Losing Confidence in Losing Weight

Hello!
I’m a Type 1 diabetic, have been for about 14 years now. Over the past few years my insulin resistance has become alarming, and with that I have fought to loose weight for years.
Every time I go to my endo, they give me the same speech “lose 10% of your body weight and you’re insulin resistance will get better” but it’s IMPOSSIBLE.
I’m a nutritionist. I eat low carb, I stopped eating bread altogether because of how it affected my blood sugars. I work out daily, I get up up and move throughout the day, but in the end my weight doesn’t budge.
It makes me panic when I go to my doctors, because it’s always the same, and they look at me with disappointment, like I’m not working hard enough.

How many other people are having this problem? Please tell me I’m not alone here.

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Hello Aly,

I so understand your concerns and experience. I know exactly how frustrating this is. How can I say that? Well I have lost about 170 pounds while being a T1. It has not been easy and it has taken forever (it seems). I have been at it for about 6 years now. I weighed a little above 370 lbs. and today i weigh 197.

i did it in two steps. The first step was i had my endo refer me to a medically approved weight loss food program. I ate no more than 1,200 calories per day and those calories were in special protein bars and shakes. I ate nothing else for over 10 months.

during this tie I saw the weight loss endo every two weeks, and he adjusted my insulin each time. He insisted my blood sugar run between 140 and 200. At the start it was hard to stay below 200 and at the end it was difficult to stay about 140.

At that point I went off the controlled weight loss diet and promptly gained 20 pounds. Not happy with things I started WW (Weight Watchers) and over the next 5 years I have lost an additional 70 lbs.

I consult with my CDE often, my A1C is around 5.8 and my isnulin consumption went from 8 vials per month at the start to about 3 1/2 today.

I have included two pictures:

The before picture:

and the after in December 2019:

This is not bragging. I had tons of help. My wife also does WW and she has been at god for about 3 years. We work it together. My CDE is amazing. But most of all I know my why. See I love to have fun and at 370, I was not having fun.

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You might want to look at the Mastering Diabetes website. It is not low carb, but is low fat and plant based. Eating this way helps reverse insulin resistance. The program is taught by two type 1 diabetics. I ate very low carb for 11 yrs and then switched to plant based low fat. I lost 10 lbs fairly quickly. I still don’t eat bread very often, but I can now eat legumes, potatoes, rice, quinoa, and all kinds of vegetables and fruit. My A1c is still 5.2 while eating carbs.

Thank you @Rphil2! What an inspiring story! Congratulations to you and to your team!

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Massively cutting down calorie consumption is the only thing that has ever worked for me to lose weight. Even when I was a teen and in gymnastics, body conditioning, and very active I still never lost weight. When I was in my twenties, it took me eating 700 calories, a day (one meal) for a year to lose 80 pounds I had gained. That is pretty much the only way I have ever been able to lose weight. One meal a day.

I love how doctors tell you to do something, but it’s not so easy. Do switch doctors if you can and do make sure your thyroid is in the more optimum ranges. You need a doctor that will work with you and you get along with. It really makes all the difference.

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I am in the same boat. I have to lose about 20 pds to be at my optimum weight. I joined WW but mostly for accountability and support. I did the 1200 cal ( Dr. Now) diet and saw some success. It was slow. Stopped counting calories and the weight about 4 pounds came back. Back on the program. I am trying to do 1000 to 1200 good calories and exercise (walking) daily. Drink a lot of water, and eat good vegetables non starchy,
and good luck.

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I don’t know if this is the best time or the worst time to try and loose weight.
But, it seems like everyone is gaining weight, now - everyone. If you were able to just maintain, I think that would be a success.

Since corona started, I’ve gone from 165 to about 180 lbs. I don’t own a scale, but I’m a healthy fighting weight, lol. The only people that I know who have lost weight were hospitalized…that dropped them down 15 lbs.

Honestly, during times of crisis, its not bad to be a little on the heavy side because 1 hospitalization or bought of illness, can drop people 10 or 20 lbs. Sometimes people need that bit of weight buffer.

Could you take a week long, group kayak or canoe trip? Something where its inevitable that your activity level increases enough to condition you and its not such a conscious effort? Maybe something like this: https://www.ae-adventures.com/kayaking-trips.html

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If you’re dealing with both insulin resistance and stubborn weight, try adding metformin ER. I take 1000mg morning and night, and it helped with both. It’s an increasingly popular option with T1s dealing with those two issues. I’d start with 500mg 1x a day and move up from there. If you’ve got insulin resistance, you probably need to treat that in order to lose weight, because insulin resistance causes weight gain–losing weight to treat insulin resistance can be a backward way to approach it. It’s a shame many doctors don’t seem to recognize that.

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Definitely gonna need the luck at this point! Thank you!

