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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My doctor told me to lose weight, but he did not really tell me how. I am walking now up to two miles a day and I am starving, I think. Any weight loss tips for this diabetic would be so greatly appreciated, thank you.
Losing weight is a wonderful thing for any diabetic that needs to. And yes, most doctors are about as helpful as a big pile of weeds when it comes to weight loss advice.

There's a few key points to remember when losing weight:

Key #1:
Eat enough to fuel the machine. We all require a certain amount of calories in order to keep out of 'Starvation Mode'. (In starvation mode your body doesn't burn fat for it's calories, because it feels it must maintain those stores, so you lose a little fat and a lot of muscle. Starvation Mode also causes reduced energy levels, making weight loss even more difficult.)

That amount of calories required is different for everyone, but for MOST people it's a number very similar to their BMR (Base Metabolic Rate).

To calculate your BMR, you can use an online calculator such as this one or this one. (The second calculator I linked to also calculates daily calorie needs based on various energy outputs, so it's handy for us also...)

It is also helpful to calculate the BMR for your GOAL weight. That is the number of calories you NEVER want to drop below. It's a sure bet that you'll stay in starvation mode if you take in fewer calories than the BMR of your goal weight.

Also of note, if you're heavily muscled, your BMR will be higher than what the calculator shows, simply because muscle on it's own burns fuel just by 'being'. The calculators can only use an 'average' person for their estimations.

Key #2:
Exercise Daily. Both aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, cycling, rowing, etc.) and anaerobic exercise (weight/resistance training, etc.) are excellent and you should try to do BOTH if possible. Both help with fat loss, but weight/resistance training will also help build muscle - which increases your metabolism and further assists you in burning fat.

Most experts agree that 30 minutes minimum is required for improved health - but current research shows this can be split into more than one session per day if time or physical ability doesn't permit one longer session. I personally feel that 45 minutes to an hour should be most people's minimums, but we're all different. Right now I exercise anywhere from 45 minutes to nearly 3 hours, depending on the day.

Key #3:
Diet. And I do NOT mean something you adopt for a short time. As diabetics our diet is a lifestyle choice that we need to be strict with, and maintain forever in order to stay healthy.

Low-Carb with a balance of healthy protein and fat is your best option when losing weight, whether diabetic or not. For most active (daily-exercising) people I would recommend 10g of carbohydrate for every 300 calories they consume. If eating 1500 calories per day, this works out to 50g of carbohydrate daily. If eating 3600 calories per day, up to 120g of carbohydrate may be appropriate. (Again, we are ALL different and your ability to tolerate carbs may differ from the norm. If you can eat more carbohydrate with no effects on blood sugar, that's great. Conversely, if you must eat less carbohydrate to maintain healthy levels, then that's what you MUST do.)

One of the main reasons for low-carb, even for non-diabetics, is to get into or close to a state of ketosis. In ketosis the body utilizes fats for fuel MUCH more than it does muscle, so you maintain most of your healthy muscle mass while losing weight.

For those whose body is used to ketosis, getting into that state is usually not difficult, and we can do it while eating a balance of healthy fat and protein. Others may need to eat more fat and less protein to achieve the same result. Tailor your diet accordingly if you're not losing the weight you want, and do NOT be afraid to increase fat intake. Remember, dietary fat intake does NOT increase blood cholesterol levels in low-carb dieters. (Research shows that it's high-fat combined with high-carb that increases your cholesterol to unhealthy levels.)

Key #4:
Calories. Remember when I talked about the BMR (Base Metabolic Rate)? Now we're going to take that base rate, and add to it your calories burned based on your activity level, to get your estimated daily requirements. Use this calculator, being as accurate as possible when entering your activity level amounts (read the descriptions carefully) to determine that amount.

Once you have your daily requirement, subtract 500 calories per day for weight loss of 1 pound per week, 1000 calories per day could result in 2 pounds per week.

Using me as an example, the calculator determines a BMR of 2,141 calories, and an activity level of 2,587 calories based on yesterday's activity. This is 4728 calories combined. Yesterday I consumed 3,500 calories for a deficit of just of 1,200 calories that day. This caloric intake keeps me well above my BMR (staying out of starvation mode), but allows over 2 lbs of week of weight loss if I maintained that caloric intake and activity output for the week.

Key #5:
Meals - smaller meals, more often (if you can.) This isn't something everyone can do, because it involves more 'prep. time' than some people have available. But if you can, it's best to spread those daily calories into 5 or 6 meals rather than 3.

