Losing Weight With Type1

Ok I’m really trying to lose some weight. I haven’t changed any of my eating habits or anything but I’ve gained almost 10lbs in the past two months. I’m on the pump, and I increased my insulin in November, but I haven’t noticed my weight gain until recently. I’ve been exercising several times a week AND dieting…counting calories, eating healthy snacks…and I’m still not able to lose any weight. (Not to mention the fact that sometimes when I exercise, my sugar goes low and I have to have a juice or something anyway!) My basal rate is 1.4 units per hour, and my insulin to carbohydrate ratio is 1:10. How much insulin is everyone else taking? And Does anyone have any suggestions about losing weight??

I want to do is lose about 10-15 lbs. (I think I’ve gained about 5 lbs in the past year.) I need to get motivated to go back to the gym, which I have not been doing. I’m also trying to get a better grasp of my insulin:carbs ratio. (When I was first diagnosed, it was all about “exchanges.” I saw a nutritionist a few months ago for the first time in 10+ years, and she told me I was behind the times and had to figure out my ratio.)

Although I’ve only started doing this over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to write down everything I eat (specifically to figure out my ratio). I’ll tell you, having to write it all down does make me much more aware of everything I’m putting in my mouth. I don’t want to have to write about the potato chips and the brownies/cookies – it adds up before you know it.

So, basically I’m in the same boat. But if you come up with any ideas, please let me know! If I have any revelations, I’ll keep you posted.

I keep my weight in check, or lose it by using John Walsh’s Ex-Carbs idea. He writes about it at http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_control_tips/excarbs.php

It sounds like your body is happy right at the weight where it is. Maybe you should accept that and stop dieting, which only leads to more weight gain in the long run. Be happy that your diabetes is in good control, and be happy with your body, regardless of what the scale reads.

Sometimes people gain weight just because their body’s metabolism changes or some other factors that you can’t necessarily control. As long as you eat well, exercise often and aren’t gaining weight quickly, I’m sure you’re find. If the 10 lbs. has pushed you into the overweight category, then I would be concerned. But people have a window of acceptable weight range, so if you’re still in there I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to manipulate it. Focus on maintaining health, not a weight.

hi Danielle,

your basal is 1.4 the whole day through? I am 155 lb, my rates change from 1.0 to 0.55 during the day and my total basal is just under 18 units. my am carb ratio is 4:1 but by night I am using 9:1 (i take an avg of 50 units a day) my weight dropped at first from 160 but has been flat for a year. Sorry you are having probs losing - it can be frustrating.

there’s a scale for temp basal depending on how hard you work out. I use it and it’s great because the calories I need to get back from a low… well let’s say kinda erases the workout! If I am working hard I can set a temp basal for 20% and go work out and nothing happens. then I wait for bs to climb before setting it back to normal, sometimes it’s 6 hours later.

did you ever get a thyroid test? if it’s low there’s no way you’re losing weight. hey hope you are okay and don’t get frustrated - you are doin all the right stuff - it goes like this - it takes time and it’s easier to put it on than take it off lol, cheers!

Having extra insulin in your system can effect weight. Try to reduce the number of lows that you are having.
Also I think your basal rate is a little high. I would really talk to your doctor. I have 7 basal rates that range from 0.45 to 0.75 for a total basal of 14.4. Additionally my carbohydrate ratio varies during the day. Your doctor hopefully will guide you to better rates and ratios.

thank you lol…its not 1.4 the whole day…when I’m sleeping and up until around 9am it’s .85, and then for a few hours it’s 1.1 or something like that…but the majority of the day is 1.4, and that’s after I lowered it because my sugar keeps going low. When I see my endo, she tells me that I’m not on a lot of insulin, and thinks I should be taking more because of my highs, when really I probably should just be bolusing better for my meals and taking less in the basal. It’s VERY frustrating, but Im going to try and do the percent thing, and thanks again for the help.

hey…thanks again…i also think my basal rate is high, but like I replied above, my doctor sees the highs and targets the basal rates when I could probably just bolus more for a meal. Plus it’s hard to have a set basal when no two days are the same, which I’m sure you know. Anyway thanks again for all the feedback from you and everyone else! =)

It honestly does NOT matter how much insulin someone else takes. How much insulin you take is not just determined by how much you eat, but also by how big you are - height AND weight. Your insulin is also factored into how active you are - I take more insulin because I have a desk job versus someone who, say, is a teacher and is on their feet all day.