Oh yes! I’m pretty active, I work out daily and then usually go on walks or bike rides with my SO. I’ve managed to maintain throughout corona, but it’s been about 9 months of really actively trying and that number going no where.
I’m not petite by any means, so I don’t have some unattainable number in my head, I’m just trying to love 5-10 pounds by my next endo appointment (in about 3 months)

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Yup, I’ve been on metformin for about a year now. When they put me on it, it was with the heir of “yes! this is it, this is the solution! everyone loses weight on metformin and we’ll use it as a catalyst to drop down and then you’ll be good to go!” and nope. Kinda dashed my hopes, but I do see some more control in my BG’s

I am gaining weight lately too. I am not over weight and I hardly eat that much. If I exercise or even do activities I have to drink juice and eat etc.

I don’t do any heavy exercises anymore because bg crashes and it is very unpleasant to say the least as well as dangerous. Since I have been on insulin I feel like I am starving all the time so maybe 1-2 years ago I added an extra meal to my only 2 meals.

I need more basal really to manage bg for 2 years maybe now, maybe that is it. But not a lot really. There is no way to lose weight, I am not going back to starvation.

Maybe run your bg high to lose weight? I know it is not the greatest idea but it works😹

I know you are kidding, but this is such a real thing, it even has a name among eating disorder specialists, diabulimia. People destroy their bodies and go into DKA doing this (since it “works” by forcing your body into ketosis via not having enough insulin, which means you are constantly on the border of very risky DKA, not to mention doing very serious longterm harm otherwise). If you wouldn’t say “why don’t you starve yourself!” or “have you tried throwing up after eating?” I wouldn’t say this either, since it amounts to the same kind of joke. Also other people may be reading this who take that suggestion all too seriously.

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Don’t give up … there is help out there

Try visiting The Fasting Method Network (Dr Jason Fung).

I lost over 30% of my body weight by limiting calories (maximum 800 per day) and elimination of all refined carbs.

6 months in, I also implemented intermittent fasting to get me past weight loss plateaus (I only eat once a day now, and for a while was doing 3 to 4 72 hour fasts per month).

I am type one, on a pump with a CGM. It’s a marathon not a sprint, but you can do it :+1:t4:

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My suggestion is to see doctors who don’t keep telling you to do something that really isn’t working and is likely causing more stress than health improvement. Try to find doctors who focus on building your health without focusing on weight–you can try to find ways to increase activity, to treat insulin resistance, to eat healthfully, etc. Maybe you will lose weight, maybe you won’t. But the majority of people who do intense dieting and calorie restriction to lose weight gain it back within 2 years–you realistically can’t keep weight off you’re not doing something to lose it that you’re prepared to keep doing indefinitely.

I’ve seen doctors who immediately go to the weight thing. I don’t see them more than once. My doctors I keep focus on health and wellbeing, not just weight, and understand the difference.

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I’m age 53, been T1 for 38 years now. Maybe it’s a truism that T1’s using insulin just gain weight but it had been true for me for a long time as my weight slowly crept up. Me and my GP had set a goal of losing 43 pounds, going from 233 to 190.

It’s not easy losing weight at all! You mention being a nutritionist yourself. I did get some help by seeing a CDE/Nutritionist who came highly recommended and really did help motivate me.

The big “step drop” in my weight came last summer, when I got a CGM, instantly saw I was taking too much basal, adjusted by basal dose, and lost about 10 pounds in a few months.

I thought “this was great! If I can lose 10 pounds in a couple months I’ll be to my target weight any time now”. But it wasn’t so easy.

Since then it’s been two steps forward, 1.9 steps back. I get 10-15,000 steps of exercise every day. I hardly ever eat out. I am slowly slowly losing a pound every month or every couple of months. It feels like if I slack off just a little bit that the weight starts coming back.

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I don’t think that type 1’s gain weight any more than non diabetics gain weight. I have had diabetes for 61 yrs and I weigh 104. If you are taking too much insulin and have to eat in order to not go low then you will gain weight. That can be a bit tricky to figure out.

I have been 25 lbs heavier, but then years ago I started eating 30 carbs a day and lost 10 lbs. Dropping processed foods from my diet helped a lot. When I started eating a plant based low fat diet, I dropped another 15 lbs while eating 275 healthy carbs a day,

Good for you for losing weight. Like you, I exercise a lot.

Please calm down! I am not advocating diabulimia etc. which is obvious from what I said. I actually was referring to what happened to me when my blood sugar was crashing all the time and I was terrified to eat. I never stopped taking insulin, just lowered my carbs etc. it may have had a weight loss effect. Actually it was similar to the very low carb diets that are suggested by many here and elsewhere. For me obviously it was a disaster. I cannot do low carb as it can put me into dka.

I also experience insulin resistance, which is the major reason for my weight being stuck where it was. I’ve eaten largely plant based for many years, but actually prefer a diet lower in carb, higher in vegetables and lean proteins and healthy fats

I have seen a lot of advise stating to eat less than 1000 calories a day, and unfortunately I just do not see that as a healthy options for weight loss. For myself, it actually makes losing weight harder as I am not meeting the basic caloric needs of my body.
I have cleaned up my diet quite a bit though, eliminating refined carbs and probably about 70% of added sugars