Bolus for protein

Hi All,

Currently Im eating about 35 carbs a day. However I am having to dose 2.5-3.0 units a meal for protein in addition to my carb bolus. Is this common for low carb eating? Thanks.

Yes. Protein will convert to glucose. Different people have different guidelines. I’ve seen the number 60% of the dietary protein convert to glucose. Bernstein actually also suggests that you can use R since a good proportion of your glucose load will come from protein, your blood sugar profile will be very blunted since it takes quite a while for gluconeogenesis to do its work.

Yes, I always figure for protein.

I am also learning to do this. I need to deliver a square bolus of about a unit to 1.5 units per meal.

Hey bsc, how do you mean my profile will be blunted?

I noticed at first that it was taking 2-3 hours after the meal for the rise to happen. Now though, its within a 1/2 hour or so of eating. That lasts for 2-3 hours. Im on a pump with a CGM, so I can and do fallow this quite closely with minor doses to correct beyond the square for the protein.

Thanks for the reply you both.

Im having to dual wave at meals, with about 2.5 units. I try to keep the protein consistent for my meals and am finding that I think Im going to have to start counting protein like I do err did carbs.

I am still trying to figure out my best basal vs how much to bolus for protein. I woke up 94 this morning (yay) but now I will bolus 1/2 a unit for my almond milk in my coffee, and then I’ll square wave for my eggs about 1.2 for my eggs. I am still wary of bolusing too much, although I consistently go up after eating and will see highs in the 200 range. I have a fear of having a basal set too high that will feed the bolus for protein. Every day I am trying to eek it up a bit. I hope I see good #'s with the 1.2 today! I’ll do the same for my lunch and dinner.
Bernstein uses long acting for basal and takes what- 4 units total a day? or like 6? i forget. My basal is set to .725 per hour so that works out to 17.5 units per day - seems like a lot, but- I am waking up 94, so that is good, and I was 124 at 3am which shows me I could even use more?
SO hard to figure out.

Most people find that their blood sugar rises for 3-4 hours after a large protein meal, with no large spike and instead a much longer response.

IM totally with you Clair. I havent had the dawn phenomena since i was a kid and now its back since my WOE changed. Also, this post meal thing has been a pain. I can get my numbers fantastic most of the time, but sometimes I get the long rise to 140-160 and it lasts for hours. I dont even try to match Bernstein. Im 210 6’0. He looks at things from 145. 5’6. So there is a big difference there and in eating habbits as well. Im taking about 40u these days (30 basal / 10 food).

yeah- Bernstein is a little guy! I under bolused for my lunch today- I had ham and turkey with mustard… so only protein, about 4 oz. and i bolused 1 unit. pp reading at 1 hour was 155 then hit 180 at the 2 hour reading. tonight’s dinner and tomorrow- I’ll go for 1.3 units.

I remember Manny saying there was a formula for converting the insulin dosage for Protein, Fiber, and one other that I can not recall. Does any one know where on this site the formula can be found. Directions please, I do not have a GPS for this LOL.


That would be interesting to see and beneficial. Good thought Chele.

I second that! My square bolus at dinner wasn’t enough - was 180 again at bedtime. It’s so weird because I used to only bolus for carbs, never even thought about the protein. I only used the carb ratios and that was it. i was shocked at how much I need for just protein! Looks liek I will up it to 1.5 units today !!! wish me luck!

Thanks bsc. Thats what Im finding, Although, I see 130-160 as a spike be it for 1 hour or 4. So, how to calculate / correct?

Everyone, check Tager’s for formula and forms. Searched the group the other day and there they were. Let me know how you all do with them. I’m having a big problem, so I think I will try one step at a time.

Good luck


Chele, how are you doing with it? There is a really good formula to try that the TAGers use for bolusing. The calculation is 56% * protein grams, 10% * fat grams, along with 100% * carb grams. Ive been using it with about a 50% success rate at keeping my PP pretty flat. Meaning a spike of 15mg/dl or less.

I bolus about 1/3 instantly and square (over time) the rest for 1.5-2 hours. The trick with it is finding out how much to instant bolus and how much to square. If I miss the right instant amount I either go low and have to eat carbs, or I get a PP of 120-140 for 3 hours (protein digestion time i suppose).

Keep us posted!

Wow, a month later… How is it working out? It really seems like once we knock off the carbs our bodies really turn to protein as the glucose source. Totally fascinating. I wonder what the protein was doing before (anyone care to chime in?).

As Chele and I posted below, using the TAG method yelds pretty good results. On a side not, this all requires a lot of attention per meal. Hope its going well!

Onesaint, I’m going up the side of the mountain slow but sure.I hated paper work and formula’s in Nursing, so I retired. Gotten em back, didn’t I. Oh, well " nothing ventured, nothing gained". Started with the Fiber and so far, Okay! Not on pump for last 2 years. But, if this keeps me flatlined, slow and easy well do it. How is it going with You?


Well, I went to the local CVS to get one of the free A1c Tests. I was hoping they were using the lab Bayer tester (forgot the model #), but it was an A1Cnow. So I said what the heck, its free and Ive no time to see the endo in the next 2 weeks. I was 7.6 4 months ago when I started low carbing it. According to the RN today Im 10 pounds lighter and have an A1c of 5.8. So, not too bad. Ive nailed down some meals with TAGing and am pleased with the numbers. I think they will be lower as I keep this up. The only adverse side is that my BP has gone up from 120-150. I have been drinking more coffee as of late, but Im not sure what the rise is about.

Seem to be doing much better in the last week. Bg testing is 5x a day, and average for the last week is 113. I had 3 periods of lows in the 50’s with unawareness. Usually I have that many in 1 month but that I can handle.
Got the hang of Fiber and now starting on the Fats. B/P has been OK, in-fact it is running low at 120-125. Do have more energy, not sure why though.
Are you using decaf coffee?