I really hate when I hear people say “How much insulin do you take?” because it’s such a personal question. You need to take the amount of insulin that keeps your blood sugars as close to normal as possible and matches a healthy eating plan - which means you shouldn’t cut food to take less insulin but you also shouldn’t take extra insulin so you can eat more.

High blood sugars will do way more damage in the long run than ten pounds.

I definitely agree with you here…today was a normal day for me- school then work, and my sugar went low twice. I’ve been thinking about speaking to my doctor anyway about lowering my basal… I’m just tired of having to drink a juice or eat a snack when I am not hungry. And of course I’d rather be 10lbs heavier than have out of control blood sugars…but thats part of why I’m trying to eat healthy and exercise…

it took me a year to get me basal right, and I have to change it in the spring and fall for the weather. I think Allison has a good point - it aint the total because it’s based on mass and diet and lifestyle.

but I think you have a good idea where to start - if your basals are too high your bs will drop, then you will eat and overshoot (I did this exact thing for 29 yes TWENTY NINE years) and put on an ugly gut from the extra calories. (I wasn’t a pumper I took long acting insulin)

First thing is not to over eat a low. 4 grams of glucose (one of those chewey pills) brings me up 20 points and that’s it, no more s-fisting the chocolates for me when I am 55!

next thing is the basal protocols - if you don’t have them I can send them to you, essentially you skip a meal and check every hour, you tune your basals until there’s no change in bs over the test time. you can do them alone or with your doctor but I bet it’s what is making you miserable. good luck Danielle!

I totally agree with Allison. I hear the same thing about total daily dose (TDD) as I do about what percentage of your TDD should be basal vs. bolus – the fact is that general guidelines mean nothing to you as a patient, nor should they. I have even read in some medical textbooks which make such a bold (and inaccurate) claim as 40-50% of the TDD should be basal, and think to myself, I would be hypoglycemic all day long if that much of my TDD was basal. For me, 95% of my TDD is bolus only, and that varies based on what I eat and what kind of activity I have during the day. My basals are next to nothing (I went back to MDI because my pump basals didn’t go low enough, so while the precision of dosing for meals was great, the underlying assumption of basal rates being at least 0.5 units per hour nearly killed me with hypos!)

Regarding the high blood sugars thing, I do differ from Allison in that hyperglycemia has not been proven to cause complications, it is merely a correlation. However, new research suggests that hyperglycemia is not nearly as dangerous as glycemic variability is! This means that dosages of insulin to cover carbs which cause large swings in glucose levels may be as dangerous as steady numbers slightly above normal. But the 10 lbs. have a huge impact on our perception of ourselves, not to mention impacting how well our clothes fit and motivation to keep managing this stupid disease. I do not believe it is appropriate to reduce insulin dosages in an effort to lose weight, but I also think that the single best rule is one from Dr. Bernstein, which is the law of small numbers. In short, he argues that minimizing your dosage of insulin reduces the likelihood for errors and therefore makes things easier to manage. Using this rule, one could make an argument that minimizing carb consumption therefore helps us to stick with the law of small numbers.


Just curious are you a low carber?

Hey Danielle!
We are in almost the same boat! I have a little more to lose though :frowning: I was a cross country runner before I was diagnosed. When i got diagnosed I had lost 20 lbs, but at college I gained that back plus that Freshman 15 last year. I’m not really a disciplinarian when it comes to exercise so it comes and goes, but I have learned through trial and error that you must have a “dosable” amount of carbs in your meals, i.e. if you have a salad, have a roll on the side. Also, doing less intense exercises such as the elliptical, fast-paced walking, bicycling, and weight-lifting are very effective of helping take off weight (or at least inches). Keep the cardio going too, but its more for fitness than it is for weight loss with diabetics.

