Summer Weight Loss Plan for Prediabetes

Planning your prediabetes summer weight loss regime

Weight loss plan for prediabetes

Summer is around the corner. Are you ready? This is not about achieving a bikini body that is a distant dream for 99 percent of us. This is about being your healthiest, happiest self: strong, confident, and with healthy blood sugar levels.

If you have prediabetes and are overweight or obese, losing extra weight can be one of the most effective ways to get your blood sugar under control. In a matter of weeks, and without any crash dieting, you may be able to lose enough weight to lower blood sugar levels and lower your risk for diabetes. Get started now, and by summer, you could be the healthiest you have been in years! 


What might happen if you lose a few extra pounds? You could…

  • Have more energy and focus.

  • Fit better in your clothes.

  • Gain confidence.

  • Lower risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer.

  • Prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Research shows that lifestyle changes such as weight loss can lower blood sugar and slow, stop, or even reverse insulin resistance and the progression of prediabetes to diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has demonstrated that you do not need to lose much weight to gain benefits.

In fact, losing 5-7% of your body weight if you are overweight or obese, and achieving at least 150 minutes per week can lower your risk by 58%.[1] That is equivalent to a loss of:

  • 8 to 11 lb. if you weigh 160 lb.

  • 10 to 14 lb. if you weigh 200 lb.

  • 12 to 20 lb. if you weigh 240 lb.

In addition, each kilogram (2.2 lb.) of weight loss has been linked to a 16% lower risk for diabetes. [2]

These figures can be heartening if you are not sure about your ability to lose 20, 40, or 100 lb. to get to a so-called “ideal” weight. Instead, each pound that you lose is worth celebrating.


Summer Weight Loss for Prediabetes

The best diet for prediabetes has a variety of nutritious foods, controlled portion sizes, a moderate amount of high-fiber carbohydrates, and not too many sugary, fried, or highly processed foods. A good weight loss plan also has some features that make long-term success easier.

  • Plenty of vegetables and lean proteins to stave off hunger.

  • Freedom to include one or two cheat meals or snacks a week.

  • Foods that are associated with weight control and/or lower risk for diabetes, such as whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and nuts.

  • An emphasis on a healthy process and awareness of yourself, and not on dramatic, rapid weight loss.

You can customize your own prediabetes diet plan for weight loss using the meal and snack suggestions below. 


Exercising for Summer Weight Loss

Hit the recommended exercise per week, and you may be well on your way to improving your blood sugar levels. Physical activity increases insulin sensitivity (lowers insulin resistance) and because it burns calories, it can contribute to weight loss, which further lower blood sugar. [3]

You might first think of aerobic exercise when considering summer weight loss goals. This type of exercise is something that gets your heart rate up, but that you can keep up for a while without getting completely winded. The goal amount in the DPP is at least 150 minutes per week, but feel free to do more than that if you are in shape to do so – the benefits keep increasing.

Resistance training, or strength training, is another type of exercise for summer weight loss. Some people avoid it because they think they will bulk up too much or because they think it is bad for blood pressure, but those are not true. Strength training can tone your muscles, improve cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure, and help prevent diabetes. You can get these and other benefits by hitting of your major muscle groups 2 to 3 times per week.

Examples of Aerobic Activities Examples of Resistance Training Activities
  • Walking briskly or uphill on treadmill
  • Hiking
  • Jogging or running
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Stairmaster or elliptical trainer
  • Gardening
  • Tennis or basketball
  • Rowing
  • Weight machines
  • Body weight exercises
  • Cable or resistance band exercises
  • Dumbbells
  • Barbells
  • Weighted balls
  • Kettlebells

Prediabetes Weight Loss Menu

Your prediabetes weight loss menu can be interesting, simple, and great-tasting. It can include foods you love and be customized to your lifestyle. Here are some ideas for meals and snacks for summer weight loss.

You can use these meals and snacks for a few weeks or several months to lose weight. They are nutritious, balanced, and versatile. Just add extra snacks if you are particularly active or are a larger man, or keep it to just one snack a day if you are a less-active, smaller woman.

This prediabetes weight loss plan lets you select any breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus one to three snacks, each day. The plan emphasizes moderate amounts of healthy carbohydrates plus lean proteins and healthy fats. You can always vary it by swapping out “like” foods, such as a pear for an apple, chicken for fish, oatmeal for cereal, or brown rice for pasta. 

Breakfast Ideas
1 egg and 2 egg whites (or 4 total egg whites) scrambled with ½ cup corn kernels 1 small chopped tomato, and 1 oz. cheddar cheese, served with cilantro and ¼ large sliced avocado
Whole-grain pancakes (frozen, dry mix, or with your usual recipe but using whole-wheat flour instead of white

¼ cup ricotta cheese

¾ cup peach slices
½ large whole-grain bagel with 2 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese, ¼ cup canned salmon (or cooked fresh salmon), and (optional) dill

1 cup strawberries
Hash: heat 1 tsp. olive oil. Add 2/3 cup cooked diced sweet potato, 1 chopped red pepper, ½ chopped tomato, 2 tablespoons diced onion until cooked. Add 1 egg and 2 egg whites or ½ cup tofu.
½ cup of shredded wheat cereal with ¾ cup of non-fat milk or unsweetened soy or almond milk, ½ sliced banana, and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
1 packet plain oatmeal made with water, plus 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and ½ cup diced apples plus cinnamon
Breakfast sandwich with 1 cooked egg and 1 ounce of cheese on 1 whole-wheat English muffin plus ½ cup blueberries
Breakfast muffins (1/4 recipe) with ½ cup whole-wheat flour, 1 cup oats, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 cup chopped spinach, ½ cup each chopped tomato and bell pepper, ½ cup shredded cheddar, 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 beaten eggs. Baked in muffin tin.
Lunch Ideas
1 veggie burger patty on a whole-grain bun with 1 slice cheese and lettuce and tomato

1 cup carrot sticks
Free-for-All Salad

Unlimited greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, mixed with 2 tangerines, 3 oz. chicken or tuna or ½ cup tofu.

