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Type I Diabetes Weight Loss

I’ve been a type I diabetic for 22 years. I’ve got a pretty good physique in terms of muscle mass but have a serious fat problem. I am currently 255lbs. I would look very good at 215, great at 205, and be truly ripped at 195. My main issue it that I’ve been taking insulin shots in my belly 4-6 times a day for the past 15 years and have a weird belt of fat there that I now atribute to that which is out of proportion with the fat distributed on the rest of my body.

Insulin really is incredibly anabolic, but it seems to have a localized emphasis. I’ve been trying hard to lose weight but am really having a bitch of a time with it even on low-carb and regular cardio.

Anyone out there have any ideas? I just don’t know how to effectively lose weight when I’m forced to keep taking what ends up being an slight excess of insulin all the time just to stay alive.

Thanks -

By the way, I’m 35, squat 325, deadlift 365, bench 265.

Honestly, you might post this in the Steroids forum… there a couple guys there who are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to using insulin that might be able to shed some light on this for you.

[quote]skiracer wrote:
I’ve been a type I diabetic for 22 years. I’ve got a pretty good physique in terms of muscle mass but have a serious fat problem. I am currently 255lbs. I would look very good at 215, great at 205, and be truly ripped at 195. My main issue it that I’ve been taking insulin shots in my belly 4-6 times a day for the past 15 years and have a weird belt of fat there that I now atribute to that which is out of proportion with the fat distributed on the rest of my body.

Insulin really is incredibly anabolic, but it seems to have a localized emphasis. I’ve been trying hard to lose weight but am really having a bitch of a time with it even on low-carb and regular cardio.

Anyone out there have any ideas? I just don’t know how to effectively lose weight when I’m forced to keep taking what ends up being an slight excess of insulin all the time just to stay alive.

Thanks -
[/quote]

Have you considered liposuction? Given your diabetes and insulin shots, trying to lose weight around your midsection might be a Sisyphean task otherwise.

Get in touch with Shelby Starnes -has got Type 1 diabetics in incredible shape and is super knowledgeable about low carb diets. Ideally get a consultation but you could also just ask him questions over at elitefts.

Also check out some Gary Taubes vids on youtube and even better get one of his books like “Good calories Bad calories”.

I wouldn’t look to an online forum with help on this :wink: that said, I wouldn’t look to your typical RD either. Find one that maybe specializes in sports nutrition.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll check out the steroids forum. Why did they move it to “off topic”?! Seems pretty “on topic” to me…

Maybe I can help. While I’m still a beginning lifter (DLed 400 for the first time yesterday!), I am a type 1 diabetic, so I’m familiar.

1st thing. Go to amazon (or wherever) and buy Dr. Bernstein’s “Diabetes Solution”. Short version is eating low carb == taking less insulin. Less insulin and low carb diet == losing weight. Also check out Paleo/Primal/Caveman/whatever. The low carb versions of those diets seem to be synergistic with Dr. Bernstein’s diet. Since reading this book - and implementing it, my average HbA1C is 5.3 (yay!), my pants dropped from a 40 to a 34 (33 in jeans), and I haven’t lost any weight. Seriously. I’m still the same 91kg I was before (scales in my house are in KGs because my wife doesn’t get the Imperial system).

But wait, I hear you saying, don’t you need carbs to put on muscle mass? I don’t, but that is an experiment of n = 1. And while I’m low carb, I’m not very low carb (contrary to Dr. Bernstein’s advice). I’m just very precise with carbs so I can take the correct amount of insulin to counteract (always the same carb source, same weight, etc) on lifting days. I do interim fasting a la leangains as well, and I find that is great for my night time blood sugar controls. I don’t eat breakfast, take 10 grams of BCAAs (ala leangains again) prior to lifting - in water, btw, and lift fasted. I’ve never felt better, and my lifts, when switching, did not get hindered.

My progress has been tremendous, both in losing fat and gaining muscle. I’m not qualified to give you advice on weight lifting, as I’m still figuring out what works for me (let alone anyone else), but on the diabetes I can help. There is also a facebook group for “Paleo for diabetics”. Some lifters in that group too, though I haven’t checked it out in a while.

–Me

^Good advice

[quote]kravi wrote:
Maybe I can help. While I’m still a beginning lifter (DLed 400 for the first time yesterday!), I am a type 1 diabetic, so I’m familiar.

1st thing. Go to amazon (or wherever) and buy Dr. Bernstein’s “Diabetes Solution”. Short version is eating low carb == taking less insulin. Less insulin and low carb diet == losing weight. Also check out Paleo/Primal/Caveman/whatever. The low carb versions of those diets seem to be synergistic with Dr. Bernstein’s diet. Since reading this book - and implementing it, my average HbA1C is 5.3 (yay!), my pants dropped from a 40 to a 34 (33 in jeans), and I haven’t lost any weight. Seriously. I’m still the same 91kg I was before (scales in my house are in KGs because my wife doesn’t get the Imperial system).

But wait, I hear you saying, don’t you need carbs to put on muscle mass? I don’t, but that is an experiment of n = 1. And while I’m low carb, I’m not very low carb (contrary to Dr. Bernstein’s advice). I’m just very precise with carbs so I can take the correct amount of insulin to counteract (always the same carb source, same weight, etc) on lifting days. I do interim fasting a la leangains as well, and I find that is great for my night time blood sugar controls. I don’t eat breakfast, take 10 grams of BCAAs (ala leangains again) prior to lifting - in water, btw, and lift fasted. I’ve never felt better, and my lifts, when switching, did not get hindered.

My progress has been tremendous, both in losing fat and gaining muscle. I’m not qualified to give you advice on weight lifting, as I’m still figuring out what works for me (let alone anyone else), but on the diabetes I can help. There is also a facebook group for “Paleo for diabetics”. Some lifters in that group too, though I haven’t checked it out in a while.

–Me[/quote]

Kravi,

Great advice. Seriously, a 5.3 A1C is freakin’ incredible. That’s kind of like carrying 5% body fat year round in terms of control. I’ll check out the book - btw, maybe stupid but I never thought about putting protein powder in anything but milk. Good suggestion! I’ll try what you’re saying. Intermitant fasting sound like a good idea too.

Thanks again!
Skiracer

Hey man fellow type one here, what’s worked for me is cleaining my diet up and going just 500 below maintenece and adding in some cardio or gpp or whatever. The frustrating thing is you’ll start to need alot less insulin and experience lows as you adjust your doses down, my lantus has dropped 14 units down in the last two months while i’ve dropped a few pounds so be aware of that.

[quote]skiracer wrote:
Kravi,

Great advice. Seriously, a 5.3 A1C is freakin’ incredible. That’s kind of like carrying 5% body fat year round in terms of control. I’ll check out the book - btw, maybe stupid but I never thought about putting protein powder in anything but milk. Good suggestion! I’ll try what you’re saying. Intermitant fasting sound like a good idea too.

Thanks again!
Skiracer
[/quote]

Thanks, I hope it helps. I’ve discovered that diary reallly ups my insulin requirements. I don’t know if it is me, or if it is everyone, but something to think about. If I put heavy cream/milk in my coffee in the morning, I need to tripple my insulin that morning, despite not eating anything else. Same thing with protein powder. At lunch, I will often “cheat” and have milk mixed in with my protein shake after working out, simply because I can get away with it and know how much insulin to take. But when you are trying to lose weight, lowering your insulin is very important.

The only downside of following Dr. Bernstein’s protocol is checking my blood sugar 6 times a day. I mean, that is a lot of self inflicted pain! Worth it. Now I just need to get me some 17+" guns and I’m good :slight_smile:

–Me

While we’re having the insulin conversation, have any of you experimented with using the insulin you have to take anyway for muscle-building purposes? I’ve found that it’s pretty damn helpful. I’ve tried putting 10 units into each leg or ass cheek (20 total) immediately before squatting, and it’s pretty obviously a massive help in terms of hypertrophy recovery. It’s hard to gauge just how much it’s helping in terms of recruitment, but I have the sense it’s helping there too.

Anyone figure out how to use it for upper-body work? I’m a little freaked about injecting into my pecs or something, but the localized effect is pretty obvious.

To preempt the don’t-be-stupid comments, the basic risk with insulin is a low blood sugar reaction. I check my blood sugar every 20 min or so when doing this sort of workout, which to me is the only responsible thing to do if you’re going to try using insulin anabolically and want to avoid the emergency room.

Appreciated!

I wouldn’t give you a “don’t be stupid” comment, as I’m a firm believer in letting people be stupid as long as they don’t mess with me or mine :slight_smile:

I have never tried injecting insulin for assistance in recovery. I do generally take 5 units of humalog prior to working out, as my liver does a fair amount of glycogenesis during workouts, even when I’m fasted. Only way to stay at a normal level.

There are a couple of problems. Yes, insulin in your ass/legs/whatever may increase transportation of glucose into the tissue, thus allowing your muscles to recover a little faster, but.

  1. More insulin equals more usage of glucose (which means your body produces more glucose from the liver because it senses there is a sea of insulin in your body). That which isn’t used gets stored as fat. You are fat. You want to stop being fat. You should worry more about losing weight right now than, well, anything else.

  2. High levels of insulin over a sustained period of time have an insanely strong correlation to death and heart disease.

So in short, if you have a pretty good physique in terms of muscle mass (as you stated in the OP), I’d stop with the extra insulin shots and focuse on losing weight. You’ll look better, live longer, and be healthier for it.

My 2 cents.

–Me

I wouldn’t look to an online exchange with assistance on this I wouldn’t look to your normal RD either. Discover one that possibly has some capacity in sports sustenance.

With a non-diabetic, insulin is released by the pancreas and goes straight into the liver where it immediately blocks the liver from is basal release of glucose. With injected insulin, the insulin goes into the fat layer and and then actually works its way UP to the capillaries of the skin where it gets into the bloodstream and then starts circulating.

This makes the fat cells that are exposed to the injection insulin resistant. Also, capillaries in the skin will return blood to the heart and then general circulation, so injecting in a spot above a muscle (like the quads) won’t increase insulin to the quad muscles unfortunately.

Insulin does not need to be injected around the waistline though. My son usually alternated between thigh and tricep, and there is evidence that injections in in those areas can get insulin flowing into the bloodstream faster because if you walk and move, the blood flow to the skin in those areas is much greater. Around the waistline, there is actually much less circulation so the insulin just sits there. In many European countries they recommend injecting only into the thigh and arm. #1 you definitely should use more real estate on your arms and legs. I am suprised that you haven’t been advised to do that already. My son was never advised to inject in the waist with needle injections though his pump goes there some of the time. He was only advised to use arm and leg, and glute for Lantus.

Are you taking Lantus as well? This may be the main culprit since such a large dose goes into one spot. Do you use long acting insulin 1 or 2 times a day, and how much? Does it seem to stop acting within 24 hours?

Second, I am not going to recommend this, but I will mention that professional bodybuilders inject into the muscle, not into the fat layer (usually, though I have seen some people inject subcutaneously as a way to reduce the work that their pancreas has to do). Eating most carbs around exercise will reduce your doses, as will fat loss in general. Tim Belknap was a T1D pro bodybuilder and I was told that he basically mastered intermuscular injection of insulin which basically only pushes nutrients into muscle cells rather than the liver or by holding fat inside fat cells.

Wow. Best on-point guidance I’ve ever received. I’m on Tresiba for long-acting and Novolog Rapid for fast-acting (a humolog equivalent). You’re really explaining why I’ve been needing a little more insulin every year or so even though my diet, weight, and activity levels haven’t changed much. How do you inject into a muscle? Is it just about using a longer syringe? 10+ years ago all the syringes were something like 3/4 inch, now they’re about 1/4 inch screw-one attached to an insulin pen. I was told the point is to reduce scar tissue, but obviously you aren’t hitting muscle 1/4 inch in unless you’re ultra lean, which I unfortunately am not. Would I gain muscle, and more importantly, lose fat easier if I did that? Do you think it would allow me to reduce my dosage? Thanks for your well-informed response!

I don’t know how to inject insulin into muscle, but if I wanted to find out, I would post on the steroid forum. Theoretically it could be good for type 1 diabetes because it would promote muscle over fat and type 1 diabetics already have nutrient storage tilted toward fat cells because of how subcutaneous insulin works. It also might work faster, and would not make fat cells more insulin resistant, though it is possibly a greater risk of creating a cyst or getting an infection and may increase hypoglycemic risk.

I can only advise to research it for yourself. If I had type 1 diabetes I would research intermuscular injection and consider it. Also, for subcutaneous injections of Novolog, you can inject anywhere that there is a little fat, and even angle the needle. I knew some people who would inject into the fat around their calves and go for a walk to get a fast action.

Tresiba is probably your greatest single dose. At your age and weight, a normal TDD for all insulin is 70-115 units. If you are over 135-140 a day total, your injection locations are resistant and overused or you have other causes of insulin resistance. What is your TDD and how much Tresiba (is it every 48 hours?) Tresiba makers state that you should not inject it into an area that has fatty buildup from injections, but there needs to be some fat. https://www.drugs.com/dosage/tresiba.html

Ideally you would get an insulin pump where your basal is covered by Novolog and the site gets moved every 2 days. In fact, my son used a pump and moved the site every 3 days, and the site became insulin resistant at about 2.5 days so we had to start moving it sooner, but he is only 90 pounds and he still doesn’t hit the same spot more than once every 2 months.