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I am new here today. I am a 43-year-old type 1, have had it for 22 years. I am on an insulin pump and have great control. But my problem is like many other type 1s, I cannot lose any weight no matter how hard I try. I know this is long,please bear with me.
My entire life before and after diagnosis I was thin, very thin. Back then in 1990 when dx'd, I was taught exchanges for my meal plan and have honestly always done that and eaten pretty much what I wanted with no problems with weight gain or blood sugars - I've always maintained excellent control. I did not start the pump until I got pregnant at 36 yrs old and I was never taught carb counting. I was thin until I went on Lantus at about age 32 and then gained about 12 lbs but still was slim around 137 lbs at 5'6" (which I thought that was fat! ha!). During pregnancy, I gained a TON of weight and have never been able to shed it all, 6 years later. I need to lose about 16 lbs. to get back to 137 lbs. just to feel Ok about myself. For 6 years since having my only child, I've tried everything to lose weight - Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, boot camps, counting calories, etc. etc. The most I've lost is about 6 lbs on Nutrisystem in 1 month and then it came right back after I stopped that program and ate normal food. I am frustrated and depressed and feel very badly about myself. I don't want to be super skinny, I am realistic, I just want to be a good healthy weight for my height and at 155 lbs now I am not. I sure can maintain a weight though, I stay about the same.
I have talked over and over with my endo about this and he's not really much help - just tells me it's "calories in/calories burned" to lose, but I've done that and it does not work for me. I've researched some about doing low-carb and am ready to try it but I wanted to hear others' experiences about it. I have a call into the endo to get set up with a nutritionist to help me, but in the meantime, I'd like to get started ASAP as it's summer and again, I am still too big. I want to lose even just 5 lbs and I'd be happy at this point but need to lose 16 eventually.
How many grams of carbs a day should I stick to to lose weight? I can't go no-carb, I love carbs and I get really hungry without them - I tried Atkins and last about 2 days. Something has to work at some point right? I want to know the best formula for losing with what other type 1s have had success with - how many carbs per day, what types, how much protein,etc? If I do this, what can I expect to lose per week and how long should it take? What have been others' experiences?
I have recently started exercising again doing Zumba 2x per week and walking 3 other days.
I am motivated, I just want something that will finally work for me.I refuse to believe type 1s cannot ever lose weight and I have to be this way forever! I am sorry this is so long, I am just sad and frustrated. Any help and advice would be very appreciated!
FWIW, Here is my story. The only thing we have in common is T1D. I am male (so never pregnant) and I have never had a real significant weight problem. My one and only child hasn't been 6 for 29 years, and she is out of the house. My highest was 185 lbs and I wasn't fat, but didn't like the way I looked or felt. My 3-step plan has me down to 160 lbs, my energy level is up and I am using less insulin than ever. (BTW, It took two years!)
For me at least, carbs don't matter (pizza and white rice does)! The most important thing to realize is that diets won't work, but changing your eating and exercise habits will.
1 - Portion Size! Pay very close attention to how much you are eating at any one meal. Ease your way into eating smaller quantities. My sandwiches always had at least 4 slices of meat and 3 - 4 slices of cheese on them. I now have 2 slices of meat and 1 - 2 slices of cheese. Plus, I have loaded them up with lettuce, cucumber, sprouts, bell pepper slices, tomatoes, etc., depending on what's in season.
2 - Time-shift your Calories! Move your biggest meal to an earlier part of the day. IOW, don't eat a big dinner, go to bed and expect to lose weight. Another alternative is to have smaller and more frequent meals.
3 - Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! Exercise makes your body burn calories more efficiently, plus it can lower your Total Daily Insulin Dose (TDD) and make you more sensitive to insulin. Zumba is good, but not enough! Yoga and a muscle toning program like Body Pump are also important.
For recipes, there are a lot of good recipes on-line @ cooks.com, foodnetwork.com and allrecipes.com. I actually just type things into google like "chicken scaloppini" and adapt the recipes to what I have on hand.
Remember that you didn't put on extra weight all at once, and it won't come off all at once. Focus more on the steps above, throw away your scales and the weight will come off for NEXT summer and all the summers after that!
You can do it!
that is great advice, Mike. I was just diagnosed 6 months ago and dont have any weight problems, have kept 0ff the ten pounds or so i lost before diagnosis, but im basically doing what youve advised and it seems to be working.
0ne thing i do t0 keep myself from snacking on cheese and nuts ALL the time is keep all my veg cut up and washed in tupperware in the fridge. if i feel like snacking, i can take out something and its like crudites. it also makes it easier when im making work lunches in a rush, theres never the "ill just get something at a restaurant".
Zumba is great fun, isnt it?!?
I feel your pain! I've always battled weight, since I was a teen, tho usually less than 20 lbs. Now that I'm staring down 60, it seems even harder. However, in my late 40's a YMCA opened across the street & I started water aerobics 2x/week & walking with a short jogs 4x/week and often took casual walks the 7th day. I ate according to a 1000 calorie/day plan from a dietician. Took about 3 months to start losing but then it just dropped off. In a year I had lost 40 lbs and was happy with my figure but it had become a lifestyle so I kept it up and kept losing. I wondered when it would stop. Then I got a pump and could eat anything [almost] anytime. Some other life circumstances cut into exercise time and 10 years later I've put it all back on : ( I'm sure if I got back to exercising regularly and eating carefully I would lose it all again. I've been a Type 1 for 30+ years. I've always been able to lose when I really try. The challenge is to really try! For me cutting back a bit doesn't do a thing. I have to work like crazy and eat like a bird [super slow metabolism - runs in the family]. I'm sure you can do it, too.
Particulars as best I remember:
Breakfast: 7g protein/15g carbs [yogurt]
Lunch: 14g protein/30g carbs [cottage cheese & fruit]
Dinner: 21g protein/30g carbs [salads, grilled chicken low fat ranch]
Snack: 15g carbs x 2 per day [pretzels, fruit]
Fat: As little as possible
Exercise: 1 Hr shallow water aerobics - very challenging instructor [younger women & men would try it & not be able to keep up]
Walks/Run: 2 miles in 30 mins [jog 1-2 mins 2 or 3 times per mile]
I so feel your pain. I have gained over 20 lbs in the past three years. I have been type 1 for 5 yrs and used to be 137 lbs at 5'7" which was perfect for me. I am a working mom of a toddler with very little time to exercise. (I KNOW, it's about MAKING time but that's easier said than done when you have a little one and when you use your babysitter for time at work). I also have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and am on Synthroid but who knows if the dose is right.
These are challenges but I want to overcome them. I have decided to do a true ketogenic diet, as that worked great for me when I was first diagnosed. I am going to try to get rid of some of my responsibilities so that I can go to the gym during the day. I'm going to try to get an infant seat for my bike and just try to be much more determined about the exercise. It's very hard for me mentally since it will mean blowing off a lot of other responsibilities and I tend to be stressed by having a list of things to do.
One thing that helps me is to have other people validate my choices. I know that sounds SO lame, but when my job says "give give give and neglect yourself, that's what we value here" really really loud, I need those other voices saying that it's a valid choice for me to take better care of myself and ignore other demands.
So maybe we can do that for each other here - tell each other that we're doing the right thing by taking time to be healthy.
I have type 1 and pump and have always been very active but was about 25 lbs overweight and couldn't understand why. I exercised more than most I knew but would just build muscle and never loose weight. Then I asked the guy who ran the gym I was going to and he said it was obvious, I was a "dough boy". He said stop eating dough, and anything white for that matter and I would loose weight. His idea is that if I eat bread it should be whole grain, heavy enough to hurt if he hit me with it, and no dairy. I took his advise and lost 30 lbs and felt great. I have gradually added cheese back into my diet, but stick to it for the most part and its relatively easy and very rewarding. I recently broke my leg and have not been able to exercise like I normally would but have kept the weight off for the most part just due to diet. Nothing white, no dairy... just saying.
I was exactly like you growing up, my nick name in school was "toots" because I was a toothpick, literally skin and bones, I am 5'8" so I have a bit of a height advantage but I gained a ton of weight with my pregnancy. But of course at the time the ob/gyn was perfectly ok with it. Unfortunately the weight never came off. I started carb counting last month after probably more than 10 years of sliding scale insulin. I take MDI and in just a month of decent control I have shed 7 pounds. I have been eating a bit healthier like a big salad for lunch with apple cider vinegar for dressing. I still enjoy my carbs just less of them I probably max out at about 180 grams but I am still learning the whole carb counting thing, so I am not that good at it yet. I don't do zumba or any kind of really cardio stuff but I do walk as often as I can and I play golf on the weekends as well as tennis once a week with the girls. I got on the scale this morning and was at my lowest weight since I was pregnant 20+ years ago. The endo wasn't particularly useful and the nutrtionist was far more interested in reviewing the rules for hypoglycemic events etc so she was not much help. I am planning on getting a pump when the new omnipod comes out later this year but even now, just matching the amount of insulin with what I am eating has made such a huge difference.
Dieting is hard, for sure. I think 2 days on Atkins is not long enough to get your metabolism fully switched off carbs and into fat-burning mode. You could try that again or other low carb diet for long enough that you no longer feel hungry.
Jimmy Moore has a podcast devoted to all aspects of low carb diets. Particularly about weight loss. I've listened to a handful of episodes. Most of the guests are highly partisan, but often very informative.
Thanks for everyone's continued advice and support. I wanted to update that since first posting this, I've been carb counting and eating much better and have lost 6 lbs.!! I am thrilled! I still have about 13 more pounds to go but I am steadily losing about 1 lb per week and the best part is I don't feel like I am dieting or depriving myself anymore. I have really just changed the way I eat. I still am enjoying some carbs but trying to keep it to 60-100g per day. I have omitted most packaged/processed food except for some good low-carb protein bars and the occasional low-carb ice cream bar as a treat. A huge change for me that is helping is that my snacks are now nuts, fruit or yogurt instead of chips, granola bars and crackers. My biggest weakness is still pizza, but I allow myself to have it 1x per week and instead of eating 4 pieces, I have 2 small ones and don't eat the crust. I still have a ways to go and could still improve my eating, but for the first time in 6 years, I feel like something is finally working to get rid of this excess weight. It is really slow but I feel like I can keep it off. Still having some challenges with my insulin requirements with less carbs but I have def. decreased my insulin intake overall. Which I think is helping with the weight loss. Now, that said, we are going on vacation next week and I plan to allow myself more carb and to enjoy eating out but I don't really feel like I want to gorge myself like I would have before. It's amazing how just this 6lbs loss can make me feel so much better about myself! I will update more soon as hopefully I reach my ultimate goal. Cheers!
Oh and just fyi...I never did go to the nutritionist. I just used everyone's suggestions and read about carb counting and devised a plan that worked for me. It will be interesting to see what my endo says in Aug. when I go again and I'll be lighter!
Way to go Tikicristi! Thanks for sharing your success with us! I like it when people come back with updates, particularly a successful one like yours!
Like I said, the nutritionist was pretty much useless, although she did get the I:C ratio pretty much spot on so I suppose I can thank her for that. But as you said earlier, your endo wasn't much support as far as losing weight goes, but carb counting will probably go hand in hand with an improved A1C as well so the endo should be happy about that, not that that really matters anyway, it's really how you feel, not what some doctor feels that counts.
I have found since getting my blood sugar more in control when I do go high I feel just awful so it is incentive for keeping it in range.