Lg Cwd
Need Help

Submit your question to our team of health care professionals.

Current Question

See what's on the mind of the community right now.

Meet the Team

Learn more about our world-renowned team.

DTeam Archives

Review the entire archive according to the date it was posted.

December 26, 1999

Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Texas, USA:

I have type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed five years ago. I would like to know how to lose weight. I have tried every diet possible. I do exercise every day. I take vitamins and supplements to keep from getting sick. I only want to lose 15-20 pounds. Is there a possibility that my body is happy with where my weight is?


Most people seem to have a weight that is “right” for them. Some scientists have called that the “set point,” a weight that you keep coming back to as a result of your body’s own make-up. It can be difficult to permanently change your weight from that level but not impossible. If your current weight is one that you always seem to come back to, especially if your body now looks like other people in your family, that may be what you’re dealing with. On the other hand, if this new higher weight is unusual for you, there may be other factors to consider:

What makes up the “extra” weight? If you are lean and fit, remember that muscle weighs more than an equal volume of fat. Your body composition may be fine and it is just the number on the scale that’s got you spooked.

Are you taking the right amount of insulin? Taking a bit too much insulin on a daily basis can lead to unwanted weight gain. If you are often having to eat extra to treat hypoglycemia, that could be contributing to unwanted weight gain. The extra weight from a too high insulin dose is more likely to be stored as fat than as muscle.

Higher insulin levels also makes it difficult to lose weight. Fat can’t be broken down when insulin levels are high. Looking at both the type and the doses of insulin in your current regimen with your doctor or educator might be helpful to your weight loss efforts.

It sounds as if you are being very thoughtful about how you approach this issue. Overall health is the goal. We know that extreme “diets” don’t work — not for the long run. If your insulin doses are set correctly, so that your body is functioning as intended, then eating a healthy selection of foods, not using food to cope with emotional stresses, and being physically active should help your body settle permanently in to its own best weight.