual calorie requirements must be calculated based on daily activity. Calorie restriction is one method of causing a deficit in daily calorie input and output.

That is, you consume fewer calories than you require. This allows the body to use the extra energy from stored fat, resulting in weight loss.

To achieve significant weight loss, a low glycemic diet with calorie ranges of 1200-1500 can be chosen. A calorie deficit of 500 calories per day can result in a weekly weight loss of one pound.

Some popular diets that are being followed for weight loss in prediabetes or diabetes include:

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Regular Exercise

In addition to calorie restriction and dietary changes, exercise has also been found quite effective in causing weight loss.

Getting at least 50-90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week is enough to cause a significant improvement in glycemic control and weight loss.

If you have been spending a lot of time in bed, then instead of directly going for intense exercise, you must start with 10-20 minutes of walking and then gradually move to the next steps. Set small achievable goals that help you keep going.

However, before beginning any new physical activity, consult with your diabetes team. They can ensure that you have all of the information you require about how your diabetes may be affected.

Being more active may increase your risk of hypoglycemia, especially if you use insulin or certain diabetes medications like sulphonylureas.

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Weight Loss Medications

Some people find it difficult to stick to lifestyle interventions for weight loss, in that case, doctors usually prescribe weight loss medications. Orlistat is one of the approved drugs for weight loss.

However, some other medications are also being used for weight loss, these include:

Metformin is primarily used to control blood sugar levels but it can also cause weight loss in some individuals.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists are also drugs used for blood glucose control but like metformin, they also aid in weight loss.

These include Ozempic (Semaglutide), Victoza (Liraglutide), and Trulicity (Dulaglutide).

Lately, dual GLP-1 and GIP analog has been introduced by the name Tirzepatide (Mounjaro). Tirzepatide has been shown to result in greater weight loss compared to Semaglutide.

These medications are also associated with weight loss. They include Invokana (Canagliflozin), Farxiga (Dapagliflozin), and Jardiance (Empagliflozin).

Take these medications only when your doctor advises you to do so. Because you might not know which medication is properly suitable for your condition.

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Weight loss has numerous advantages for people with prediabetes. If you lose weight gradually and keep it off, you may be able to reverse your condition.

Although all weight loss strategies may result in weight loss, the most appropriate and safe way to lose weight is through dietary changes and daily physical activity.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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