Pump vacay for weight loss?

On another thread @Dave44 mentioned he did a pump vacay to lose weight, and that has been something I’ve considered myself. I didn’t want to threadjack the other topic, so I’m posting this separately.

I gained 20-30lb over the first year or so of pumping and it seemed not at all coincidental, but I’m not actually sure what the cause is. Commonest explanation I’ve seen for why it might happen: Cuz now you can eat whatever you want and you over-indulge! But that absolutely did not happen with me. I was doing LC/HF before going on the pump and still am. Going on a pump decreased my TDD (my Lantus dose was much higher than my daily basal on the pump). I’ve also started getting much more regular exercise than back pre-pump. But the weight has been very hard to take off. I’ve managed to keep it fairly steady since that initial burst of weight gain, but taking it back off seems beyond my grasp. So ok, I’m also older and that plays a role, but still, the question whether pumping rapid-acting all day for basal is somehow more prone to causing weight gain than the equivalent—or even larger—amount of Lantus taken in a single shot.

The idea that going back to MDI for a while might help break through the plateau has popped into my head a number of times. It would be a pain in some ways but I might actually try it if I knew the evidentiary basis for expecting it to work.

The biggest thing about pumping and weight gain is that it is so convenient to bolus for any food, at any time. Being a foodie, I really, really struggle with not eating goodies (mexican, pizza, snacks) too often. When pumping, the only thing to prevent me from overeating is either my will-power (which is variable) or if I’m out of insulin. LOL! Sometimes when dining out, I discover my pump is on “fumes”. However, my wife simply disconnects her pump,hands it to me long enough to bolus, and I’m back in business and can enjoy my “sinful” eating. :slight_smile:

My weight is tied to the amount of insulin I use. My diet is moderate carb intake

30-32 units maintain weight
<30 units lose weight.
32+ gain weight.

That’s what I have noticed.


The simple answer is that you’re taking more insulin than you need to for weight reduction. But I’m not in the calories in/calories out camp for weight issues. We are hormone-driven systems and hormones can do all kinds of things to undermine your weight-loss initiatives.

Losing weight when taking insulin is tough. Whenever you treat a hypo, you’re adding unneeded calories and that is maddening.

Low carb, high fat eating styles can vary. Last October I went from eating 50-75 grams of carbs per day to strictly less than 30 grams of carbs with none coming from grains or added sugar. I’ve lost five pounds since that change and more importantly dropped from 34 waist pants to 33.

Have you tried any fasting? It always caught my attention whenever I fasted for medical tests. My blood sugar immediately fell into a healthy range with little volatility. I think our DNA intrinsically knows how to deal with fasting well.

I only eat two meals per day, a late breakfast and an early dinner. I can easily do a 24 hour fast by skipping either of these two meals. I feel like the fasting period resets my metabolism, decreases my appetite, and often leads to losing a small amount of weight-loss. If I do this missed meal fasting more regularly, like twice per week, I can dependably lose weight.

All that being said, my weight loss program is still a work in progress. My weight loss has plateaued at the five-pound level and resists falling further. I want to lose 8 more pounds to get to what I think is an ideal weight for me, a lower weight than almost all of my adult life.

I don’t believe that you can exercise your way to weight-loss. At least for me, exercise stimulates appetite and it’s easy to rationalize giving yourself a food treat to reward you for the exercise effort. I’m not negative about exercise, in general. I believe it is essential to good health, especially when managing blood glucose in manual mode.

One thing I would concentrate on is getting enough sleep. Losing sleep causes people to consume more calories the next day.

Losing weight while taking insulin is a complicated dance. But it can be done. I think that personal experimentation is fundamental to success.

I don’t think that pump-delivered insulin is more prone to weight gain than MDI. It’s important to monitor your total daily dose (TDD) of insulin over time. When I went through a period when I gained about 20 pounds over several years, my TDD doubled. It was so gradual that I didn’t recognize it as a warning about weight gain.

Good luck with your efforts. I think it is totally worth it. This last five pounds of weight loss has felt very good to me. It’s nice cinching the belt to new territory.

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I forgot to mention that another problem (for me) that leads to weight gain is having to take care of lows. I’m one of those that does “rage boluses” to take care of highs. that usually leads to lows and hence the need for more carbs. Let’s all spell R-O-L-L-E-R_C-O-A-S-T-E-R.

I totally agree with what @Jim26 posted

Insulin is one of the most powerful hormones produced (or injected into) the body. It does 2 things exceptionally well:

  1. Removes glucose from the bloodstream and lowers blood sugars
  2. Stores excess glucose as fat
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Speaking of hormones, why won’t the mfgrs include C-Peptide w/ insulin? I’ve forgotten.

If memory serves me, pro-inulin, the precursor of insulin, contains three chains of amino acids, A, B, & C. When the C-peptide chain is removed from the A & B chains, insulin remains. That is why the C-peptide blood test reveals the amount of naturally produced insulin. There’s a one to one correspondence between the amount of C-peptides and insulin generated naturally.

Since the C-peptide chain is not needed to metabolize glucose, the manufacturers apparently don’t think it needs to be in our injected insulin formulations. I suspect that the C-peptide chain in a gluco-normal performs yet-to-be-identified benefits.

@DrBB, I also know that lean muscle tissue leads to a higher basic metabolic rate than less lean or fatty tissue. Doing some strength resistance training regularly can produce immediate benefits in raising the basic metabolic rate.

I really like the positions Dr. Robert Lustig takes in the article @Jim26 linked to above. His take on eating lower carb is consistent with my experience.

Even though low-carb diets aren’t any sort of “magical” solution to these problems, we do know that they are, at the very least, much better than the failed low-fat diet that is still being peddled today.

Since 2013 I am down a few over 160 lbs. I used a pump all the time, but of course my insulin use is way down. Today i work to keep my blood sugar as close to 120 as possible.

When i first started seeing a doctor to lose weight he asked me to raise my trigger point for making corrections. He took me from a target of 100 to 170. I was so upset, I nearly stormed out. Bet he said trust me and slowly as I lost weight he lowered my correction threshold. He took it all the way down to 100 over the next 10 months. in the mean time he lowered calorie intake dramatically. for those 10 months i averaged 1,000 calories per day. When he released me 12 months later I was down 100 pounds.

At that point he suggested weight watchers (now WW) and over the last four years I have lost a few over 60 pounds. I still have 20 to go and I realize that might take two or three more years. Regardless, I do feel so much better.

It is tough, and there is no magic bullet. I wish you well.