Hi am 16 and I was diagnosed about a year ago. I have always struggled with low self esteem with regards to my body and since I was diagnosed I have gained a lot of weight.When I was diagnosed I weighed about 140 pounds and I am up to 159. I am really frustrated because I exercise 4 times a week and I eat pretty healthy but I still keep gaining weight. I talked to my doctor and she says it could be muscle gain, but I am feeling really insecure and would like to know if anyone has gone through the same thing and if so if they have any tips on what I could do.
I’m going to guess that your true weight was always somewhere in the 150’s, and prior to your diagnosis last year you lost 10-15 pounds. High sugars start breaking down fat and muscle, thus the reason that a common diabetic symptom is rapid weight loss. You simply returned to your normal weight.
Taking the numbers on the scale aside, do you feel like you’re gaining weight? Do your clothes fit tighter?
It’s very frustrating.
You work out, your blood sugar drops and you’re taking in extra calories. You lose a couple pounds and your insulin needs drop. Your basal insulin is then too much and again your chasing lows and taking in more calories. Thus, leading to weight gain.
When I am trying to lose weight or start a new exercise routine, I back down my basal insulin. It takes more work, monitoring glucose and giving corrective bonuses, but it helps ward off the lows that bring in excessive calories.
Keep at it! Your health is benefiting with your workouts!
This is so hard… ive struggled with this since i was diagnosed, gaining etc. I did a few months with Christel from DiabetesStrong and she helped me prep for workouts by treating with low glycemic carbs. It did help, and i changed to glucose tabs only for low blood sugars instead of other snacks. I’ve found that eating a sweet potato or something similar before workouts helps stabilize… at lease it does for me.
It is a hard balance… but know that you are not alone. Sometimes it feels pointless to workout, and like everything is working against us, but we are doing it for our health, and even if we have to treat and gain more calories, it is worth it (usually… or i tell myself that: ))
Yes I have keep sizing up, but I had never weighed this much before the weight I was around when I got diagnosed was the heaviest I’d ever been before now.
Thanks!!! This was a really helpful tip
Genetics and age are obviously going to play a big role, but I have gone on a few quite successful diets while being a t1d. The biggest challenge for me has been hypoglycemia. You get low and get hungry, eat a box of cookies and then you are back to square one.
Ultimately I learned to be more careful about going low, thus avoiding those hunger attacks that were disrupting my diet.
Also, exercise plays a huge role. Not only does exercise get your metabolism to run at full speed, it also gives you extra “free” calories to compensate for those hypoglycemic munchies.
Could you share some of these diets?
The single best way to diet right now in my opinion is with the Myfitnesspal app. Dieting is a calories game at the end of the day, so watching your caloric intake is what you need to do to be successful. It’s going to be tedious at first, but when you get used to it it will get much easier.
Start off by doing brisk walking or running for 30 minutes a day, and increase that in increments of 10 minutes every few weeks.
As for the diabetes part of it, you are going to have to keep a closer watch on your sugars. If you are on a CGM that’s great, if not, be prepared to use a lot more test strips. Contour Next strips are both accurate and relatively cheap. Check you sugar before, during and after exercise. As you lose weight, your body will need less insulin and you will need to adjust your boluses and possibly your basals.
In the event that you do get a low sugar every now and then and decide to eat a few chocolate bars, don’t let that get you down. Keep pushing along to your goal. Keep swimming hard until you reach the shore.
I have also been gaining weight. I am 28 years old and have T1D for 16 years. Recently, I started on lexapro which might have contributed to it. But i am gaining so much weight. I am 5’6" and normally weigh 148-150lbs and am now up to 164 in only 4 months. I just started with a new endocronologist and he has started me on metformin. Does anyone have any insight on this? I am scared I have metabolic syndrome but don’t know how I could have acquired this as I eat very healthy and exercise 3-4 times a week. He says I have developed an insulin resistance.
Any insight will help!
