Manage Diabetes - GYM & Loosing Weight

Hi There ;

I am Type 1 Diabetic since 27 years / female.

I am going to the gym since 9 months in hope to loose weight ( BMI 29 ! ). Since I am going to the gym my HBA1C increased to a shocking 8.5 ! I am desperate as I really dont know how to coop my BG with my exercise.

I am testing before workout and sometimes I am on 200 ; if I start workout it drops within only 20-30 min to 90 ; if I inject more to avoid the 200 ; I end up streight in Hypo or need to eat.

Does anyone know how to manage this ?

Currently I am injecting
Basal ( Levemir ) 10 units morning / 10 units evening
Humalog 1 Unit per 10 Carbs / or to correct 30

I wake up with +/- 120 since I am injecting Levemir ( with Lantus I always had high BG in the mornings 220-280 )
I am injecting Humalog for my food / correction but sometimes face high BG after food.

During gym ; I hardly can start a workout under 200 / or without eating when I am on 150 … as I end up in hypo.

My food is mainly based on Vegetables / Salad / Protein like chicken breast etc … not more than 110- 150 carbs per day with less than 1100 Kcals.

My current BMI is 29 ( 80 kg / 165 cm ) and 34 % Fat ! I am going 6 days per week to the gym for min. 2 hours ( 45 min cardio / rest light weights )

I dont know what might be the reason for not loosing weight. It is so frustrating!

Pls advise


Hayaa, You need to get your carbs down and your fat up. I know it sounds backwards but fat helps you burn fat. I aim for no more than 35 carbs per day. You will need to reduce the amount of insulin as you bring the carbs down. Once you do your weight will begin to drop. It is the large amounts of carbs and insulin that are keeping you from exercising and from losing weight. As you drop your carbs you will feel hypo, but be patient, test your BG. Your aim should be no more than 120 1-2 hours post meal. The fact that you are running a A1c of over 29 means that you have been running much higher than that. It is causing damage to your organs. The reason you feel hypo when you drop your carbs is that your body has gotten so used to the higher BG that it thinks it is normal. It will take several weeks to adjust, but it will be worth it. You will be able to exercise again and you will feel 100% better without all the highs and lows. Have you read “Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution?” It is a must read for Type 1’s. Work with your MD to reduce your meds as your BG improves.

I second Pat’s opinion about Dr. Bernstein’s “Diabetes Solution”. I found it to be an invaluable source of information and extremely helpful.


I believe that Pat misunderstood what you had written and thought you a1c was 29 instead of 8.5. I’m just passing this along in case you didn’t notice.

Good luck,

Dear Pat ;
thanks for the advice ; I will try to get this book. Do you know where to buy it from in the net?
My HBA1C as correctly noticed by Wendy ; is 8.5- 9 ; while my Body Mass Index (BMI is 29 ).
Regarding the carbs ; isnt 35 carbs per day to low ? What do u do in case of hypos ? What should I eat/ or drink than. Isn’t it harmful to live on so low amount of carbs?
I will try to get this book asap.
Have a nice weekend!

I started exercising to lose weight in September, and had a very rough time of it myself for the first couple months. I was on shots for the first month, similar to you. Exercising 5 days a week, and I gained 5 pounds the first month!

I was having a rough time with my BG as well, and this pushed me toward an insulin pump.

After getting settled with a pump, I finally started to lose weight! I don’t think it would have happened without it, honestly. With the pump, I was able to cut back on the total amount of insulin I take per day (approximately 40-50% now!), and I don’t spike near as much anymore after meals.

As far as carbs go, I eat the same as you do now: probably 130-150 a day, and I don’t completely deprive myself–I allow for a cheat day each week where I eat out at a restaurant and don’t watch carbs as closely. I personally would not be happy cutting myself down to 35 carbs a day. I’m quite sure I would be miserable, and I think mental health is just as important as physical. But luckily, I am maintaining steady weight loss (I don’t own a scale and won’t find out exactly how much until next week!) with near 150 carbs a day.

Another thing that has helped me is to spread my meals through out the day better. I eat maybe 5-6 times a day. 3 smaller meals, 2-3 snacks. Probably every 3 hours or so that I’m awake. This helps keep me from being hungry and it helps the metabolism. This is another thing that would have been a pain in the butt with shots as opposed to the pump though.

