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531 with Type 1 Diabetes


I’m sure most people here are not doctors but I was just curious if anyone here has done 531 while being a diabetic. I’ve been doing the program for a few months now but I’m just not sure what kind of foods I should be eating since I have to watch my carb intake.


Not a doctor obviously, but you could just go keto; not ideal, but not unheard of; just up your fats and protein and eat vegetables high in fiber as your carb source (cruciferous). Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you and your goals and what’s acceptable.


Just received an testimonial about someone who had diabetes as well as a long-time alcoholic. Got sober, and began training with 5/3/1 (just the basic program). Cleaned up his diet and after losing weight and no experience in training in 6 months squatted 300, deadlifted 405 and pressed 170; all at a body weight at 170lbs. He also went from doing no chin-ups to 10.

His is a major reconstruction and I don’t expect everyone to make these kinds of gains. HOWEVER, much can be done with a quality strength program, common sense diet and daily walking.


You’re diabetic so you already know what to eat. Up your caloric intake with foods you are allowed to eat, and as with any change in behavior you need to watch the markers that you’ve already learned to watch. My guess is you’re going to up protein and fat intake and keep your carbs and sugars where they need to be.


Hi tomh182,

I am a type 1 diabetic since 2 years (a late bloomer) and I’ve followed 5/3/1 for a long time although I am not doing it currently. Could you formulate more specific questions, because right now it is hard to pinpoint what you want to know? I have some insights on macro intake and meal timing and training style but it’d be too much to talk about everything at once. But a word of warning, I am only “80%” diabetic, because my pancreas is still producing a good amount of insulin so I am not familiar with those massive bloodsugar fluctuations associated with full blown T1D.

Also, check out the threads:

My Son’s Type I Diabetes - A Year After Mind Blowing Nutritional Realizations
by the user mertdawg


Living and Lifting With Type 1 Diabetes
by the user Bieszki95

They have some good info imo.


I am a medical doctor, not an endocrinologist . Not giving advice.
How do you currently monitor your bs?
Do you use an insulin pump?
How are sugars doing now with exercise?
I don’t believe 531 would be any different than other vigorous activities or sports on your sugars and how you control the fluctuation.
Best of luck, should fall in line wth other similar activities and what you do


I’ve been a diabetic for about 7 years and on 531 for about 4 now. 531 did so great on me because the progression is conservative and its flexible - with our condition, we need that. You don’t want to burn out! Steady but surely. My doc is amazed by the control I have, and it comes from lifting. Every time I take a time off, it turns to shit!

This is a complicated question because (again, always!) what works for me maybe not work for you… You somehow got to figure it out by yourself. What I found is this; keto is so wrong for diabetic who trains (you’re injecting, you’ll need fast acting carbs at some point). I have about 300gr carbs daily. Fats, easy on them because they will blunt insulin quickly but you need them. Protein, lots! But with some carbs because they will spike up your blood sugar if too many without carbs. I’m around 200gr of protein a day. I’m guessing that would put me at 3000 cal/day. I went from 125 lbs (yes!) to 195lbs with a 4-pack of tall boys! So I should probably reduce the peanut butter intake a little…

I alway have 3 regular meals of around 55 to 75gr carbs plus 1 or 2 protein snacks of 15gr. Less carbs on off days.

Squats and deadlift workout usually throws my BS level up and then crash about 5 to 7 hours after the session. So I try to do them early to avoid the night hypoglycemia, have more carbs or bolus accordingly.

The last 2 years I was working and going to school also full time so training took a hit, but training only twice a week with good diet worked wonders. The macros I gave you are for 2 days/week training with reduce training maxes. I will tweak that out as I go back to 4 days a week with different TMs and added conditioning that I can’t afford the time right now. Your body will let you know, listen to it.

Recovery in my honest opinion, is as important! Rest and not overdoing it, especially the little stuff. You’ll be much better off to skip the curls and the flys and then come back the next day instead of overdoing a workout and feeling burned out for the next 2 days and miss a session or 2. Funky blood sugar levels WILL mess your ability to recover.

Hey, I’m sorry about the length of this but I could go on and on for a while!