For people who have diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight can be an ongoing struggle. But research has also shown that shedding pounds improves health, lowers blood sugar, and may help you feel better.

How to lose weight in a healthy way

1. Find a diabetes dream team. Don't try to lose weight on your own. The dieter's mentality is pervasive throughout our culture, but for people with diabetes, it's necessary to find professionals to help. Team up with a smart nutritionist and doctor—this is that much more crucial if you're taking insulin or diabetes medications.

2. Maintain tight glucose monitoring. Dr. Christine Gerbstadt, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, warns that you don't want to run the risk of high or low blood glucose while you're dieting. Check your levels regularly, and when you do cut calories, cut them across the board, from carbohydrates to protein to fat. Gerbstadt recommends that people with diabetes maintain a healthy ratio of carbs, fat, and protein, such as 50 to 55 percent carbs, 30 percent fat, and 10 to 15 percent protein. Consult your doctor and nutritionist before making these changes.

3. Don't skip meals. Missing meals actually helps promote weight gain in the long run because it may slow down metabolism and tell your body to become efficient at conserving calories instead of burning them. So if you're eating nothing during the day, you could be encouraging a higher weight—even if you aren't eating more total calories than you might have eaten if you ate three square meals. This is because your body might conserve more of those calories as fat.

4. Get your metabolism up. Exercise regularly, spread calories throughout the day, and eating healthy, nutritious meals to kick-start your metabolism.

5. To lose weight, avoid altering insulin, skipping meals, or following the fad low-calorie diet of the week. Talk to your doctor and nutritionist, exercise, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on getting healthy and losing weight:

Is Your Diet Not Working? This May Be Why
Your Low Blood Sugar Fix Could Be Making You Fat
3 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight