Best Diet Plan- Carb or Calorie Counting

My husband was just diagnosed Type ll. His A1C was 11. I have tried to ease sugarfree/diet food into his diet for years and he has always resisted. Now he has to make a change. I am looking for advice- I believe it may be easier for him to follow a low carb diet rather than follow an exchange calorie counting diet. What would be the goal in a low carb diet to stay within an 1800 calorie diet? Also, I am looking for any food suggestions. I have been type ll for years, but my taste is different than his.

Hi Lynn,

A few months ago I was forced to change my ways. I was (and still am) overweight. By A1c was way to high. All my labs were pretty bad. I went to the doctor and he said I needed to exercise and watch what I eat. I started calorie counting using a couple of free websites out there. Everyhing I ate, I logged. I added my exercise and it would tell me what I need to eat and still lose weight. I watched my carb intake to keep my sugars down. In three months, I lost 25 pounds and dropped my A1c from 8.4 to 6.3. Since April, I have lost 40 pounds and still have 40 more to go. It is hard, but worth it. The calorie counting helped me to realize what exactly was going into my body. It was amazing to see how many calories I would eat in a day. No wonder I was overweight. I counted the calories for about three months. I don’t do it anymore, but am very aware of what I am eating. This worked for me, and your mileage may vary. I hope that this helps. PM me if you want to know the websites I used. Good luck!

Thanks Mike,

I think that’s a great idea. I’m sure that becoming more aware and mindful of the calorie intake will be a sound starting point. For my husband, a bowl of tomato soup is a good food, but the entire can is too much of a good thing. I would definately be interested in those web sites.

Congratulations on your success!

Hi Lynn,

I’d suggest meeting with a nutritionist. That would help your husband figure out how to eat what he likes, while staying on track in terms of total calories consumed. If a plan is too restrictive, he won’t stick too it. If it works in the things he likes, he’ll stick to it.

For me, logging everything I eat is the ONLY way to stay on track. I am usually good, but some days I don’t take good notes, and not surprisingly, those are the days I overeat. I count calories and track carb exchanges. I started using the exchange system back in the late 90s, and I’ve recently added calorie counting to the mix. It helps me stay on track to keep an eye on both. For me, it’s all about accountability. Here’s a glimpse of what I use…

Cheers, Mike
7083-foodplan20090820exchangesandgraph.jpg (354 KB)

Thanks for posting that link, Mike - I’ve sent it to myself at home - hope you don’t mind if I use it.

Chicken Marsala (without the Pasta) or with very little pasta would be a great dish. Thin sliced chicken, Marsala wine, mushrooms, butter, olive oil, garlic. But I would make it at home so I could control what was in it. Beef Bournignon, another. My niece, Type 1, has been on a 180 to 200 gram carbs a day diet since diagnosis. 180 grams translates to 1800 calorie. I think it would be better to carb count, than calorie count. Quinoa pasta (can get at Whole foods or online), the one that comes in a turquoise colored box does not spike my niece’s blood sugar, though all other pasta does, even Dreamfield’s. We have to count carbs for all food she eats and give her insulin for it, but she gets 20 grams free of the Quinoa pasta or her blood sugar will drop. Wonder if it is true for everyone, you may want to try it. Still, if you are getting 60 grams per meal or 70 grams, you will not get much pasta. For adults, I would advise going low carb for lunch if you can. That should give you a long stretch of time when you will be in range.


this is the site that I used to keep track of stuff. Has a large data base of stuff, and you can put your own in as well.

Fish, chicken breasts, pork filet, broccoli, cauliflower, sauerkraut. Eliminated completely rice, bread, cakes, cereals and high starch stuff. Beware of low fat yogurts not health food for diabetics the starch (a synonym of blood sugar) content is so high at least here in Canada that I have to buy high fat sour creams or yogurts to get around that. In my case a high fat diet even with high cholesterol gives me better blood lipids than a low fat high carb diet. With an A1c of 11 how are hub’s lipids? Must be a mess.

You should get him into seeing a Diabetic Dietitian would be a good starting point that and getting him to a diabetic class so that he can learn from others who are also new to it.

I can’t say low carb because what is low for one is to high for another and to low for yet another, counting calories works for some but it can also mean that it can take over your life if you get obsessive over it.

I use for my tracking, but I also have used the web site I find a combo of the two work rather well for me in general. Since SP doesn’t offer a specific diabetic plan, but what diabeticlivingonline offers helps make SP work for me in general, that and what I worked out with my own dietitian.

Calories don’t count! Low carb will him bring his weight under control and not stress his insulin levels. It works for many.

The best plan will be one he can live with, which might be low carb, might be exchanges, might be simply heart-healthy or Mediterranian, etc. The two of you should see a dietician who can help design a diet or diets you will be able to stick to and enjoy.

Hi Robert,

By all means feel free to use it. Just be aware that it’s personalized to my 2500-cal/day meal plan, and it’s got my personalized basal rates in there. I’d be glad to send you the original (MS Word 2000) and then you can tweak it to whatever works for you.

Cheers, Mike

p.s. - Wait, never mind. I’ll just post it here.
7082-foodplan20090820exchangesandgraph.doc (115 KB)

I love spaghetti. If I didn’t have some self control…well, anyway, I have two suggestions for you, relative to pasta. They don’t include whole wheat pasta, because I don’t like it.

  1. spaghetti squash. Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
  2. I always eat the same volume of vegetables, like broccoli, as I do pasta.
  3. Okay, 3 suggestions. My coworker eats broccoli and cauliflower underneath his pasta sauce.

sugar free pudding mixes are wonderful. The weight watchers point plan is pretty cool too. You can have anything as long as you stay in your point range.