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losing weight with type 1 diabetes

I'm 21 years old in college, and I have had type 1 diabetes for 12 years now, and i have always eaten good, and exercised regularly, but just recently, i wanted to lose some weight, around 10 pounds, but for some reason i am finding it really hard to lose weight.  I work out about 3-4 times a week. Usually i do a lot of cardio to burn the calories, so about 2 miles on the treadmill.  But i still cant lose any weight.  I was just wondering if being diabetic had something to do with that.  I already know that its harder for girls to lose weight then men, but its just very frustrating at times.  Anyone know what i can do?

11 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear lyn01,
I am a volunteer and not a physician and can only tell you my own personal experience. It would be helpful to know what your bs or A1C are running. I know that your metabolism may have something to do with this. You stated that you are eating well and excercising. I have been researching  this issue and have not found any different studies between men and women losing weight with type 1. You didn't say if you are lifting weights or doing strength training. This can add muscle and toning and can cause a bit of weight gain. I know how frustrating this can be. College also can be full of stress and this may effect your goal. Please let me look into this further and I will post soon. You will probably get posts from others so keep in touch. You raise a very interesting question and we have other members who will contribute with more info. I will go through my research and let you know.
Thank you so much for reaching out to our forum.
Take Care,
Avatar universal
I had another related question. I'm also a college student (19 years old) and somewhat overweight. I'm in fairly good control and follow a fairly healthy diet. Exercising sufficiently is rather difficult because chronic knee and shoulder injuries from high school football make many cardio and strength training exercises painful/impossible to do efficiently. Though I am in the process of attempting to fix these ailments, I was wondering if there were any addition aids to weight loss that a diabetic could use (i.e. medications, etc.). I appreciate the help.
Avatar universal
Dear Doc1490,

As a volunteer and a mom wth a son with diabetes, I can only give you my own personal experience. While I am not a doctor, I would like to know if you are counting your carbs? If you are following a good diet and counting your carbs it can be very helpful. I also understand painful joints and,swimming, because of the fluid motion, can be very helpful. It can relieve stress on the joints and give you a great workout.

I would also like to see you to scroll back to "need help" on 1/20/04 for an added comment.

Keep in Touch,
Avatar universal
One of the best exercises, because of the cardio workout and very low impact ... is swimming.  I'm a lousy swimmer (I don't breathe right in the water), but whenever I swim I notice that I've burned LOTS of calories and normally lower the basal rate on my pump, so I don't have to increase my food intake.  For folks who can't put stress on knees, swimming can be a great workout.

For the young woman trying to lose weight, doing weight work will help you build muscle. All else equal, the more lean muscle we have, the more efficiently we metabolize our food.  Even tho' muscle weighs more and our weight may only change marginally, as we develop our muscles, we'll look more fit and trim.

I'm not a physician, but I've been diabetic since I was a teen (I'm now 48) and I remember my college days well.  While I didn't think of it this way at the time, there was a LOT of "body image" comparisons going on.  Almost every girl I knew was wanting to slim down and yet none of was overweight.  It's very hard to lose weight when we're at or close to our healthy weight; perhaps it's our body's way of protecting its health.

One thing I'll plead with you *not* to do, however, is to cut your insulin, create ketoacidosis, and starve yourself into losing weight.  Tragically, many young women (moreso than young men) use this dangerous method to lose weight.  In doing so, they often cause irreparable organ damage and never do end up "looking" the way they long to.  If you find yourself flirting with that type of weight loss bullet, please please please visit your doctor, the college health center/infirmary and ask for help to overcome that problem.  It is shockingly common for teen girls and young adult girls to have diabetes and anorexia or bulemia.  Those conditions are treatable.
Avatar universal
My eating habits are normal for the most part, I could never give up food, so the thought of becoming anorexic was never an option.  I don't even eat that many carbs, but if i do, I am an active person so I burn the calories, but still i am seriously thinking its imposible to lose weight...my friend works out with me, who weighs the same as me, but she isnt diabetic, but she will lose weight so much easier.  Its just not fair, because we do the same exact thing, but i can't lose a single pound, but of course i can gain weight.  I used to do some weight training, with lifting weights to build muscle, but then i noticed when i weighed myself, i had put on weight, because muscle weighs more than fat...and i mean i know i didnt put on any more fat, but i still didnt want to weigh any more than i did, so now i will only do cardio, any kind of cardio.  But yeah college is tough being a girl, and no i am not overweight, i mean i am really healthy looking, but spring break is coming up, and i would just really benefit losing some weight...i would love to swim to burn the calories, but its hard getting access to a pool, the gym i go too doesnt have one, so treadmills are my only option as of now, i just thought for some reason that being diabetic had somehting to do with losing weight...oh well, either way i am still going to try!! :)
Avatar universal
Dear Lyn01,

    Just as an aside, is your priority to have a more toned, trimmer appearance in wanting to lose weight or is it health related? Because if it is primarily an appearance/feeling, even though you may gain weight numerically, you'll probably end up losing inches. For example, even though I weigh just over 200lbs, I'm about as slim as many of my friends of equivalent heights who weigh like 180 or less. I gained a lot of muscle mass from football weight training but I ended up slimmer overall. Just a thought.
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