Is Treating Low Blood Sugars Making You Achieve Weight?

Over time, I’ve had many individuals with diabetes ask me why they’re gaining weight as a substitute of shedding it.

There are two doable solutions to that query. One reply, which is extra relevant to individuals new to train, is that muscle weighs greater than fats (for an equal quantity). Consequently, in case you are gaining muscle whereas shedding some fats weight as a result of your new train routine, then your scale weight is probably going not reflective of the optimistic modifications in your physique composition (i.e., much less fats, extra muscle).

Is Treating Low Blood Sugars Making You Achieve Weight?

The second doable reply is extra relevant to people who find themselves not new to train, particularly anybody who could have just lately modified the quantity or depth of coaching that they’re doing. I first ask them, “Have you ever been treating a number of low blood sugars just lately?” After they invariably reply, “Sure,” then I do know to inform them that they’ve merely been taking in too many additional energy whereas treating hypoglycemia.

In fact, you need to deal with a low you probably have one! Nonetheless, each calorie counts, even those that increase your blood sugar again to regular (and past). Individuals with diabetes usually attain for sweet, cola, juice – or different high-calorie, excessive fats, and excessive sodium meals – to appropriate lows, which might result in rebound excessive blood sugars, unhealthy consuming, and weight acquire. What you utilize to appropriate a low is commonly simply additional energy not accounted for in your every day meal plan.

What are you able to do to keep away from gaining weight when you need to deal with frequent lows? The very best recommendation is to deal with them with one thing low in energy, however with sufficient glucose to carry your sugars again to regular.


When you might have a hypoglycemic response, don’t binge on sweet bars, cookies, and different high-calorie, high-fat meals. These “treats” take longer to lift your blood sugar than pure glucose and often include energy (like ones from fats) that don’t elevate blood sugar ranges successfully. You’re nearly sure to eat an excessive amount of of them ready on your blood sugar to rise and eat pointless additional energy that may trigger weight acquire – and extra weight acquire can decrease the flexibility of your insulin to maintain blood sugars in verify. You may also find yourself with rebound hyperglycemia, which can enhance your insulin wants and promote fats storage.

I’m going to sound like a strolling commercial for glucose merchandise from right here on out, however I absolutely perceive from each skilled and private expertise how vital making sensible decisions is while you need to maintain exercising often and keep away from weight acquire. Utilizing fast-acting glucose to lift your blood sugars is prone to contribute the fewest additional energy. Why? Pure glucose comprises solely 4 energy per gram, so a 15-20 gram remedy has 60-80 energy, and each single calorie goes on to quickly correcting your blood sugar ranges.

Hypothetically talking, for those who’re correcting simply two lows per week with 15 grams of carbs, you’ll soak up an additional 6,240 energy a 12 months, or the equal of virtually 2 kilos of physique fats (one pound of fats is 3,500 energy). By means of comparability, getting 15 grams of carbs from different meals often leads to your consumption of far more energy, particularly if any of the meals include energy coming from fats (9 energy per gram) or protein (4 energy per gram), neither of which is able to quickly appropriate a low blood sugar.

Listed below are just some different meals comparisons:

  • A 2-ounce bag of Skittles sweet comprises nearly 60 grams of carbohydrate and 4 instances the energy of a 15-gram glucose dose. Likewise, only one ounce of Smarties comprises 25 grams, which for those who consumed all of them would in all probability elevate your blood sugar an excessive amount of and trigger you to soak up additional energy.
  • A sweet bar like Snickers comprises about 100 additional energy for each 15 grams of carbs. Correcting lows with Snickers or different sweet bars provides one other 3-pound weight acquire a 12 months.
  • An everyday soda that comprises high-fructose corn syrup could take longer to appropriate a low (fructose must be transformed into glucose first),  and it’s simple to eat greater than 15 grams – which is the quantity in solely 4 ounces of a soda (one third of a 12-ounce can).
  • Even selecting orange juice or a banana to appropriate a low is much less efficient as a result of the fructose (fruit sugar) is way more slowly transformed into glucose. You in all probability gained’t be capable to keep on with solely 4 ounces of juice or half of a medium banana (15 grams of carbs) when you wait on your low to be corrected, and find yourself consuming extra energy than mandatory.


There may be nothing worse than exercising and attempting to drop a few pounds, however ending up gaining some as a substitute as a result of all the additional energy you eat to appropriate low blood sugars. In the event you can stop lows with food regimen and drugs modifications earlier than, throughout, and after train and keep away from taking in these additional energy within the first place, definitely do this!  However while you do must deal with an occasional low, remember that utilizing meals reasonably than pure glucose can add a number of energy to your whole yearly consumption and your lows could take longer to appropriate.

Briefly, pure glucose is all the time greatest for fast remedy of lows, though pure sucrose (desk sugar, as present in arduous candies) is second greatest. For prevention of lows throughout longer bouts of train or in a single day, nonetheless, take into account taking in a low-calorie bedtime snack with a steadiness of carbs, protein, and fats that may maintain your blood sugars steady for longer. Some examples are Stability bars, low-fat and diminished sugar yogurt, or low-calorie ice cream. An oz of prevention is all the time value a pound of remedy, particularly if a hypoglycemic episode leads you to eat every part in sight!

Recommended subsequent publish: The way to Lose Weight When You Reside with Diabetes


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