Jaclyn, I have to agree with you… 35 carbs a day would make me very cranky and would be just another snowball in my field. I am very obese and having a hard time loosing weight and keeping my BS down… I was getting better when all of a sudden my heart decided to grow (was enlarged) and I had to quit my exercise routine. My heart did a great recovery and I am okay to go back and exercise except that I am in so much pain that I cannot get motivated. In the meantime I injured my shoulder and am in PT. Needless to say, this snowball has become a mountain… Weight has to come off … so carbs have to come down… so insulin can come down… and exercise will resume…

So Hayaa (what is the origin of your name? It is “sweet”) I understand what you are going through but as Jacklyn said… there is something to your mental health… everything is about balance!

Hi Hayaa!

You can purchase the book here:
(It’s on page 2).

You purchase it from Amazon at their usual price, but a small amount of the proceeds support the Diabetes Hand Foundation that runs this community!

I found that if I take a small bolus after exercising, it prevents me from spiking. So I reduce my bolus for the meal before exercising (to prevent lows) and give the extra bit when I finish exercising. Don’t know if this strategy might help you?

Dear Jaclyn;

thank you for your good advise.

Could you tell me please how much insulin were you injecting before pumping ?
My self I only do 10+ 10 on Lantus / or Levemir and for the 120-150 Carbs / correction if any…
Compared to many others I feel that it is still a quite low rate on insulin shots ; I remember I tried the pump once and had the impression that I was injecting much more with it …?
Which pump are you using & what insulin ; I am flying on 2nd of March to meet my endo in Germany and would like to discuss all those points… I also had trouble wearing the pump ; I felt very bothered beeing cabled all day. During nights I managed to wake-up without pump connections frequently.
I start reading the book of Dr. Bernstein ; and start to realize that our problem for not loosing weight is the carb- insulin consumption… the less carbs & the less insulin while targeting a good blood sugar ; is the most important for loosing weight. 35 carbs though seems to be very tough!
Wishing you best continuation :slight_smile: how much did u loose so far ?

Hi Mary ;

It is an arabic name without meaning :slight_smile:

I am very sorry to hear that about your heart ; but wish you all the best for the recovery.
I am sure that our strong will is our best doctor to improve things ! Just dont let your self down. dont give up.
A nice and not so difficult exercise could be to just go walking outdoors. I used to do that when I started exercising ; I never believed in benefit of exercise till I met my personal trainer who gave me a brainwash; telling me that dieting is the worse . A car cannot run without filling petrol ; this is the same for exercise. You need to have a good diet plan fitted to the needs of a diabetic to perform & excel during exercise.
In the beginning I hated running ( just couldnt manage running and breating in the same time haha ) so my trainer told me to just go walking with a speed that my breath is fast ; but not too fast that I would have difficulties talking… I did this for a while ; initially 3 km ; than 5 km and sometimes 10 km. after a year I tried to walk & run ( 5 min walk + 5 min run etc ) I alternated as well my walk routine with walking with dumbles 1-1.5 kg each hand ) I can tell you that makes you sweat alot. Its the perfect exercise for beginners . you can walk as fast as you can ; along with the dumbles it is very good.
I lost in that year about 7 kgs without gym.
I really recommend you to give it a try . It is also great as walking will not hurt your knees ; you are outside with fresh air etc … 30 minutes per day / 5-6 times a week is perfect.
Try to integrate it into your daily routine ( example dont go home after work before walking the 30 min. )
Make sure that you get the best running shoes ( my recommendation is NIKE SHOX for Men not for women ! They make you run forever :-))) The good thing is that after a nice walk you never feel hungry … Let me know what you think and if I motivated you to go for a nice walk ; let me know how it was :slight_smile:
Warm regards from the desert;

Hayaa… where are you? What desert?
My husband is from Morocco and one of his sisters lives with us… her name is Hayat.

Yes you motivate me but the problem is the restrictions. All the meds they put me on with my heart has slowed me down. Doing little chores in the house is hard. Right now that is what I am doing… pushing my self on chores in the house. I get out of breath going from one room to another… I did picture myself walking around my neighborhood… so hopefully I will get out there (when there is less snow on the ground)… Thanks for your help.
Cold regards from the Midwest… brrrrrrrrr

Hi Hayaa,

You gave great details. These are important to figure out what is going on. There are multiple questions, and I’ll address just two.

What is your thyroid test (Thyroid stimulating hormone) result? If it is too low, losing weight is almost impossible.
Are you getting enough sleep (7+ hours)? As strange as this may sound, sleep helps reset fat releasing hormones.

The carbs you’re eating: do you know if they spike your blood sugar? All the whites: rice, most breads, some pastas, potatos. Carbs are the first source of energy burned in cells. Then fat. These high blood sugar spiking carbs may lead to insulin resistance. If that is the case, then you will start to store excess blood glucose as fat.

I’m curious about the 35 carb idea. That is equivalent to 3 pieces of bread / day. Yikes. If you’re exercising, no way.

Food: look at Harvard Public Health at

Good luck. Take one step at a time. Diabetes management takes time.

Hi Eric ;

thanks for the advices .

I am checking my thyroid regular when I go for blood tests. Everything seems to be normal.

Regarding Carbs; I always noticed that whenever / whatever I eat related to carbs ( no matter if brown bread / brown rice or with high fiber content ) I always have high blood sugar spikes.

I started to read Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution ; and I must admit that it all makes a sense.
I tried to cut down my carbs to +/- 30 per day since the last 2 weeks ; and guess what happend…?
I start loosing weight & my bloodsugar varies between 90- 150 … I am still trying to normalize it better.
Additionally to that ; I am going to the gym 5-6 days per week ; for 1 hour cardio + 1 hour weights. I am feeling ok ; actually I don’t feel hungry at all. I must admit that I am still eating a bit too less during the daytime … as I am very busy and sometimes forget to eat… but I try to have atleast some nuts during the day and for dinner I have nice & colorful steamed vegetables or salad with filet / chicken breast / fish / etc…I still need to study the recepies in Dr. Bernstein’s Book / or Atkins Diet … to find some easy stuff to eat during the day… I always loved vegetables & salad ; so I dont feel that I really miss the bread / rice…

I can just advice you to give it a try :slight_smile:

Hi Eric ;

could you be so kind to copy paste this harvard article ; as unfortunately the side seems to be blocked from here…

Hi Mary ;

I am living in Dubai ; my husband is from the UAE. Maybe try to read the book from Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution ; he is talking about how to reverse diabetes complications through diet modifications ( Following a very low carb diet ). Being a type 1 diabetic since 28 years ; it all makes sense to me… its a great book and there are lots of advices how to adjust medications to improve blood sugars / reverse complications etc…Good luck ; my personal trainer used to tell me : The importance is to be a bit better each day of how you were yesterday … like this you will reach every goal you want.

Good morning Hayaa. I just read your Discussion Intro. I am 67 yrs old and have had similar problems.I would like to share with you some infor. and questions.I have been told by my personal trainer that the BMI is a poor indicator of body fat as it does not take into account muscle mass.It merely measures the ratio of weight to height. I am 5’5’’ short. lol and weigh 205.This results in a disproportionally high BWI. You really need to have someone- maybe at your gym- measure you with calipiers(spelling?)If you are expending as much effort in the gym with cadio/light weights you have to have some increased your muscle tone and pssibly increased your muscle mass. I also learned that muscle weighs more than fat so be more concerned wiht loosins some inches than looking at the scale. I have gained 7 lbs but have gone from a size 44 to 40 pants and from a X-large to a large shirt. Please don’t be discouraged. Stay with your training.Suggestion. Have you instructor add some core exercises to your routine. Hope this helps. Let me know.Pete

Dear Pete ;

yes I have been gyming since a while now ; and must say that increasing muscle mass will increase your metabolic rate which make you loose more fat ; and as consequence will make you drop some size eventhough that you dont notice a difference in kgs since muscles are more heavy than fat.

I am planning to switch to an insulin pump to fine tune my bloodsugar rates…
I am strugeling to have low blood sugars with the conventional intensified insuline therapy as I need to be 100% committed in testing every 2 hours; which sometimes just doestnt fit into my busy lifestyle.

The pumping will take alot of this by pumping automaticly & punctually the basis insulin rates into my body.

I am excited to test the pump and hope to adapt to being plugged to a cable…
Hope I wont freak out …

Best Regards,

Hayaa,you are very welcome.Like you I have been gyming 6 days a week. Try not to overwork the same muscle groups. Alter you routine so muscles hve time to heal. When you exercise and do weights you tear muscle and it requires time to heal. If you have any questions let me know. Pete, a fellow gymer