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How To Lose Weight While Taking Insulin

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Working With A Healthcare Team

Healthcare providers can share valuable resources with people struggling to maintain a healthy body weight.

The American Diabetes Associations 2019 guidelines state that There is not a one-size-fits-all eating pattern for individuals with diabetes, and meal planning should be individualized.

Registered dietitians can advise people about what foods to eat and avoid based on their current health status and goals. RDs can even develop personalized meal plans.

Healthcare providers can also recommend ways for people to improve their health while lowering their risk of developing diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

They can test peoples glucose and insulin levels, as well as their lipid profiles. These tests can give people an idea of their overall health status. People can use this information to track their progress toward achieving their health goals.

Certain foods can help prevent weight gain. Developing a meal plan with a balance of nutritious foods can help. Speak to a nutritionist about this, if possible.

High-quality, unprocessed foods contain less added sugar and fat. These foods increase feelings of fullness and help avoid overeating.

Foods to eat include or contain:

  • whole grains

Why A Balanced Low

Given that there are positive aspects of both a high carbohydrate and high fat diet, the combination and timing aspect brings together the better of these two approaches and is furthermore enhanced when you introduce activity. The key is to use insulin timing, which is the same as timing carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Insulin has a leveraged effect at various times of our day and especially around activity. Lets look at an example:

You plan to do an activity first thing in the morning, whether its a walk, a run or bike ride. How much do you eat?What do you eat? For any activity less than 60 minutes, its perfectly okay to eat nothing. The reason for this is that your body has an amount of stored up glucose that it can access for approximately an hour. This means you dont need to consume carbohydrate immediately to sustain this activity and it also means you wont need insulin prior to or during which means you can burn more fat.

If you are in fact hungry and need to eat prior to your activity, you should consume a small amount of good fats to satiate you until you can have your first meal of the day. Good lean proteins also work well in this way however for Type 1s, some amount of insulin may be necessary which can make the fat burning session less successful.

Whether you are very active or lightly active the balanced approach should mix the macronutrients as follows.

Less Active Individuals % of total daily calorie needs

  • Carbohydrate 30-40%

Also Check: Oatmeal Good For Diabetes

Tap Into Your Healthcare Team

Your healthcare team has a wealth of information, experience, and practical tips for navigating these waters. They can help you make a plan for weight loss and for maintaining a healthy weight. This important team may include one or more of the following healthcare professionals:

  • primary care doctor
  • exercise physiologist
  • therapist, social worker, or psychologist

Your healthcare team will help formulate your plan by assessing your current status. Theyll start looking at your body mass index , overall health status, and obstacles you may face when it comes to diet and physical activity.

They can also provide guidance for setting realistic goals based on their assessment. Numeric goals can help with your weight loss journey. Your goals may be:

  • reaching your ideal BMI
  • maintaining your ideal weight or losing a set amount of weight
  • reaching daily and weekly physical activity goals
  • changing lifestyle habits to help improve your health
  • accomplishing your goals by a certain date

You can also ask your doctors about other diabetes medications so you can reduce your insulin dosage. Some medications such as glyburide-metformin , exenatide , and pramlintide can help regulate your sugar levels and some weight loss. Your doctor will let you know if these medications are appropriate for your condition.

Make The Right Dietary Changes

How To Lose Weight While Taking Insulin

The right diet for insulin resistance can alter insulin signaling pathways to improve blood sugar control, help you lose weight, and also make you feel more energetic. A very low-calorie diet is not the best diet for insulin resistance. Because of your bodys inability to use insulin effectively to convert sugars into energy, your best bet is a low-carb diet. We do recommend a LCHF or Low Carb-High Fat diet to reverse insulin resistance. With this diet, your body starts to use dietary fats to feed the cells and become the primary source of energy, and the limited carbs ensure your blood sugar levels stay stabilized. Focus on eating more whole foods plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with quality fats and proteins. Go easy on wholesome grains after all, they are carbohydrates. Here is an elaborate article on our tips for the right diet for insulin resistance.

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Take A Close Look At Your Diet

If you are struggling with balancing insulin and blood sugar, you should aim to reduce carbohydrates from your diet. That means no sugar, white flour, or sweet drinks, and a reduction overall in grains, noodles, rice and other starches. Try to eliminate or at least limit alcohol as well. Eating more protein, fats, vegetables and a fruit a day, healthy whole foods, can make a big difference.

