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I'm a recently diagnosed Type 1. I've been following Dr. Bernstein's low carb guidelines (eating about 36-40 carbs--ok, not quite as strict as Dr. B). Problem is that I've lost weight & need to gain weight. How to stay low carb, which has really helped control BG with low doses of insulin (Lantus & Apidra), & gain some needed pounds?

Grateful for advice!

Tags: carb, low

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Dr. B said in one of his teleconferences to up the fat to gain, but given that I was able to maintain a weight loss for a long time eating a lot of fat and a Bernstein type diet and that I can usually gain weight without trying on a non-low carb diet, I am not sure that really would work.

You might cautiously raise your carbs and Apidra. Apidra is, in my experience, so fast that you can get very good blood sugars while using it to cover a bit more carb than what Bernstein believes to be possible.He only uses humalog and R and they are much slower than Apidra.

I am NOT trying to gain weight, but after maintaining within 2 lbs for 4 years I packed on ten pounds last December after starting Lantus and getting such good control that I was able to eat a lot more carbs and hit all my blood sugar targets. The blood sugar stayed pretty but not the waistine!

Unfortunately, if you put on weight by using more insulin you are likely to get the classic apple shape weight gain around the tummy. So I'm not sure how advisable it is.

It is possible that if you just keep watching your blood sugar and eating excess calories from fat your body may get back to its set point weight. Most of us do.
Jenny, glad you wrote because I wanted to thank you for your wonderful site! I've been reading & researching, sifting through a lot of conflicting info trying to find the information that felt "right." Your site lit the lightbulb I've been searching for. I'm grateful for what I've learned from you & it's given me the focus & direction to see how much more I need to learn. Intellligent, straight forward, well researched, well written--thank you for everyone you've helped through your site & book.

Though it's slower acting, what's your opinion of R insulin? Seems that insulin in a natural state would be better. My mother's hypothyroid (jury is still out on the condition of my thyroid since it's borderline low) & she's had far better results using Armour thyroid than the synthesized forms.
Thanks, Libby. Seeing those numbers makes me feel better & encouraged. I also take 4-5 units of Lantus. Some days I've not had to take any fast acting Apidra for lunch or dinner with no problem, but I always need to take before breakfast. The last two weeks I've had to take fast acting before every meal, though keeping the carbs consistently low. As soon as my bg goes up, my head starts pounding.
I'm glad that you are feeling better. I saw from your profile that you were only diagnosed at the end of May and that you had a really high A1C. The changes you are making are amazing and will make you so much healthier. I am amazed and impressed that you figured everything out so quickly. It took me several months before I realized what was happening. I was testing at two hours and eating the recommended 250g carbs a day and didn't know that my BG was swinging wildly. I just knew I felt terrible so I started testing earlier. I gradually dropped all the foods that made my BG go high and now feel better than I have in years. It's really not hard for me to eat this way because I am full of energy. And the weight did stabilize- I'm just a size 8 instead of a 12 :-)
Don't feel like I've figured anything out at all:)

I was near comatose when my husband took me to the ER. I just thought I was sick with the flu. My bg was 809! I was in intensive care for two days on IV's & a heart monitor & then two more days on a regular ward. My bg was checked every 30 minutes, around the clock for two days. No exaggeration, I was beginning to hallucinate from sleep deprivation.

I feel like such an idiot that I was dying from thirst, vomiting & urinating constantly & had no clue I was diabetic. Duh--could it have been clearer? I was drinking fruit juice & eating watermelon for two days prior to going to the ER. Amazing I didn't die.

Every meal they gave me in the hospital made me feel sicker. Breakfast was a huge piece of French toast, cereal, milk.. Lunch was grilled cheese on white bread, fruit cocktail & soup. Dinner was meat, potatoes (or another starchy veg) or pasta with meat sauce, salad & a roll. I was shot up with huge doses of insulin, but I kept soaring. No surprise, huh, given what they gave me to eat. I kept asking "this is a diabetic meal?" & was assured it was within 60 carb ADA recommendations. Told my husband if he didn't get me out of there pronto I was going to die from the food. I begged him to bring me food I could handle. The nurses had to be convinced that it was ok for me to eat something other than was prescribed. Yeah, better for me to eat their mashed potatoes & white bread. I love sushi & my sweet husband got me some. As soon as I ate it, I felt better & I had a much better bg reading. Of course, anything tastes better than hospital food:)

Like everyone else, I was given the usual ADA diet plan to follow & my bg swings were huge. I felt cranky & out of it. I called my doctor every day & almost every day he changed my dosages. It scared me taking such high doses.

Prior to being diagnosed, I ate huge amounts of carbs--big bowls of pasta, Indian food, any Asian food with lots of rice. I could eat a whole loaf of bread at once & did. Can't even imagine what my bg was eating like this.
Hi. I am very new to this. My boyfriend has just recently been diagnosed with Type 1 after losing 15 lbs in 3 weeks. He is 5'8" and dropped to 118 lbs. Now after 4 weeks he has only gained 2 lbs back and can't seem to get enough to eat. He has also had very high cholesterol, so we have to watch out for that. Loves peanut butter, mixed nuts, veggies, oatmeal and has switched from eggs to egg substitute. He is on Lantus- 10mg- and takes it at nite. His BG is normally doing ok, but occasionally hits 71 when he needs to eat or 326 when it wasn't the right food he just ate. Help!
Hi Kathy,

Your boyfriend is very fortunate to have you.

Eating protein is the best way to gain weight for Type 1s. If he's staying away from saturated fats because of his cholesterol (though there's lots of new info that strongly suggests that this isn't the cause of it), then have him check out protein shakes, in addition to eating lean protein. Whey isolate powder is high in protein & low in fat. If he avoids the flavored ones, whey protein isolate has only 1-2 grams of carbs per serving. You have to check the labels. He can mix this in a blender with unsweetened almond milk (also low carb, low fat). It's filling. I add cold decaf coffee, stevia (a natural sugar substitute) & sometimes peanut butter. I love peanut butter, too!

Have his doctors started him on counting carbs & are they beginning to figure out what his carb/insulin ratio is? Know you said recently diagnosd, but how recent? In case he doesn't know this, eating low carb is the best way to control those numbers.

One thing to take into consideration when adding more protein, is that it takes longer to digest (except for protein shakes) than carbs & 50% of the protein turns to glucose.

Most people take two doses of Lantus--morning & night.

I am all for low carb but Dr. Bernstein's low carb is an extreme in my point of view. I think you can safely up your carbs and still maintain a great BG. 36-40 grams per day is pretty low. You might try eating around 60 grams give or take then hopefully you can find a happy medium so that you won't lose weight but won't put too much back on.
I would use one of the web-based businesses that let you formulate your own meal replacement and supplement shake powders. My personal favorite is Protein Factory (

They have a unique ordering system that lets you add the specific components you want (vitamins, amino acids, every kind of protein from bovine plasma to egg to many kinds of whey). I use their whey isolate, as it is pure protein with no carbs, no fat, and no cholesterol. You can also pick the sweetener you want- I use stevia but all of them are available. They have a large selection of flavorings too (cookies and cream is my #1). I have no affiliation with this company other than being a satisfied customer.

I find it can often be easier to get extra calories if you can drink them as opposed to cooking a chicken or something.




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