How Losing Weight Helped Me with My Diabetes Journey


Starting a weight-loss program isn’t the hard part–it’s staying on track that really takes some effort. Here’s how one woman makes it easier.

How Losing Weight Helped Me with My Diabetes Journey

Dana R. was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the summer of 2020 after a routine check-up. The mom of three was told by her doctor that she needed to lose weight to better manage her blood glucose levels. Overwhelmed, Dana wasn’t sure where to start. So, she decided to try a weight-loss program that included an eating plan. There were some bumps along the way, but after two years, she lost more than 50 pounds. Here’s how Dana stuck to the plan:

Outsmart stress eating

Stressful weeks make staying on a weight-loss program that much more difficult, says Dana. “I’ve learned that sometimes things won’t be perfect, and I must recommit every single morning when I get up.” Instead of going off script after every single tough day (for her, that means going straight for something sweet like a bag of M&Ms), Dana, who is on WeightWatchers, says she “takes an extra few moments and challenges the decision” she’s about to make with these questions:


  • What else would make me feel better?
  • Am I just dehydrated?
  • How will this affect my blood glucose?


Then, with that extra pause and self-check-in, she’s able to be honest with herself and choose something else, like fruit, a piece of dark chocolate, or a sugar-free coffee drink.

Pump up the flavor

Even if you’re on a plan where nothing is off limits, you might instinctually have a handful of go-tos. But if you get tired of those, just amp up the flavor, says Sherry Rujikarn, food director at WeightWatchers. These are some of Dana’s favorite instant taste boosters:

  • For chilis: Add a splash of hot sauce or a sprinkle of pickled jalapenos for acidity and heat
  • For curries: Add a dollop of nonfat greek yogurt for richness
  • For veggie soups and salads: Add a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese for some tanginess
  • For stir-fry: Add a fried egg for a hearty, filling bite
  • For black coffee: Add a generous dollop of sugar-free whipped topping for indulgent, coffee shop vibes

Get your family on board

Just because they’re not living with diabetes doesn’t mean your family can’t eat the same foods as you. “My husband and I eat diabetes-friendly meals together, even though he doesn’t have the condition,” says Dana. “He knows the approach is better for him, too.” To get them excited about a new way of eating, ask your family to help with picking out recipes, going grocery shopping, and cooking. Getting them involved gets them invested in your health…and their own.

Rethink Delivery

Of course you will have plenty of days when you really just want to eat restaurant food. Instead of fighting off those cravings, embrace them with recipes that borrow some of the healthy components of your eating plan.


When you want Mexican…Try Baked Chicken Burritos

Use any chopped veggies you have on hand plus your favorite protein seasoned with a kicky spice, like cumin or chili powder, to create this healthy take on a classic.  

“These taste like the real thing,” says Dana. “And my kids love them!”


When you want Chinese…Try Citrus and Ginger Roasted Broccoli

“These are a game changer for people who aren’t big fans of broccoli,” says Raby. “They’re more flavorful than steamed and you can really add any seasonings you’d like.” After you pull this version out of the oven, sprinkle them with a citrus, ginger, soy sauce drizzle for another layer of flavor.


When you want Italian…Try Tortellini Soup

Daydreaming of piled-high pasta primavera? This restaurant-quality alternative comes loaded with spinach, tomatoes, and flavor. “If you’re living with diabetes, just watch the number of noodles you put in your servings,” suggests Dana. “But this is great for a cold day and its leftovers are even better!”

WeightWatchers is committed to supporting people living with diabetes and during January, February, and April 2023, WeightWatchers will donate $1 from every membership purchased via the promotional link to the American Diabetes Association®. Learn more about the WeightWatchers Diabetes-Tailored Plan.


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