There's various research to support this, but the general accepted belief is that 1) blood glucose and insulin levels are balanced by eating smaller meals more often, and 2) metabolism is slightly increased by the act of digestion itself, assisting weight loss and 3) energy levels are often more stable throughout the day with more frequent, smaller meals.

If you can, try to plan the meals with a similar macronutrient profile - meaning they should have a similar amount of carb/protein/fat in each meal if possible. (Exactness is NOT required.) The reason for this is that first phase insulin response is based on your previous meal - so you want to balance the amount of carbs in each meal as much as possible so you don't end up with excess insulin in your system. (For insulin-dependent diabetics this may not be an issue - but for non-diabetics, or diabetics with an insulin response, it's important.) Remember that excess insulin in the system leads to fat storage and hunger/cravings. So we want to balance that response as much as possible to give us the best chance at losing weight.

Key #6:
2 + 2 = 5.
I know what you're thinking... "What???" What I mean by this is that DIET and EXERCISE combined contribute to more than 2x the weight loss than either can alone.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that if diet and exercise will allow 2 pounds of weight loss per week, that one without the other will still allow for 1/2 that. Although it sounds reasonable, it just doesn't work that way.

Without the proper diet, or the proper exercise routine, your weight loss will slow or even stall. Both are important, and combined they are worth more than the sum of their parts. I hope that makes sense.

Key #7:
Shake it up occasionally. If you're always having X calories and Y exercise, your body will become accustomed to that. I currently eat anywhere from 3,000 to 4,200 calories a day - every day is different. I also exercise anywhere from NONE (I take Sunday off from exercise) to 45 minutes (when I do core/abdominal/floor work) to 2.5 hours (long-distance cycling) and eat for that day appropriate to my activity output.

If you have the same caloric intake all the time, your body might decide it has a 'set point' where it wants to stay. When you suddenly eat 30% more one day, it realizes that it's not stuck at this intake, and won't keep things in reserve.

It's been common practice for bodybuilders to have a 'cheat day' once a week where they eat virtually anything they want... we don't have that luxury as diabetics, but I find that adding more calories in on certain days (and keeping my activity appropriate to the caloric intake) has a similar effect.

Also, if you find you're NOT losing weight at the pace you want, you may want to 'shake up' your exercise or diet routine, adding/subtracting to one or the other in order to find what works best for you. We ARE all different, after all.

Key #8:
Stay Positive! Remember that it's not always easy, and some days are better than others. There will be good days and bad days. Good workouts and bad workouts. And some of us will slip or stumble and need to pick ourselves up again.

Never get too down on yourself if you have a bad day/workout, etc. Just remind yourself of why it's important, and commit to do better and get back on that wagon!
 

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my doctor toldme not to worry about exercise or taking my readings until my suger is below 200 ( I was almost 700 for the first week of treatment but it was less than 400 on thursday ).

Right now if I get on my elliptical for more than 3 min, I am super dizzy. How long do you think it will take for me to be able to exercise? Did you start out exercising at least 1/2 hour every day? I do go to a pool to walk/swim for 20 min about twice a month... been doing that for the past 6 months before I knew I was type 2.

Wouldnt it just be better for me to push thru it and exercise? I want off these shots and meds so I will torture myself to get this done.
 
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my doctor toldme not to worry about exercise or taking my readings until my suger is below 200 ( I was almost 700 for the first week of treatment but it was less than 400 on thursday ).

Right now if I get on my elliptical for more than 3 min, I am super dizzy. How long do you think it will take for me to be able to exercise? Did you start out exercising at least 1/2 hour every day? I do go to a pool to walk/swim for 20 min about twice a month... been doing that for the past 6 months before I knew I was type 2.

Wouldnt it just be better for me to push thru it and exercise? I want off these shots and meds so I will torture myself to get this done.

Usually if bgs are higher than 250, it can be easy to get dehydrated which may make bgs even higher and push it into dangerous territory. At first, diet is super important. Eliminate as many carbs as possible. When you get your bgs below 200, I would start a walking program. I would start with 15 minutes, once or twice a day. If you can handle that add a minute or two every few days. Also get some light weights and stretch bands. I keep mine in front of the TV. When a commercial hits I will do some bicept curls, tricept pulls or use the bands to stretch. Even 10 minutes here and there will help. As you get stronger you can increase exercise. Also when you exercise be aware that some type 2's ( like me) actually increase my bgs from stress hormones. I still exercise, but I am aware of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I was diagnosed I started riding by bike. My first ride was less than a half a mile. Just start out easy and add a little once a week. Don't and I mean Don't Don't push yourself. Take your time and enjoy it.

