Confessions of a Carboholic!

I just starting counting my carbs yesterday. Phew!! It's killing me already. I did a low carb diet WAY back b4 I had any health problems.....maybe in my 20's? I did 60 carbs a day and I now have NO idea how I did that!! Unless I was doing it improperly but I did lose a good amount of weight. I'm one of those people who has always been "chunky" since I was 5 and had my tonsils out. Then I had a wonderful Mom who lived thru the depression era and cooked with bacon grease and we had a 3 (at least) course meal for every meal. Lots of butter, ice cream sundaes on Sunday....shrimp/french fries on Friday nights....ok, I will stop there! lol How many carbs is a person supposed to have? I read where someone had posted an article that doctor's say "we" shouldn't have a low-carb diet. ??? I saw an old chart of how to figure it on the net but a rocket scientist I am not!! haha Help me out here friends. :)

How many carbs is a person supposed to have? Bingo! Ask 50 people here, and you'll probably get 40 different answers. The honest answer is... what works for you. You need to experiment with yourself, eat to your meter, log and figure out what foods spike your BG in what quantities. If you search TuD, you'll find loads of threads on low carb. The Dr. Bernstein Diabetes Solution Group might be a good place to start.

Are you counting carbs only for weight loss or for BG control too? Personally, I find that I have pretty good control eating ~30 carbs a day.

Hi jrtpup! :) I kind of figured that. Wow!! 30 carbs a day. I've went over that already! LOL They say you should eat bran bread or high fiber but what they don't tell you is that it is WAY higher in carbs and calories and it's a bigger piece of bread, although yummy. I am trying the low carb diet to try to lose the weight Actos made me put on, plus hopefully more.....AND also for my BG. I've got to start somewhere.

Thanks for your reply. :) I will surely look into that group as well.

All breads, baked goods, grain, starchy veggies are high carb whether whole grain or not. You don't *have to* eat 30 carbs a day, but DO do a lot of reading and research so you can make an informed choice :) IMO low carb is a great place to start!

Just a suggestion.........there is a website called They have a free toolbar there and you can type in anything and get the info about what you eat. Just make sure your diet is less than 30% fat and you'll be fine.

There's an interesting book, "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes that is sort of a history of science book talking about nutrition and how fat became the villain, instead of carbs. This was after World War II, when the "food pyramid" replaced a more balanced approach that had been preferred. Taubes cites the prewar science, doctors treating people with weight problems by restricting carbs, I think some back in the late 18th century or thereabouts? This was "the plan" until after the war.

It sort of seems a bit suspicious that, at the same time the government was suggesting "eat more carbs" they were also, through the AMA, steering people away from fat. Taubes lays out the scientific "evidence" behind this and suggests that the "fat" studies had scientific shortcomings and didn't actually show that fat and cholesterol caused heart problems and obesity. He also points to other studies, which didn't exactly get a good reception given the "trend" against fat/ cholesterol which had spread into popular culture through the media. He explores the question of how many carbs do you really need (which reminds me a bit of the Tolstoy story ""How Much Land Does a Man Need". and notes some scientists, who's names escape me, suggested up to 75 would "work", rather than the Bernsteinian 30. I cheat and don't eat a lot of carbs during the day during the week, which gives me a good benchmark for my rates and ratios and then I let 'er rip at night.

Thanks Mike! :))

Hi there acidrock! :) Isn't it interesting how the government seems to undermine everything??

The title of the book gave me a bit of a's kind of like.........duh! lol Because we eat too much no matter what it is. I really had come to the point where I thought all I could eat was celery and carrots! lol

I really hate I do something light....but as I saw someone else's more lunch and mostly dinner which is the problem for me.

You all have given me the encouragement I needed to TRY to do it!!! Now if the lovely state government would understand that there should be special consideration to diabetics and stop taking away our means of support for GOOD, HEALTHY would make being "D" a lot easier. Indiana is one of the worst states for really "seeing" or "caring" about what is really needed!!

Thanks again. Pam :) Blessings!!

It does matter what it is though. I'm about halfway through his other, more detailed book "Good Calories Bad Calories" and, while I didn't get the conclusion, he has cited a number of studies suggesting that carbs are, in fact, the villain for all sorts of things, BG control, heart problems, etc.

I used to eat a sandwich, chips, yogurt and an apple for lunch, or go out w/ my buddies and have bacon cheeseburgers, gyros, fries and other horrors and ended up weighing about 275 lbs. About 6 years ago, I realized that was a problem and made some changes and am about 180ish now and eat 1/2 sandwich for lunch. I eat nuts/ cheese for snacks. Sometimes I eat them wolfishly and there are few days I don't think "I should just pullthehelloverandbuysome%^&*$#%potatochips" but, most of the time, I don't. I also started exercising sort of compulsively but Taubes seems to think that doesn't help that much. I dunno.

Hi Pam. I agree with what others said, that the choice over how many carbs to eat is highly individual. But I also want to emphasize what jrtpup said about eating to your meter. Since you said you just started counting carbs, I'm assuming you are still in the process of figuring your I:C ratio to determine your mealtime insulin doses? I know Type 2's are not always told to check frequently, but since you are now on insulin it's important to check before your meal, to help determine and modify dose, and then two hours after the meal to see how you did and if you are out of range to correct.

But that post prandial test also gives you some good information about how your body handled the foods you ate. Some people think you just take more insulin to match as many carbs as you care to eat. But there are definite drawbacks to that approach including insulin resistance (or increased IR) and weight gain. Some of us also find there is a number of carbs beyond which we can't predictably bolus. For me it is 50 carbs which I would only eat at dinner when I have a more generous I:C ratio. I don't eat low carb, but I definitely believe in Bernstein's Law of Small Numbers: The less carbs you eat, the less insulin you need, the less chance of (large) errors.

