Research shows that a lifestyle change can improve type 2 diabetes in so much as patients may be able to get off of their medications. The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) Research Group studied than 5,000 patients between the ages of 55 and 76 who were overweight or obese and had type 2 diabetes. Half of the patients were also coached about their exercise program, their weight, their fitness level as well as their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This group was told to limit daily food consumption to 1,200 to 1,800 calories and to gradually increase the amount of moderate exercise (like brisk walking) to 175 minutes per week.
Those who received the additional support and coaching achieved a weight loss of 6.15 percent of their body weight. The control group only lost about 1 percent of their body weight. Results showed that a lifestyle change can help people to lose weight and maintain their new weight. The study also found that many of the participants were able to stop taking their diabetes and blood pressure medications.