I downloaded a copy of Adam Brown’s new book, Bright Spots and Landmines, last month. I’ve followed Adam’s work for the last many years at diaTribe.org, so I’ve enjoyed his hands-on and practical approach to living with diabetes. In fact, I share his love of chia pudding and first learned of it reading a diaTribe report. I now eat chia pudding five or six times each week. It’s fast, tasty, and leads to great post-meal BGs.
Bright Spots and Landmines
I’ve read through more than half of the book the same day I downloaded it and am still in the process of finishing it. Adam shares many practical ideas in this book. I’m here to tell you about one of his ideas that has already improved my life.
Adam writes that he commits to avoid eating anything after dinner each day. He will, of course, treat a hypo, if necessary. It’s been my practice over the last few years to eat my day’s nutrition in two meals, a late breakfast and an early dinner. That rhythm has been a big help with my blood glucose numbers.
My stubborn evening snack habit
But my personal weakness has always been evening snacking. Even though I’ve tried to reduce the number of carbohydrates each day, I’ve often eaten one too many servings of nuts in the evening. It’s also a time I’m susceptible to allowing myself an occasional treat, like ice cream, and then end up eating too much. This bad habit has been the object of more than one personal resolution to knock off the night-time snacks. Each of those resolutions has been punctuated by lapses, recrimination, and eventually a new resolution. Sometimes I’m a slow learner!
So when I read that Adam swore off evening snacking, his discipline resonated with me. I told myself that I would not eat anything more after dinner. I was motivated by more consistent blood sugar numbers, but what followed exceeded my expectations.
Great outcomes, one unexpected
My blood glucose numbers improved, a lot. I dropped over 15 mg/dL (0.83 mmol/L) in my blood glucose average while my variability improved, too. I found that I had to back off on my insulin delivery, setting less aggressive insulin sensitivity factors, and observed my Loop basal deliveries backing off their former higher levels. My total daily dose of insulin dropped from the lower 30s to the middle 20s, a drop of almost a third. What really grabbed my attention, however, is a looser fit to my jeans.
I went down to Target and bought a scale and found that I’ve lost about eight pounds in the last three weeks. I am thrilled with this outcome and have noticed that my walking energy is more powerful now as my walking muscles and cardio-vascular system carry a smaller load. I’m starting to get glimpses of my belt when sitting down!
Reminds me of my 2012 diabetes epiphany
When I first went on a lower carb diet five years ago, I went through a similar experience and lost 25 pounds or about 14% of my body weight. I kept it off fairly well but in the last couple of years, I regained about 10 of those pounds.
While my initial intention was just to eliminate the evening snacking, it took me several days to realize that what I was essentially doing constituted a daily intermittent fast. I’m fasting for about 17 hours each day, including my sleep time.
In addition to losing weight, I feel more energy and cognitive alertness. I’m hoping the weight loss trend continues as I believe my ideal body weight is 12 pounds less than where I am now.
Now I know what works for one person may not work for the next, but I wanted to share my experience with the hope that what I’m doing might resonate with someone else and kick them into motion the same way Adam Brown’s book propelled me to take the leap.