Any tips on learning to ENJOY a low carb LIFESTYLE?

I’ve tried and tried and tried to be moderate with carbs, and I am like an addict with them. Try to keep a loaf of bread in my house and the thing gets eaten almost in a day. I just CANNOT make myself eat moderately.

I WANT to eat and enjoy the low carb lifestyle and just stay away from carbs (I’m an all or nothing personality in almost everything in life).

Tips? I have no food allergies, but I suck at cooking (and don’t enjoy it). I don’t overly like eggs, but can stomach like 1 HB egg at a time or scrambled with cheese.

I eat for one and live alone.

Lemme know…

Make sure there is a high fat element for satiety at each meal. Peanut butter, avocado, and cream cheese are high caloric/low carb additions.
A breakfast of eggs, +meat equivalent plus some spinach sautéed on olive oil with some diced cauliflower would do.
A snack of dried meat, low sugar full fat yogurt, nuts, cheese wedges would be great.
A baked chicken thighs for lunch with baked/oven roasted broccoli or cauliflower served with it would work- maybe a small no crouton on Caesar salad.
Snacks see above.
Dinner roasted sausages with stir fried low carb veggies, and maybe a garbanzo bean salad.
Use full-fat milk and yogurts as you will feel more saited.
Also add lots of dishes to a meal, like a third vegetable or two fruits, so that there is a variety of diabetic friendly stuff. One of the things official meal plan/nutrition folk miss is the need for texture and choice in pleasng a person with diabetes. Grapes are a bad choice, but a waldorf salad or ambrosia can be great.
to-do list

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I think these guys make the best bread. Its super filling. Its high fiber, which counteracts some of the carb. But, its sold in the freezer section and is hard to find in the store. And, its really expensive, which is the main reason I don’t buy it all the time. You also need to keep it in the fridge in the summer or it goes bad quickly. Its an unusual bread, but its delicious.

I resist low carb like the plague. This is really the best that I can do for low carb carbohydrate. Its not technically low carb, its that the fiber counteracts the carb and that grains digest slowly, so you wont see as pronounced spikes.

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Take a look at this and chances are you will find a great compromise.

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I am on a low carb eating program. MY BIGGEST problem to overcome was my sweet tooth. I began treating my want like an addiction; to sugar/sucrose/fructose and any other ‘ose’. Once my attitude moved toward thinking of sugar as an addictive substance, like alcohol, and after 3 days my want decreased. I still get cravings, but am able to stave them off. I then went to work on complex carbohydrates like bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and any other complex carbohydrate. I have replaced the sugar and complex carbohydrates with increased consumption fat, protein and fiber. I use Stevia as a sweetener substitute for sugar and am trying different flours for cooking and eating. Almond flour, coconut flour, lupin flour etc. They all cook differently than wheat based flour. Lots of, “I can’t eat this.” Until I learned which online recipes worked for me. My carbs per meal are as low as 6 and as high as 20. I also buy low carb pasta. BEFORE you begin a low carb diet consult your medical doctor, your endocrinologist and definitively hire or get educated by a qualified nutritionist, as there are many pitfalls to ANY restricted eating habits. MY low carb eating is almost twice as expensive as my previous eating habits. My insulin usage went from 74 units per day to 55 units per day. YOUR RESULTS WILL VARY. I have been at it for two years now and have not gained any weight nor lost any weight. Read ALL the dangers of a low carb diet before you begin, then consult your doctors and educators second. You will better understand what they will be telling you. Good luck.

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Thanks! I appreciate when people share their experiences. I would only EVERY make a decision for me based on my own research and my own doctor’s advice, no worries there! I think hearing from other Diabetics provides a lot of valuable insight!

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I recommend that you acknowledge and accept that highly processed carbohydrate starches are nothing more than long strings of glucose molecules holding hands. They light up the same area of the brain as some highly addictive street drugs.

Processed carbohydrates can be highly addictive. For some people this addictive quality can be unusually strong. Just as alcoholics realize that partial abstinence is doomed to failure, for many, limiting their consumption of highly palatable processed carbs to less frequent “treats” does not usually end well.

For me, when I cut out all the bread, potatoes, noodles, pasta, crackers and rice, I found that their addictive power over me receded after a few weeks and I no longer had to exert considerable willpower to resist. If I lapse and allow myself even one “treat,” I will be forced to amp up my willpower to resist increasing my treat schedule. Once I discarded the whole idea of a treat meal or treat day, I was no longer forced to steel my willpower to defend my health.

There are many low carb baked recipes that use alternate flours, like almond, and artificial sweeteners, like stevia, to create “safe” keto treats. In the face of an addictive personality, these safe treats can become a problem. They certainly can be eaten in moderation with little ongoing effect but if you bake yourself a treat and then consume the whole thing in a single sitting, that will lead to increased insulin doses and inevitable weight gain.

Bottom line, I recommend going cold turkey in the transition to a low carb lifestyle. Don’t tease your body with the hope of scratching a deep, familiar itch. After a few weeks, you can concentrate on discovering all the tasty, densely nutritional, and satiating foods possible in this new way of eating.

If you’re trying to jump a chasm and land safely on the other side, the only way to successfully do that is to go all out and jump as far as you can. Taking baby steps is not going to work, will waste your time, and fail.

Good luck! This is not easy work to do and sometimes means trying and failing multiple times. As long as you get back up after each failure, dust yourself off and try again, you will succeed. Persistence will reward you in the end.

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Trader Joe’s super bread has 12g of carbs per slice. And it’s really good!

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Well said!! Thanks for the thoughtful and informative reply!

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Why do you feel you need to adopt a low carb lifestyle? If you choose to do so for other reasons then that is fine, but not all of us who are T1 have found it necessary. If you are really “addicted” to “all” carb, then of course getting it all out of your house is the only way. But most of us are “addicted” to only certain foods, and not whole food groups.

Most of us can stop satisfied after eating a single piece of fresh fruit, or a single piece or two of whole grain bread, or a fresh tomato in a salad, or a serving of wild rice, etc. Maybe some people would find these natural carb containing foods “addictive”, but I don’t. As a T1 I need to inject for my meals, so I simply inject for my meals counting the healthy nutritious carb in it, while keeping the junk that is easy to overeat (white bread and rolls, cakes, cookies, soda, candy, breakfast cereal) out of the house.

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I must be truly “addicted” because if I try to have say crackers, or bread with other lower carb items (cheese, meats, veg, etc.) I end up going back for more of the crackers and/or bread items like a crazed animal. Not EVERY time, but most of the times. And it’s more often than not, and every time it’s like I’m white-knuckling the urge. I was actually like this even prior to becoming a diabetic, not sure what it is about me. I could probably work on it with a counselor or something, but for now I just want to fix the issue so I don’t have terrible sugars as a result. When I eat low carb, I don’t want MORE, because I don’t want more of those items. And, I’m actually full most of the time. I still want the starchy carbs, but if I don’t “start”, I don’t have that crazed reaction. It sounds ridiculous, but that is the best way I can describe my “why”.

I admire your self-awareness about this. Don’t think that your situation is unusual. I believe this is common these days.

Processed food companies, like ones who make snack chips and crackers, spend a lot of resources studying the physiological and psychological impact of seasonings, spices, and food textures. They make highly palatable foods that produce the desire to consume more. That is a deliberate feature of the food.

I think breakfast cereal companies invest a ton into designing the taste of their products so they’re difficult to resist. They exploit our weakness.

If you want to kick the habit of these processed carbs, you will increase your chances of success by keeping these items out of the house. While you crave and miss eating your favorite crackers and bread, heat up some bone broth and sip until the urge passes. Here’s a product I like that I get from Costco.

I add sea salt to taste. The salt will help curb your carb desire.

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Yeah, but that’s why I tried to make a distinction between highly processed industrial foods stripped of nutrients leaving sugar and fat, and carb containing foods from nature leaving nutrients intact. It is these foods from nature, which I consider to include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, that I find not only incredibly tasty, but nutritious AND non-“addictive” though they clearly contain carbs. Talking about all carb containing foods as processed and “addictive”, as if they were all bags of snack food, is imho quite misleading.

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This was never my intention. I was simply addressing the original poster’s comments about the bread and crackers that she finds addictive.

I agree that there is a difference between snack food carbs and the carbs present in many vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. I’ve never heard of an addiction to broccoli!

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Nor have I heard of an addiction to fresh fruit, or carrots, or tomatoes, or peas, or beans, or corn, or whole grain bread, or wild rice, etc, etc. The bernstein/keto diet prohibits a lot of foods that I don’t consider “addictive” in the least.

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I sympathize. The CGM has made a huge difference in the way I eat carbs, since I can see in real time what they do in balance with the insulin. I now eat a regular meal’s carbs in 2 or more settings. I can do this because I’m mostly retired and can eat when I want. But once I started this protocol I have had almost zero high glucose spikes. I didn’t change the total amount of carbs consumed, just the timing.

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Ohhhh! I just bought some bone broth tonight:)

Using a CGM to refine the timing of your meal-based carbs is brilliant. We only control two levers when it comes to dosing insulin: dose size and dose timing. The timing aspect is the most under-utilized tactic we can control. So many people ignore the pre-bolus or just use a standardized 15 minutes in every situation. The CGM is a tremendous asset to inform us about our insulin timing. You’re smart to use it that way.

@Lisa_Jane – let us know how the bread and cracker war goes! Many people report a rapid fall-off of these urges once a week or two of non-consumption occurs. Unfortunately, these foods will attempt to upend your new habit from time to time. After a longer period of time, you may notice that even these occasional temptations retreat.

Remember: no food tastes as good as a normal blood sugar feels!

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Thanks @Terry4 I will let ya’ll know!! I was just checking my Dexcom clarity data and am hoping to improve my A1C, but I gotta give it some time. I have been “on point” for 2 days now. I had a mini snack attack last night, but with it consisting of cheese, berries, stevia sweetened chocolate and a couple pieces of fancy break-the-bank keto bread, I didn’t experience any blood sugar roller coasters, nor did I go crazy in the calories department. BUT, I did feel sick to my stomach afterwards! Keto makes me full and overeating Keto makes me feel gross, which is actually a good thing, because I stress and boredom eat.

I encourage you to focus first on lowering the statical measures of glucose variability before concentrating on the A1c or average glucose. Lowering glucose variability first then enables safely lowering the average BG and A1c without posing an undue threat of severe hypoglycemia.

Most people who try to improve their glycemia through CGM use try to lower the average glucose and thus the A1c directly without first emphasizing lowering glucose variability. If you lower your glucose variability, your average glucose and A1c will often follow.

Standard Deviation (SD) and Coefficient of Variation (CV) are the two measures that Dexcom Clarity provides to target glucose variability.

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