2 Tbsp. vinaigrette dressing
Quinoa Salad

½ cup cooked quinoa mixed with 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, ½ cup artichoke hearts, ½ cup grapes, 2 tsp. olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, few sliced almonds
Greek Pita Sandwich

1 whole-grain pita spread with 2 tablespoons hummus and stuffed with sprouts, lettuce, tomato, grilled eggplant, and chicken breast

1 cup cantaloupe or 1 small pear
Taco Salad

Romaine lettuce with ½ cup low-sodium black beans, 1 oz. cheddar cheese, ¼ cup salsa, ¼ cup guacamole, ½ cup cooked brown rice
Soup with chicken, brown rice, low-salt broth, onion, celery, carrots, vegetables such as zucchini or broccoli

1 cup cut melon with sunflower seeds
Low-sodium lentil soup with 1 slice whole-grain toast

1 side salad with vinaigrette
Pizza on 2 portobella mushroom caps with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and vegetables of your choice, such as mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
Dinner Ideas
1 small (5 oz.) baked sweet potato topped with a mixture of ½ cup cottage cheese blended with diced onion, garlic powder, and rosemary.

Served with asparagus or green beans roasted with olive oil
Mexican Casserole: (¼ recipe) In a casserole, mix 2 cups cooked or frozen cauliflower florets, 1 cup corn, 1 cup black beans, 8 oz. cooked ground turkey, taco seasoning, and ½ cup shredded cheese. Bake. Serve with plain yogurt or salsa
(½ recipe) Stew 8 oz. chicken, 2 cups mushrooms, 2 cups chopped spinach, ¼ cup low-salt broth, ¼ cup olives, thyme, lemon juice, pepper.

½ cup brown rice.
4 oz. salmon fillet brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with cumin, chili powder, and paprika, and roasted. Top with blend of fat-free yogurt, cilantro, and lime juice, and ¼ sliced avocado

1 cup steamed broccoli

1 apple
Tofu Stir Fry with tofu, sesame oil, cashews, mixed vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, and napa cabbage, ½ cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti, and low-sodium soy sauce.
Eggplant Lasagna: (¼ recipe) slice and roast 1.5 lb. eggplant or zucchini. Layer with tomato sauce, 1 cup ricotta, 2 cups sliced mushrooms, and 12 oz. cooked ground turkey. Top with ½ cup shredded mozzarella and bake.
Greek Pizza: 1 whole-wheat pita with tomato sauce, 1 oz. feta cheese, oregano, olives, and chopped tomatoes, basil, artichoke hearts, and bell peppers
“Chow mein” with chicken, tilapia, or tofu, spiralized zucchini (“zoodles”), broccoli florets, bell pepper, snow peas, sliced carrots, and bok choy, all cooked in sesame oil and tossed with sesame seeds and low-sodium teriyaki sauce
Snack Ideas (1-3 per Day)
½ whole-grain English muffin with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 oz. feta cheese with ½ cup chopped tomato and cucumber, thyme, and 1 tsp. olive oil
½ oz. each unsweetened chocolate and peanuts
1 hard-boiled egg and 1 orange
1 cup melon with 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Parfait with ¼ cup oats, ½ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup berries
2 oz. canned salmon mixed with 1 tablespoon sliced olives, 1 sliced celery stalk, 2 Tbsp. yogurt, halved cherry tomatoes
2 cups plain popcorn and 1 low-fat string cheese stick
1 cup celery sticks and 1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 small pear and 2 tablespoons walnuts
1 string cheese stick
½ cup toasted oat cereal in ½ cup milk
½ cup fat-free refried beans
½ cup plain yogurt with fresh dill and ½ cup chopped cucumber
1 oz. roasted almonds
½ avocado
1 cup roasted edamame
½ sliced banana dipped in ½ oz. melted unsweetened chocolate
1 cup strawberries drizzled with ½ oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 cups kale chips baked with 1 tsp. olive oil and 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
Sliced cucumber with sliced red onion, 1 tsp. olive oil,2 tsp. vinegar
¼ cup canned tuna with curry powder, mustard, diced celery and onion
1 cup low-sodium tomato soup
1 cup baked carrot fries with kosher salt and 1 tsp. olive oil
½ cup cottage cheese

A personal coach such as Lark can help you turn your goals into reality. Lark DPP has achieved full CDC recognition and it specifically targets the weight loss you are after to treat prediabetes. Your personal coach works with you through your smartphone to help you lose weight and build other healthy lifestyle habits. Are you ready for summer?



  1.  Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. February 7, 2002. N Engl J Med. 2002; 346:393-403. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa012512

  2.  Hamman RF, Wing RR, Edelstein SL, Lachin JM, Bray GA, Delahanty L, Hoskin M, Kriska AM, Mayer-Davis EJ, Pi-Sunyer X, Regensteiner J, Venditti B, Wylie-Rosett J. Effect of weight loss with lifestyle intervention on risk of diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006 Sep; 29(9):2102-7.

  3.  Hamman RF, Wing RR, Edelstein SL, Lachin JM, Bray GA, Delahanty L, Hoskin M, Kriska AM, Mayer-Davis EJ, Pi-Sunyer X, Regensteiner J, Venditti B, Wylie-Rosett J. Effect of weight loss with lifestyle intervention on risk of diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006 Sep; 29(9):2102-7.

Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Assistant Professor of Public Health