Losing weight on Metformin

I’ve only been diagnosed as Type 2 for a little over a week. I’m taking Metformin 500 mg two times/day. I am watching my diet SO strictly, I’m eating almost no carbs. This is getting frustrating because in a week I have lost zero pounds…not even a 10th of a pound! My scale weighs to the 10th and I’ve lost nothing. I know, I know, it’s only been a week, but good grief, I should have lost SOMETHING by now. My bg has been staying around 107-112 for the past 3 days. Has anyone else experienced this? I need some encouragement!

Oh yes, I’ve experienced the same thing. Weight loss will be slow. The good news is that you probably won’t gain any weight. If you want to lose weight, keep restricting carbs, and add lots of excercise. You’ve done a great job with the bg levels!

Yes, Patricia,
It has been nearly 5 months since dx for me, In my first month on met, I lost 2 lbs., in my second , 3lbs. The last couple of months my weight loss has really picked up. I have not been weighing myself - saving that for the dr.'s next month, but I have lost a full size. My theory is that the large amounts of insulin floating around in my body (made necessary by my insulin resistance) make it extremely difficult to lose weight. As my bg levels normalize, I have less excess insulin in my body, so the weight loss speeds up. If I’m right, it should mean that the more weigh I lose, the easier it becomes. Time will tell. I am keeping carbs to 50 or less per day, and doing at least 10,000 steps or equivalent swimming. PS your bg levels are looking good. I am usually 88-120 throughout the day, although I still sometimes hit 130 fasting( dawn phenomenom)

Dear Susan

Good for you. That is a lot of daily exercise and probabbly this does the job of reducing insulin resistance. Metformin occaisionally works for some people but not everyone is blessed with metformin miracle.

Dear Pat. Welcome to the nightmarish world of insulin resistance. I am even thinking of stopping my insulin injections to see if I can loose weight.

Metformin I do not think does much for most people and you may be taking too little to have any effect. at 1500 mg per day it does absolutely nothing for me but a 2000 mg I start to have an effect, it makes the BG a bit better but at the expense of uncontrollable fatigue.

The only thing that will work is an enormous daily amount of exercise as mentioned by Susan Mitchell below. I have had both eyes operated for cataracts and have not been to the gym in 10 days and have gained 5 lb. Will be hell to pay to loose them.

Persevere your life depends on it. You have to get fanatical about exercise. Best of luck

Sorry for the frustration, but it will get easier & better. Congratulations on the great BG! Hope you’re proud of this accomplishment.

Anthony, please don’t keep putting down metformin and saying it does nothing for most people (or “not much”) to quote you exactly. I have been on it for years and I prefer what it does (fight insulin resistance) to other meds such as the glyburide types that burn out your pancreas. There are people who can’t tolerate it, people it doesn’t help, but there are a lot of people for whom it is a lifeline, and I would hate to discourage people from trying it because of posts saying it doesn’t work for most people. Thanks.

Isn’t weight loss an unintentional side effect of Metformin not a guarantee?
Does anyone know?

Good for you. I agree this is the only drug that we have that alledgedly helps insulin resistance. But people should also realize that in many cases it is a dud. In a group of 6 diabetics only one had miraculous action and actually lost weight. 1500 mg per day had no effect on my average BG nor did it improve the standard deviation. 2000 mg makes the control better a bit but wipes me out completely after 3 weeks.

I was taking it recently with weight loss as the major objective. Insulin does a much better job of controlling BG.

I think you are right, unintentional weight loss is probably a side effect of Metformin. I’ve researched it some on the internet and it says it helps some people lose weight and some people not.

I had my appointment today with the Nutritionist and I have to say I’m more confused now than before! She said I need to get the “Atkins way” of counting carbs out of my head. She said I could eat 45-60 grams of carbs per meal. That just sounds awfully high to me.

I’ve only lost 1/2 pound in a week, and she thinks I’m actually not eating enough, my body is in starvation mode! I’m scared to eat anything. I always wonder, does this mean if I were on Survivor, I wouldn’t lose any weight???


Patricia I have to say Im with your Nutritionist on this one! :slight_smile:

For so long the idea out there for diabetics has been “sugar and carbs are bad” and this is NOT the case.

We need carbs! Everyone does! Ive known a lot of people who did Atkins (non-d’s) who experienced extreme fatigue and even low BG symptoms!!

Carbs are not the enemy!! :slight_smile:

Now, its true certain carbs are better for you than others but I cant imagine eating only a few carbs per day! The apple I just had with my lunch was about 15g and my grapes this morning were 14g!
I saw the poster above say shes eating less than 50!
I’m already at 34 and that is not nearly all I’ve had to eat today since Ive had breakfast AND lunch already!!

And you dont HAVE TO eat all those carbs per meal…Sunday night I had steak, corn and broccoli my total carb intake was about 20 carbs if I remember correctly. But I also didn’t have any fruit with that meal.

Understanding Diabetes takes time, you’ll get there! Its only been 5 months right? I’ve been T1 for 18 years and I still don’t get all the ins-and-outs of it! :slight_smile:

Every dietician, CDE, nurse, I’ve encountered pushes the high ADA guidelines. They also advocate for A1cs that are too high, which is in keeping with high carb meals:)

Sorry, but carbs & sugar are not our friends.

If you want better control & weight loss, cut the carbs. You can do low carb without ill effects. In fact, you could live without any carbs at all, not that you’d want to because we need the vitamins/minerals/enzymes/fiber in vegetables. Around 58% of protein turns to glucose, though at much slower rate than carbs. This fact gets conveniently overlooked while encouraging the 45-60 grams per meal route.

I eat low carb & am never tired or hungry. I eat less than 50 a day (I’m Type 1) & have been for almost a year. Actually, I have much more energy now than I did when I ate ADA carb laden meals. I get my carbs from low carb vegetables, not grains or starchy vegetables.

Well I guess we are just going to disagree on this point Gerri :slight_smile:
What works for some doesn’t work for all ya know?

Personally I can’t imagine eating less than 50g per day, but if it works for you and you are healthy then more power to you! :slight_smile: Can I ask though, are you able to get some fruit servings in and still stay so low? I couldn’t live without fruit! :slight_smile:

I agree with you that the ADA’s standards are a little high which is why i said that you certainly don’t have to eat as much as they recommend. I’m also not a big ‘snacker’ and I think the recommended 3 snacks daily can be overkill for a lot of people but others swear by eating according to that routine.

Actually, when I was younger and had to use R and NPH I remember being constantly frustrated by having to eat every night before bed! A lot of times I was still full from dinner! Now on the pump I have more control over what I eat which is wonderful!

A couple of things…I disagree that carbs are the “enemy” lol as I think that we can handle anything in moderation. Also, I have seen bad things come from super low carb diets. Plus I really do believe that we need a variety of foods to stay healthy and that includes a balance of grains, veggies, protein and fruit.

Definitely room for all views:)

Really, what’s with that snacking thing!

What have you seen bad come from low carb diets? I haven’t encountered anything bad from low carb diets. Now of course, if someone thinks low carb is munching on pork rinds & eating steak to the exclusion of anything else, that’s not healthy.

Without a working pancreas (or insulin resistance) & chasing carbs with insulin or meds, carbs are our enemy.

I eat tons of veggies & don’t even look at grains. I have variety in my diet. There’s nothing in grains that we can’t get elsewhere. I eat small amounts of berries. Not worth it to me to take larger doses of insulin to cover most fruit. Yea, I do miss fruit.
I’ve noticed on home pages that those who reject lower carb, have pretty high A1cs. When I see the posts from people who do low carb, their A1cs are lower.

I was diagnosed in November… I am on 2000mg Metformin a day… I have lost 30 pounds sincemy diagnosis. I exercise almost everyday and according to my dietician I eat up to 60 carbs per meal. My bg is almost in control.

I am very careful about portion control. Going to the grocery takes hours because I read labels for everything I buy.

I think the bottom line is every body is different. While I am losing weight with Metformin, I have horrible side effects… And weight loss IS a potential perk, not a planned outcome…

Just keep exercising, that is the key!

Good luck!

The reason I started eating low carb is to keep my bg levels down without using insulin. I have no problem with insulin except for the fact that it makes weight loss extremely difficult. My fbg at dx was 19 (342). This is high enough that standard protocol would have started me on insulin immediately.I feel lucky to have a doctor who gave me a chance to work things out. I managed to lower that to 14.5 (260) while following ‘official’ guidelines and having 30- 50g carbs per meal. After starting to low carb my levels dropped to under 7 (126) including post prandial. Because I still have trouble with dawn phenomenon, I will consider adding a small basal dose at some point to help with this. However, as long as it is possible, I will avoid boluses as I know that this would give me a license to eat inappropriate carbs. I truly feel better off without. Other than low carb veggies, my one indulgence is 1/2 to 1 cup of blueberries or about 1/3 to 1/2 pear every day.

I’ve been on metformin for 2 years. I lost a few pounds at first but I think that was because I cut out all processed carbs. It takes a few months for metformin to start working effiecently. The only way you are going to lose weight is to do weight bearing exericise ( like walking, jogging, weightlifting) I find as diabetics all our internal signals are messed up. Losing weight is hard. How many carbs do you eat a day. I try for about 60-75 a day. I try to break it up into 5 or 6 minimeals to always keep my metabolism burning. I find things like greek yogurt, almond butter, low fat meats, nuts and seed, eggs and cheese and lots of green veggies are the base of my diet. I make lots of smoothies throwing everything healthy in them with soymilk and whey and just blends. They are nutrious and keep you full for several hours.

Dear Stacey.

There are 2 issues for many diabetes. One is how much insulin your pancreas produces and may vary from 0 to 300% of normal. Then there is insulin resistance which also can vary from nothing to a lot in some inividuals.

If you are not particularily insulin resistance you can match any amount of carbs with insulin at least in theory. But there is always the problem of mismatch as explained by Dr. Bernstein that the mismatch is the least when the least amount of carbs are eaten…

When your are insulin resistant the more carbs you eat with mean the more insulin you will have to inject and the more insulin resistant you will become. This can lead to a weight gain loop were you will end up at 500 lb or dead whichever comes first.

With this said I do eat an orange and kiwi per day. And once a week I eat 50 grams of undercooked pasta which I can match well with 10 units of insulin. I however cannot loose any weight so maybe no carb is required in extreme cases.

It usually takes 3 weeks or so for the metaformin to kick in fully. I’m surprised your numbers have dropped so quickly. You must be rerally watching the carbs. Metaformin is one of the few drugs that don’t cause weight gain. It causes upset stomach in many people (diarrhea) and so some weight loss occurs. It should not cause drastic weight loss. What exercise have you been doing? How many total calories per day have you been consuming. No carbs will help you numbers but if your total caloric intake is high or your activity level is too low then you will not lose weight.

As far as Low carbs I do think it varies from person to person. I am on the higher side. I can pull 200-300 grams of carbs per day without BG levels going too high. I consistently consume at least 150 per day and i’m still losing bodyfat and not gaining any weight. I do workout 6 days a week but I do no cardio. Exercise will help drop your numbers alot if you keep with it. I have been off meds since last October but am getting better numbers now than even when I was using Metaformin. I think it has to do with muscle gain.