How to Stop Weight Loss in Diabetes?

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Subhanshu Gupta, MBBS, MD, 11 Years of Experience May 31, 2024

Weight loss with diabetes can be concerning if unintended. If you’re tackling weight issues and planning to shed extra kilos, losing weight can be a positive change. But for those diabetes patients who have normal weight or are underweight, diabetes and sudden weight loss can be a real cause for concern. It’s scary, but there are tips to stop that unwanted weight loss.

Whether you’re a newly diagnosed diabetes patient or a seasoned player seeking fresh strategies, this blog is here to empower you. We’ll delve into why unintended weight loss occurs in type 1 and type 2 diabetes and reveal strategies to control it. We also provide you with a sample diet for diabetes and weight loss. It’s time for you to take control of your weight and your diabetes. You’ve got this! Let’s start!

Unintended Weight Loss in Type 1 Diabetes

Unintended Weight Loss in Type 1 Diabetes

For those living with type 1 diabetes, unintentional weight loss can stem from a few different factors. The factors are mentioned below:

Absence of Insulin

Type 1 diabetes patients naturally cannot produce insulin hormone, which regulates blood sugar. Since there is an absence of insulin, the normal process of glucose absorption from the bloodstream cannot be transferred into muscle cells. According to research published by PubMed Central, diabetes patients have a higher chance of undergoing muscle loss than non-diabetics. The lack of insulin forces the body into starvation mode, where it starts breaking down fat and muscle cells, which leads to weight loss. Missing insulin doses or delivering too little insulin can perpetuate this problem.

Diabetic Gastroparesis

Diabetic gastroparesis is a long-term symptom of uncontrolled diabetes. Patients with more than 10 years of history of diabetes are more susceptible to this disease. In this condition, food movement from the stomach into the small intestine is delayed, often causing poor appetite and feeling full even after small meals.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

In some cases, uncontrolled type 1 diabetes may lead to a life-threatening complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). With DKA, the bloodstream becomes acidic as the body burns fat at an excessive rate, resulting in sudden, drastic weight loss along with other severe symptoms.

While maintaining a healthy weight is important, unintentional weight loss with type 1 diabetes is concerning and requires prompt medical attention to identify and treat the underlying cause.

Read More: Best Indian Diet Plan Chart for Weight Loss

Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss

While weight loss is often an intended goal for overweight or obese type 2 diabetics, rapid and unplanned weight reduction can actually be a cause for concern. There are several potential reasons for type 2 diabetes and weight loss in rapid form. The reasons for weight loss in Diabetics type 2 are provided below:

Insulin Resistance

Unlike type 1 diabetics, who can’t produce insulin hormone, type 2 pateinsts produce insulin, but the body can’t utilize it due to insulin resistance. Low insulin sensitivity makes the transfer of blood sugar to muscles and tissues difficult, forcing the body to use other sources. To complete energy requirements, the body starts breaking down stored fats and muscles, leading to sudden weight loss.

High Blood Sugar

High or unmanaged blood sugar levels for long periods and not following any restrictions shoot up the blood sugar levels. This leads to high diabetes and its symptoms like excessive urination. All the glucose, instead of getting absorbed into muscle cells, exits from the body through urine. Also, essential nutrients and electrolytes exit the body, causing unwarranted weight loss.

Diabetic Nephropathy (Kidney disorder)

Long-term high blood sugar damages organs like the kidneys and nervous system, leading to weight loss. Diabetes hampers the normal functioning of the kidneys. Moreover, high blood sugar symptoms like excessive urination cause glucose and nutrients to exit the body, causing a sudden drop in body weight.

Certain Medication

Certain diabetes medications like metformin, SGLT2 inhibitors, and GLP-1 agonists may contribute to weight loss, especially when first starting the medication. While manageable weight reduction is an intended effect, excessive loss could signify a need for dosage adjustments.

Diabetic Gastroparesis

Diabetic gastroparesis can also occur in aged type 2 diabetes. This makes it challenging to consume enough calories due to feelings of fullness, nausea and vomiting after meals. This can result in unexpected weight loss.

As with type 1 diabetes, sudden weight loss accompanied by excessive thirst, fatigue, and other concerning symptoms may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis requiring immediate treatment.

If unintentional major weight loss occurs, it’s crucial to work closely and follow your diabetologist’s advice to pinpoint the underlying reasons and make any necessary adjustments to medications, diet or insulin regimen. Proper management can help you reach and maintain a healthy, stable weight.

Read More: Is Diabetes An Unexplained Reason For Weight Loss?

How to Stop Weight Loss in Diabetes

Stopping unintentional weight loss when you have diabetes requires a multi-pronged approach.

Controlling and Managing Blood Sugar

First, getting your blood sugar levels under control is crucial, as persistent highs cause your body to burn muscle and fat instead of using glucose properly. Work with your diabetologist to adjust medications and meal plans and monitor them as needed.

Switch to Balanced and Nutritious Meals

Next, you may need to boost your calorie and nutrient intake intentionally. Incorporate nutrient-dense foods in your diet, such as calorie-rich foods like nuts and seeds, and consider eating smaller, more frequent meals. However, avoid simply eating more unhealthy, processed foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats.

Strength and Muscle Building exercises

Diabetes patients, especially type 2 diabetics, should engage in moderate levels of muscle-building workouts. According to research studies by the Biomedcentral website, muscles are a storehouse of glucose, and developing more muscles will regulate your blood sugar. However, not all diabetes patients are of the same fitness levels. Therefore, engage in light to moderate levels of workouts depending on your strength.

Medicine Adjustment

Certain diabetes medications like metformin, SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 agonists can contribute to weight loss through side effects. Your doctor may need to adjust dosages accordingly. If you have gastroparesis, which delays stomach emptying, medications and a diet of smaller portions of blended, low-fiber foods can help manage this condition.

Stress Management

Finally, don’t neglect your mental health. According to NIH-published studies, high-stress levels can elevate blood sugar. This is because cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is released. Unwanted weight changes can take an emotional toll, so seek counseling if you’re struggling with disordered eating, anxiety or depression. Lean on your support system of loved ones, too.

With careful blood sugar management, dietary adjustments, medication evaluation, light exercise and emotional support, you can stop unhealthy weight loss and reach a comfortable, stable weight despite living with diabetes.

Read More: Lose Your Weight to Reverse Diabetes

Sample Diabetic Diet for Weight Gain Safely

As suggested above, type 2 and type 1 diabetes patients and weight loss have a close relationship. Therefore, weight management is essential. One of the essential steps diabetes patients need to take is correcting their diet. Hence, below, we have provided a sample diet plan to prevent unwanted weight loss. We have provided multiple meal options, from which you can choose any one per day.

Early Morning Drink

  • Any herbal tea
  • Lukewarm lime water
  • Methi dana water
  • Amla neem juice


  • Mix dal idlis with sambar and chutney
  • Besan cheela with mint coriander chutney
  • Egg/vegetable stuffed sandwich


  • A portion of brown rice, any seasonal sabji, mixed dal and salad
  • Multigrain rotis with mixed legume curry (chole, rajma, lobia, etc.) and salad
  • Mixed millet pulao with cucumber raita and salad

Evening Snack

  • A glass buttermilk
  • Handful of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.)
  • Vegetable/mushroom soup
  • A portion of mixed seasonal fruits


  • Multigrain rotis with seasonal sabji of your choice.
  • Grilled paneer/fish/chicken with Mediterranean salad
  • Ragi dosa with sambar and chutney

Focus on consuming balanced meals rich in all nutrients. Increase your intake of lean protein foods, healthy fats and fiber sources in your diet. Avoid high-glycemic and calorie-rich foods.

Read More: 7 Best Foods That Burn Fat & Help You Lose Weight


Unintentional weight loss with diabetes can be scary, but it doesn’t have to derail your health. By working closely with your care team, making dietary adjustments, managing medications, staying active at a moderate level, and taking care of your mental well-being, you can stop unhealthy weight loss.

The key is addressing the underlying causes with a comprehensive approach. Don’t lose hope – you’ve got this! Empower yourself with the right strategies to achieve a stable, comfortable weight.

Read More:  Weight Loss Exercises To Do at Home and their Benefits

FAQ’s(Frequently Asked Questions)

How can a diabetic patient gain weight?

A diabetic patient can easily gain weight by following a well-structured meal plan. Make your meals rich in proteins like fish, eggs, paneer, chicken, seafood, legumes, and lentils. Also, elevate the intake of healthy fats like dry fruits and seeds. Along with this, start a regular workout schedule according to your strength levels to enhance your body’s metabolic rate.

What is the fastest way for a diabetic to gain weight?

Diabetes and weight gain can be done with the help of a healthy diet and a decent physical workout schedule. Intake of nutrient-dense foods and cut processed and high glycemic foods. Also, start regular exercise to boost your body’s metabolism and gain faster.

What happens if diabetics lose a lot of weight?

Losing weight for overweight diabetics is a welcome sight. However, rapidly losing a lot of weight could be a cause for concern. High diabetes can also make you lose unwanted weight, and the reasons are discussed above.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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