I was diagnosed at 16 too (20 years ago) and gained about 20 pounds post diagnoses. I was devastated. I spent years struggling with to maintain my weight. My big ah ha came over 10 years later when a dietitian suggested I shift to a 6 small meals a day diet. This consisted of 6 small meals with protein as the star. The weight melted off and there were so many benefits. 1) you rarely overeat because you are never truly hungry. 2) protein keeps you fuller longer 3) unlikely most restriction diets you aren’t limited in your choices so temptation and bingeing are far less likely. 3) you meals are smaller so less insulin per each meal, meaning less room for over and under shooting, meaning fewer corrections. It is to the point now where on an ideal day I eat a protein bar before work, trail mix around 9:30. Half a sandwich at lunch, the other half around 2 or 3, dinner around 6 and snack around 8. This doesn’t always work our perfectly. But having done it for nearly 10 years now, I am still the same size I was 10 years ago after I adopted this new strategy. Best of luck to you…no one knows better than this community what an imperfect science this is and the struggle to maintain some sort of normalcy.
Thank you so much I am going to try this.
Thanks this is great advice!
Keep in mind @rebeka and @cmtflint that insulin is a hormone, actually a growth hormone so we can easily get caught in a weight gain loop by just managing our glucose levels. It is a circle that somehow must be broken.
I’ve been living with insulin for 60+ years and adopted this theory.
- Basal insulin - one or two injections, now pump, to regulate BG 24 hours a day without eating - use fasting method to validate my dosage / pump settings - set basal rates to maintain BG target 100 - 140;
- Carefully count carbohydrates and accurately determine carb/insulin ratios and sensitivity factors for corrections - take minimal amount for each bolus.
By using the minimal amount of insulin you will not be needing to eat snacks to avoid hypoglycemic events and eventually you may not even miss the snacks - I keep a canister of mixed nuts to satisfy my cravings. I don’t starve myself - I eat more than 210 grams of carb every day.
I’m about 5’ 10" and weigh 142.9 fully clothed pounds on the doctor’s scale and my [latest] HbA1c = 6.1.
Are you a type 1? I ask because many doctors these days like to say everyone is a T1. The problem is this. You can’t gain weight without insulin. Too little, you melt away, and too much you get really low and gain (if maintained always low). If you are eating well and gaining weight, then you are getting too much insulin. Maybe your body is still making insulin, but you are treating your body as if it isn’t making any. This results in too much insulin. Doctors sell pumps…They sell insulin etc. I am not a fan of most doctors. But they are on their own agenda. I do not like the ‘new’ way of thinking EVERYONE should be on insulin. Type 2 also… So they now say everyone is T1 or even T1 1/2… yes, that is a real thing. Your at a horrible age for this problem. Your body will not cooperate. Find a new dr. Keep looking until they listen. Why do I know this? BEcause being T1 is all I know. Yes better control can be weight gain, but there was a time when juvenile diabetics were ALL super skinny. WhY? Because even a couple of high blood sugar events melt away any weight gain. If you almost never have these high’s, then something is not as you think it is. Your doctor read a book on diabetes. Remember that. Make sure they are an endocrinologist that specializes only it T1 diabetics. Then, find a good one.
Agreed 100%. I’m a 26 year old male and I have been super strict on myself on the MyFitnessPal app. I was 210 dropped to 190 in 6 months and have started to gain back the weight in muscle. It takes so much longer to lose weight than the muggles but just stick with it and you’ll get there Adrianna!
i have always had a weight problem. i find that insulin puts on weight. i try to watch my carbs. i hope this helps.
Two things. 1. Lower insulin amounts. You will need to gauge by how much, maybe 10-15 percent? 2. Eat less. Slightly smaller portions. Insulin makes us gain weight if we don’t cut down both insulin and amount of food. Adding exercise and taking insulin at the same level as before exercise will result in weight gain. Experiment at the new levels for several days before making any further change. As someone else said, try to have less ups and downs, chasing lows and highs is another way to gain weight.
If you haven’t done so, check with a nutritionist to see if they can help fine tune what you’re doing. I just met with one recently and she gave me a meal plan to help me lose some weight, and it’s working out well. Even though you are eating well it may be a question of cutting back a bit on calories, or changing the portion sizes of starches vs. veggies vs. proteins, etc. They should be able to help you reach your goal while sticking with your exercise plan. Best wishes!