After a year of riding my last ride was 73 miles. You will get better.
What Murph says is sage advice. Just keep at it - at a pace you can maintain.

Like Murph I started riding when diagnosed. I had DIFFICULTY going over 5 minutes. Real difficulty. Now I go for 3-4 hour rides. That's in only 5 months of training.

Keep it up, it gets easier and better!
 

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Any suggestions on how to 'tweak' these guidelines for a person like myself who is on insulin, sedentary and over 65? My doctor also told me to 'watch it and lose weight', but he doesn't give suggestions. I have other medical conditions in addition to "D".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Any suggestions on how to 'tweak' these guidelines for a person like myself who is on insulin, sedentary and over 65? My doctor also told me to 'watch it and lose weight', but he doesn't give suggestions. I have other medical conditions in addition to "D".
One of the biggest things you can do is eat as low-carb as is possible given whatever conditions you have. This will not only help you with weight-loss, but can also help reduce amounts of bolus insulin required.

As for other tweaks, it depends on what you can do... For myself, my spinal condition prevents me from doing anything other than cycling or swimming - and where I live swimming is too expensive... so I cycle. For most of us there is SOMETHING we can do for exercise. The key is to find that thing, and do it.

I'm sure there's many of us that can offer advice / tweaks if you can give us a bit more information on your condition, and your physical needs.
 

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Among my 'other' medical conditions are - hypertension, high cholesterol, low thyroid, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, type 1 diabetes and apnea. I'm not proud of who I am anymore - maybe I never was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Among my 'other' medical conditions are - hypertension, high cholesterol, low thyroid, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, type 1 diabetes and apnea. I'm not proud of who I am anymore - maybe I never was.
Hey, don't feel bad at all, Strawberry. I felt like CRAP myself, but I did manage to pull myself out of that hole. We're very alike in a lot of ways, let me go through a few here:

I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in 2007, so I know what that's like. When I did the sleep study I was having 57 'events' per hour, basically stopping breathing and slightly waking once every minute. Not very good sleep. I've had my CPAP device since diagnosis.

I'm also slightly hypertensive, and that doesn't seem to be fixing itself... I think some damage was done that's just irreparable. But I'm fixing what I CAN to get as healthy as possible.

I have osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.

My disc in L5/S1 has a tear that has never healed, and I'm told never will, so any pressure can cause it to herniate. The disc in L4/L5 is pretty much gone also.

The osteoarthritis was likely caused by a bicycle crash I experienced 21 years ago - the surgeons I've seen indicate that the level of osteoarthritis present at my age is usually caused by an unknown spinal injury from years past, and that's the most likely culprit.

The stenosis is caused mostly by the arthritis. I have both central canal stenosis and bilateral nerve root impingement in the L4/L5 and L5/S1 areas. This causes muscle weakness, numbness, tingling and occasionally sciatic pain.

With the way my back is I can't stand for more than a few minutes without severe pain. The same goes for walking ... I can walk a block or two at most, no more, until the pain becomes crippling.

When I was referred to the surgeons they basically said there was nothing they could do for me because of my weight, that as a 300+ lb man, recovery/healing was going to be compromised and it wasn't worth even putting me into a queue at the time. (With the weight loss my doctor has since re-referred me, so we'll see what they say now.)

When they also told me I was diabetic, I initially felt it was 'the nail in the coffin' so-to-speak. That with everything else in my life, I was probably not going to live much longer... or what life I had was going to SUCK.

Then somewhere, somehow, I managed to change that thinking. I knew that the best things for me would be weight loss, and I needed to somehow exercise.

It wasn't easy . . . I started on a 'free' exercise bike that was NOT designed for big people... I probably looked like a giant flailing about wildly on a child's tricycle... The poor thing nearly flew apart many times. But once I realized I both COULD and WOULD ride it, I bought a more-expensive spin bike and started spinning.

That spinning, combined with diet, is what I credit with saving my life. Once I lost 30 lbs (pretty much the first month) I knew I could do this, and became driven to do such.

So, as some have asked ... here's a BEFORE picture...



This was me at my son's 14th birthday, which was held in September of this year . . . Yeah, I was a fatty... I don't have anything from closer to when I was diagnosed because I usually didn't let people take pictures of me...

I'll get some pics tonight or tomorrow to post something recent so you can see the fairly dramatic change.

