I'm new here and am wondering if I could ask the ladies who pump a personal question. I have been struggling to lose weight for years but it's not happening . I'm a type 1 and was dx'd at 33, I'm now almost 43. I've gained about 25 lbs since then and have been trying unsuccessfully to lose just 10. I've constantly wondered if how much insulin I use plays any role...For example, I weigh about 135 and take between 35-40 units a day of apidra. I wonder if I am able to get my TDD down by eating less carbs and exercising more, would that be the magic bullet? I've tried low-carb in the past and I must say my willpower, or lack thereof, always gets the best of me. I'm just really curious as to whether there is any kind of trend with how much insulin you need and how much you weigh? Thanks to all who respond!
I weighed 115ish when I was on MDI, taking 65+ units a day. I now weigh 145, after 3.5 years on the pump, in which I take about 50 units a day. So for me, it seems the opposite!
Hi Lisa, I was dx at 40 a year ago, put a lot of weight on initially, went low carb and have lost 30lbs and am back down to a nice lowish weight. I do a lot of yoga, my work is quite physical and I don't feel deprived food-wise. I eat a lot more fat and protein and get most of my carbs from leafy greens and the odd red grapefruit. When I'm desparate for carbs I stir wheatbran into tahini. High calorie but heavenly. It doesn't have to be a will power issue, just find what you love in the no carb sections. You can do it xx
I'm not a lady but have dropped about 95 lbs slowly and steadily since 2006 by eating less carbs? I used to eat sandwich, chips, yogurt and an apple for lunch (apples are ***good*** right?) and now I eat a 1/2 of a sandwich. Some of it is that work is totally nutso and I don't have time but keeping an eye on the TDD and generally cutting carbs out here and there has been a magic bullet for me. I have exercised a lot too but read Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat recently and he suggests that cutting out carbs is more important than exercising a ton as, particularly w/ T1, it's challenging to avoid replacing what you burn off with food. I haven't ever really done totally low carb but look for bits and pieces to cut out. I am also very regular in my eating habits, as it makes it easier to get good data to make changes from. Work is so busy, I don't really take much time to eat and justtoss it down the hatch.
Weight control is a genetic issue for many people, not just diabetics. Plus, as you age, your metabolism gets slower, and if you keep eating like you did in your 20's, you will naturally put on weight.
The real issue is how to get full on what you eat without eating too much. At a talk by a nutrition researcher at AADE last August, I learned that it is protein that causes satiety (feelings of fullness) in the brain. And she said to eat the protein first. You don't have to limit your amount of protein, because the body naturally regulates it -- like, you get sick of steak and can't finish it if you're given a 2-lb. helping! Then eat the vegetables, as many as you want, but especially the low-carb ones like leafy greens. And then treat yourself to the carbs last. If you're already basically full, you won't want so much. A tiny bit of bread, or a bite of potatoes will be enough.
Notice that I haven't mentioned insulin at all. Non-diabetics' bodies are making just as much insulin as they need for their food, and you need to inject as much as YOU need for your food. It's not the insulin that made you gain weight -- it was the amount of food, and particularly carbs, if you're eating a lot of them to try to satisfy hunger. If you get more protein to satisfy your hunger, then you can cut down on your carbs without cutting them out.
I know it's hard to get protein on a vegetarian diet, but you don't have to eat meat. Just increase the sources of protein that you DO eat -- cheese is more concentrated protein than milk is, eggs are good, tofu in a stir-fry is good (don't fall prey to the soy hysteria -- Asians have been eating soy in many forms for millennia, and have suffered no ill effects), and a few nuts also help. Fish, if you eat it (but you don't have to).
Keep us posted on your progress! :-)
I won't repeat what Natalie said, suffice it to say I agree. In a sense, the amount of insulin you take does have an effect on your weight. If you are eating a lot of carbs, you need more bolus insulin, so your TDD goes up. Fewer carbs, less insulin. So if you can reduce your TDD by reducing bolus insulin because you're eating fewer carbs....
Low carb has really worked well for me (though not for everyone!). I eat <30 carbs a day except for the occasional pig-outs, like our terrier awards banquet the other night. As Natalie said, if I'm hungry I eat some protein/fat. Love those spoonsful of chunky peanut butter ;)
There is a tendency among some of us on exogenous insulin to think of it as something that needs to be 'rationed', believing that it causes weight gain.
One of my diabetes doctors gave me a new way of looking at it. She said that if we were to sit down and hypothetically, calculate her insulin TDD and mine, hers would be higher than mine. Simply because I eat low carb and she eats high carb. Hypothetical, because she's not diabetic, so her body just pumps out what she needs. But she comes from a family where everybody is tall and thin and I come from a family where everybody is short and fat and that plays a much bigger role than the TDD of insulin.
On a different note, being currently 33 weeks pregnant has also given me a new perspective on insulin TDD. I've reached the stage where I currently need 1 unit of insulin to cover 1 gram of carb. Even on a lowish carb diet, that means upwards of 100 units of quick-acting insulin a day, with 19 basal on top of that. It's a buttload of insulin, 2.5-3 times what I used to take, and I really thought it would make me balloon up. But I have the smallest bump ever seen by my obstetrician and I can still wear most of my normal clothes.
Ack, that's a lot of insulin! But I bet it's a cute bump! Congrats!
Congrats Lila, best of luck with the remaining weeks of your pregnancy. I was fortunate that my diabetes diagnosis didn't come until right after my kids. Happy Thanksgiving!
Lowering carbs & therefore taking less insulin is a successful way to lose weight. Though exercise is important, particularly the type that increases muscle mass to improve insulin sensitivity, you can't exercise much weight off.
I weigh 103 lbs. My TDD is typically 23 units (MDI--Apidra & Levemir). I eat very low carb, so TDD should be less. But, I'm hypothyroid & that appears to increase insulin needs.
Just curious what you think your ideal TDD should be? What it seems to indicate to me is that we're each a unique and complicated mix of hormones, enzymes, degree of insulin resistance (NOT necessarily related to body weight) chemical reactions, etc. and that comparison is futile. This is particularly important for Type 2's, who may feel ashamed by how much insulin they're taking, and for those (like me) who tend to set a maximum daily dose, and then feel guilty when I do feast and go over that mark. As if taking less insulin was a badge of honor!
Thanks everyone for all the helpful information. I think I am definitely going to try to go lower carb, but probably not anywhere near as low-carb as some of you, and definitely not until after turkey day... I do exercise, I jog on a treadmill, but maybe I need to increase that as well. Like I said I only need to lose about 10 lbs - I just wish it wasn't so hard. I've never had a weight problem in my life, so this is new for me. I really appreciate all the input! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!