Lose Your Weight to Reverse Diabetes

Medically Reviewed By: DR. ANUPAM GHOSE, MBBS, Diabetes Care & Education Specialist February 17, 2022

Last updated on September 30th, 2022

Excessive weight gain makes you look chubby and gives you many health problems. A lot of people with obesity experience high blood sugar levels. Researchers have found that many people with diabetes type-2 have been able to reverse diabetes by losing weight. It becomes even easier for them to lose weight if their BMI falls within the moderate range. Therefore, if you want to reverse diabetes or keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range, you need to maintain a healthy body weight. Read this blog to learn about the relationship between weight loss and diabetes reversal.

Weight Loss and Diabetes Reversal

Weight Loss and Diabetes Reversal

With the help of diet changes and weight loss, you may achieve healthy blood sugar levels without medications. However, there is always a chance that the symptoms of diabetes come back because it is an ongoing disease. But you can control diabetes and live healthy for several years without diabetes-related troubles. The key to reversing diabetes is weight loss. Excessive fat between organs and cells stops hormones like insulin from reaching them properly, increasing the impact of diabetes on the body. Moreover, according to a study published by the National Institute of Health, fat accumulation in organs like the pancreas disturbs insulin production. Therefore, when you lose weight, the pancreatic beta cells function properly. These cells are responsible for producing, storing, and releasing insulin that regulates blood sugar levels.

Rescue Beta-cell Functions

The beta cells in your body are located in the pancreas. Their function is to produce, store, and release insulin to manage blood sugar levels. When fat accumulates near the pancreas and liver, the beta cells cannot function effectively. This increases insulin resistance in your body, and insulin secretion becomes low. Therefore, weight loss is important for reversing diabetes so that the beta cells are rescued for promoting insulin release in the body.

Losing Visceral Fat for Managing Diabetes

People with obesity can lose weight to reverse diabetes type 2. However, many people who are not overweight also develop diabetes type-2. One of the reasons can be visceral fat, which wraps around the abdominal organs inside your body. You may not be able to see or feel it. According to the National Institute of Health, visceral fat can cause trouble releasing protein and affect the hormones that cause inflammation. This inflammation can enter your liver, damage the arteries, and negatively impact sugar and fat breakdown. Therefore, losing visceral fat is important for managing diabetes.

Read More: Normal Blood Sugar Range

How much Weight do you need to Lose to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

Weight loss in overweight or obese diabetic patients can definitely help them in diabetes reversal. There are many cases that have shown losing extra pounds has helped patients reverse diabetes. According to Time Magazine Health, in 2016, a diabetic male patient lost around 15 kgs and was successfully able to reverse diabetes. However, a question may arise in your mind: what is the exact amount of weight to be lost to achieve diabetes reversal? The answer is the chances of diabetes reversal increase as you maintain your body weight according to the BMI table. The Body Mass Index (BMI) table depicts the ideal weight-to-height ratio. Therefore, you should aim for a BMI value between 18.5 and 24.9 and try to keep your BMI value exactly in between these values. Read our BMI blog provided below to get a clear view of BMI and calculate your BMI through this blog.

Read More: BMI Calculator – Body Mass Index Calculator

Strategies that Help Weight Loss & Leads to Diabetes Reversal

Introduction of the following strategies in your life can help weight loss effectively, especially when you have diabetes:

  • Chalk out your motivation for weight loss: Many people start a weight loss journey but give up within a few days or a month. Their spirit to continue goes down because they lack motivation. Therefore, you need to find motivation and keep it positive for weight loss. It helps you sustain your weight loss journey to get better results.
  • Switch to the liquid diet: The fat is cut down from your body when you switch to the low-calorie liquid diet. It also promotes the digestion process in your body. The liver starts using the stored fat for energy. Therefore, you may experience weight loss when extra body fat is burnt in your body.
  • Select the right eating approach: It can be challenging for people with diabetes to decide whether to start a low-fat or low-carb diet. Well, no one diet can be a fit. Sticking to a single diet type for a long time may not work for weight loss and may give you other health issues. Therefore, you need to check out which type of diet makes more difference in weight loss. Accordingly, you can prefer the type of diet and eating approach that works for you better.
  • Consume more calories in the morning: The time you eat your food matters in maintaining your blood sugar levels. The experts say that breakfast should be your biggest meal, and dinner should be the smallest meal of the day. Hence, it would help if you consumed more calories in the morning and fewer calories at night. When you consume more calories in the morning, your body will reduce the need for insulin to manage blood sugar levels and help you lose weight.
  • Make a gradual change: Many people make the mistake of starting everything all at once for weight loss. It can be intimidating initially, but you may find it daunting to continue after some time. Therefore, you should start making gradual changes in your lifestyle for weight loss. It will help your body adapt to the changes easily, and you will continue practicing the changes for the long term.
  • Eat whole foods: The concern is to include more fruits and vegetables in your meals with added protein. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and micronutrients that improve digestion and lower blood sugar levels. Instead of consuming products made with refined flour, you should include whole grains and unprocessed food items.
  • Monitor yourself: It is crucial to continue with your weight loss journey. You should keep monitoring your routine, body weight, and blood sugar levels. It will ensure that you follow the right weight loss program and not negatively affect your health. When you note down the body measurements and blood sugar levels, it becomes easier to track them to know the effectiveness of your efforts. If there is no progress, you can change the weight loss program or look for other effective methods for weight loss.
  • Intermittent Fasting: This fasting has become the latest trend in weight loss. Many people who have practised intermittent fasting have achieved weight loss faster than others. Intermittent fasting is the eating pattern that includes regular fasts but for short intervals. According to the latest research by the University of Ilinois, Chicago, intermittent fasting has proven to be effective in diabetes control and contributes greatly to the path of diabetes reversal. Fasting for a short time prevents you from consuming more calories, which adds to the weight gain. When you consume fewer calories, your blood sugar levels also remain manageable. You can choose the right intermittent fasting plan.

You can see a gradual loss in your body weight when you follow these strategies. It helps you to feel more energetic and light from the inside. It will also help reduce the stress hormones and promote better health. Your metabolic functions in the body will also get normal over time.


You should be strategic when losing weight for blood sugar management. Choose the best diet plan, include more fiber, eat whole foods, or switch to a liquid diet for some time. Intermittent fasting is another strategic way to help manage blood sugar levels. You need to monitor yourself from time to time to know the effectiveness of the modifications you make to your life.

Read More: Can Diabetics Eat Oranges? Is Orange Good for Diabetes

Weight Loss Friendly Foods that Support Diabetes Management

Weight Loss Friendly Foods that Support Diabetes Management

Controlling blood sugar levels is the key to managing diabetes. The best way to keep your blood sugar levels in control is to choose the right foods to eat. Here is a list of some superfoods with a low glycemic index that can regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.

  • Leafy vegetables: Leafy vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals. These have fewer calories and fat content, which aids in weight loss and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Therefore, people aiming for weight loss and diabetes management should include many green vegetables. Spinach, kale, lettuce, and cabbage are green leafy vegetables.
  • Whole grains: Whole grains are a rich source of fiber and antioxidants. Therefore, they help metabolise fat and promote healthy weight loss. If you have diabetes type-2, you can include whole grains like wheat, barley, millet, ragi, and lentils in your diet. They satisfy you quickly and keep you full for a long time. Hence, they cut down your calorie intake and help in weight loss faster.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are the superfoods for people who want to lose weight and manage their blood sugar levels. These contain a high amount of fiber, protein, antioxidants, and other micronutrients. Walnuts and flaxseeds are rich in magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, promoting faster weight loss.
  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, guava, gooseberries, etc., are citrus fruits. These fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C and fiber. People looking to lose weight and control diabetes should include citrus fruits in their diet. Eat these fruits as a whole and do not juice them. Juice removes the fiber content from the fruit. It also increases the risk of increasing blood sugar levels in diabetes patients.
  • Non-starchy vegetables: Beans, baby corn, carrot, eggplant, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, turnip, cucumber, and cauliflower are some non-starchy vegetables. This category of vegetables has a high content of fiber, low calories, and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Thus, they help in weight loss. They also have a glycemic index below 55, which helps manage blood sugar levels.


Leafy vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts, citrus fruits, and non-starchy vegetables are healthy food options that help weight loss. These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients which manage blood sugar levels.

Exercises to Lose Weight For Diabetes Reversal

Aside from diet, exercising is a strategy that promotes weight loss. Exercise helps shed extra pounds from your body by burning calories. In addition to weight loss, exercise has many other benefits, including improving muscular strength, strengthening bones, managing cholesterol levels, and stabilising blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Generally, all types of exercise promote weight loss. If you exercise just for half an hour of the day, you can also gain the benefits of exercising.

