Weight loss and Type 1

Curious for T1s who have lost a substantial amount of weight (say 20+ pounds), how long has did it take?

I’m trying to lose weight and it’s going painfully slowly. I’ve been eating healthy and exercising daily for seven weeks now and have only lost a few pounds.

A few years ago I lost about 20 pounds and I remember that taking a very long time, too (about six months). But that was still faster than what I’m experiencing now.

It’s very discouraging when I see people without diabetes putting in the same (or less!) effort than me and losing literally 1-2 pounds a week! For me it seems to be more like 1-2 pounds a month.

Back when my foot was infected, I gained about 65 pounds over a 2 year period when I couldn’t exercise. I started losing the weight when I could get back on my treadmill. I had a spreadsheet that I kept track of stuff on and I just looked to see if I still had that and I do. I ended up losing 73.6 pounds over 80 weeks – that worked out to an average of 0.92 pounds per week. In the beginning, it came off faster. Some weeks I lost 4 pounds and other weeks didn’t lose any and some I even gained a little.

Do you watch your sodium intake? When I was losing the weight, I saw a story on CNN on how some stores injected something that contained sodium in their chicken to give it a longer shelf life. I checked the labels of my chicken and mine didn’t have any sodium in. A few months later, I moved and changed grocery stores. My weight loss came to a halt and I even gained back some weight. I couldn’t figure out why and one day when I felt really bloated, I remembered the chicken story. I stopped eating the chicken & and I started losing weight. Apparently the new store I bought my chicken at did put the sodium stuff in their chicken. I was eating the exact same foods every day and that was the only difference so I try to avoid things with sodium in them.

I think the older we get, the harder it is to lose weight also.

You are kicking some butt to have lost 7 lbs in a few weeks. I have been at it since 2006, when I peaked at 275 lbs and I’m at around 180 these days. I have hit 175 but usually that’s right after a long run or bike ride and right before I start eating afterwards. I think that one or two pounds/ month is a very good result and you should do 20 celebration pushups to celebrate (do them on your knees if you can’t do them on your toes? One of my martial arts instructors did those and they always felt really good!! A lot of the instructors would assign pushups as a disciplinary measurement when kids were talking or adults were moving slowly or whatever but celebration pushups are great and they are an awesome exercise to both get stronger and measure upper body strength!)

I think that a better way to look at it is to look at something besides pounds and blood sugar, like resting heart rate or blood pressure after like 6 months of trying a new approach? I remember at least once, I made the doctor retest by BP b/c it had turned out to be 120/ 70 and I was like “no way, you are wrong” as I’d been at 150/100 and then 130/ 90 and didnt believe the nurses 120/70? Resting heart rate is a normal measurement. I was up in the upper 70s at my peak but it has been measured as low as 52 recently. While we have tons of data, these other measurements are useful too?

I haven’t lost 7 pounds in a few weeks, I’ve lost a few pounds in 7 weeks. LOL. But 1-2 lbs a month does seem to be my pace, it just seems very slow compared to other people I know losing weight who are hitting 1-2 lbs per week.

I like the idea of using something like resting heart rate instead of weight! Or blood pressure. My blood pressure is (or was?) borderline high a few years ago and it is definitely better when I am exercising than when I am not. Probably will be even better with losing weight, too.

I don’t actively watch my sodium but I generally dislike salt and salty foods, and I know whenever my sodium is measured in blood tests it’s right at the lower end of the range. I’ve also quit Diet Coke over these six weeks which has got to have cut a lot of sodium out. Everyone says pop and aspartame contribute to weight gain so I was hoping that would have an impact. Maybe it will and I just need to give it more time.

I agree about the age thing, which is why I’m trying to get to a good weight now (I turn 30 in two months) instead of waiting another 10 or 20 years, which would make it even harder than I’m finding it now!

Jen, 2 lbs a month is 24 per year. Research shows that many people who lose weight slower can keep it off better. Are you doing walking or treadmill? If so, just kicking the intensity up a little bit should help. And lots of people have found that increasing water intake also really helps with weight loss. I am not saying drink buckets a day but at least about 6 to 8 glasses. It has also been found that we don’t need to walk around with a water bottle attached to our mouth, but some increase is good!
Good luck and don’t compare yourself to others. Just look at your own trajectory: downward, in any amount = good.

If I lost 24 pounds per year I would be happy, but I have way more than 24 pounds to lose to get to the weight range that is supposedly ideal for me. So it would take me more like three years to reach my goal. But I am willing to take that long, it’s just keeping up the motivation when your weight only changes by like 0.3 lbs per week!

I have a recumbent bike at home that I go on for at least 30 minutes a day. I motivate myself by seeing if I can go farther in the same amount of time (30 minutes). Then, when I can’t go any farther/faster, I increase it to 35 minutes and start over. I’ll do that till I’m up to 60 minutes a day. But I also don’t want to push myself too hard for 60 minutes because some days I find getting in 30 minutes hard, so I’m trying to keep a balance between pushing myself and just making myself keep up exercising daily. In the past it’s been easy to start exercising daily but very hard to keep it up consistently for more than a month or two.



