How to GAIN weight - any lo-carb weight gain powder?


I've always been extremely thin my entire life. I was diagnosed at like age 29 with Type 1. I want to take some weight gain powder but everything at GNC is like 50 carbs per serving. Gaining weight is very hard especially as a type 1. Any ideas?


I slowly started dropping weight when I started intensive insulin therapy. This is probably due to paying closer attention to what I eat and exercising a little more, who knows. I am not a follower of low carb, rather I just try to eat whole food, healthy, balanced meals.
Back to the point, I drink Muscle Milk powder most mornings with a scoop of Barlean's Greens in it. It's only 18g of Carbs for 310 calories. I get it from Costco in the 4lb bag. I like it because it allows me to eat something along with it without having to take a large bolus.
Be aware that all of the protein powders have pretty fast acting carbs so you may want to pre-bolus a bit before drinking them.


Most of the "Weight gain" supplements are very carb heavy. Gaining bodyfat can certainly be accomplished by overeating carbs. Gaining lean body mass is best done with protein. Products like EAS 100% whey protein are low carb and contain 25g protein and has 7 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber. If you mix it with heavy cream rather than milk you will further restrict the carbs.


Thanks for that tip! Being on metformin caused me to lose some extra pounds I couldn't afford to lose so I'm gonna give this a try. Does the fat in the cream cause any/much spiking??


Personally I find heavy or whipping cream to only contain a couple grams of carbs, maybe 2-3 and it doesn't raise my blood sugar on it's own. That being said, I find protein raises my blood sugar and would bolus for 25 gram of protein as equivalent to 12 g carbs.



You don't have to go carb heavy to gain weight, just ensure you are running a decent sized calorie excess every day 800-1500 calories. If you include good quality fats e.g nuts, avocados, and plenty of lean protein chicken, fish, turkey etc then this is easily doable over the course of a day.

My advice would be eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, lift as heavy as possible, low repetitions of "cave man exercises" e.g deadlift, squat, press etc, eat some more and ensure decent quality sleep and rest. Mark Rippertoe's starting strength programme is very good, as are other 5X5 programmes out there.

I'm not really that into my shakes and things these days, I've had better success with eating whole foods, e.g. 500 calorie meal every 3 hours when awake.

If you're going to low carb, ensure you replace those carbs with good quality fats other wise it becomes a chore getting all the calories in from lean meats and veggies. Plus I'm not convinced people can train at a high intensity on protein and greens alone, you need an energy source.

I did use to make a mean ~800 calorie shake when I was trying to gain weight.

1 handful of walnuts
Half an avacado
Two scoops whey protein
Two table spoons peanut butter
Heavy cream
Handful of frozen banana
Full fat milk to appropriate thickness.

Blendtec 45 seconds.

With an appropriate bolus this didn't cause me to spike.

I did find that upping carbs and the resulting TDD increase caused the biggest gains for me though. I was also able to perform strength training better on 400-500g of carbs a day, which further promoted growth.

However, my BS and standard deviation suffered so I couldn't continue this long term..


When I was diagnosed with T1D in January, I weighed 101 pounds. I now weigh 91 pounds. I would like to gain the weigh back and have tried eating more protein but it’s not happening. I guess I should try eating more fatty things but I’ve always avoided fats and now it’s a habit that’s hard to break.


Hi Madison,

I still avoid a lot of fats, saturated and trans fats.

Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, fish, dark chocolate, nut oils, olive oil, coconut oil, fatty cheeses, heavy cream in coffee, eggs. I'm sure you could find a couple of things that were high in good fats and calorific that you would enjoy eating. My favourite is avocado as they are so versatile.

A medium sized avocado is about 320 calories! 29g of fat and around 17g carbs (low GI). I like them dusted in coco and a little agave nectar or in salads, shakes.

Eggs are great as well, I think at one point I was eating about 40 eggs a week and my cholesterol actually went down as I'd replaced 90% of carbs with fats.

Personally I think high fat, low carb and moderate protein is the best diet for diabetes.

I actually reduced my protein intake as I was concerned about the potential stress on the kidneys of dealing with excretion of excess dietary protein.


Oh Rich,

In regardless to low carb diet powders there are loads, however I've struggled to find one that isn't full of sweeteners and other nasties.

As mentioned in my previous post, I think good quality whole foods high in protein and fats is the way to go.


