How can I change my eating?

Hi, I am NEW to “tudiabetes” and I am just going to jump in here and say that I feel like an alcoholic trying to w/draw themselves from boose. I LOVE to eat - I have lived on my own for 16 years and love pasta and bread - I have even eaten ice cream for dinner before - I also eat good things - meats, fish, chicken, veggies… but it is such a hard habit to break - I cannot just snap out of it - and this could ruin my life as I know it - but for some reason I just cannot snap out of it… What made you guys strong and realize that you cannot slip up w/the food?? I went to the grocery store last night and got discouraged, b/c even the single servings of Wt. Watchers and those types of desserts still had too many carbs - and Sugar Free and No Sugar Added (which is such a HORRIBLE sneaky sales tactic to put on a package) sill has at least 1/12 units of carbs per seriving. Not to mention that that that serving size is not what I consider a serving.

… signed,
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Carolyn, what made me want to change is easy. I don’t want heart disease, renal failure, retinopathy or neuropathy! I scared myself into eating healthy at first using all these complications as ‘threats’, but slowly eating healthy has become a lifestyle. One struggle though, I have an incurable salt tooth which has led me to munch on things which aren’t good for me, like potato chips and salted nuts. I’d say changing your diet isn’t the easiest thing to do, but what motivates me is the fact that it is NOT restricting what you eat, but rather changing your whole lifestyle. Think of it as putting effort into thinking about what goes into your mouth, and know that you’re doing your overall health some good. Good luck!

have you tried breaking up your meals to smaller meals? my CDE recommended that i eat 5 meals a day. so i eat at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm. since i’m eating so close together i find that i don’t eat as much at one sitting, because i’m full!

I do something like this. I eat at 8am, 12nn, 4pm and 7pm. But the key to this is to be a little flexible and not be so rigid about eating time. I give myself one-hour time frames for each meal. It works pretty well and my control is quite tight, but lately I’ve had some trouble with having very late dinner because my exams end at 7pm and by the time I get home and eat it is 830 or 845pm and so my numbers have been more unstable. But splitting up your carb content into tinier portions and having them spread throughout the day is something I strongly reccomend as well.

Carolyn…I was trying to word a similar post myself. I read a past discussion on this site about Dr Bernstein and his recommendation for very lilmited carb amounts. I felt myself to be knowledgeable, and I am interested in nutrition. I try to eat healthfully, but obviously, with an A1c of 7+, I am doing it all wrong. I am looking for the motivation to give up what I consider healthy. Forget cookies, pizza and potato chips. If my 1 slice of ww bread or 1/2 C of brown rice and my no-fat fruit smoothies and glass of skim milk are the enemy…I am wondering how to have any semblance of happiness at the table! (and why should it so bad to have ice cream for dinner once in awhile?)

I plan to go buy his book for the inspiration. I am hoping that I can come to a compromise with his restrictive routine and that suggested by landileigh and Daena…I tend to graze anyway. I need to try to be more responsible about it.

Any other hints for us? I know that protein and fats help with BS spikes…the apparent devil. Any examples of combos that allow fruit and/or whole grains with out horrible numbers? (Or even ice cream?)

I think Libby talked about some tricks of dosing for fruit, and I have had some success with that, but it requires (for me) a very conscious vigilance, that I can’t seem to trust myself with routinely.

We all know we are making a choice…keep our numbers low or suffer the consequences. Like you say, like giving up booze or cigarettes…but any tips for making it easier are welcome…

Thank you for responding - It was freaky to see things and feel things that have already slightly complicated my body… such as cuts or scrapes not healing as quickly as they used to and I have some spots on my leg from Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum - so I see that I am not “immortal” and wonder if I can scare myself into eating better. I have such a crutch on comfort foods that I am finding it very hard. I have tried to schedule my eathing in smaller meals/snacks more frequently - that is still a work in progress, b/c I cannot yet commit to the late afternoon schedule - dinner times always vary. I really needed some feedback to see what others have done to succeed in thier fight w/this disease. Good luck with your exams!!

Thank you for responding!! This was something that was suggested to me - and I am doing ok with it - although, I cannot yet commit to the late afternoon schedule - dinner times always vary. I just love food - I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, never did drugs - my ONLY vice was food - that is really hard on me.

I am sorry, Carolyn…I just realized that this is in the T2 section and I am T1. Some of what I said may not apply to your question. I will follow it anyway…our basic concern is the same, I think…where is the motivation, discipline and strength going to come from?

Carylon I know how discusing it gets when it comes to serving size but then again I’ve had D for 35 years and had a diabetic daughter so to tell the truth I really know no other way of eating Plus I was raised in the Rural South and we had gardens and ate only what was in season as I grew up. Oh yeah we canned beans and other veggies to eat during the winter. A supermarket was like 30 miles from our house (not so true now) so I had to live off the land! HA! The breaking your meals into smaller meals seems like a good idea it just takes what my grandfather called “guts and fortatude” to get there! Good Luck!

Hi Carolyn,

Rather than cutting OUT foods, you can cut BACK on foods. Some can do this better than totally cutting out, some do better with cutting back. As always with Diabetes, every one is different.

I started out by cutting back to no more than two peices of bread a day, that was ususally my lunch, a meat sandwich of some sort. Fruit and I don’t get along, so that I did pretty much have to cut out. I would occasionally have a small peice of an apple, orange or banana.

Since I’m not much of a breakfast eater, I found things like Light Yogurt [with about 15g or so carbs] worked well for me. But also, eggs, bacon, sausage … things like this have no carbs in them. Well, sausage sometimes does [fillers], gotta check the label! :wink:

Supper … I’ve never had an exact schedule for that! I can eat supper anywhere from 6 pm to 10 pm. Just depends upon what’s going on that day. But what I did learn to do, was that instead of loading my plate with pasta and potatoes, I’d put just a couple/few bites on my plate [instead of cutting them out totally, cuz well, I LOVE them! LOL], then load my plate up with veggies!! That way I would get full, and feel satisfied, and still get to taste the yummy stuffs! :wink: Luckily I like veggies. It’s usually broccoli, cauliflower and green beans … all of which I LOVE! I’ve also started trying out new veggies, like squashes and find that I really like them! :0)

It’s not easy, and the first few months, I thought I was going to STARVE TO DEATH, cuz I was ALWAYS hungry!! I was never full! Then I finally figured out that there is a balance to it all. Have a little bit of the “bad” stuff, as in just a few bites, so you at least get to taste it, then you don’t seem to crave it as much.

Good Luck! You will eventually get into the “habit” of eating better, and craving the “bad” stuff less and less! :wink:

So that’s what we call it…I don’t think I possess much of either at this stage.

I think this is a great discussion. I am Type 1 and can take insulin, but I am very early LADA and still have quite a bit of my own insulin production so in some ways I am more like a Type 2. I don’t use insulinm for every meal. I haven’t eaten anything high carb in about 6 months. My motivation is mostly that I feel so much better when I don’t have high blood sugar. My fasting numbers have always been low so the wild swings up and down were making me chronically tired and irritable. I had an A1C of 7.2 and no idea that I had diabetes. I just felt tired and depressed. So changing my diet led to immediate rewards, in addition to the bonus of knowing that my current A1C of 5.6 is likely to be low enough to prevent future complications. If you hang in there, you might find that you lose the craving for high carb foods. I no longer feel tempted to eat baked goods, rice or pasta. For a while I tried small portions but it didn’t really work for me. I don’t mind a small spike- up to 130 or so- but I would have to eat such a tiny amount to only go up that high that it doesn’t seem worth it. 12-15g sends me up to 180+. So I go for treats like dark chocolate, berries, a rice cake or half an apple with cashew butter, 4 ounces of plain (full fat) yogurt with fresh fruit and my current favorite snack- sugar free jello made with fresh cranberries, walnuts and grated orange peel. I also enjoy blueberry pancakes made with ricotta cheese and whey protein powder. I make really good coffee and add cream and Da Vinci sugar free syrup. Grazing works well for me. I can eat a small amount of carbs every couple of hours. Another trick is to save a special treat for right before or during exercise. I can manage 15-20g if I go for a long walk or a bike ride afterwards. Today I made a turkey “pot pie” by using mashed potatoes as the topping and that allowed me to get the taste of potatoes without as many carbs as you would get in a serving of potatoes as a side dish. I often use creamed cauliflower instead of potatoes. Remember that you can have a bit more fat if you are cutting back on the carbs, so you can enjoy cream and butter as an ingredient for sauces and soups and in desserts. I try to treat myself with special foods such as shrimp, fancy cheeses and organic, local produce which has more flavor. I cook with herbs and wine and add some fruit to my salads. A few grapes, slices of mango or apple give a sweet and tangy taste without adding too many carbs. Lastly, you might invest in some low carb cookbooks to give you more ideas. I recommend 500 Low Carb recipes by Dana Carpender and Low Carb Gourmet by by Karen Barnaby and Maren Caruso. Good luck! It really is worth the effort.

Once again, Libby, thanks for the advice.

Oh honey give yourself a chance and you will surpise even yourself!!! I like Carylon just relized where I was. I’m a Type 1 too so maybe I’d better leave this to the 2’s out there!

Libby - wonderful ideas!! Thank you… this really helps.

Robert… I am glad that you wrote what you did - It discouraged me when I would think I was doing something “good”, but it turned out to be “bad” – but I guess that Trial and Error is part of it… and that error can be ok - just have to learn from my mistakes.


There’s no easy answer here.

Sometimes cutting out almost all carbs for a few weeks, a la Atkins diet will show you that it is really the blood sugar spikes that the carbs cause that are making you hungry. After three days on a very low carb diet, I found myself freed from the almost obsessive need to eat that I had developed when my blood sugars were over 200 a lot.

I feel so much better when my blood sugars are normal (under 100 most of the time) that I am motivated to be careful with carbs. I use insulin now, which allows me to add back in some but not all that many because even with insulin carbs will cause spikes.

I’d suggest reading the book Protein Power by the Drs. Eades. Do their diet for a few weeks and you may break that addictive-feeling carb craving. Once you break the craving, you can be more selective about what you eat.

I had a heart attack at age 35. Don’t be like me.

First photo: months before I was diagnosed with type 1
Second photo: I took this on my cell phone while I was in the emergency room. I thought this was going to be my last photo.
Third photo: 4 months after my heart attack, climbing Redrock in Nevada.

Before you put that comfort food in your mouth, think about how much you want to lie in the hospital bed, uncertain about your life in the next 5 minutes. In four months, my A1C went from over 10 to 6.1.
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I did it - I was diagnosed last May, and you can too. I gave up carbs and have lost 65 pounds and brought my sugars under control. HOW DID I DO IT? It was not an easy thing, I guess, but I am in health care, and I know the toll of diabetes all too well, the potential of lost limbs and amputations, blindness, kidney disease and vascular disease frightens me far more than the idea of anything good that I could ever eat again, yanno? And I figured out some ways to make it work too. I could live without bread and pasta forever - but not chocolate - so I found Russell Stover’s “Net Carb” chocolates - I make a trip to an outlet store once every 4 months or so to stock up. And Atkins bars - those help a lot, too. And then of course I check my sugars after every meal - seeing THAT teaches you -freaks you right out when you cheat. The single best help to me though was that at the same time I was diagnosed as a diabetic, I was also diagnosed as both bipolar and with migraines - and my doctor put me on the drug Topomax. I take 200mg in the morning and at night. The wonderful thing about this drug, is that besides being a mood stabilizer and stopping my migraines, it also stops “binge eating” for many people. It has worked very well for me. It has really helped to control my cravings, I think. I do not know if a physician would prescribe it for just eating problems alone or not, but I mention it here anyway, for what it’s worth. Also, don’t forget to exercise - that does help too. (I’ve been bad about that lately & need to get back on the wagon, LOL. Remember - this is a “lifestyle change” - you HAVE to make it to live , and you can do it!

DeeVa KC…I have meant to, if I haven’t already, congratulate you on losing 65 lbs. That is really something to be proud of. BUT!!! Did you truly give up carbs? Wow. I am on insulin, so I feel I should be able to dose to compensate for my carb intake. I am doing something wrong, but with all the advice I am getting on this site, I hope to have a better A1c next check-up.

65 lbs…now you know you can do anything…are able to meet any challenges thrown at you. Good luck with your other health issues. At least you know you can handle it.

PS Your photo is great!