My a1cs are generally in the low 6s and I’m aiming for the high 5s. Post meal I’m almost always under 7.5 (135) - I aim to never peak over that (AIM, I said, aim - not always a happening thing!!)
It takes a few little changes, but once you get the hang of it it’s easy enough.
I Bolus early for any meal with more than a slither of carbs. Gives the insulin a chance to start working before I eat, because carbs generally work faster than insulin and insulin takes 10 mins or so (depending on what you’re on) to get started.
Balanced meals where possible - 1/2 veggies, 1/4 carb and 1/4 protein is what was recommended to me (and drummed into me many times lol). This works well enough, but it’s even easier to avoid spikes and insulin-oopsies if I’m having less carb. Doesn’t mean I always do it, but it DOES work for me and I aim for that where possible.
Some carb-counting, at least a little bit, makes me better prepared for most meals. Also figure out if you have to bolus for protein (I do), adjust for fat, or consider your exercise levels for the day etc.
Test lots. If you know where you are you know what to do. Don’t have to worry so much about lows if you’re watching the BGs regularly. No need to fear them if you can fight them!
I believe that lower is better. 6.5 or under sounds right to me. Under 6 would be great, but a lot of hard work (for me anyway). It’s not going to be possible for everyone of course, we are all different and leading different lifestyles. But to me it’s really important to avoid complications and try to hang around long enough to be a grandma to my son’s kids if he ever has them… so I get anal about control sometimes
BTW in all of this, I think the best tip is to jab early! I can handle any carbs - even Chinese and desserts - if I jab early enough to avoid the peaks. The only trouble then is that more insulin = more room for error, but I keep an eye on my numbers so I can correct before I get high/low and get myself in a good place Watching what I eat really works, but not if I can’t have ‘treats’ and go crazy every now & then!
That’s just what works for me… Hope that’s not seen as unsolicited advice, just sharing my tricks and letting you know that it IS possible to get a lower a1c if you want to.