Best Exercises for Losing Weight to Reverse Diabetes

Best Exercises for Losing Weight to Reverse Diabetes

Weight loss is one of the primary factors that help reverse diabetes. Some of the best exercises that help in weight loss and ultimately contribute to reversing diabetes are:

  • Walking: Brisk walking is good for heart health and weight loss. It promotes blood flow to different parts of your body and improves its metabolism. Diabetes-related nerve pain and muscle stiffness also go down when you briskly walk. It also helps burn calories that promote weight loss. People with diabetes should walk for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Cycling: Going on a bike ride lets you put your energy into pedalling the bike. It also makes your body demand more energy when you cycle on either a plane or uneven terrain. Cycling also tones your leg muscles after weight loss to make you look good. It treats insulin resistance over time.
  • Running: Running is another exercise that helps burn fat from your body. When the fat accumulated on the liver, kidney, and heart is removed, your body’s insulin sensitivity is improved. It helps manage diabetes and support weight loss.
  • Weight lifting: Weight lifting helps burn calories during and after a workout. It builds muscle mass, which improves your metabolism. Thus, more calories are burned when you are at rest.
  • Yoga: Yoga is a traditional exercise done at a slow pace. Practising various postures of yoga burns calories and improves your concentration. It also helps you gain control over your emotions and reduces cravings.
  • Pilates: This is a form of exercise that helps improve flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance. It also helps with weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity to manage blood sugar levels.
  • Swimming: If you are looking for fun, low-impact exercise, swimming is the best option. It improves joint health and promotes healthy weight loss. People at risk of developing diabetes or who have diabetes should swim to manage their blood sugar levels.
    Any form of exercise can help lose weight and manage blood sugar levels. You can start with a low-impact exercise to let your body gets into the routine of exercising.


Walking, cycling, running, weight lifting, yoga, pilates, and swimming are some exercises that help weight loss. People aiming to shed body weight should exercise regularly to see the results on their bodies.


Being overweight or obese can cause many health problems, including increased blood sugar levels. If you aim to manage your blood sugar levels or avoid diabetes, keep your body weight in a healthy range. Weight loss also helps maintain the BMI of your body which improves insulin resistance and treats diabetes.

Read More: How to Lower Blood Sugar?


Can I take some medicines for weight loss?

Taking medicines for weight loss is not a good idea in the long term. It may give you some side effects that can affect your health. Therefore, it is better to look for natural ways to weight loss. You can exercise, control your diet, and take some herbal or natural supplements for weight loss. Many natural supplements like cinnamon, fenugreek, garlic, etc., are available in your home kitchen to try. You can remain consistent with your natural weight loss regime to get the desired results on your body.

Can I reverse diabetes type-2 permanently?

You cannot cure diabetes, but you can reverse it. If you want to reverse diabetes type-2, you need to consult your doctor at the earliest. The doctor will help you with the right medications to prevent blood sugar spikes. In addition to this, the doctor will recommend you to switch to a healthy lifestyle for quick and long-lasting results. Switching to a healthy diet helps reduce the intake of carbs and improve the intake of fiber that helps manage blood sugar levels. Regular exercise also cuts down the body fat, makes you physically active, and manages blood sugar levels.

What is a diabetic belly?

Diabetes causes many health problems as it affects various organs in your body. When vague nerve, which controls how quickly your stomach gets emptied. If this nerve gets damaged, the food stays in your body for a longer time as the digestion process slows down. This condition is called gastroparesis and makes your belly diabetic. Anything you eat comes out through vomiting, and you will feel queasy. It alters your normal blood sugar levels as well.

How much weight should I lose to manage diabetes type-2?

Diabetes type-2 is incurable. However, it is possible to manage diabetes type-2 through some lifestyle changes. Another important factor that contributes to managing diabetes is weight loss. A healthy weight loss supports managing blood sugar levels. In many patients, sustainable weight loss of around 15 kg helps reverse diabetes. However, how much weight loss you should do depends on your body weight and health condition.

What are the best ways to lose weight?

Modification in your diet and improving your exercise routine promote weight loss. It helps you manage your blood sugar levels and improve overall health conditions. When you get rid of extra body fat, you look attractive and fit. It also helps treat various health issues more effectively.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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