Weight management is a constant struggle for many people with diabetes. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 85% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. While the exact relationship between overweight and Type 2 diabetes is not known, there is ample evidence that losing at least some excess weight tends to help with diabetes control. For people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, losing weight may result in more efficient use of insulin — either the body’s own or injected — and possibly reduce the need for other drugs. In addition, for overweight people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, the Diabetes Prevention Program study found that losing 5% to 7% of body weight and doing moderate exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, could prevent or delay its onset.
Losing weight is, of course, difficult. Due to the variety of factors that contribute to overweight — including food choices, physical activity, emotions associated with food, and genes — a single approach to weight loss does not work for everyone. However, experts — including people who have lost weight and managed to keep it off — agree that plans with an emphasis on long-term, healthy, sustainable weight loss are more likely to succeed than those that aim for fast, dramatic weight loss. The following resources offer a variety of tools for developing your own, personalized plan for losing excess weight and keeping it off.
ULTIMATE CALORIE, CARB, & FAT GRAM COUNTER
Lea Ann Holzmeister, RD, CDE
New York, 2006
This book, compiled by the dietitian who writes Diabetes Self-Management’s “Supermarket Smarts” column, lists nutrition facts for more than 7,000 common foods — a useful tool for anyone trying to plan meals that are lower in calories, fat, or carbohydrate. Listings include grocery store items as well as selections from chain restaurants.
EAT, DRINK, AND WEIGH LESS
Mollie Katzen and Walter Willett, MD
New York, 2007
Cowritten by the author of numerous cookbooks (including the original Moosewood Cookbook) and the chair of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, this book aims to provide a science-based eating program for weight loss, supported by a wide variety of recipes. The program emphasizes gradual, sustainable shifts in eating habits.
American Heart Association
New York, 2005
This book shows the reader how to personalize a weight-loss plan based on lifestyle considerations and personal needs. The book’s approach features three components: Think Smart!, which focuses on analyzing current habits to find the right approach; Eat Well!, featuring two weeks of menus and almost 200 recipes; and Move More!, on how to add physical activity into daily life. All recipes are designed to be heart-healthy in addition to promoting weight loss.
DR. KUSHNER’S PERSONALITY TYPE DIET
Robert F. Kushner, MD, and Nancy Kushner, MSN, RN
Bloomington, Indiana, 2008
This book attempts to guide the reader to the specific causes of his overweight through a series of questionnaires, which are then used to create a plan to address the causes. Questions and solutions address not just food choices and exercise patterns, but also emotional issues related to food. The book emphasizes goals and approaches rather than offering a detailed meal plan or exercise regimen.
THE VOLUMETRICS EATING PLAN
Barbara Rolls, PhD
New York, 2007
Volumetrics presents the concept of energy density, or how many calories a food has per pound. By choosing foods with a lower energy density, the author suggests, the reader can consume fewer calories while still eating the same volume of food. The book includes charts to track food intake and recipes that can be incorporated into the plan.