I am new to all this so please forgive me if this is a “stupid newbie” question.
A couple of months ago I was diagnosed with type one, and literally on Monday of this week I had my first full day of normal sugars. Yay!
Throughout this whole ordeal I have been gaining weight. My question is WHY.
I can’t seem to stop it from happening.
A little background.
I am an active person who enjoys being outside and doing things. Because of a recent back injury I have had to keep my exercising low impact so no more mountain biking, or surfing for a while. According to my back surgeon I need to build up my core muscles for a couple more months before I can get back into any of that. I have been doing yoga to build up those muscles without hurting my back.
So right now my cardio exercise comes in the form of walking. I carry a pedometer and I am up to almost 13 thousand steps a day. Most of that is done after dinner power walking with my wife. That is a good workout. By the time I am finished I am nice and tired, and my blood sugar is usually in the low 100’s.
My diet was slightly modified my endo team to include 60 carbs per meal. Previous to that I was eating more like 30-40 carbs per meal. I also keep the calories down to 2200 a day.
So there it is.
I can’t figure out why I am gaining weight.
Does anyone have any incite as to why this is happening.
I happen to have done a lot of research lately on weight gain (I’m trying to gain some) and general health issues, and it turns out insulin is the hormone that causes your body to store fat. The more carbohydrates you eat and the more insulin you use, the more weight you’ll gain. I’d go for lower carb, and it will probably help your sugars as well. Anyway, don’t take my work for it, listen to this Gary Taubes lecture. I’ve become a huge fan of him. This is not the standard lecture on dieting and weight loss.
60 grams of carbs per meal is why. Carbs will make you fat especially if you are diabetic. I cut down to 5 or less per meal and have lost 15 pounds.
From what I understand from Gretchen’s (and Dr. Bernie’s) book is that it is the insulin that you have to use to cover the carbs that will cause weight gain. It is also why a lot of insulin-resistant type 2’s are overweight, because we are pumping out tons of insulin all the time.
60 grams of carbs is not a lot, 5 or less per meal is a quality of life issue in my opinion. and probably not sustainable over the long term. Not to mention if you exercise and only consume 5 or less carbs per meal you will bonk in the middle of your work out. I have paid the price for trying really low carb intake when I have gone out biking. When I can feel my legs running out of energy after mile 5 I know I have to eat or I won’t make it back home. I even do a temp basal at 25% for an hour, two hours before I go out.
Low carb yes, extreme low carb is for extreme cases.
David is right on target. Granted, every person is different but you need some carbs to sustain yourself. The more active you are, the more carbs you will need and / or the less insulin you will need. This is a trial and error process. I go off a 60g carbs per meal plan and I seem to maintain my weight. I would suggest discussing this with your Endo because what is most important is to find the happy median between carbs, insulin and exercise. This is another reason why one of the symptoms you hear of pre-diagnosed Type 1 diabetics is weight loss. Good luck.
First of all, congratulations on the first full day of normal sugars. There will be many more to come.
Second, it is completely normal to gain weight after beginning insulin therapy…especially after initial diagnosis. I assume you were losing weight pretty rapidly before finding out that you were type 1. You probably have gained all of it back and then some, right?
If you want to lose the extra weight, then all you need to do is decrease your insulin and carbohydrate intake, and make up the calories with more protein and (healthy) fats. I can’t guarantee that your endo team will recommend this lifestyle, but carrying extra weight will raise your risk of complications in the long run. You may be taking a lot more insulin than you need to!!
I agree with Dino. You may be using too much insulin. I’m type 2 and cotrary to what I had heard and expected, I started losing weight since starting insulin 3 months ago.
I can’t eat that many carbs at one time and have an excepital BG 2 hours later but everybody is different. I was having a weight problem b/4 starting on the pump I was taking 75 u of novalin 70/30 and sliding up to 50 u of novalog a day and having to eat all the time. I was not counting carbs and only using the novalog according to what my BG reading was. I was at 250 and holding I am now at 165 and holding. I said all this to say mour insulin my be a little high yet as they adjust it down and you are feeding insulin. I think Dino is on target.
I’ve lost weight, which I don’t need at all, after being diagnosed. Like Sam, I’m trying to gain weight. I’m an active person & always have been. I’d be heavy if I ate as many carbs as my doctor, CDE & dietician suggested. Since I’m slight, they begrudingly recommended a minimum of 45 carbs per meal when I told them there was no way I was eating 60. ADA of 60 grams is way high for most diabetics, I think.
My BG was all over the place until I went low carb–definitely lower than 45 grams per meal! Less carbs, better control, less insulin. I feel so much better.
You’ll definitely drop weight by lowering your carb intake.
I totally agree with you 60 grams of carbs per meal is a lot. I saw a nutritionist once she recommended 75 grams per meal which is nuts. I work towards 100 grams and less for an entire day. I am averaging around 70 per day which isn’t to bad, more on days that I do long rides. I used to eat 150 plus carbs a day, those days are gone. I just cut out bread, rice, pasta and potato. I am not saying that I won’t eat very small portions here and there but it has really stabilized my BG. In fact I expect my A1c to be in the mid 5% range next time I get it checked and I have been losing some of those pounds that seem to creep on to your body.!!
Thanks for all the great reply’s…
Dino, from what I have been reading it seems you are right on target with your reply so I think I will follow that advice.
I was very surprised when the dietitian recommended 60 carbs per meal. I had been doing about 90 carbs per day previous to that. When I mentioned this to her she freaked out, and told me 60 carbs per day is no where near what my body needs to keep functioning, and to immediatly change my diet so I did.
That’s when I started gaining weight. My endo has been slowly raising my insulin levels this whole time to get my BG levels down, but was largely unsuccessful in his efforts until I started to eat 60 carbs per meal. Maybe that was coincidence. Who Knows…
In any case I think I will bring it down to 30 - 40 carbs per meal and see what effect that has on my BG and on my weight.
Thanks again, you guys have confirmed what I have been reading in books and researching on the internet.
It is hard sometimes to sift through all the information out there then go to your doctors and hear that all your research has been for naught.
What is up with those dietitians?
“60 carbs per day is no where near what my body needs to keep functioning” = complete horse poop.
I’ll tell you what’s up with those dietitians.
IMHO (and I do stress opinion) - many of them are simply regurgitating outdated information that the FDA and the ADA wants them to tell us. If you search this site and read more and more about what actual diabetics are eating daily, you will be surprised.
This is what I did this summer. I changed my lifestyle to where I eat around 5 - 6 small meals a day. Maybe around 3 -10 grams of carb per meal, 25 or more grams of protein. I take glucose in when I get a low blood sugar, or when I work out. I eat the very occasional “regular” meal of pizza, burgers, sushi, beer…whatever…because I am human.
I also lift weights four days a week, and do my share of cardio and sports. The most active I’ve been since junior high.
Results? I’ve lost over 10lbs body weight and 5% body fat. I’ve decreased my lantus from 20u daily to 7u. My insulin sensitivity is through the roof, and now a “regular meal” that used to consitute 15u Humalog now only needs around 5u.
Oh yeah, and my A1c is the best it has been in over a decade, because when you control the carbs, the beast is a lot easier to manage.
So tell your dietitian to put those extra carbs back in her little breadbasket and that your boy Dino is functioning the best he ever has…and tell her he’s running on pure protein power!
Most dieticians recommend this diet to all diabetics. It’s the cookie cutter diet that they use. The idea is that you should eat high carb to avoid eating too much protein and fat (because it would be bad to have high cholesterol or unnecessary strain on your kidneys). But if you can replace some carbs with good protein, you will likely find better blood sugars and less weight gain. Dr. Bernstein’s “Diabetes Solution” is a GREAT resource. I don’t follow his diet, but I learned SO much about managing my blood sugars from him. He eats high protein and high fat, but good forms of both. Many people have used this diet to reverse complications. So it really puts the dieticians theory into question…
The Nutritionist I saw looked like she had an eating disorder. I was thinking to myself “and you are tell me how to eat.” I’m sure she was eating cucumbers and carrots all day long.
I thought that I would add that insulin is the most anabolic hormone in the body. Your body wasn’t receiving all the nutrients it needed before, couple that with the same diet as a starving person and you will gain weight.
I weighted 130 when diagnosed, 150 one month later and 180 within a year.
You may have lost muscle that you are now gaining back. If you feel that you are gaining way too much fat and you are eating to keep your sugars up, you are using too much insulin. Other than that it is calories in vs calories out, I dont care what your carb/protein/fat ratio is.