Health & Medical

Insulin and weight gain: Keep the pounds off

Insulin and weight gain: Keep the pounds off thumbnail

Insulin and weight gain: Keep the pounds off

Insulin and weight gain often go hand in hand, but weight control is possible. If you need insulin therapy, here’s how to minimize — or avoid — weight gain.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

People who take insulin often gain weight. Insulin is a hormone that regulates how the body absorbs sugar, also known as glucose. The weight gain can be frustrating because keeping a healthy weight is important to manage your diabetes. The good news is that you can maintain your weight while taking insulin.

The link between insulin and weight gain

When you take insulin, sugar can enter your cells. This makes the sugar levels in your blood go down. This is the goal of treatment.

But if you take in more calories than you need to keep a healthy weight, your cells will get more sugar than they need. This happens in people who don’t have diabetes, too. How many calories you need depends on how active you are. Sugar that your cells don’t need to use becomes fat.

Avoid weight gain while taking insulin

Eating healthy foods and being physically active most days of the week can help you not gain weight. The following tips can help you keep the pounds off:

  • Count calories. Eating and drinking fewer calories helps you prevent weight gain. Keep fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your refrigerator and pantry. Plan for every meal to have the right mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins, and fats. Generally, recommended meals would consist of half nonstarchy vegetable, one-quarter protein and one-quarter a starch, such as rice, or a starchy vegetable, such as corn or peas.

    Shrink the sizes of your portions, don’t take second helpings and drink water instead of high-calorie drinks. Talk to your health care provider, nurse or a dietitian about how to plan meals and where to find resources.

  • Don’t skip meals. Don’t try to cut calories by skipping meals. When you skip a meal, you’re more likely to make unhealthy diet choices at the next mealtime because you’re too hungry. Skipping meals can also cause low blood sugar levels if you don’t adjust your insulin dose.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity burns calories. A recommended goal for most adults is at least 150 minutes a week (or 30 minutes five days a week) of moderately intense aerobic activity plus muscle-strengthening exercises at least two times a week. Aerobic activities can include walking, bicycling, water aerobics, dancing or gardening. Talk with your provider about activities and exercises that are right for you.

    Also, ask your provider how to handle exercise. Physical activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently. Depending on how much exercise you’re planning on doing, you may need to cut back on your insulin dosage or have a snack. It’s possible for your blood sugar to drop even hours after exercise.

  • Ask your provider about other diabetes medicines. Some diabetes medicines that help regulate blood sugar levels may help you lose weight and lower your insulin dosage. Examples of these medicines include metformin (Fortamet, Glumetza, others), exenatide (Byetta), liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda), dulaglutide (Trulicity), sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), empagliflozin (Jardiance) and pramlintide (Symlin). Ask your provider if these or other medicines should be part of your diabetes treatment plan.
  • Take your insulin only as directed. Don’t skip or reduce your insulin dosages to stop weight gain. Although you might lose pounds if you take less insulin than prescribed, the risks are serious. Without enough insulin, your blood sugar level will rise — and so will your risk of diabetes complications.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Sept. 01, 2022

  1. Facilitating behavior change and well-being to improve health outcomes: Standards of medical care in diabetes — 2022. Diabetes Care. 2022; doi: 10.2337/dc22-S005.
  2. Pharmacologic approaches to glycemic treatment: Standards of medical care in diabetes — 2022. Diabetes Care. 2022; doi: 10.2337/dc22-S009.
  3. Perreault L, et al. Obesity in adults: Etiologies and risk factors. Accessed July 19, 2022.
  4. Diabetes diet, eating, & physical activity. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed July 19, 2022.
  5. Diabetes meal planning. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed July 22, 2022.
  6. Oral & injectable meds. American Diabetes Association. Accessed July 19, 2022.
  7. What are my options? American Diabetes Association. Accessed July 19, 2022.
  8. Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose). American Diabetes Association. Accessed July 19, 2022.

See more In-depth


Read More

Learn More: healthy food near me,health care privacy part 2,health store near me,health triangle,health plan of san joaquin,health o meter scale,health hut,health partners plans,heath zenith,health related fitness,health o meter,health unlimited,health food near me,health gear inversion table,health warrior,no healthy upstream,health journeys,health right 360,healthx,health union,health unit coordinator salary,health gauge des moines,health village imaging,health gorilla,health zone,health nut cafe,health 3.0,how much health does the ender dragon have,health kick,health verity,health velocity capital,health quarters,how much health does the wither have,health 101,c health lebanon va,e health messaging,m health maple grove,healthxl,health 5e,i health inc

READ:  How I Lost More Than 110 Pounds—and Kept the Weight Off

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: