First day on low-carb eating habit change

Over the past year I've been told by several doctors that my fasting blood sugar was too high. One even diagnosed me with Diabetes based on that, then another said my A1C was not in the diabetic range but it was close (causing the first doctor to rescind his diagnosis of diabetes). Recently my new family doctor said my A1C was 6.2 and that it should be <= 5.9. I have to face the facts, I'm pre- (if not actually) diabetic.

So I've decided to tackle my carb intake. It's been off the chart up until now, with an average breakfast consisting of a sausage, egg -n- cheese biscuit, tater-tots, and a large soda from BK, with lunch and dinner about the same (subway subs, burgers, lots of bread, sugar, etc). Add to that the fact that I'm a Pepsi addict and you have the recipe for disaster. BTW, I'm 42, 6 foot tall, and weigh 235 lbs (mostly in the gut).

Today, after a lot of research, I started taking control of my carbs. I decided I needed to keep my carbs under 25 to see if I could lose weight. Then I discovered I had just re-invented the Atkins diet... LOL! :) I'm not following Atkins, just winging it.

For breakfast I had a flour tortilla (didn't have low-carb ones yet) wrap with 2 eggs (1 yolk... the cat got the other one). For lunch I had a low-carb tortilla with 2 beef hot dogs and a slice of cheddar cheese (all heated in a frying pan) and some mayonnaise. For dinner I had a low-carb tortilla with a couple of slices of Bologna, a slice of cheddar cheese (all heated in frying pan) and mayonnaise. Also I've had about 4 or 5 glasses of water today, no soda. I did have to go buy some 5-hour caffeine drinks (Rock On Energy Shot "Berry Blast", no carbs) to keep the caffeine addiction under control (was getting VERY jittery without the caffeine from the soda).

Flour torilla - 25g
2 egg whites, 1 yolk - 1g
2 low-carb tortillas - 14g
2 hotdogs - 6g
2 slices cheddar cheese - 0
mayonnaise - 0
2 slices Bologna - 1g (what would "< 1g" x 2 equal? :P)

Total carbs today? 47g (would have been 29 if I had had a low-carb tortilla for breakfast). Compared to the HUNDREDS in my normal diet, it's a good start.

What have I learned today?
- Low/no-carb Breakfast cereal doesn't seem to exist.
- Low carb doesn't mean unhappy/hungry. Today I was quite satisfied with the food I ate.
- You subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbs to get net carbs, which is what you count. Fiber isn't digested and so doesn't count, but it makes the food take longer to process so the body can extract more nutrients from it.
- I need to snack in between meals, so I need a good low/no-carb snack. I prefer crunchy/salty, so I found some almonds (Blue Diamond Almonds - Smokehouse, ~28 almonds is 2 carbs). I'll try these between meals tomorrow.
- I'm not sure how to get it under 25 and still be happy (I love food). I suppose I could have had 1 hotdog in the wrap instead of 2... That would get it to 26... But then add 3 snacks of almonds and it's up to 32.
- I think I'm going to live on low-carb tortilla wraps at this point; some variety would be nice.

So... Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Throw them at me. I'm completely new at this and welcome any and all input (positive or negative).


A sudden change in diet can upset your digestion. It might be better to slowly change your diet to prevent that from happening. It might not be necessary to reduce your carbs that much. If you don’t already have a meter, get one. It will help you find out if the food you are eating is raising your blood sugar. You might be denying yourself food that doesn’t cause you any problem.

No vegetables? Going low carb is great, but your diet seems a bit unbalanced with absolutely no vegies, and you need the vitamins. Actually low carb breakfasts are quite possible. Thing eggs; scrambles or omelettes with cheese, vegies, and if you like it sausage or bacon. You say you weren’t unhappy today, which is great, but it sounds a bit monotonous and you can add variety with different proteins, salads and vegies. Also you might want to stay away from processed foods such as bologna and hotdogs, not only because they aren’t too diet friendly but also just generally not very healthy. Be sure and read labels, processed foods often have unexpected sugars and therefore carbs. You asked! Cute cat, glad he enjoyed an egg yolk; mine struggles with keeping her weight up and so she gets cheese every day.

Congratulations on taking your health in hand and making some monumental changes. Just remember to keep up the idea of enjoying your meals, not feeling deprived and having variety so you don’t get burned out too quickly. Poco a poco as we say in Spanish…little by little…is the best way to make changes.

goldensun: Great feed back! I’ve never really used a meter before (I got one back when I was diagnosed, and then un-diagnosed, with diabetes, but only used it briefly). I need to do some research on the proper way to use it (when to use it, what to look for, etc). Denying myself foods I don’t need to doesn’t sound fun. My main goal right now, though, is to lose weight. I need to lose 50 to 60 lbs and keep it off. Permanently.

Zoe: Thanks so much for the feed back! I do realize I need to add vegetables, and an omelette sounds like one of many great ways. As for the processed foods, I was excited to find that the hotdogs and lunch meat were low in carbs and thought that would be a great way to enjoy the food and stay low-carb… I suppose I’ll have to re-think that. I’m a big fan of meat. Any suggestions on easy to prepare meats for things like wraps?

One issue I have to deal with is that I work from home 2 or 3 days a week (which makes this easy), but I have to go into my client’s office 2 or 3 times a week and on those days I still have to figure out how to deal with meals.

Also, I hate to use the word “diet”. That word carries with it strong connotations of “temporary” and gaining weight back when you stop the diet. What I want to do is learn new eating habits that are a permanent part of my lifestyle. I may be going to drastic at first, but it’s a learning process.

Since your goal is to improve your blood sugar, I would suggest you get a meter and test at 1 and 2 hours after eating to find out which foods are causing your blood sugar to spike. Many of us find that any kind of grain, even low carb bread and/or tortillas cause an unacceptable spike, others find they can eat these foods. It’s worth it to invest in the testing to find out. No sense in depriving your self if you don’t have to. Here’s a website that really helped me BloodSugar101 scroll down to the bottom of the page and read the Lower your Blood Sugar Flyer. The whole site is excellent.

This forum is an great resource for low carb ideas. There are several groups on this site that can help you. One I find particularly useful is The Bernstein Solution Group, plenty of tips and recipe ideas.

Here’s a link for Microwave Flaxmeal Muffins on this site that can give you a very low carb, easy to prepare breakfast.

I would second goldensun’s suggestion to take it slow. I went cold turkey and it messed up my digestion until my body got used to it. Remember, as Zoe says, veggies are a low carbers friend.

Congratulations on taking the first step and remember that what ever diet you come up with has to be one you can stay with for the long term.