Newly Diagnosed and Concerned About Gaining Weight

I was just diagnosed with Type 1 almost three weeks ago and have been on insulin injections multiple times a day since then. I am a very small 20 year old girl in college, 4’10 on a good day, roughly 105 pounds. I have always carried extra fat in my stomach and with the insulin shots and new diet, I feel as though I am gaining more. I am desperate to keep the extra weight off and I am more motivated now than I’ve ever been to tone up. If anyone has any suggestions for a good diet and exercise plan to lose about 3-4 inches of belly fat the healthy way, I would be so happy if you could share.

Hi @BriNei96,

Welcome to our group here at TON and to the 24/L style of living with T1D - the “L” meaning lifetime.

Just because you now find yourself trying to figure out these revisions in your lifestyle and anticipating many more changes in your body and mind you need not be overly concerned about gaining too much weight. I weigh about the same as I weighed at age 16 and I’ve been living with insulin injections and insulin pumps for the 59 years since that age. What you should do, in my experience, is eat a moderate, well balanced diet and stay relatively active; I’ve only used a gym for about one year after I retired from working on the first day of my 70th year. I suggest using stairs rather than elevators as you move about campus; when you drive, don’t try to grab the parking space closest to the door; and don’t think that just because you “can cover it with insulin” that you may constantly shove stuff in your mouth.

Now, getting back to “covering it with insulin”. I often party and eat some heavy meals, especially as a Company officer in conjunction with Board meetings, but in general I try to eat healthy - the healthy eating I can attribute mostly to the woman I married 50 years ago who still wants to keep me around. And yes, we do eat out at least two times a week.

Take care of yourself Bri, enjoy life and stay in touch.

Hi, welcome to our club! You didn’t mention if you lost some weight prior to diagnosis, but please know that it’s perfectly normal, and actually healthy, to put some weight back on after being diagnosed. They probably explained that when blood glucose levels are high, your body’s cells aren’t able to effectively use the sugar in your blood because of the lack of insulin, so your cells start munching around on body fat trying to find energy, and weight loss is the result. Once you start replenishing insulin and returning to normal blood glucose (BG) levels, you will put some weight back on. However, this effect doesn’t continue forever, but you might feel pudgy after the first few months. Then you can start working on ways to modify your diet to encourage gradual weight loss to a healthy level. So in other words, your immediate focus should be on getting your BG levels stabilized, which frankly is pretty overwhelming on its own, then worry about the weight stuff a little later. You may find like many of us that eating a low- to moderate-carbohydrate diet rich in meats, cheeses, nuts and green veggies is very helpful because it keeps your appetite under control, helps making managing your BG easier, and often results in a healthier weight. Keep in touch here as you go along and we’ll be happy to help!

Hi BriNei96,

Sorry you have been diagnosed with this. But, diabetes is very MANAGEABLE. Keep in mind, as others have said, that you can regulate what you take in and the amount of insulin you need to take to cover it. I don’t know what insulin regimen you are on, but I am using Humalog (fast acting over a 4 hour period that i use to cover all food intake) and Lantus (a long acting that i take twice a day to cover everything else but food intake). With this setup, I can choose what i want to eat Noting the carb amount in that food intake) and then take the necessary amount of insulin to cover it. I do vegetarian cleanses a few times a year, pig out during sporting events, exercise, have some wine (alcohol intake requires some high level maintenance, so I would not drink at night, as it will send your blood glucose levels on a wild ride - definitely consult with doctors and do some high level monitoring if you drink)… You just need to do some math to figure it all out.

Just be honest with the doctors and you’ll need to do a lot of blood testing initially figure out how your body responds to foods, at certain times (before or after exercise, before sleep, when you are in an anxious state of mind, mixing different food together,…) After a while, you will know what you need and when and then life gets a bit easier.

Hang in there!!!

Best regards,


Both of your responders are right on the mark. FORM GOOD HABITS. How? I would add that your best friend for good control, longevity, no complications in the long run, and your happiness is to do everything as you will be taught. FORM GOOD HABITS. Continue learning more about type I diabetes. To help do this, become associated with the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston at the Harvard School of Medicine either in person or over the internet. FORM GOOD HABITS. Keeping daily records of: 1. your blood glucose numbers, 2. the time taken, 3. the insulin taken, 4. your daily exercise, and 5. the food you eat (everything that goes between your lips). Diabetes control requires a study of these five items. You will learn to figure how the food you eat and the exercise you do along with the insulin you take react in YOUR body. And, it different for everyone of us. Consider your records your score card of how good you are getting taking care of yourself. Diabetes is a game. We all have good days and not so good days. Study your records to figure out why, when something happens that you want to avoid, next time. Good luck. Have fun, stay positive. I am like Dennis with sixty years of diabetes past me and having fun every day. I am at the same weight I was in college. Keep the records, FORM GOOD HABITS, learn from your mistakes.

I would also recommend the myfitnesspal app. It really helps to form those good habits and monitor your carbs which will effect your blood sugar. You will be able to pull up virtually all restaurant campus food and see exactly what you’re getting. If you’re cooking you are able to enter all the ingredients and then see more precisely what is in one portion. If you have a good friend that is willing to learn about your diabetes they can help support you on your journey. Maybe they could accompany you to nutritional meetings or a support group or even a doctors appointment. It is a lot to take in at first. Remember to not get frustrated, don’t get down on yourself, be patient. There will be times you can’t figure out why your blood sugar is low/high. The doctors give us a basic template to go from, but there are a million variables that go into blood sugar levels. It’s hard to be a pancreas! Good luck!


I’m in your same boat, but am 26 years in, am 32 years old, & just delivered my 2nd child. Diabetes is a roller-coaster and depending on the stress / chaos of life… your weight may be too. I gained 64 lb with both my children. Pregnancy & diabetes is an entirely new thread, lol! My son was born in May and I have 20 more lb to go to get back to pre pregnancy weight. I love weight classes. It’s the quickest way to get my heart rate up, toned, & sweat to death. My husband & I are training for the Peachtree road race in Atl. An app to assist with eating and counting that I love is Lose It! It may be an option for you to try.