How a Diabetic Guy Trimmed Down

I have been overweight my whole life.When I was in grade school, the other kidscalled me “fatty.” It didn’t help that the PE teacher created an unpleasant competitiveenvironment and didn’t teach us how to carefor our bodies.

Making things worse was the afternoonsnack my grandmother provided: vanillaice cream, chocolate syrup and whole milkblended into a shake. It tasted great, but itsure helped fatten me up!

Then at age 17, I started taking insulin. Manyof you know how easy it is to gain weightwhile trying to control high BGs with moreinsulin.

All that changed a few years ago when Istarted controlling my carbohydrates andtaking half of my former insulin dose. MyBGs are much better, and I now experiencevery few lows. In addition, I no longer gainweight. In fact, I have been steadily gettingleaner.

In January 2005, I accomplished something Inever had done before. I joined a local gym,but stayed with it this time. Having read ofthe many benefits of increasing my musclemass in these pages, I decided it was time to“walk the Diabetes Health talk.”

Having a higher ratio of muscle-to-body fatmakes you stronger and less injury-prone. Itspeeds up your metabolism and makes youhappy. The more muscle you have, the morecalories your body burns all day long—evenduring sleep.

The coach at my gym encouraged me toeat more protein. I checked with GerriFrench, our registered dietitian at DiabetesHealth, who told me that the officialrecommendations for protein are 0.4 gramsfor each pound of your body weight, and 0.8grams if you are doing weight training.

So at 170 pounds, I would require 135 gramsof protein per day (170 x 0.8). Clearly I wasnot eating enough protein, which led tocraving carbs. I had thought that my two-eggbreakfasts were enough, but one egghas only 6 grams of protein. Now I add twomore egg whites to the skillet with spinachand salsa for a great morning omelet. Thatmakes for a breakfast with 24 grams ofprotein.

For lunch I might eat a whole can of tuna,wild salmon or turkey on a salad, whichadds 32 grams of protein. Dinner mightbe vegetables with a chicken breast orhamburger patty for 25 grams. This adds upto 81 grams of protein for the day, still 54grams short.

I have discovered that adding two proteinshakes into my day can make up thedifference. The key is to find those shakesthat are low in carbs.

When I’m at home, I use my blender tocreate these frosty delights. I buy thepowder from Trader Joe’s or Costco. Waterand ice are all you need to add, but adding afew frozen raspberries can really liven up theflavor.

When I’m on the road, I carry a few cansof protein shakes. Brands I enjoy areAtkins Advantage, SlimFast Low Carb andWorldwide Pure Protein. A big benefit is thatthese shakes are so satisfying that I don’tcrave the foods I am trying to avoid.

Even though I am 48 years old, I amconfident that I can completely get rid of my“spare tire” with exercise and sensible eating.And, of course I regularly test my BGs.

Scott King
Type 1, 30 years (and counting)

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