Getting healthy without weight loss

I have an 18 BMI, to my chagrin–I want to gain about 10 more pounds and keep it but even getting and staying where I am took YEARS, no exaggeration. I recently changed from Medtronic Quick Sets to Silhouettes because of how skinny I am. I don’t limit carbs. I can’t really do high fat because my GI tract doesn’t react well when I overdo on that.


Veggies practically don’t happen in my house because it’s just me and hubby, and he can’t put them down his gullet. This is more than simple dislike or pickiness. He can’t choke them down. If I buy the wrong brand of carrots for stew, the whole pot gets overpowered by the strength of the carrot flavor and He. Just. Can’t. Milk makes him viscerally ill to a point where he can’t watch people eat vanilla ice cream. Very few fruits are successful with him either. So for the most part it’s meat, cheese and starch at my house. I do try to do an avocado a day and he usually eats a cup of strawberries with supper, when we have those items on hand.

I’m also pretty sedentary. I was never an athletic or even well coordinated person. I do a little yoga, I work halfway across the building from my boss at the law firm, and I take 3-4 bus trips to and/or from work per week, each of which includes a 4 block walk from where I get off the bus to the firm.

40 is a little over a year away. I need to take better care of myself from a physical activity standpoint, but I can’t figure out how to do that without risking weight loss. It has been so hard to get and keep the weight I do have, I don’t want to start having more infusion problems due to lack of fat, and I don’t feel like I can compensate for any such loss with food because of the GI issue with fat, coupled with the fact that my fullness reflex and appetite loss have hair triggers. What if the exercise doesn’t kick start my appetite?

Any exercise ideas would be GREATLY appreciated. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock, a hard place, a brick wall and a cement truck.

Well, I’m in a somewhat similar position (don’t tolerate very high fats well, prone to losing weight, etc.). All I can suggest is heavy weight lifting combined with eating more protein. We get so hung up on carbs and fats, we forget most people don’t actually eat much protein. You can eat just a hair more than 35% of your calories from protein without damaging your kidneys (don’t ever go over 40% if you’re not very active).

And then regular, intense weight-lifting. Most beginners use some variant of the “5x5” routine to great effect. Using a couple of small dumbbells or kettlebells isn’t what we’re talking about… we’re talking about barbells with heavy weights. It’s intimidating to many people, but is extraordinarily good for building muscle and gaining weight. Additionally, it doesn’t burn as many calories per hour as cardio does, so it’s useful for people who want to gain while still exercising.

So, that’s really it! It has worked for me. I doubled my protein intake and quit doing cardio and endurance training for the most part. I was able to drop my calories intake and still stabilize my weight. I’ve even gained a two pounds over the last month and a half!

I used to get vegetables down my picky children by liquidising them as in soup. Maybe that would help you to be able to actually ingest vegetables. A spoonful of cream or sour cream is nice to decorate the top of the soup and if stirred in makes the soup slip down more easily.

Why do you need to eat the same diet as your husband? If he can’t stand to watch you eat then you can eat separately. Then you could choose a diet that better meets your needs.

And you really need to find out why you are having GI issues. You may have a serious problem or it may be minor and readily treatable.

And remember, bodyfat is not the same as dietary fat. There is a complicated pathway for dietary fat to be deposited as bodyfat. There is a simple and efficient way for dietary carbs to be converted by your liver to fat and deposited as fat.

Its only milk that he can’t WATCH. The rest of it he just can’t EAT. But I don’t consider it practical to cook two different meals every night, especially with only two of us in the house. That just lends itself to wasted food, and by extension wasted money. This disease is expensive enough as it is. If I go on a CGM at upgrade time next year it will get more so.

My GI tract has been a little delicate as far back as I can remember. Drinking milk has caused crampy gas for 20 years, since high school. My body has done this long enough that I’ve figured out by now how to avoid it (don’t overdo fatty/greasy/rich foods in a 24 hour period) and how to manage it when I overindulge (it pretty much mimics an 8-12 hour stomach flu). I have done it enough times that I have just decided it’s simple reality. My body takes great enjoyment from defying conventional wisdom and making life interesting. My eyes have been through so much they are twice my age, I got glaucoma AFTER the eye had been opened surgically (which isn’t supposed to happen), I had a goiter the size of a squashed tennis ball removed a year ago, I’m in the 2% of people who get a systemic rash from an eye drop without the eye itself getting irritated, the 2% who are underweight and the 5-10% who are T1. My body wants to be different for kicks and giggles, so I have decided to suck it up on the GI thing.

