Objective: Describe the characteristics (development, intensity, deliverers, setting, strategies) and assess the effect of salutogenic-oriented lifestyle interventions on physical and psychosocial health outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Method: PubMed, Scopus and PsycINFO were systematically searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published up to August 2019 that complied with predefined salutogenic criteria: the participant as a whole, the participant’s active involvement and the participant’s individual learning process. Characteristics of the salutogenic-oriented interventions with and without significant results were compared and qualitatively summarised. Results: Twenty-eight RCTs were identified. Salutogenic oriented interventions that significantly improved both physical and psychosocial health were characterized by being based on formative research, culturally targeted, and delivered in 10–20 sessions in group settings, whereas salutogenic oriented interventions that neither improved physical or psychosocial health significantly were characterized by being individually tailored and delivered in less than 10 group sessions in individual settings. Conclusions: This systematic review suggests that salutogenic-oriented lifestyle interventions are effective for physical and psychosocial health in the short term. More research is needed to determine how intervention characteristics moderate (long-term) effectiveness. Practice implications: The results provide a basis for purposefully developing effective salutogenic interventions for adults with T2DM.