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About 10 years ago now, my dad was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In his case as it is with so many people, his weight had been a factor in developing the disease.
After all, that’s why they call diabetes a lifestyle disease — because your lifestyle, like not exercising enough and not eating the right foods — is what causes you to develop the blood sugar problems in the first place.
Well to put it simply, the diagnosis was a wakeup call for my dad. He knew the dangers and other health risks diabetes brings — everything from kidney damage to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
And, he was determined to lose the weight and get his blood sugar problems under control.
But, you know what?
No matter what he tried, he just couldn’t seem to drop the pounds. He walked more, he ate right but it was like that extra weight was glued on.
And, if you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you may feel the same way.
Fortunately, a new study is giving us insight into why it may be so hard for some people with blood sugar problems to lose weight and what you can do about it to finally win the battle of the bulge and get healthier.
2 surprising factors increasing your weight
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine wanted to determine if being a morning or evening person was associated with an increased risk for higher BMI (body mass index) in people with type 2 diabetes and if so why.
To find out, they separated people into categories by first determining morning or evening preference by gauging bedtimes, wake times, time of day spent exercising and time of day spent working, reading or otherwise engaged in mental activity. Participants also provided information on meal times and caloric intake.
Here’s what they found…
The diabetics who considered themselves “morning” people had a lower BMI than those who preferred to stay up late and sleep late.
In other words, if you have type 2 diabetes and are a night owl, you’re more likely to carry around extra pounds.
Even more interesting was how breakfast impacted BMI…
The study showed that the participants who were morning people and ate breakfast earlier — between 7am and 8:30am, had a lower BMI than the late sleepers who ate breakfast between 7:30am and 9am. Oddly, the timing of lunch and dinner had no impact on BMI.
So, why does your bedtime and breakfast time affect your risk of obesity?
According to the researchers, it’s likely that later meal times and an altered sleep schedule could actually misalign your internal biological clock, and lead to problems with your metabolism, leaving you to gain extra weight.
Kick your metabolism into gear
That means that if you have type 2 diabetes and you want to lose the extra weight, it’s important that you find ways to kick your metabolism into gear.
This includes changing your sleep schedule by getting to bed earlier so that you can wake up for an early breakfast.
To do this, try slowly moving your bedtime back by 30 minutes per week until you reach your goal and sticking to a set wake up time even when you’d rather hit the snooze button just one more time.
And, it can also help to sneak in an early morning exercise session.
This will start off your calorie burning engine for the day as well as help you feel energized and ready to face the day a healthier person.
And finally, be sure to give your body a boost of protein with your breakfast. You can add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie, try a Greek yogurt parfait (with low-glycemic fruit to fight blood sugar spikes) or make yourself an old fashioned omelet. Whatever you choose, your body will thank you for the extra energy.
Remember, it may be harder to lose weight when you’re living with type 2 diabetes but it’s not impossible. Start working today to reset your body’s internal clock and boost your metabolism and soon you’ll see the pounds dropping away.
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- Type 2 diabetes — Mayo Clinic
- People with Type 2 diabetes who eat breakfast later, more likely to have a higher BMI — University of Illinois at Chicago