An alternative that may not be for everyone is canned sardines. Personally I love little fishies. A can of sardines in oil (choose olive oil) is 25g protein and 11g of fat and no carbs. That is 50% of calories from protein and 50% from fat. I find you can mash up the sardines in the can and with a little spoon or fork eat all of it, oil included right out of the can. It is a personal taste. I really find that tiny fishies go really well with breakfast.


Like being overweight being thin is mostly a result of genetic disposition. Equal to that is the influence of the gut bacterias shared in your family. Eating more will help but you will not process as much of the additional carbs as you wish or think.

Thin people are wasteful with carbs like uninsulated walls are wasting heat. In a way they are already adapted to a world with an abundance of carbs. They have to invest much more energy to keep their temperature. Usually their brown fat cells are more active to acomplish that. Their basic metabolic rate is higher and thus less energy is left for being stored in the fatty cells. Responsible for that is the consumption in muscles and brain. Usually the brain will consume 4g of carbs per hour on average. But in thin people the ratio of brain consumption to the consumption of the rest of the body is higher.

In theory gut bacteria are at the beginning of this development. Thin and overweight people show significant differences in the composition of their gut bacteria. This has influence on the way carbs are extracted and processed. As a result the composition and the amount of carbs and fat passing into the blood stream might be different. Skin bacteria and gut bacteria are passed from the family members to the new born child by kissing and by the passage of the child through the birth canal. This is very important to give the child all the protective and benefitial bacterias that live in harmony/symbiosis with the child. Thus is is common that families share comparable compositions of gut bacteria. Apart from the benefits these gut baterias are the cards you have been dealt with. Research does indicate that the composition can be influenced to the benefit of the patient. But it will take decades to use that knowledge to aim directly at weight problems. Although to my knowledge the preliminary results for thin and overweight people are very promising.

And yes, I am underweight too. From the experience of my father I know that this will slowly change with age. Sometimes in the future I will have a normal weight ;-)


Unfortunately in today's society gut bacteria are often disrupted and destroyed by overuse of antibiotics. And our diets also don't encourage gut bacteria. A good way to encourage good development in the gut is to eat a high fiber diet and lots of fermented foods.


Hi Madison,

I noticed that you created your post over a year ago- have you had any luck gaining weight since then? My Mother is type 2, and she has lost 30 lbs from uncontrolled diabetes. I have tried almost everything in the book for her to gain some weight. Please let me know if you have any information that can help her. Thank you so much


@Tinsyl if she has high BG and losing weight without trying, it is a red flag for late onset T1, I would advise her to go to the Dr.

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My thoughts exactly! Sounds like Type 1 to me…


She was diagnosed with Type 2 abt 10 years ago- however, back then she was about 145 lbs and so she was put on metformin and Actos…which didn’t really do much. It’s been quite the struggle because she is extremely stubborn and so there have been many many days where she thought Diabetes isn’t as serious and so she would skip her meds. Fast forward 15 years later, she is now 100-101lbs. I’ve done a lot of reading abt Type 1 and I do believe she is now Type 1- her new doctor isn’t much help either because she put my mom on Insulin and told her oh just take 10 unites of Lantus and 2 units of Humalog and you should be fine. WRONG! 2 unites did nothing for her. Doctor didn’t even know abt carb counting till I had to do endless nights of research just to figure out how to correctly administer her doses for insulin. Not once did she ask her to take a urine test or blood test for that matter. This is bullsht. I have read so much abt ketons, DKA - that I am afraid her body is quietly suffering. I have made an appt for her to get a urine test tonight; I had to literally BEG the doctor. Seriously! I just hope her state of health isn’t within the DKA range or now that she has started Insulin, it will be prevented. I am sleep deprived and very worried. I just want her to feel better. That is all. Thank you for reaching out.


Hey have you had any luck with gaining weight? Please let me know as I am trying to find ways for my mother to gain weight- who is now 100lbs. From 130-100lbs all in a matter of a couple of months. Take Care


you need a good Dr, first thing is to get the basal dose right, the long acting one

this will help a lot with understanding
A workbook (the certificate ran out but the site is safe)


The Endo said 10 units is way too low and increased it to 13 units am and 12 units pm( Lantus) and 6 units each meal ( Humalog). Her readings have actually, god willingly been low…abt 125-150. Before Insulin, Metformin kept her her readings in the upper 200’s…close to 250-290 for HOURS. I just hope all of these years of uncontrolled diabetes hasn’t caused long term damage or at least the insulin will bring her health back to normal soon. I will check out the workbook now. Thank you so much for all of your help.

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