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June 5, 2001

Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Waldorf, Maryland, USA:

I'm a 37 year old male who weighs 230 pounds and has had type 1 diabetes for 13 years. I have never really had my diabetes under control, and I also take Glucophage [metformin] daily. I've always been told that a person with diabetes should lose weight, and, since I want to lose 40 pounds, I've joined a spa but I'm not losing any weight. The fitness folks say that in order to burn fat more efficiently, thus lose more weight, I must work on raising my metabolism. To do that I must eat five to six small meals a day, while keeping the same workout schedule. My schedule does not permit eating that many meals a day, so the fitness folks suggested the meal supplements like those protein and also suggested vitamins. Are these products safe for me to use? If so, are there any out there for people with diabetes in mind? Can you point me in the direction of a person or a resource that can help with diabetes and fitness combined?

Answer:

It sounds like you have been talking to some enthusiastic trainers with good intentions. However, I would suggest that supplements in the form of high protein foods are not necessarily what you want to eat. In addition, you have the added disadvantage of having to cover those frequent meals with insulin. I would suggest contacting a dietitian who is part of a diabetes education team. That person can instruct you more clearly about the breakdown of your meals, the content of the meals, and the relationship with activity and blood sugars.

JTL