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The Impact of Protein and Resistance Training with T1D: Improve Time in Range during Menopause

While navigating perimenopause with type 1 diabetes, I noticed shifts in my insulin needs, time in range, and weight. The decline in muscle mass with age reinforces the need to prioritize protein for muscle protection and insulin management as hormonal changes occur.


Despite having a consistent exercise routine, there was a gradual increase in required insulin for meals, revealing the impact of aging on insulin sensitivity. This commitment starts at the grocery store by incorporating a variety of protein sources following the balanced plate method.


Elevate insulin sensitivity and improve time in range with the power of protein and strength training!



In midlife, focusing on protein, aiming for 25-30 grams per meal or a minimum of 100 grams daily, became a priority for me. This method includes non-starchy veggies, fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats. Complex carbs like black rice or sweet potatoes are added if needed for energy balance.



Protein and Resistance Training and the impact with T1D

A proactive approach not only predicts glucose levels but also highlights the importance of focusing on protein and adding resistance training. These practices go beyond managing glucose, playing a crucial role in building strong bones, improving insulin sensitivity, and maintaining a healthy weight, especially important for those with type 1 diabetes.


Now, let's explore the impact of protein and resistance training with T1D and why including protein, and resistance training is essential for overall well-being and diabetes care.


The Impact of Protein

Protein plays a crucial role in diabetes management, promoting satiety, preventing blood sugar spikes when paired with carbs, and reducing the likelihood of reaching for sugary snacks between meals. These protein sources provide essential amino acids supporting muscle repair and growth, contributing to overall health.


Sources of Animal Proteins (choose organic/grass fed wild-caught):

  • Lean beef

  • Chicken

  • Eggs

  • Turkey

  • Fatty Fish: Tuna, Salmon, Tilapia, Flounder, Grouper 


For those preferring plant-based options, legumes, tofu, and quinoa offer ample protein and additional nutrients crucial for overall well-being.


Sources of Plant-based Protein:

  • Beans

  • Tempeh

  • Tofu

  • Lentils

  • Seeds (chia, flax, hemp)

  • Raw Nuts

  • Edamame 


For a variety of blood sugar friendly recipes packed with protein, browse the recipes on my website.


Collagen: A unique protein source

Collagen, a significant protein source is vital for bone matrix support, maintaining bone density, and preventing fractures. It acts as a scaffold, aiding in mineral binding like calcium, enhancing muscle density, flexibility, and injury resistance.


Here's two easy ways to integrate collagen it into your diet:


  1. Homemade Bone Broth: Research indicates that homemade bone broth is richer in amino acids compared to commercial versions. This nutrient-dense broth can be a delicious addition to your diet. Check out my Immune Boosting & Collagen Rich Bone Broth recipe.

  2. Collagen Supplements: If making broth isn't your preference, high-quality collagen supplements are an accessible and convenient option. They come in both powder and capsule forms, making it easy to incorporate into your daily routine.


Shop and save 15% off collagen powder or capsule forms that I use and highly recommend.


Melissa holding a book about exercise and T1D while sitting outside.

Resistance Training

With age, muscle loss is natural, emphasizing the need for daily protein intake to maintain and build muscle. Resistance training, whether bodyweight exercises or using resistance bands, improves insulin sensitivity, enhances glucose utilization, and maintains muscle strength and endurance.


A quick routine of four exercises you can do at home:

  1. Bodyweight Squats: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

  2. Push-Ups: Modify as needed, aiming for 3 sets of 10-12 reps

  3. Resistance Band Rows: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

  4. Lunges: 3 sets of 10-12 reps per leg


For more information on this topic, read blog Exercise and CGM for Optimal Blood Sugar Control: Tips for Empowering Individuals with Diabetes, and listen to podcast episode The Diabetes Warrior with Ginger Vieira




Protein and Resistance Training's Impact on Glucose Control

In summary, committing to more protein and adding resistance training is a potent combo for midlife women with diabetes. It strengthens muscles, controls glucose levels, and promotes metabolic health. For women navigating midlife challenges, prioritizing health through smart choices empowers us to thrive beyond diabetes. Small changes bring significant results, allowing us to embrace our strength and turn our diabetes journey into a flourishing exploration of life.


Download my Thrive with Type 1 Diabetes After 40 guide for a simple action plan to start excelling in midlife while managing diabetes!


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Protein foods, salmon, chicken, eggs, cheese and woman using resistance bands.

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