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Motivating People with Diabetes to Lose Weight

For an obese disabetic, losing weight can create a big health impact. Not only does it improve the glucose profile, it also improves other metabolic parameters, such as lipids and blood pressure. It also improves the quality of life. However, is it easy to lose weight? Being a diabetic, with all of its related problems, may make losing weight a tall order.

Losing weight can be done through proper medical nutritional counseling, exercise, and pharmacologic intervention. Sure, it may be easy to lose some pounds but the next question is, can we sustain what we have lost? Can we still lose more weight? Motivation may be the key to success in losing weight.

The definition of motivation is to give reason, incentive, enthusiasm, or interest that causes a specific action or certain behavior.

There are two types of motivation: one is external and the other internal. External motivation is just like someone motivating or pressuring you to lose weight—let’s say a family member nagging you to get better, or a picture of a sexy person that you dream of becoming. This type of motivation may be good, but in most instances, once you have achieved your goal, the behavior will just drop off. Internal motivation, on other hand, is defined as making a behavior change for reasons that are more important, such as health benefits. Internal motivation starts from oneself.

Is there a method of motivation that we can use for our diabetics to lose weight? Brief motivational interviewing is usually a technique used to help diabetics lose weight. It is based on patient-centered consultation style. It is an approach to behavior change tailored to the patient’s readiness to change. In motivating the patient, we let the patient open up, make him- or herself ready for change. In simple terms, in motivating our diabetic patients to lose weight, the physician–patient relationship becomes a “dancing” session rather than a “wrestling” match. Direct persuasion and argument may not be an effective method. Rather, we make sure that the change is elicited from the patient. It’s just like cheering a player to go on, move forward, and reach that goal.

Keeping that motivation high
At first, the motivation is high and gains momentum. You lose weight and feel happy about it. After a few months, when things/obligations/ boredom get in the way, motivation loses steam.

Here are some tips that can keep that motivation to lose weight going.

  • It takes two to lose weight Look for a weight loss buddy. Keep in touch.
  • Treat it like a game. Make losing weight a game just like in that reality show “The Biggest Loser”.
  • Measure regularly what you have lost. Be it in inches lost in the waist or pounds lost in the weight: keep a record of it.
  • Do small changes rather than drastic ones. It is more attainable with lesser stress. Add one healthy habit a day.
  • Exercise comes in different forms. Dancing, jogging, jumping ropes, walking, biking, and a lot more. Variety lessens the boredom.
  • Remember to keep up with your resolutions. Who says promises are made to be broken? Affirm that promises are meant to be fulfilled.
  • Be creative with your diet Look for menus that are delicious yet healthy. We have a lot in print and on the Internet.
  • Visualize yourself to be trim and fit. Put a picture of someone you want to be in the kitchen or in the bathroom. Display that skimpy bikini in plain view in your room.
  • Reward yourself for every inch or pounds lost. Go to a spa, go on a short vacation, or buy a new outfit.
  • Visit your doctor regularly A regular consultation with your doctor will make sure that your condition is properly monitored.
  • Steer away from temptations Avoid these common pitfalls: junk food, television, eating too much, eating out, stress, parties, mindless eating, and no exercise.
  • Finally, do self-talk for motivation

Think of positive statements not negative ones. Remember, the mind can be a powerful tool in reaching your goal.

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