Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight benefits your health and helps you manage your diabetes.

If you’re living with diabetes and would benefit from weight loss, it is recommended to aim for a 5-10% reduction in body weight.

This amount of weight loss has been shown to improve diabetes management, delay type 2 diabetes progression and be sustainable.

Being above your healthiest weight can increase insulin resistance*, making it more difficult to manage your diabetes, as well as increasing your risk of developing heart disease. (*Insulin resistance is when the body does not respond properly to the hormone insulin)

If you need to lose weight

  • Eat less processed foods
  • Do more physical activity
  • Aim to lose 5-10% of your body weight

Body Mass Index (BMI) can be used as an indicator of healthy weight. But BMI doesn’t distinguish between fat and lean muscle.


BMI (kg/m2)


< 18.50

Healthy weight

18.50 – 24.9


> 25.00

Waist circumference may be a better indicator of your health. Fat stored around your mid-section and internal organs puts you at more risk of developing insulin resistance and heart disease.




Increased risk

> 94 cm

> 80 cm

High risk 

> 102 cm

> 88 cm

Reducing your overall intake of food and drinks (other than water) can assist with weight loss.

Focus particularly on reducing foods containing saturated fats and added sugars. Eating less processed foods which are often high in kilojoules, saturated fat, sodium and added sugars is a good place to start.

Being more aware of your natural appetite signs can also be helpful. Try to stop eating when you feel comfortably full, not necessarily when your plate is empty.

Snacks are not required for everyone living with diabetes, check the need for snacks with your health professional.

Increasing physical activity is another important strategy for managing your weight. It’s important that any changes you make to your food intake and physical activity can be maintained long term and fit into your daily life.

For support with your weight that is individualised to you, see a health professional for assistance: