Low Carb Diet (Woman Only)

Ok, I need to start a lower carb diet (way lower). I am admitting I am a carb addict. Do not berate me for what I am about to say, as I already know how bad it is. There are days I can last a day with only eating 40 or so carbs, then there are days when I have no willpower and will eat 600 grams of carbs. Extremely bad for a diabetic. The worst is usually when I am having my cycle.

How do other carb addicts control the extreme craving for carbs? Any help would be appreciated.

Well during my cycle is when i sorta let lose. Its so hard to maintain that will power against hormones. I allow myself to cheat a lil more but not too horrible. Then I make sure I am really strict the following week after. Its all about balance. I have found that for my salty fix I will choose tortilla chips (sometimes with melted cheese and salsa) Or popcorn other than chips, healthier and lower carbs. For my sugar fix I go for Russell’s sugar free candy, its soo good. Pillsbury has a sugarfree brownie mix, yum…If i know I want something like cake I will eat a salad for the meal, I chose really healthy low carb meals when I want to eat a bad snack during that time of the month…I had to find substitutes in order to really lay off the bad stuff and if you really want to give a shocker, test. The more you see your numbers regulated when eating certain things and out of control when eating others it may help make the best decisions…Ultimately do not buy what you shouldnt eat. Dont bring in the house. Eat before you leave the house. Hope it helps!

I think this sort of binging/restricting cycle can be common with diabetics, and certainly common with women in general (yay, hormones!). I used to eat really well about 5 days of the week and then binge (mostly on carbs) the other 2 days.

I think the restricting made me feel the need to binge, and then the highs from the carbs made me want to restrict, which led to more binging, etc.

Needless to say, I think for some people restricting carbs can really work - for others, not so much. Or at least, the method you use to restrict carbs might be the culprit.

I know not everyone has the ability to buy lots of produce and/or cook most of their own meals, but for me that’s what worked to stop the low carb/too much carb cycle for me. Just focusing on whole, non-processed foods MOST (not all) of the time helped curb the carb binges. And in general produce is usually lower-carb than most packaged foods (yay, fiber!), so I typically eat lower carb, but not super low carb - I still eat smaller servings of whole grains, and I make sure to include a protein source & healthy fats in each meal. But I’ve found that I don’t crave heavy carbs like I used to, since I don’t restrict them as severely and I eat more rounded, complete meals…and my A1C & weight have both improved because of it. Not to mention my moods, since I don’t feel guilty or angry at myself for binging anymore, and stable blood sugars feel so much better than spikes & dips.

I’m not trying to sound preachy at all, I swear - I realize not everyone has the time or money or access to produce like I happen to have. Just sharing what worked well for me, in hopes that it might be helpful to others.

I always say that my willpower comes from not having stuff in the house to eat. I limit what kinds of food are in my house. If I don’t open the cupboard or refrigerator & see stuff, I can’t eat it. If I do decide that I want a treat and buy something, I get small quantities – buy a small container of ice cream and not a whole gallon. If you want a piece of cake, don’t bake a whole cake – go to the bakery and buy one slice.

I would also set treat days – usually every 3 months when I would go to the doctor & have my A1c done. I even saw a story about a personal trainer that did that. He would order pizza every Friday night but the rest of the week, he ate very healthy.

I buy so sososo many skinny cow ice creams (or other sugar free alternatives) and I have found a love for pears. I also dont drop, but swap. For example, if I realllyy want a pizza, i’ll not give it up but just order a size smaller and have something else at home.

Once you get going the craving for carbs disappears. I do allow myself a treat now and then, but seeing the weight drop off and my bg levels staying down is a great motivator. Lots of good advice here. I always have a single serve of frozen yogurt in the freezer, low sugar, low fat, and they often save me. I live opposite a shopping centre and they are open until 9pm, so I have to be very careful not to dash out and get something bad.

For me, I’ve found that the easiest way to prevent this from happening is to eat a modest amount of carbs each day (around 100g). If I just eat 40g carbs per day, I find that I’m more likely to lose all willpower when I’m PMSing, thus resulting in a “carb binge” (yeah, we’ve all been there!) But if I keep my carb intake closer to 100g on a regular basis, I don’t have that problem. I also avoid carbs that consist of things like pasta, bread, and rice as much as I can. This doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally treat myself, because I do, but I do it rarely and in moderation. I’ve found striking this balance to make things a lot easier. I am sure other methods work for other people, but this method has really worked well for me.

+1 with the post A1c treat! Got to look forward to something other than the vampires phlebotomist :slight_smile:

Sometimes when I know where I am and where I should be, I get overwhelmed by the distance between the two. I often need to remind myself to make daily progress and eventually I will arrive at my goal.

In your case, there is a whole lot of ground to cover between 40 carbs/day and 600. I know I would feel overwhelmed and that always leads me to defeat. What if you made progress to your goal (cutting out a set number of carbs - 10, 15, 50, whatever)? And then once that progress was made, reduce it again by the same smaller increment? Eventually, you would be closer to the low carb goal, but without going cold turkey and without all the “withdraw” feelings and emotions. I know that when I have success in one area it leads to more success :slight_smile:

I think it’s fantastic that you recognize where you are at and are looking to take the steps needed to better your health!

I vote for substitution… though I also vote for moderate carbs… There are some really good low carb substitutes, very inventive. Geri on this board comes to mind (I have seen her post some recipes that look delish). Blaine’s low carb kitchen on TV and he has a web site. Living la vida low carb, low carb friends, etc. Bake a few of the low carb deserts, maybe a cheesecake, leave in the fridge and substitute. At the very least, this method will eliminate or substantially cut back on the 600 gram days.

