How a Diabetic Can Gain Weight – A Complete Guide 

Tho! You have often seen that people with diabetes usually gain weight. But most of them usually lose weight with time. Here you’ll see how to maintain and gain weight and keep it constant for the long term.

Unintentional weight gain can be the symbol of diabetes. For diabetic people, choosing food that does not causes a spike in blood sugar level is important.

What Does Diabetes Do to Your Weight?

People that are suffering from diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin to transport glucose from the blood to cells.  Glucose remains in the blood longer, causing an increased glucose level.

Insufficient supply of energy to cells causes the increased breakdown of fat from fat stores and muscle tissues.

If blood sugar remains high for longer, it increases energy utilization from fats, resulting in weight loss.

What Can Diabetics Do? 

Plan your meal and follows it properly. Consult with your doctor or dietitian before following any diet pattern. They may help you better by examining your body’s needs and prescribing a diet.

Must know your Ideal Body Weight (IBW)

Knowing your ideal weight according to your age and height is important. But for some people, their actual weight is OK,  rather than ideal. All these are different for different bodies.

So, better to consult your dietitian before following any diet pattern.

Insert your height and weight in the BMI calculator. Knowing your BMI is actually according to height and weight, you can set a target that helps you achieve your weekly goal.

Apps that Help in Managing Weight

So many apps are available for managing weight. All these are designed to make your choices right and help manage weight.

Here is an example of an app that aids in managing weight for a person with diabetes.

  • Gluc Oracle: It is a glucose-determining app that uses crowdsourcing. It analyzes the number of carbohydrates, protein, fat, calories, and fiber in each meal. 

GlucOracle also predicts what your glucose level will be after eating.

  • One Drop: It is known as a rounded app. Also, it is a one-stop shop app for managing diabetes, blood pressure, weight, and heart health. 

It can use OneDrop for data tracking, health trends and predictions, health coaching, and health content. 

Many apps are circulating that offer a calorie count; you may understand how many more calories you need to add or subtract to gain weight and achieve your weight goals.

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9 Super Working Ways a Diabetic can Gain and Maintain Weight

A person usually consumes extra calories to gain weight without causing a spike in sugar levels.

However, people with diabetes must also choose what they eat carefully to avoid health complications.

Eat frequent and small meals a day:

Three major meals and 3 snacks

Plan and divide your meals instead of consuming larger meals at a time. Consume smaller meals at relative intervals. The only way is to eat healthy food every 3 hours before the body burns its fat stores for energy.

It takes a little bit of practice and planning. Keep an eye on what you eat to keep weight under consideration.

Planning meals before consumption:

 Weekly planning of meals is helpful. Your meals should consist of the following:

Try to fulfill your fluid requirement. Drink fluids an hour or more before meals rather than during meals. It will stop you from overfilling fluids.

Consume healthy carbohydrates a day:

Eat low glycemic index carbs, which is important for maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Divide healthy carbs into six meals/per day. The plan is to gain weight, so monitor your glucose levels.

Adding protein or fat to your diet may help increase caloric consumption without causing a spike in sugar levels.

Examples of low GI carbohydrates include:

  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Seeds

Get more Dietary Protein:

Protein is necessary for maintaining muscle mass. 

Healthy protein sources:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Beans 
  • Soy
  • Eggs

Include the appropriate serving size of protein based on your kidney function and weight gain goal. 

Consume about 0.8g/kg body weight per day of protein. Or eat about 6-7 ounces of protein daily to achieve a healthy protein level.

Avoid low-calorie foods and beverages:

To gain weight, you must eat at least 500 additional calories daily. Choosing calorie-dense foods will help you meet that goal more easily.

If you eat low-calorie food, try mixing it with other high-calorie food to make full calorie meal.

Lettuce is low calorie but high in anti-oxidant, so do not give up lettuce. Just sprinkle it on some cheese, seeds, and avocado slices. Or use them as a dressing on top of some juice or salads.

Avoid fatty foods and beverages:

Limit saturated and fried fat. Processed foods are high in fats and sugars and lack nutritional value, as beverages and sodas are high in calories and lack nutrients. 

Some options for healthy fats include:

  • Avocado 
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fatty fish, like Salmon and Mackerel

Use of Supplement:

Supplements help you gain weight, especially if you lack the appetite to take in enough calories. So choose supplements that help build muscle mass, like casein or whey protein powder.

Check with your dietitian before taking any supplement, and always follow the directions on the label.

Start doing workouts and resistance training.

Exercise is not only designed to lose weight but also to gain weight. Resistance training exercises increase your muscle mass. Exercise helps in improving appetite as well as improving your lean mass.  You can also try aquatic resistance training or work with medicine balls.

Aerobics exercises usually burn more calories, so avoid aerobic exercises and be sure to compensate with your diet.

Track your weight gain progress:

The only way to know you’re gaining weight is to weigh yourself. A “weekly weigh-in” can track your progress and help you modify your eating routine.

If you take enough calories, start to see an increase of about 1lb in 1 week. Target is to increase 1- to 2 lb weekly until you reach your desired weight.

Diet or a Meal Plan You can Follow for Best Results

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with 2 oz chicken breast and whole grain toast, dressed with olive oil

Snack: sliced apple with the topping of cheddar cheese, and 2,3 almonds

Lunch: turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, plus an avocado salad, topped with seeds and low-sugar dressing

Snack: low-sugar Greek yogurt with walnuts and dried cranberries

Dinner: grilled 3-4 oz of fish with quinoa and broccoli with cheese sauce

Snack: a glass of milk with 1 tsp of peanut butter.

Here are Some Considerations:

  • Highly processed, high carbs foods cause spikes in blood sugar that can be dangerous for diabetic people.
  • If you use insulin, ensure that the amount of insulin used should be suitable for your dietary habits and current weight.
  • A diet high in calories but low in other nutrients leads to nutritional deficiencies and health issues.
  • Chooses unsaturated fat to increase calorie intake for gaining weight.
  • Speak to your dietitians or doctors to make any changes to your diet that can suggest dietary adjustments that result in weight gain but do not damage health.


What is the effect of diabetes on weight?

Diabetic people are more susceptible to gain weight. The blood sugar level is high in diabetic people, and when the insulin is inserted, it stores the sugar in body parts. Sugar is stored in the liver and muscles, and maximum sugar is stored in fat. Thus it increases weight. 

How will people with diabetes gain weight?

When blood glucose remains high in people with diabetes, they start using insulin, which lessens the sugar molecules from the bloodstream and stores these sugar molecules in the muscles, especially fatty mass. Therefore it results in weight gain.

Some foods also play a negative role in the human body gaining weight, whether normal or diabetic. These foods include excess consumption of meat, creamy foods, and energy-dense foods. 

Which type of food should be preferred?

Always choose high-quality foods, including vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, poultry, fish, whole grains, healthy fat, and protein.

Which type of food should be avoided?

Refined, highly processed, frozen foods and highly creamy and cheesy foods should be avoided by diabetics and healthy human beings. Also, avoid these foods because these foods have salt. Always check nutritional content before using ready-to-make foods. 

Is resistance training exercise helpful?

Resistance training exercises are strength-giving exercises. Such exercise gives protection from further complications. Improve insulin resistance and maintain blood sugar levels. 

Final Words:

So if you have diabetes and want to gain weight, it must be challenging. Consume at least 500 calories per day, if not more.

Consult with your doctor or dietician about how you can best achieve this. Set weight goals, create a meal plan, and modify your exercise routine for progress.

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