Which lifestyle plan is best for a diabetic?
The best lifestyle plan is the one that works for YOU, at teaching you to change your mind and your focus on food, not your willpower… and at keeping your blood sugars at or below your goal numbers. To me, that’s a cross between lowered carbing (not quite as low as Atkins, but waaaay lower than the recommended 225 grams of carbs… I eat about 60-80 carbs a day), and intuitive eating. Diets are temporary things. Intuitive and focused eating that retrains your mind is forever. You can google intuitive eating for many great blogs and sites that explain it in more detail. My favorite author on the subject is Geneen Roth, “Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating.” Not only do I now have the blood sugars of someone without Diabetes, but I have also lost 75 lbs. Lowering carbs is by far the best way to control Diabetes… I despise diet plans, like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and all that stuff. All they want is your money, and for you to fail so you can come back and keep giving em more money… because they don’t deal with the reason why we overeat to begin with – the psychology behind it… And they label food as “healthy,” and “unhealthy,” which creates food issues within people.
Personally, don’t like Atkins (I had tried that to lose weight and felt sick after about five days) but I like South Beach which is more moderate carb. Whatever works for you. Type 1s need not be restricted to low carb diets, and I am not convinced very low carb is best. Based on observation, moderately low carb works better than following the endo’s guidelines. But we generally follow endo’s guidelines, neither forcing food when my niece is not hungry or denying food if she is hungry. I have observed if she eats 100 to 130 grams per day, her blood sugars are more stable than if she eats 1800 to 2000 a day.
It is well known that the first week or two of Atkins can be challenge for some. The body must adapt from its dependence on carbs to a broader utilization of fat and protein. The book “New Atkins for You” talks about this.
The Weight Watchers diet is a calorie restriction diet and is very prescribed. If you join a group, that can also be a plus. But, it is not a carb limited diet, and thus may not the best for a diabetic, particularly a type 2. I believe that the Atkins on the other hand is well suited to diabetics, particularly type 2s. It specifically controls and limits carbs, exactly the dietary treatment suggested for diabetes and in particular for type 2s.
Everyone needs to choose their own path. You can be successful on many different diets.