I have type I diabetes. What's a safe way to diet to lose some extra pounds? It seems that whenever I finish a diet I gain the pounds back just as fast.

The best way to healthfully lose weight is to take in less calories than your body is burning. Creating a calorie deficit is important and will involve monitoring how many calories you are consuming each day. The best way to begin this process is to use our “Nutritional Needs Calculator” to figure out how many calories you need for weight loss and also can determine how many calories you can burn doing various activities by going to the “Calorie Burner Counter”.

After you have an idea of approximately how many calories you need and what activities can help you burn calories, you need to remember that having type I diabetes will need to be included in the mix when planning meals/counting calories. I advise you to plan your daily food intake and make sure that each meal be spaced a few hours apart. Include complex carbohydrates at each meal (whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, lentils, legumes, fruits and vegetables etc) in addition to lean protein sources (lean meats, low fat dairy) and healthy fat sources (olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds). Be sure to include plenty of water throughout the day and be careful about consuming too many unhealthy liquid calories (soda, fruit punch etc). Continue checking your blood sugar regularly. If you find you are running either low or high, you may wish to make an appointment with a registered dietitian. She can analyze your daily food intake and make suggestions to increase/decrease certain foods. Please remember that set “diets” are designed to be low in calories, so if one follows the diet closely, one will likely lose weight. The problem with these diets is that they end, and then people generally return to their old eating habits which had caused them to be overweight. Many diets are not safe, especially for someone with type I diabetes. Some specialized diets even suggest cutting out many carbohydrates in general, which is absolutely not safe for you. If after trying to lose weight on your own you continue to struggle with weight or even further gain, please take my advice and set up an appointment with a registered dietitian. They are the nutrition experts!

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