My new favorite substitute treat is greek yogurt (2 cups at 8 gm per cup) with a TINY bit of fruit and some unsalted, toasted almonds. I can really feel like I’m having a decadent dessert for under 25 grams – stirring the diced fruit in and putting the toasted almonds on top makes it almost like a fancy-schmancy dessert.

Compared to my old habit of snarking down premium ice cream during PMS (90+++ gm of carbs) I think it makes a good compromise.

That’s how I cope. Plus naps. Lots of naps.

Kelly, you hit the nail on the head. If it’s not in the house, I can’t eat it mindlessly. I catch myself opening the pantry door, then stop and realize that it’s just a habit. After going low carb, I don’t crave them anymore. Now, I must confess: in March, I put the Girl Scout mint cookies in the refrigerator. Convenient, since I only snack out of the refrigerator!

Now, setting treat days would not work for me. I have a treat every day. My dog gets several treats a day - why not me too?! :slight_smile:

No berating from me-I used to be seriously carb-addicted. I was probably more carb-addicted than you! Once I cut most of them out, I didn’t miss them, and now I don’t even want them. However, I do eat dessert, which, for me, is a necessary carb.

It was my T1 daughter (I don’t have diabetes myself) who made a comment once that caused me to start thinking. She has never liked starches (except corn). She has never eaten potatoes, bread. rice, etc. She commented once that eating fruits and raw vegetables was “so refreshing” and eating starches made her feel very sluggish because she could just picture a lump of flour and water, all doughy in her stomach.

I kicked the habit psychologically by picturing what was actually in the foods that I thought I liked so much. This works even better if you are trying to cut out unhealthy fats, which is my number one priority. If you pause before you grab a certain food, and imagine that food broken down to it’s components, you lose your taste for it. Only the foods without other components appeal to me now.

About cravings: If I really crave something, I have a small amount of it. I know that the craving isn’t going to go away.

Hang in there! It’s hard, but you can do it!!

Jeannie, I could never live with someone that did not want to eat low carb. Before when I went out with someone, I wanted to know what they did for a living & what kind of insurance they had. Now I want to know what they eat! My Girl Scout cookies did not last long enough to make it to the fridge!

I guess I am lucky that my dog is not a big treat dog. My other dog liked treats but his favorite one was carrots. I will give Alex a treat every once in a while and it ends up somewhere in the living room for me to step on & make a mess.

Dear Candi,
I can empathize with you and know how very difficult the carb cravings can be and the lack of control with the carbs almost sounds like a food addiction. The problem with addictions are they are very real and very difficult to manage. When people are addicted to nicotine, drugs or alcohol, they must stop completely. The problem with food is that we need to eat to sustain life so with a food addiction, it is impossible to stop completely. I have heard it described as taking the tiger out of the cage everytime you eat anything. It is a hard battle to fight. Especially alone. Have you hear of overeaters anonymous? They are a great, supportive group and may be another place of support and help for you. I am so glad you came here to your Tu-family. Everyone has very helpful suggestions for you. Use what you feel would work best for you. Hope you are able to get hole of this. Please don’t beat yourself up over it.

I do not eat 600g everyday. Like I said some days my carb levels are at 40, other days 150, and some days 600. I must not have explained myself clearly. Depression and my cycle usually cause the 600 g days, especially if they are happening at the same time. I am a stress eater. If I feel stressed (which is almost everyday), I love to load up on carbs, bread, potatoes, chocolate, bananas, you name it. LOL.

I’d like to jump on the low-carb discussion. I used to love pasta. Any shape, anything on it was fine with me. It was difficult to keep up with it in terms of BG control. I’d end up chasing high blood sugar well into the next day. Because after all, who can only eat one cup of pasta? If you’re going to eat it, you want a huge bowl! I have had DM for 25 years, half my life. So, now I’m at a stage where I’m seeing the beginnings of complications creep in. I’ve had some laser treatments and recently a vitrectomy. None of this has been fun. So, I have had to make a huge change in my life if I want to live. Also, I find I can no longer tolerate high blood sugar like I used to. As soon as I start to head up over 150, I feel quite unwell.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I have adopted a NO-carb diet and, for the first time in 25 years, am finding it actually easy to get good BG numbers. I don’t know whether it is the “eye-scare”, or the fact that I can’t tolerate the big numbers any more, or maybe I have finally matured and know what needs to be done. I have been doing the NO-carb thing for about six months and I do not feel deprived. I eat plenty. I just don’t eat any pasta, rice, potato, bread, corn (unless it’s a half-ear eaten right off the cob). Instead, I eat plenty of protein–meat, chicken, fish, cheese, nuts (I love all nuts). Then I make sure I have salad and plenty of vegetables on my plate. If the rest of my family is eating rice, etc., I make sure that there is an extra vegetable for me to take the place of it. I have found the key to the success of this is not in the “limiting” of foods, but in giving myself “more”–more vegetables and other kinds of things that are healthy for me.

One caveat, for me at least, I find that I can not cheat on this, or have a binge day, or allow a treat every so often. I know I have to stick to this no matter what, because once I try to eat a carb, it’s like the flood gates are open and I just can’t stop. Then I’m in trouble. I’ll be chasing BGs into the next day and I’ll feel quite unwell. A1c’s have come down from high six’s to 6 and I lost 13 pounds since Christmas. All good stuff.