Amount of Insulin

I have a question that I’m hoping you all can answer for me. I understand that we all have different insulin requirements/needs. This makes sense with regards to basal rates. When it comes to bolus amounts, I think it’s a little less clear.

For example, 2 people same size, weight, age, etc. One takes 16U basal and one takes 20. If both eat a healthy low glycemic diet and workout, etc. they still might need different amounts. Okay, so I get then if one ate pasta and one ate protien and veggies, they’d need different bolus amounts. But, if they eat the same, and take different amounts of insulin, and both keep their sugars in range, would the one taking more insulin gain weight more than the other?

Basically what I’m trying to determine, is if I take what my body requires, but I’m “unlucky” in that it requires MORE than another person, is that just it? Unlucky? And I’ll never be very slim again? Or, if my control is spot on, and I’m eating a healthy, low glycemic diet and working out for 1hr daily, should I be a fat burning machine?? I basically want to know if it comes down to low amounts of insulin or if it’s the correct amount for you as an individual.

Even as I read this I don’t know if I’m getting my point across.

If the premise of a low carb diet being successful is that the carbs are less, and therefore the insulin injected (bolus) is less, than in my mind that means if you need less insulin you have an easier time losing weight. But, if it’s just that you take what you need and eat very clean and healthy and workout but need more insulin (around 35U TDD) no matter what I can’t seem to shed a pound, am I just unlucky and have to accept this??? I have gained about 10 pounds this last year, and I find it very frustrating, because I’ve also added about 10 units to my TDD. I used to take around 15-20, but now take 30-35TDD and I know it’s natural to increase insulin needs over time, but I didn’t realize I’d develop an inability to loose the 10 lbs that have crept up and I want to know if that is due to increase in insuln needs.

Just for reference, I’m slim still, but not at the lower end of the healthy weigth spectrum for which I’ve always, always been. I’m 5 foot 7 and 140lbs right now, and I have always been around 120-125…130 at my most when I’m lazy and eat whatever. I’m a very healthy eater now and workout daily. I just don’t understand this.

Also, my thyroid is normal, and I eat around 60-80 carbs a day,very healthy clean food.

Thank you for any replies!!

Find and answer to this and sell it, and you’ll be quite wealthy indeed!

I did gain quite a bit of weight after starting on insulin; however, it was admittedly a combination of factors (we had a couple very hard winters back-to-back). Problem is unlike you, I’ve always had a tendency to gain weight, but as a result, I’d also become adept at losing weight – until I introduced injected insulin into my life. Now nothing that’s worked in the past seems to work AT ALL. Haven’t been able to lose a single pound. Meanwhile, I went on a pump and lowered my TDD by 35% – however, I still cannot make any headway on the weight. Note - my TDD is around twice yours, I average approximately the same grams of carbs a day as you do, and I have not been gaining any additional weight, but what I have already is making me VERY uncomfortable and I frankly feel desperate to find an answer.


I’m confused by people apparently pinning problems with weight gain on insulin. That’s just not my understanding of how the physiology works.

Unless you were monitoring your glucose regularly enough before starting insulin to have an idea how much of your weight loss might have been due to hyperglycemia, how can you know the insulin is the source of the problem? Couldn’t it be that eliminating hyperglycemia made it harder to lose weight because you could no longer literally ■■■■ it away?


I hear ya… maybe we’ll get some ideas with the responses here…

I can only speak for myself, but I’m not “pinning” the weight gain on insulin, I’m asking if there is a correlation BTW the two. I really am not sure.

Like if a non D eats pasta, there body would automatically give them a big natural bolus to cover it perfectly. I as a D would inject it. So if I ate low glycemic & healthy and gave the appropriate insulin for my needs, wouldn’t that be just the same as a non D? Yet I suddenly have a hard time keeping pounds from creeping up. I also notice as I gain weight, and I seem to need more insulin as the pounds go up and IF that causes weight gain, then I don’t see a way out of the vicious circle…

I’m T2 not on insulin. Your comment about Low GI foods made me wonder if that is the answer. I find if I eat carbs, even low GI carbs, it adds to my insulin resistance and I gain weight. I was eating low GI and putting on weight when I was diagnosed, I am not a fan of that diet.

I can only discuss how things have been in my case - not necessarily related to anyone else. You’re right, @irrational_John, I obviously cannot prove that insulin is the reason that I gained and have not been able to lose weight; however, I have very good reasons to believe that to be the case. First, I was asymptomatic at Dx – I was not flushing any more weight away then than I am now – if anything, I visit the bathroom more frequently now than I ever did pre-Dx. (In fact, it was a bit of the opposite - I was worried that I might have been having a prostate problem pre-Dx that was causing me to both “visit” less and “produce” less. No explanation for that was discovered.) Second, the weight I did lose prior to Dx was only lost by long-term hard effort over a period of close to a decade. I saw no evidence of any biological “assistance” in losing it – not even the occasional cold or flu “helped” in the effort. Just hard work and careful eating. Finally, I did not go on insulin immediately after Dx, but several months later - I gained no weight on orals. I did not have the weight problem until I started to titrate insulin doses to get the numbers where my doctor and I wanted them – my A1c and fasting BG were good enough (6.5) on orals, so I had no diabetes “assistance” at that time, either. From the time that I started taking insulin and continuing to this day, I started eating even less than I had previously; this started out as part of an effort to get a handle on how much insulin I need for what foods, but eventually became a habit, so I eat significantly less than I did pre-Dx (when I already was on a fairly good diet, at least in conventional terms).

So, do I have proof to “pin” it on insulin? No. But when the only significant change was adding insulin to the mix coincides with the weight gain, I have a reasonable case for the connection.