Thank you for the comment about pathways to body fat–as we all know the societal rumor is that carbs = weight gain, so it’s nice to hear SCIENCE that confirms that not limiting carbs is a straighter path to keeping the fat that I have than rich foods.

Have you considered getting tested for celiac disease? Some 6% of TD1s are celiac. There is a strong link.

Celiac disease is autoimmune and systemic. One in 133 of the population has it, but only 20% are diagnosed.

Your inability to gain weight, a goiter (autoimmune thyroid?), lactose intolerance and other GI issues can be attributed to CD.

Learn about testing from the University of Chicago:

I did briefly wonder about that at some point. But pasta, rice, bread, flour tortillas, etc are no issue, so it’s not a gluten thing. Also, FWIW it’s not true lactose intolerance because it’s only milk itself that does it. Cheese, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese are all fine as long as I don’t overdo the higher fat ones.

@auntlisa1103 - The symptoms from Celiac can be different person to person. Some Celiac patients would present with no discomfort when eating gluten but could cause digestive damage which would then impact proper digestion of other food. A less typical reaction for Celiac is significant issue immediately after eating gluten (Wheat, Rye, Barley). An immediate reaction is more typically associated with gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy. However it is possible for a Celiac patient to have very strong and quick reaction to gluten - just not typical. The more typical issue is long term digestive damage.

The blood work for Celiac should really (IMHO) not be termed a “screening” as it really is very good at identifying issues. (I am sure the FDA does not give a rat’s a** about my opinions.) However it absolutely does require that the person have been eating gluten containing foods as a regular part of their diet for quite some time prior to the bloodwork. If somebody has already decided on their own to be gluten-free (completely) and six months later decides to take have a Celiac Panel performed via blood work then it is worse then a waste of time and money as the results could potentially lead one to erroneous conclusions.

I am a fan of labwork and testing. It would seem quite odd for an Endo not to suggest a Celiac Panel for a T1 that has digestive issues. There is really no downside to having the tests run (if gluten is a regular part of your diet).

Here is the catch, some celiacs have no symptoms at ALL. My only symptom at the time I was diagnosed was anemia. Anemia that I had my entire life. I even have a genetic anemia which masked the iron-deficiency anemia. Bread never gave me any GI issues. Heck, I even baked all my own bread --even hamburger buns. No issues at all.

My celiac disease diagnosis was just caught when I went for a routine colonoscopy. The GI took a look at my chart and said he would test me for celiac disease. If positive, he would scope me from both ends. I was shocked. He guessed right! Two months later, I suffered from vertebrae fractures doing nothing. Unknown to me, I had developed osteoporosis due to king undiagnosed celiac disease.

Lactose intolerance. Due to intestinal villi damage, many celiacs are lactose intolerant which can resolve in a gluten free diet unless you are genetically predisposed to this type of intolerance (a huge chunk of the world). You can eat other milk products because the amount of lactose varies. Everyone can have a different threshold of tolerance.

You can not go by symptoms alone. It is recommended for TD1s to get screened.

Am I making this up? Read this link directed to endocrinologists.

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Never said you were making anything up. Just don’t really see a point in pursuing it through the medical profession when I already know how it acts, how to try to avoid it and how to address it when I don’t successfully avoid it–identifying an action plan is normally the goal of pursuing it, and I already have one. I’ll run it past my endo at my quarterly next week.

In the meantime, I’d love additional tips on exercise that carries low risk of weight loss.

People with great taste hate veggies. I love veggies, but I have a terrible sense of smell/taste.

My husband had seen science that it may be due to having lots of extra taste buds, but this sounds equally likely. His grandfather was the same way and he inherited his red-green color blindness.