This site has some info about insulin and weight gain.

Hi Danielle, Don’t feel discouraged about your attempt to lose weight , I am a Type 1 diabetic using an insulin pump. I lost 24 lbs in about six months . I weighted 191lbs and now I weight 167. Although it seems like a long time, the best way to loose weight is by doing it slowly so that the body adapts to the changes. I lost the weight without doing much exercise but walking for intervals of 30 minutes three to four times a week. How I did it was not that difficult.
First I stooped drinking any sodas, they slow down your metabolism and are very toxic I drank a lot of water instead. I drink a full glass of water when I wake up in the morning and many times during the day. Secondly, I lowered my consumption of carbohydrates, especially potatoes, white bread, white rice, etc. I increased my consumption of fruits and vegetables. Counting carbs is an excellent way to loose weight but don’t eliminate them completely from your diet. At the same time it’s very important to monitor your blood sugar. I had to decrease my basal rate because I am eating less carbohydrates .
It’s very important to know that insulin causes weight gain, therefore, if you want to lose weight you must decrease the amount of insulin you take and that is done by decreasing the carb intake. Some grains have carbs but they are good because they are hight in fiber, which makes takes the body longer to digest.

In addition, I also take 1 to 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil with my juices or cereal in the morning. It makes wonders to your metabolic rate. Do some research in the internet and you’ll see why. I bought a juicer and I always make my own juices in the morning and evening. Always try to buy organic foods, they have no toxins and make you feel energetic and much healthier. I eliminated all coffee and any acidic foods or beverages. These cause dehydration which causes the body to react by slowing your metabolism to conserve water.

Finally, counting calories is not the best way to lose weight, actually, it is secondary next to counting carbs.

I hope this helps you. I understand that everybody has different approaches to how to lose weight but this worked for me.


thank you…i’m definitely going to try some of the suggestions that I’ve got from everyone…hopefully they’ll work…and coconut oil? sounds interesting… I’m gonna look that up… thanks again!

Hi Danielle. I started reading Dr Bernstein a month or so ago for inspiration. I have had T1 fo 4.5 years and my most recent A1c’s have been 7.2. Too high. It’s time for me to get serious about the possibility for complications. While Dr B’s recommendations for low carb are too extreme for me, at least at this point, I have really reduced the amount of carbs that I eat and the corresponding units of meal time insulin that I inject. (I have kept my basal the same at this point.) Without trying, I have lost weight. I am not very overweight, but as a middle aged hormonal woman, the weight seems to want to all settle in the middle. Suddenly, my pants are all loose. It must be the low carbs. I am not one to fad diet, and I always felt that limiting fruit and whole grains in order to lose weight seemed like nonsense. I have come to think, however, that there is something to the carbs increasing insulin increasing fat thing…at least for me. My endo tells me that as an insulin dependent diabetic there is no problem with the theory that I can eat as many carbs as I want as long as I dose accordingly. That hasn’t worked for me, so for now, I am going low carb…with the added bennie of needing to shop for pants a size smaller. Good luck to you.
PS In have exercised pretty regularly since my 20’s and I always felt that it helped control my weight but was not quite the answer I hoped for. I now wonder if my high carb, usually quality ones, and low fat routine was just increasing my insulin surges and defeating any weight loss goals. I have been eating lots of nuts and cheese (I know!) but loosing weight!

I had to change my carb ratio and basal rate. I try not to eat after 6 p.m. only to cover low blood sugar. How much cardio do you do??? Do a temporary basal when you exercise. 45 minutes of cardo 5 or 6x a week and you shoud loose weight. I was gaining weight because I was eating to cover my frequent lows. I am working with a dietian who is also a type 1 diabetic. I watch everything I eat. I have 3 diffierent basal rate–night rate is .90 and day is 1.30