How could we improve it?

This article contains false or inaccurate information.

Please tell us what was incorrect.

Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
This article doesn't provide enough info.

Please tell us what was missing.

Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
Hmm... I have a question.

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but we welcome your feedback! Just type it in the box below.

If you're facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.


Or copy link


Is Weight Loss in Diabetes Good or Bad? Find Out Here

Is Weight Loss in Diabetes Good or Bad? Find Out Here

Is weight loss in diabetes good or bad? For a lot of people, losing weight is a fitness goal, but for diabetics, this might not always be the case.

Read on to learn more about weight loss in diabetes, its benefits, and when it can be considered a problem.

Is weight loss in diabetes good or bad?

For persons with diabetes, weight loss is a good thing. In fact, doctors usually recommend type 2 diabetics to maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss can have benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications1. Studies have also found that progressive weight loss in diabetics helps keep their blood sugar levels in check.

The reason why weight loss is so important in diabetics, especially type 2 diabetics, is that being overweight or obese is a risk factor for acquiring diabetes in the first place.

In a person who is overweight or obese, the added weight causes the body to require more insulin than the pancreas can produce. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels and allows the body to turn sugar into energy.

Due to the added weight, the pancreas tries to compensate by producing more insulin. However, the pancreas usually can’t keep up, and being overworked causes insulin-producing cells to die off. This makes the pancreas produce even less insulin, so there won’t be enough to lower a person’s blood sugar to normal levels3.

By losing weight, persons with type 2 diabetes reduce the load on their pancreas. Weight loss might not reverse diabetes, but it can help keep diabetes under control.

When is weight loss in diabetes bad?

On the other hand, there are some situations where weight loss in diabetes can be a bad thing. In particular, if a person loses a lot of weight suddenly and without explanation.

Sudden weight loss can manifest in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, it is a much more common symptom in people who have type 1 diabetes.

In persons with type 1 diabetes, their body stops producing insulin altogether. This is a problem because our body needs insulin to process the sugar we get from food and convert it into energy. If the body can’t convert the sugar, it starts to burn fat and muscle very quickly4.

As the body burns fat and muscle, type 1 diabetics might notice that they’re suddenly losing weight, even if they’re not trying to do so. This is usually a warning sign of diabetes, and is one of the more noticeable symptoms of type 1 diabetes.

Losing weight because of type 1 diabetes is a serious problem because it puts a lot of strain on the body. So it is important to see a doctor as soon as you notice sudden and unexplained weight loss.

It is important to know that sudden and unexplained weight loss is different from losing weight intentionally. Persons with type 1 diabetes can also gain a lot of health benefits from losing weight, so long as it is done gradually, and in the right way.

Key Takeaways

For diabetics, losing weight provides a lot of benefits. It helps them manage their condition better, and reduces the possibility of diabetes-related complications. In some cases, it can even reduce their dependence on maintenance medication altogether.

However, if losing weight happens suddenly, and if it’s a significant amount, then it might not be a good thing. If this happens, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem, and it warrants a visit to your physician as soon as possible.

Learn more about Diabetes Complications here.


BMI Calculator

Use this calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you're at a healthy weight. You can also use this tool to check your child's BMI.



Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  1. What’s your healthy weight when you have diabetes? | Diabetes UK, https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/eating-with-diabetes/whats-your-healthy-weight, Accessed May 28, 2021
  2. Weight Loss in Type 2 Diabetic Patients | Diabetes Care, https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/6/1526, Accessed May 28, 2021
  3. Losing Weight Can Have Big Impact on Those with Diabetes – Mayo Clinic News Network, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/losing-weight-can-have-big-impact-on-those-with-diabetes/, Accessed May 28, 2021
  4. Unexplained Weight Loss? Why You Need to See a Doctor – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-you-should-know-about-unexplained-weight-loss-and-diabetes/, Accessed May 28, 2021
  5. Unexplained Weight Loss – Reasons, Symptoms & Causes, https://www.diabetes.co.uk/symptoms/unexplained-weight-loss.html, Accessed May 28, 2021
Picture of the authorbadge
Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 08
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel