Hi friends! Coach Jeri here!
As a weight loss coach for many years, dealing with diabetes has been a constant and growing concern for myself, my family, and some of my friends.
Several years ago I was shocked to find out I was a borderline Type 2 Diabetic. I had no symptoms. If not for a routine blood check, it would have continued to spiral in the wrong direction. I had been at my goal weight for several years when I was told this shocking news. Before trying specific medication, I asked my doctor to let me at least try first, to get it controlled on my own. So my new goal was not only to maintain my weight, but also to stay off of medication by prioritizing my health. Which I have successfully done with watching my carbohydrate intake and adding some exercise.
Backtracking a bit, my youngest son was diagnosed at 6 years old with Type 1 Diabetes. Two weeks before he was diagnosed, I was told I needed to go on thyroid medication. Since they are both considered auto-immune I always told people we were bit by the same bug! So living with diabetes was part of my household.
Type 1 is different from Type 2. It cannot be reversed by diet and exercise, those afflicted are insulin dependent. However, a good diet can keep you on the best solid and healthy foundation. My son's A1C is better than mine! When I was told I was borderline I was not unfamiliar with what needed to be done.
I consider myself fortunate to be in the position I am today. It is a result of a lot of hard work and managing my diet. As a Coach I routinely receive questions about diabetes and my approach. So here are some of the things that I did in order to achieve a (medication free) healthy lifestyle. Before we dive into my list a quick warning. This is what worked for me. It is not medical advice, I am not a medication professional, and this approach may not work for you. My hope is that by sharing this I can motivate others and get people thinking about ideas that may help them.
First, if you are on medication please consult your doctor first and always follow the doctor's instructions and their carb to med ratio.
When I read a nutrition label, I look primarily at the carbohydrates, not sugar. A bagel, rice, potatoes or slice of pizza will raise my blood sugar just as much as a piece of cake.
For me, the more fiber the better!
I prioritize one carbohydrate per meal. When I go to a restaurant, if I want the bread, I skip the pasta/rice, (sad- I know, but choices have to be made). The question I always ask is, what can I give up? And what are my must haves? I have not had rice or potatoes for years and very little pasta, but I will not give up my bread!
Occasionally I do eat sweets :) Yasso and Enlightened bars are about 14 carbs. I try to keep the carbs within 15-20 per meal and snack.
All of this to say that I was able to get my A1C down enough to keep the doctor happy. However, I am still in the borderline range.
The Healthi question I see most often is which plan is best?
Personally I like Sugar Smart or Carb Conscience. Better Balance is also good. These three plans incorporate account sugar and carbs into the BITE count. I think any plan that you are following to lose extra weight would be helpful in getting to that healthy place as long as it is something you can live with long term and not feel deprived.
By no means should my word be taken as gospel truth. This is simply my own personal story and through it, I hope to at least shed some light on the topic. Are any of you borderline or diagnosed diabetic? What weight loss plan are you following?