Weight loss and fitness

I was diagnosed last October and am 30 years old. I found out I was T1D while I’m hosp after surgery to have my thyroid removed. Since getting my synthetic thyroid levels normal I have gained 30 pounds. I’ve never had an issue with weight and am not sure what to do. When I try to work out my sugar always drops. Does anyone have any tips on how to work out and lose weight and still control my sugar levels. Thank you I feel so lost with all of this.

I’m not a doctor but I am a personal trainer, have you tried sipping Gatorade or increasing a preworkout snack? I water down Gatorade for my son when we do heavier activities to help try and balance

Dropping during fitness is definitely a struggle. I’m on my school’s tennis team and I’ve definitely had problems with gong low during matches. I have found that bringing a bottle of Gatorade or another similar drink onto the court with me is a good way to keep from dropping; I typically take a few sips between points when I feel it’s needed. I also recently got a CGM, which is super helpful because I can see when my levels are dropping and prevent them from going too low. If you don’t have one, I suggest looking into it.


Thank you. I have recently gotten a CGM and a pump which have helped to get me level! I’m not sure what kind of snack would be great. I will try the Gatorade and see if that helps. I’ve always been quite active and it’s been really hard to work out like I used to. What would you recommend as a good pre work out snack that won’t spike me? Thank you so much for the advice!

Everyone has different snack preferences, obviously. One of my favorites is cheese and crackers–fairly low in carbs, but enough to sustain me through a workout (and my doctor has told me that the cheese causes the body to process carbs slower, which can help to avoid one of those annoying spikes). I also bring Gatorade Chews (basically fruit snacks) onto the court with me and eat a few if I feel like the match is particularly long or strenuous. I’m always looking for new snack options, so hopefully some other folks will post on here if they have ideas. :slight_smile:

I workout regularly and play football and participate in many strenuous activities. So some of my go to’s are number 1 Gatorade: Now since Gatorade is very sugary and fast acting I would advice not drinking the entire thing unless you are doing something that will burn it off. Number 2: Protein/Granola bar: These are great because they are slow digesting and so the carbs will last a little longer with less of a spike. Try to find a bar that you like thats not too high in carbs but has a decent amount. Number 3: Fruit: Bananas and apples are awesome because they contain good sugars and not as much sugar as say a full Gatorade.

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Hi, I am sorry to hear of your struggles. I am a 51 year old man with type 1 for more than 41 years. I try to workout 5 - 6 times per week, usually before going to work for 45 minutes, at my home gym in my basement. As I am sure you are aware, it is a vital part of your treatment program…in my opinion as important as diet and meds.
Having said that, it is not easy to stop going low while working out. I tend to workout right after breakfast, which means I will tend to pump in a bit less insulin than if I were not going to workout. I will then (using my pump) set a temp basal to start 30 minutes prior and let it go for at least 30 minutes after the workout. I have a bottle of lo-cal Gatorade that I drink throughout. It is only 12 carbs for the whole bottle. If I were going out for a hike or to a gym for a high intensity workout I would tend to have regular Gatorade with me.
Oftentimes, my BG will drop an hour or 2 after working out, therefore I usually have a snack with me at the office to try to offset the lows. The snack is usually a banana or protein bar, in other words nothing high in calories or bad fat. It is truly a trial and error situation…but please be careful and err towards going a bit high until you work out the kinks.

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The College Diabetes Network has some great tips for exercise and managing diabetes. Check it out here: https://collegediabetesnetwork.org/content/sports-exercise

Thank you everyone! Those tips have really helped. I started low intense yoga to see what happens and I’ve done pretty good. It’s so hard to not jump right into my normal high intensity cardio. I feel confident that I will be able to get back to it!!

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Hi there, when you are facing this type of problem you need to contact a nutritionist who can guide you well.

Hi, I’m A 55 yr old female with T1 for 27 yrs. I’ve always been very active with tennis for many years and now focus solely in the gym. I’ve never had trouble with bs drops and cardio but last couple years it totally changed. Pushing weights has no affect but as soon as I do cardio I drop very fast. I found that turning off my Medtronic pump, sipping on coconut water and frequently checking my sugar is what I need to do now. I can have a low up to 6 hrs later from cardio. Coconut water is very easy on the stomach, and all natural. My bs drops happen really fast and setting a temp just doesn’t help

@Asong1031, I’ve had T1 a bunch of years. the problem with losing weight is “on board insulin”. for non-pumpers, Long lasting insulin injections are typically based on an average day - and once you inject…well… it stays with you for 18-24 hours. when you add exercise, you will definitely need less long-acting insulin. it’s time to reconsider basal insulin when a regular exercise routine is introduced.

why? well that’s simpler… insulin is a growth hormone. if you’ve taken too much insulin and have to sip gatorade… you will get bigger not smaller. this may not be a problem for football players, but if you goal is to get smaller then you typically need to first reduce insulin…and of course still control blood sugar.

my strategy is to reduce basal…for MDI than means figuring out a new injection regimen, but basal reduction is easier for pumpers you just dial it back or pick a pattern for work-out days.

Then also reduce meal time insulin. since a meal time bolus can last 4+ hours, when you work out is very important. If I have a a bolus still on board and then I decide to be active, my blood sugar will drop.

then you can essentially work out to control bloods sugar. it kills me to have to add calories like juice or gatorade if my goal is to lose weight

similarly - many t1’s need to gain weight, and so more insulin, much more calories and working out will help increase your weight.

good luck!

I was a cabin counselor at Camp Hickory Hill for many years. Camp Hickory Hill was a camp for insulin dependent diabetic kids aged 8 to 18. The daily snack was mainly one and a half gram crackers and peanut butter. This was offered about two hours after every meal.