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LMU 147 – Weight Loss Breakthrough: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes with Just 10% Weight Loss


LMU 147 – Weight Loss Breakthrough: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes with Just 10% Weight Loss

Source: Diabetic Medicine (2019)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (October 18, 2019)


In a groundbreaking study published in the journal Diabetic Medicine in 2019, researchers uncovered a promising discovery that offers hope to individuals recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The study revealed that achieving a modest weight loss of just 10% can lead to the remission of type 2 diabetes. This means that for someone weighing 200 pounds, shedding a mere 20 pounds could potentially reverse their diabetic condition, and for a person weighing 150 pounds, losing just 15 pounds could achieve the same result.

The Link Between Weight and Type 2 Diabetes

Understanding the significance of this finding requires recognizing the strong connection between weight and type 2 diabetes. Approximately 80% of individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight at the time of diagnosis. Being overweight serves as a major trigger for the development of the disease. As individuals gain excess weight, their fat cells become less sensitive to insulin, resulting in elevated blood sugar (glucose) and insulin levels. This dangerous combination significantly increases the risk of severe health complications, including heart attacks, vision problems, nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), kidney disease, and even the potential need for amputation in extreme cases.

Historical Perspective: The Challenge of Highly Restrictive Diets

Historically, we’ve known that highly restrictive diets, often limited to 700 calories per day, can effectively reverse type 2 diabetes. However, these diets are extremely challenging to adhere to, primarily due to persistent feelings of hunger and deprivation. Long-term compliance with such diets has been notoriously poor.

New Hope: The Power of a 10% Weight Loss

The recent research is both eye-opening and encouraging because it demonstrates that individuals newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can experience remission by losing just 10% of their body weight, making this goal far more achievable. The study tracked 867 individuals aged 40 to 69 who had recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. After a five-year follow-up, 30% of participants were found to be in remission. Among those who achieved a 10% or greater weight loss within the first five years after diagnosis, more than twice as many entered remission compared to those who maintained their original weight.

The researchers concluded that “it may be possible to get rid of diabetes, for at least five years, with a modest weight loss of 10%. This will be motivating and hence more achievable for many patients.”

Taking Action: Achievable Weight Loss Strategies

This exciting research highlights that even a small reduction in excess weight can lead to the reversal of type 2 diabetes. Consider this: if an individual consumes 100 fewer calories per day and burns an extra 100 calories through a brief 15-20 minute walk, they could lose 24 pounds of fat over the course of a year. Most people can incorporate these changes into their daily routines. For individuals recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, adopting such a strategy could be life-changing and disease-reversing.


The study published in Diabetic Medicine in 2019 brings forth a ray of hope for those grappling with type 2 diabetes. It underscores the remarkable potential for individuals to achieve remission by losing just 10% of their body weight, offering a far more attainable goal than highly restrictive diets. This discovery emphasizes the significance of weight management in the fight against type 2 diabetes and highlights the transformative impact that even small lifestyle changes can have on one’s health.


H. Dambha-Miller, A. J. Day, J. Strelitz, G. Irving, S. J. Griffin. Behavior change, weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes: a community-based prospective cohort study. Diabetic Medicine, 2019. [Read the full study here](

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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