But since you are struggling with carbs, I'm not sure you wouldn't be setting yourself up for failure if you tried immediately to go very low carb. Perhaps you could work your way down gradually if that's what you want to do. But meanwhile, start somewhere by seeing what carbs consistently cause your blood sugar to spike over your target at the 2 hour mark, and either eliminate those carbs or modify the serving size. Some of have foods we find we can't bolus for at all reliably in any reasonable serving size and it's easier to just skip them. For me those foods are rice and cereal. Pasta's pretty hard for me too but since I'm a vegetarian it's often the only available choice if I go out for dinner. So keep trying foods and keep testing and you'll find a place that is comfortable for you. Later you might choose to lower it.

Finally, sugar for sure, and all carbs really are quite addictive, more so for some of us than others. I myself am a sugar addict and so have chosen to not eat sugar for 17 years (long before my D diagnosis). So you will find if you reduce your carb intake, your cravings will reduce as well. Good luck to you!

Hi Zoe, I think I may have made things confusing. I'm good at that! LOL I only do one shot of insulin in the morning, I'm not doing the b4 meals one...(yet). It was just my decision to do "something" about my diet and I have been to dieticians in that past for high blood pressure and diabetes so I kind of know where I'm going with this plus I did the low-carb diet long time ago. I have to admit it was very hard today....especially when it got to dinner time but I know I've had at least 1/2 of the carbs I would normally eat!! So, that's a start. Maybe I shouldn't say I'm a carboholic....but more of a starchoholic!! I love rice, cereal, potatoes (most of all), bread (in the morning mostly) and the list goes on. Oh, not being able to have sugar kills me!! I love sweets but have cut them out (most of the time)......I do cheat once in awhile with just a tiny bit of something to take that craving away. I know it's a major no no though. This is all just SO hard!!

Thank you very much for all of the info though because who knows what the future holds since I just started my journey with insulin.

Happy New Year!!!

I DEF know how hard it is!! I commend you for making that choice yourself to do "something"! Good for you. It's really difficult to turn down the foods that you love the most when other people are sitting around eating anything they want and never gain an ounce and don't have to worry about their blood sugar......somehow it just doesn't seem fair does it? I hope I can come back one day and say that I've lost 30+ pounds!!

Bless your heart. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! :)

Even if you aren't using meal time insulin, you'll get a lot of information from taking your blood sugar right before you eat and two hours later. Ideally, the rise should be no more than 30 points. If a meal (or number of carbs) consistently takes you high, you can make a change in food and/or portion size.


Hi Maurie,

Yes, that is true. My bsl's aren't under control yet, still working on that raising my insulin intake by 5 units each week (per doc) til I get to the right amount. Not sure where that will be since I started at 20! Ugh!! Thank you for the advice. :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Pam =^..^=

Actually, since sugar is so addictive, Pam, it doesn't really work that way "cheating once in awhile with a tiny bit of something to take that craving away" just makes the craving worse. If you can go for 30 days with no sugar at all, you will find your cravings dramatically reduced. With carbs in general, obviously you can't do that.

Most people do find that they need bolus insulin as well as basal. If you are having high blood sugars two hours after meals on a regular basis, that is showing you that is needed.

What's the deal with tonsils? I was a very healthy, skinny child until I had my tonsils out at 5, for no apparent reason other than it was the "thing to do" in 1952. In a few months I was chubby and have had to fight obesity ever since.

I sympathize with your desire/fear of changing your eating. I have dealt with this in so many ways since my dx 18 mos. ago. I found it so hard just to follow the ADA guidelines (ie 3 carb exchanges per meal), which is not that low! I got (sort of) comfortable eating like that, and recently am cutting down to 2 or 2.5 exchanges per meal.
You write "I love rice, cereal, potatoes (most of all), bread (in the morning mostly) and the list goes on."
For me, the key is building a meal around a bounty of very low carb veggies: greens, salad, cabbage. Then a substantial protein source. And the carb is just a small part of the meal. I.e, scrambled eggs or frittata with lotza vegetables. I keep trying out new veggies, experimenting.
When I cook a pot of brown rice or quinoa, I freeze several single servings (1/3 C)--easy to portion control this way.

Good luck with your carb reduction. I had nothing sweet, real or artificial, for four months, and never lost my sweet tooth. We are all different but for me reducing carbs slowly works better.

I should probably clarify what I wrote about sugar/carb addiction. Like any addiction, it has both a psychological and a physiological component. The physiological component should be gone in about 30 days, but the psychological component takes work. For those of us for whom sugar is a problem we need to get the physical addiction out of the way then work on the psychological aspects. For others, it's not as important. Just having a "sweet tooth" and being able to enjoy sweets occasionally is a very different thing from those of us for whom its truly addictive. I'm really grateful I got my addiction under control 13 years before I was diagnosed with diabetes!

Hi Zoe, I have read and agree with the fact that you cannot or should not totally deny yourself of the things loved most. If you are able to do that then kudos to you. :) I don't see where having one Hershey's kiss to satisfy a craving is going to hurt anything.....instead of denying yourself and then one day end up eating a whole bag of them. The same with fruit or anything else. There are different fruits that have more sugar in them than other's. For me, I don't care for fruit anyway....most are too acidic for me.....I try to eat yellow apples....they say the lighter the less sugar. They are about the only fruit I can tolerate. I also have gastrointestinal issues as well. I appreciate your help and comments though. Happy New Year!!