How Does It Work For Weight Loss

GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic help to control your blood sugar, but people taking them also tend to lose weight. GLP-1, the key hormone involved, slows down how fast your stomach empties food . And in addition to causing your pancreas to release insulin, it also blocks a hormone that causes your liver to release sugar.

Together, these functions can help you feel less hungry, causing you to eat less food and lose more weight.

Also Check: What Are The Side Effects To Metformin

How Can You Manage Your Weight When You Take Insulin

Doctors stress that taking less insulin than what your doctor recommends or stopping it altogetheris not the way to go. Stopping insulin use in order to lose weight is a dangerous strategy that may lead to an emergency called diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome,Disha Narang, M.D., an endocrinologist at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition that can lead to a diabetic coma or even kill you, the ADA says. Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome can also cause a coma, the Cleveland Clinic says.

Instead, they suggest keeping tabs on what youre eating. If you are aiming to lose weight, you can try decreasing the number of carbohydrates in your meals and increasing vegetables and lean proteins, Dr. Oxman says. That should naturally lower your insulin doses and help with weight loss over time.

If you notice youre gaining weight and it bothers you, Dr. Schutta suggests checking in with your doctor about the type of insulin youre using and the timing of it. You can try to anticipate how much short-acting insulin youll need before your meal and take it 15 minutes before you eat, he says. If youre able to time it right, you have a better chance of making it peak at the time your blood sugar is peakingthats what you want it to do. If you time it that way, youre ultimately going to need less insulin.

Weight And Type 2 Diabetes

Why Is It Difficult to Lose Weight While Taking Medications for Diabetes – Bryan Stone, MD

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the insulin doesn’t work in the body like it should and blood sugar levels get too high. Most kids and teens are overweight when they’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Also, weight gain in people with type 2 diabetes makes blood sugar levels even harder to control.

People with type 2 diabetes have a condition called insulin resistance. They’re able to make insulin, but their bodies can’t use it properly to move glucose into the cells. So, the amount of glucose in the blood rises. The pancreas then makes more insulin to try to overcome this problem.

Eventually, the pancreas can wear out from working so hard and might not be able to make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range. At this point, a person has type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance gets better with a combination of weight loss and exercise. For people with type 2 diabetes, getting to a healthy weight and exercising regularly makes it easier to reach target blood sugar levels. And, in some cases, the body’s ability to control blood sugar may even return to normal.

Insulin resistance can happen in people without diabetes, but it puts them at a higher risk for developing the disease. For overweight people without type 2 diabetes, losing weight and exercising can cut their risk of developing the disease.

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Does Metformin Cause Weight Gain

Metformin is a biguanide. Besides the fact that its the most widespread type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance medication, its also the most powerful of its class.

Biguanides work by blocking glucose production in the liver. By impairing gluconeogenesis, it doesnt elevate insulin levels. For this reason, metformin doesnt support hypoglycemia and weight gain.

With this in mind, metformin also isnt worsening diabetes and obesity. Nevertheless, its also not fighting those diseases or weight gain. Hence, metformin is weight neutral .

Although metformin doesnt cause weight gain, it comes with the most common problem of medication.

Metformin is just targeting the symptom, not the root cause.

Since it cant fight the root cause of the diseases, hyperinsulinemia, metformin also cant reverse insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, metformin is big business for big pharma, because it doesnt take away the illness, but impairs its development.

Once youve started taking it, you almost cant stop using metformin.

And the effective dosage of the drug needs to be increased over time, again and again.

In conclusion, it needs diet and lifestyle changes to reverse insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes sustainably.

Weight Loss Can Protect Your Health In Many Ways

If youve recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and have been advised to lose weight, you’re probably saying to yourself: “easier said then done,” or more likely, “don’t you think I’ve tried everything to do that already?!”

Understanding how to achieve lasting weight loss starts with a focused assessment of how you are currently eating so you can pinpoint habits that may be holding you back from succeeding.

For many, the best way to do this may be to work with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to help you design a plan that will work for youa healthy meal plan, physical activity, and to set realistic goals to help you reach a healthy weight.

Eating to beat diabetes is much more about making wise food adjustments than it is about denial and deprivation. A better way to look at a diet when you have diabetes is one that helps you establish a new normal when it comes to your eating habits and food choices.

There are many advantages to losing weight :

  • You will feel a boost in energy
  • Your blood cholesterol levels will drop
  • You’ll gain protect against heart disease
  • Controlling your blood sugar will be much easier, and will reduce the need for medication
  • It will lead to improved hemoglobin A1c levels
  • You will likely sleep better since it will reduce your risk for sleep apnea

There are 3 food-related factors that lead to weight gain:

Recommended Reading: Symptoms Of Diabetes Onset In Adults

Losing Weight And Insulin Resistance

Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body and helps your cells convert blood sugar into energy. In some people with diabetes, however, blood sugar levels are high for a sustained period of time, causing the pancreas to produce more and more insulin. Eventually, the cells stop responding to that insulinbecoming insulin resistant. Losing weight with insulin resistance is more difficult because your body converts blood sugar into fat instead of energy.

The solution? For a start, reducing the sugar and processed carbohydrates in your diet while increasing healthy fats along with vegetables and whole grains. Even a small improvement can make a big difference. Studies show that a weight loss of just 57 percent is enough to reduce the risk of diabetes by 58 percent in a person who has a high risk of the condition.

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How Does Insulin Cause Weight Gain

We now knowthat insulin functions in the body as the primary regulator of energy storageand energy balance. With this in mind, we can add the hypothesis that its alsothe critical regulator of body weight in the brain.

That means insulin also functions in the body by triggering the hypothalamus to up-regulate weight.

As a result, appetite rises, and we want to eat. Like many other things, the brain centrally controls weight gain through the nervous system.

In this case, the function of the hypothalamus uses hormones to execute regulations through the endocrine system. We do not consciously regulate essential body functions like heart rate, breathing, or basal metabolic rate.

Furthermore, hormones regulate anything related to metabolism. In the body weight set point theory, insulin and weight gain are in a cause-and-effect relationship since its the triggering messenger.

Given that, people with high insulin levels should gain weight easier.

And studies have found this aspect of the body weight set point theory to be correct. Not only do obese patients insulin levels after an overnight fast, but they also react with stronger insulin responses .

On top ofthat, insulin levels remain high in obese subjects after a meal for a prolongedtime, while in lean subjects, they quickly drop back to a healthy range.

Moreover, there is a strong correlation between high fasting insulin levels, waist to hip ratio, BMI, and obesity . But is the relationship causal too?

Is Metabolic Syndrome Reversible

Metabolic syndrome itself might not come with any symptoms, but the serious health conditions that are silently occurring in this syndrome can lead to very serious and catastrophic complications.

For instance, symptoms of diabetes can range from inconvenient to more severe . And letâs not forget the increase risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

âThere are several risk factors for developing metabolic syndrome, many of which are modifiable making it possible to either prevent or reverse this syndrome if permanent cellular damage has not yet been caused,â explains Dr. Saint Andre.

However, Dr. Saint Andre adds that if several conditions associated with this syndrome run in your family, such as type 2 diabetes or obesity, you will need to work harder to prevent it than someone who doesnât have a genetic predisposition.

And, if you already have significant damage to your heart, blood vessels and other organs, metabolic syndrome is much harder to reverse.

âThis is why itâs extremely important to prevent metabolic syndrome or seek treatment as early as possible if itâs already present,â says Dr. Saint Andre.

If your doctor warns you about or diagnoses metabolic syndrome, consider taking these important steps to preventing or reversing it:

Also Check: Is Greek Yogurt Okay For Diabetics

Struggling To Cook Healthy We’ll Help You Prep

If solving for X is simple algebra for a normal overweight person, solving for X is quantum physics for someone on an insulin pump. And Im learning quantum physics on the fly.

I have had diabetes for nearly 15 years. I have a version of the disease often called type 1.5 . It started out as classic type 2 diabeteseven though I was athletic and of normal weight. Over the years Ive progressed to the point where I take insulin for every meal.

Last year I got an insulin pump, which allows me to inject doses when I eat. The pump also injects insulin at a particular rate over the course of the day. It has taken me nearly a year to get the pump and my body in sync. Our bodies, unfortunately, are not computers. They react to stress, to hormonal and emotional changes, to illnesseven to seasonal changes. And that can throw off the carefully calibrated insulin doses doled out by my pump.

Habitual behavioreating the same foods and exercising the same way at the same timesmakes managing diabetes easier. The body gets into a predictable rhythm. But changing rhythm can have substantial challenges.

Since I started my weight-loss effort, these lows are occurring several times a week. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience dealing with the highs and lows of diabetes. And I test my blood sugar levels regularly to head off these problems and recalibrate. Still, it makes losing weight all the more challenging.


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