I recently quit Diet Coke so I am drinking MUCH more water throughout the day. I don’t carry a water bottle around, but I do go drink water instead of Diet Coke when I’m thirsty. (I used to drink 2-4 cans of Diet Coke almost every day, I think I was literally addicted, so quitting is an awesome thing!)

Oops, sorry I misread your initial post.

One other goofy way to look at it might be to try to think “how many times can I feel better after I work out?” I was miserable a lot of times DURING workouts but, when I was done I felt great!! I guess I still feel that way. A lot of times too, I am miserable while I’m doing it but, once its over, I will feel really great and that’s the feeling you are looking for. The weight adjustments will come naturally if you can stick with it and finding good feelings “boy, I’m a sweaty mess but I feel great!” is what to look for. If you can do that a couple of times a week, you are on the road to success, even if some of the numbers (the ones on the scale?) aren’t changing that fast. It’s really a long term thing. I am a total psycho about weighing myself all the time but that’s more like “oops, I gained some weight but I just need to keep doing what I’m doing”. Sometimes I think during different phases of the moon I will weight more. Now, when I don’t know why I gained weight, I just blame the moon and keep at it.

I can feel your pain, Jen. I have been a little overweight for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I was heavier than others around me and that was a painful part of my childhood.

Fast Forward to now… Yes, before I really began taking care of myself, I amt my share of Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s. I still believe that a cheeseburger, a Milky Way and vanilla ice cream are three of nature’s most perfect foods. However, I have become accustomed to eating a lot of salad, soups and lean meat, mostly white such as chicken and turkey. I probably don’t have the best diet, but it is a far cry from where it was. I want to take off some weight too, but it isn’t happening.

I have heard that insulin is stored in the fat cells and it makes weight loss a lot harder. Thus, a pound off should be celebrated. I guess anything off is good. It is better than putting it on.

To celebrate, May I please have a cheeseburger, a dish of ice cream and a Milky Way?

Be well.

Brian Wittman

wonder if this may help you …1) a glass of water before you eat your first meal of the day : breakfast. I recall my Mom doing this at least 60 years ago 2 ) get your heart rate up during exercise …(there are gadgets on the market , looking like a watch ) 3 ) do the exercise you enjoy doing at least 5 days a week
Acid and Nell are referring to same ?
I need to be motivated to walk …and joined Team Diabetes for my 11 th stint …different when I worked, when I used to walk to get me from home to work and work to home , with a part bus ride in between ( Coquitlam to New Westminster )

You can add little things to get more steps in your day. When you go to the grocery store, park at the far end of the lot. If your office is on the 2nd floor, take the stairs not the elevator. I have a bathroom on both floors of my house but try to only use the one upstairs so I use the stairs. If you add stuff like that, then it doesn’t feel like you have to be exercising for an hour but it all adds up.

Hi Nel, thanks for the tips! I am already doing a lot of this: I have a heart rate monitor that I’ve been using during exercise (to keep my heart rate above 140 or so, which is what my personal trainer told me to do during cardio), and for the past six weeks I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise daily (other than maybe three days I missed). I also bus everywhere so do a fair bit of walking on a daily basis (and walk around the community, from my home to the mall and such). I can’t drive so probably do more walking than the average person who does drive. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tips. I can’t drive as it is so I already do a lot of walking to and from bus stops and also around the community (have to walk to the mall, library, coffee shop, etc. since I can’t drive). The other day I went to the library and carried 12 pounds of library books home! I like the bathroom idea, but my apartment is only one floor so I can’t get any exercise walking up and down stairs there. But at work, I could do something like that (my office is on the first floor but I could walk upstairs to use the washroom). Most places I prefer to use the stairs because I’m visually impaired and trying to search for an elevator usually ends up taking more time than it’s worth! I also often will stand up on the bus or train when I commute, with the idea that it’s at least a bit more exercise to stand than to sit. :slight_smile:

I lost 40 pounds in a 6 month time period last year. Earlier this year…I noticed I lost 10 pounds in a week.

Thanks, I think you are right that a pound off is WAY better than a pound on!

I don’t know when you were diagnosed with diabetes, but in a way being diagnosed as a kid was a good thing because I never really developed a taste for things like ice cream and chocolate bars. I like them, but I don’t get the same kind of craving for them (or habit of eating them on a regular basis) that non-diabetics do. My poison was Diet Coke, which I’ve now quit (have only had one in the past six weeks, and it didn’t even taste that good!). Next up I think I might try and quit caffeine, but not right away.

I was a super skinny kid and even more skinny after diabetes came along. Then as a teenager and young adult I did NO exercise for about seven years and gained about 30 pounds during that time. Then I did some exercise and lost a bit of weight. Then I stopped exercising and again did NO exercise, began eating more crap than I had before (because I started the pump and for the first time in my life could choose when and what I ate, and I didn’t realize at first that “can” doesn’t mean “have to”!), and gained about 40 pounds over the next six years. So, I don’t think I am even that prone to weight gain and don’t think it would be that hard to keep off once I lose it, but progress is just so annoyingly slow!

And now, I’m off to exercise before it’s too late to do so. :slight_smile:

I think you just nailed it right here - pumping and ability to eat what you want and eat it whenever. When I began pumping I lost more than 50 pounds, over about a 9 to 12 month time period, painless weight loss. I believe not really because of the eating whenever and whatever as I did that on MDI’s and rode the insulin rollercoaster because of it chasing highs and lows all day long, but because with pumping, I am now able to be much more selective in what I eat and when I eat it. (no longer tied to the ups and downs of multiple types of insulin injections in a single day) It took me a while to figure it out (hey, I am hard headed!), but finally the energy efficient bulb lit and I realized that if I would dial back the carbs per meal “just a little bit” that it made a difference slowly and consistantly. (Of course, then I had to rework the basals and all the other numbers as the weight decreased too). Now don’t get me wrong, I am still able to graze the all you can eat pizza buffet and pay the price with needing to bolus in insulin in amounts that I typically use over a 2 day time period for just one meal. (Scary stuff, that is why I do the pizza thing only about 3 times per year!) And I am active, trying to put in 30 to 60 min of moderate exercise most days of the week. But the really neat thing is that this time I have managed to keep the weight off, and if I find the scale is beginning to snicker at me because the numbers are beginning to increase, I just scrape a few carbs back off the plate and my weight returns back to what is now my normal. So don’t give up! If I can do it, anyone can!

If I could lose more than 50 lbs over a 9 1/2 month time period I would be very happy because that would mean I would be almost at my goal in a year. However, at my current pace that is never going to happen. I’ll be lucky if I lose 20 pounds over a year, and even that I would hardly call “painless.”

Over the past six months to a year I’ve begun to really see food as a way I can help control my diabetes. I know they always went on about the food/insulin/activity triangle when I was a kid, but then as an adult I kind of ignored that and only considered insulin and exercise, so I’m now working food back into it. Over the past month I’ve been consistently eating below 200g a day (and often below 150g a day) and I would like to work that even lower eventually, but am doing it slowly. A year ago I used to eat about 300g or more per day, so this too is a positive change.

I am hoping that if I just keep doing what I’m doing things will eventually start to speed up and pay off …

I do think you are on the right track - it all works together, more so for some (like me you know - walk past the bakery and gain 3 pounds and you didn’t even step in the door). But I do believe that what we eat makes a big difference - we can debate all day I imagine, but will 30g of fruit add pounds or will 30g of pasta? (Me it’s the pasta adding pounds faster than the fruit) And then you have to factor in the exercise/activity - I know some people who I kid you not could eat the pizza buffet daily while sitting in front of the television watching movies all day long and never gain an ounce, and then there is me - you know, walk past the bakery and gain weight. So if I eat, I have to exercise. But we are so lucky to have to factor in the insulin - and again, once I got better at adjusting the pump settings, I do believe all worked together (less carbs, less insulin, more exercise, more stable control) to allow me to drop pounds and keep them off.

Probably most of what I’ve lost has been due to eating less carbs for 2/3 of the day. I used to eat like a sandwich, chips and yogurt for lunch, then cut out the chips, then cut out the yogurt. I vaguely recall tossing some fruit in for a while but that didn’t last long. These days I have 1/2 a sandwich (12G, plus peanut butter, I use a lot of peanut butter so probably another 5-7G) and 4-5 small pretzels. Same thing at breakfast, I used to have a bowl of cereal, just dumped in until the bowl was full (or almost full for “floaty” cereal) but now I have an omlette and maybe 1 piece of toast. Not all the time on the AM toast, if my BG is odd or whatever I just skip it to go for the easier fix. A lot of it is because I’m sort of lazy and keeping my BG in line is generally easier when I eat less?

Also don’t look for just weight loss, look for the “feeling good” part of exercising. Not so much while you’re beating yourself up but afterwards you should feel the endorphins cooking and feel good about that. The other stuff will follow. They “payoff” is in the good feelings and as you get more ripped/ buff/ in shape, you will be able to work in a longer workout on the weekends. The running programs I’ve read about all have moderate runs during the week and then “the long run” on the weekends. I presume the same thing would work for any sort of exercise but that’s a great way to have a goal? If you are currently going X minutes on the weekend, try going X+10 the next weekend. Don’t kill yourself but just say “Let’s see what happens!” and keep at it. Even if you weigh the same, you can “count” the extra minutes and give yourself a “high five”. It may seem sort of cheesy but that is very low calorie cheese and you can eat as much of it as you want!!

You have heard my views on this already, so I won’t go repeating myself. But I would like to make just a couple points. First, weight loss happens 90% in the kitchen, you can exercise all you want, but it is mostly driven by what you eat. Second, I am old and I will tell you that when you get older, your body will tend to want to keep more weight on. Don’t expect to ever be able to eat and be skinny like you were as a teenager (diabetes or not). And third, weight can be unpredictable, you can plateau a the same weight for months and then suddenly drop 10 lbs. Consider all this a marathon. You may not see any progress this week, next week or for a month, but you will see progress. If you devote yourself over time you will achieve your goals.