The point is though, regardless of your physical condition, you CAN do it. If I can, anyone can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
... and I finally got one of my kids to take a quick picture... kind of washed out, but here's me as-of today:



There's quite a change in the before and after... Still a ways to go, lots of loose skin on me that I hope tightens up, but it's SO much better than it was.

If I look tired it's because I just finished some biking...
 

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... and I finally got one of my kids to take a quick picture... kind of washed out, but here's me as-of today:

There's quite a change in the before and after... Still a ways to go, lots of loose skin on me that I hope tightens up, but it's SO much better than it was.

If I look tired it's because I just finished some biking...
You look like a happy man to me! Thanks for troubling to get us a picture! :D
 

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There's quite a change in the before and after... Still a ways to go, lots of loose skin on me that I hope tightens up,
Loose skin? Seriously? You surely know how to stash it out of sight. Maybe you left it in the house.

You've done so well! I continue to be in awe of all you've accomplished, period - much less with your disability. You're truly an inspiration.
 
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I am on Humalog and Lantus. I have gaind 50 pound in the last year. and all I get from my doctors is "It is hard for a diabetic to lose weight." After reading these forums, I decided to go on a low carb diet. I stopped my insulin and cut my carbs to under 20 per day. I have lost 21 pounds in three weeks. I check my BS 5 times per day and it runs between 110 and 190, usually about 145. Is there anything that I should watch out for. I feel great and am getting plenty to eat, just no carbs, I even thought about continuning my Latus (basal) insulin at a reduced rate. I have used bolus shots to get my BS down to under 140 when necessary. Any advice would be appreciated. I have been a diabetic for 18 years and been on insulin for 10. I have not increased my food intake, so I do not know why I gained the weight. Also, I walk about 3 miles per day. I am 5' 7" and weighted 226 lbs.
 

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If you can do it with all the stuff you had to contend with, then surely I can too :) thanks for being such a great inspiration to all of us!

Gretchen
 

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I am on Humalog and Lantus. I have gaind 50 pound in the last year. and all I get from my doctors is "It is hard for a diabetic to lose weight." After reading these forums, I decided to go on a low carb diet. I stopped my insulin and cut my carbs to under 20 per day. I have lost 21 pounds in three weeks.
Perhaps this is where you went awry. Stopping insulin treatment isn't a fantastic idea as even in the absence of food three body needs insulin to respond to the liver dumping glucose into the body...well according to my research anyway...

The weight loss may have been an unhealthy proportion. Perhaps more muscle mass than fat mass.

I check my BS 5 times per day and it runs between 110 and 190, usually about 145. Is there anything that I should watch out for.
If you are exercising yet see no gains in strength or stamina then this is an indicator of muscle catabolism. Meaning the body is feeding off your muscle to feed itself. This could cause tachycardia or cardiac arrest at prolonged periods of this state.

Normally this only happens for diabetic patients when they exercise in the absence of insulin (used to metabolize fuel released by fat cells) or at excessively high glucose levels.

I feel great and am getting plenty to eat, just no carbs, I even thought about continuning my Latus (basal) insulin at a reduced rate.
This would be a great idea.

I used P90X for weight loss. I dropped from 395 to 190 on it. I recommend it to anyone who is serious about getting into shape.
 

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Usually if bgs are higher than 250, it can be easy to get dehydrated which may make bgs even higher and push it into dangerous territory. At first, diet is super important. Eliminate as many carbs as possible. When you get your bgs below 200, I would start a walking program. I would start with 15 minutes, once or twice a day. If you can handle that add a minute or two every few days. Also get some light weights and stretch bands. I keep mine in front of the TV. When a commercial hits I will do some bicept curls, tricept pulls or use the bands to stretch. Even 10 minutes here and there will help. As you get stronger you can increase exercise. Also when you exercise be aware that some type 2's ( like me) actually increase my bgs from stress hormones. I still exercise, but I am aware of it.
I am Type 2 with cardiovascular disease....Just recently started testing more than just the fasting BG.....I really thought that even with the low carb eating I could not get under 150 and up readings...then I started just doing 20 min of aerobic excercise after dinner and I couldn't believe that after the excercise I went to 119....I have never been at that number...for me that seems to be the key..... I dislike exercise but hey that is the cold hard truth...I can't get things under control without it
 

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Genie said:
..... I dislike exercise but hey that is the cold hard truth...I can't get things under control without it
After you get in a routine you should get where the dislike is gone and when you miss a session you have a slight craving. May be the extra oxygen you breath in that causes it
 
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