A healthy weight is important for everyone. Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease, particularly if there is excess weight around the waist. Healthy weight can vary with a person’s age, amount of lean muscle and ethnic background
A small weight loss (5–10% of body weight) can make a big difference to your diabetes management. It lowers your risk of developing complications such as heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
If you have pre-diabetes, losing 5–10% of your current body weight can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. For people with type 2 diabetes, being overweight can make it harder to manage blood glucose levels.
So what does 5–10% of your body weight mean in real terms? For a 100kg person this would mean losing 5–10kg.
It is not just your weight on a scale—it is also the size of your waist. Health professionals recommend a waist circumference of:
- less than 80cm for women; and
- less than 94cm for men.
The relationship between waist circumference and body fat differs with age and your ethnic background. Talk to your doctor for advice on recommended measurements.
The best way to improve your health is to make small, sustainable changes to your eating behaviour and physical activity.
Here are some positive steps you can take to reduce your waistline:
- Follow a diet plan lower in kilojoules and total fat (particularly saturated fat).
- Do regular physical activity such as walking, dancing, riding a bike or swimming
- Ask your doctor, dietitian or diabetes educator for advice suited to your individual needs.
Who can help me?
Your diabetes health care team can provide more personalised advice that can make losing weight much easier and sustainable. This team includes your dietitian, exercise specialist (physiotherapist/exercise physiologist/Certificate IV personal trainer) and diabetes educator.
The following websites have information that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight: