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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Calories, Intake & Exercise

I've gotten involved with a study at the U of M regarding Type 1 Diabetes and Weight Loss. Through this study I have been more diligent about putting into practice the common sense stuff I already knew, but had not applied consistantly to my every day life.

Weight loss is a simple thing when you think about it in terms of mathematics. You have to burn off more calories than you take in - bottom line. I don't care about the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, the this or that diet. If you eat more than you burn, you will gain weight.

So, with this study, I've had to be very detail oriented and track my every move, bite & anything else that is related to diabetes, food, exercise and weight (so pretty much everything).

I've been doing very well, and am losing weight slowly and steadily. One day I got a little over ambitious with the exercise. I had my heart rate monitor, and through a variety of exercises during the day, I was able to burn off about 1000 calories. Great! I thought. The next day, I went back looking over some of the data I had collected. I looked specifically at the amount of EXTRA calories I had eaten to deal with low blood sugars. Guess what - it was about 1100!!! Those pesky calories add up fast, and it doesn't take much at all.

So, I burned off about 1000 calories, but also ate about 1100 calories. Heh - kind of funny when you think about it - I would have been better off sitting on my ass all day!

Exercise does add many extra variables to diabetes control, but nevertheless is still beneficial for overall health. It is just a little harder for me to lose weight with exercise. I have to consider many other aspects than just the exercise - as it has an impact on my blood sugar for a good 24 hours or more, depending on what it was and the intensity/duration, etc.


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