We have all tried fad diets, and sometimes they work. But, our impression of any diet that restricts entire food groups is that it may work in the short run, but can be very hard to maintain. If you use medication or insulin to manage your diabetes, a sudden change in your diet can also be dangerous. Before you make any drastic changes to your diet, check in with your doctor.
We have 3 diet tips that have proven very helpful to Rhodes with managing his blood sugar, weight, heart-health, and even mood.
- Focus on low carb, rather than no carb. And eat the rainbow. Most diabetics are encouraged to count carbs, and limit how many carbs they intake at each meal and for each snack. Sugar and carbs are one-in-the-same when it comes to your blood sugar. Carbs go in, and if your body makes no insulin or not enough insulin, you need to add insulin or use medication to force your body to make more or use it more effectively. So, fewer carbs in, means less insulin or less medication. But, not all carbs are equal. Certain carbs, like whole grains and root vegetables, have nutritional value like fiber and antioxidants. So eat “good carbs” when you can, like whole grain bread, quinoa, sweet potato, and beets. More color generally means more nutritional value. So we limit white foods like white bread, rolls, pasta and white rice.
- Be mindful and practice portion control. Giving up certain foods entirely is extreme. Try limiting portions first. Read nutrition labels or use sites like CalorieKing to find out an appropriate single-serving size of the foods you like to eat. It may be significantly less than you are used to eating. But wouldn’t you rather enjoy 1/2 cup of ice cream versus no ice cream at all? Eat mindfully by arranging all your meal on one plate, and sitting down, eating and chewing slowly, and really enjoying every bite.
- Consistency is your friend. Eat, take notes, repeat. Find foods and meals that work for you. Who says you can’t eat the same breakfast 3 days a week, or pack the same lunch every day. It’s not boring, it’s smart. If you feel good and have controlled blood sugars, stick with it. If you try something and end up feeling awful and high, take notes so you wont forget to avoid those foods in the future.