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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I lose weight through exercising if I have type II diabetes?

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  • 1


    Eric Rosario

    Exercise Physiologist

    Master of Applied Science by Research into the Effects of Strength Training on Postmenopausal women. I have been involved in strength training for 67 years … View Profile

    Most health practitioners talk about losing weight however it is not weight that you're trying to lose when you've got diabetes, it is fat. Fat and weight are not synonymous. For instance, in a study which I did with post-menopausal women, they increased their muscle mass by 1.6 kilograms, but they lost 3 kilograms of fat. It is the fat that is the cause of problems, not the weight.

    So, it is very important for a diabetic to increase their muscle mass. The reason being, that the more muscle you have, the higher your insulin sensitivity. That means whatever insulin you have in the body, or you take through injections or whatever it is; that insulin will be absorbed much better the more muscle you have. So it is important for a diabetic to increase their muscle mass. If they increase their muscle mass, they will increase their weight. Because, again, muscle weighs more than fat.

    I also found from the study that increasing the muscle mass increases the metabolic rate. That means the amount of energy you spend, when you're at rest. So, if you're sitting down reading a newspaper, you will use more energy the more muscle you have. Therefore using more energy even at rest will mean that you lose fat. Many women participating in my study possibly lost fat, not for any other reason, but because their metabolic rate was up. Their metabolic rate was raised, because they increased their muscle.

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