Weight loss and healthy eating especially for the newly diagnosed

By jigsaw Latest Reply 2012-02-11 18:50:38 -0600
Started 2012-02-06 07:21:43 -0600

Weight loss and a healthy eating plan are a major part of type 2 diabetes management. But when you're first diagnosed, you may be at a loss for where to start. It might be easier than you think, if you remember that it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change. Making healthy substitutions for some of the non-healthy foods you are eating now, is a good first step. Add portion control and I believe you have a winning combo! If you agree with this philosophy, then lets focus along these lines and try to make it easier for the newly diagnosed. What is your meal plan and specifically what foods are helping you to manage your diabetes.

54 replies

Nikkigriff 2012-02-09 10:38:46 -0600 Report

Hi, I am very new to having diabetes. Diagnosed December 27 2011. I have not taking the medicine my doctor gave me yet as I have been on this new lifestyle change on what I eat. I have changed all the whites to whole grains. I only eat brown rice, whole grain pasta, nature's own bread for my sandwhiches. I no longer eat potatoes instead I have added veggies in the place of it. I also am on a blood thinner so I can not eat all the different types of green leafy things and I have to have red meat at least 2 times a week because of the iron, as I can not take iron pills. If someone can please tell me other ways to add the iron into my diet I would really love that. As I would like to eat less red meat as possible. Any ideas would be great and very helpful to me. I have cut my sizes down more than half now, which I eat a cup of rice with my beans, I have learned to eat more fresh beans now. I measure most of my foods to make sure I am eating what I should be eating. I do have cheat days, only 1 so far, but my 13th wedding anniversary is coming up on the 20th and we are going away for the weekend and I know we will go out to eat, so I am trying to find things I can eat at resturants. I have a long road to go and need all the help I can get. I have not changed what my son and husband eat for there meals as they don't need to change like I had to do, and they get a meat, starch, veggies and milk for supper so they eat healthy to begin with, but I make me veggies or beans instead of bleach or white starches.

Caroltoo 2012-02-09 17:58:57 -0600 Report

This will sound a little odd, but one way to add some iron to the diet is to use cast iron cookware. Flip side of this is that I've really begun to wonder what a Teflon coated pan was adding to my diet.

One of the easiest restaurant meals is a steak and salad. Have any and all dressings served on the side so that you can determine how much you use. Use vinegar or vinegar and olive oil whenever you can. Share a dessert; it's more romantic, anyway! (If you skip the potato, you can get your carbs in dessert, where they are counter balanced by the protein and fiber you have already eaten.) More than anything else, relax and enjoy your weekend. Stress is also a cause of diabetes and reduced stress helps reduce your numbers and improve your body's functioning.

You might also consider talking with your family about joining you since you now have a diabetic family, it's not just you. You would actually be doing them a favor because it would be teaching all of you a more healthy style of eating which can only make them feel better and be healthier also. That's something we all want for our loved ones.

Nikkigriff 2012-02-09 19:54:04 -0600 Report

Thank you for your reply. I also agree that I want the best for my family. I am slowly adding my foods to their diet, in hopes that one day that will not notice it LOL. I will do as you said about eating out, I think that will help me a lot because I was thinking I couldn't eat out at all again!

Caroltoo 2012-02-10 13:56:10 -0600 Report

No, you can eat out. Sometimes you need to ask for adjustments in what's served with your order, like substituting a salad for fries. I've found most restaurants are willing to make adjustments, especially when I mention that it is because I have diabetes. I think maybe saying that makes it sound less whimsical … you have a reason for the request, it's not just a matter of being "picky".

Yes, adding your food to their meal is a good way to make this change. I don't think my husband ever realized he was put on a "diabetic diet", he just knows he eats well and enjoys his meals. Ah … the power of the cook!

jigsaw 2012-02-09 13:05:40 -0600 Report

Hi Nikkigriff…You may want to consider seeing a registered dietician. It can eliminate much of the initial guess work, and give you the info you need to taylor a diet plan for your body and circumstances. Only a professional that understands diabetes and nutrition can offer an accurate food plan. Many doctors have little if any training in nutrition. My Endcrinologist works with an entire team that includes diabetic educators, and registered dieticians. It has helped me quite a bit.

Nikkigriff 2012-02-09 13:07:32 -0600 Report

I have an appointment with one in a couple of weeks, and I have a load of questions for her! I'm new to this but with hopes from my doctor and my mindset I don't plan on taking any medicine if I can keep my diet on track! Thank you for the reply.

jigsaw 2012-02-09 13:30:18 -0600 Report

Sounds like your going in the right direction! I edited my 1st response to you, not sure if you saw all of it. If you can manage to stay off meds, and maintain healthy bg, a1c, lipids etc., then I agree that is the way to go. On the other hand, if your bg and a1c remains high, then medication is definitely safer than high bg.

Nick1962 2012-02-06 11:56:05 -0600 Report

I kept a journal for about 12 weeks then decided to go cold turkey. I saw several folks in our non-D healthy eating class trying to “retrofit” their current eating habits by swapping out whole wheat or vegetable pastas for white, using artificial sweeteners for cakes and cookies, whole grain breads, etc., most of who dropped out due to lack of any appreciable weight loss. We cleaned our kitchen of pasta, snack foods, frozen meals, potatoes, rice, most breads and cereals, and even BBQ sauce, and no longer eat those items on a regular basis. We’ll have pasta or rice maybe once a month, and I limit myself to one serving of bread per week, two if I’m active.
We basically eat proteins and vegetables. This weekend was omelets for breakfast, small salad for lunch. Saturday dinner we had steak, pepper and onion kebabs with corn on the cob and cuke salad. Sunday we did sausages with kraut and carrots. We also use a lot of beans as salads or soups. Next weekend we’ll do a stir fry (no rice), a nice egg drop soup, and I’ll oven roast a whole chicken or turkey breast for leftovers during the week. Maybe sausage stuffed chops for Sunday dinner.
I basically take what I know is available to me to eat and build a meal from that rather than try to revise what I had previously been eating. It’s caused us to try a lot of new things we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Caroltoo 2012-02-06 15:59:12 -0600 Report

This works so well!

jigsaw 2012-02-06 22:13:15 -0600 Report

It really does, but after 17 years of diabetes, it does start getting a bit more difficult.

Caroltoo 2012-02-07 06:20:09 -0600 Report

It is such a simple and healthy way to approach the situation. What part of it is getting difficult, Al?

jigsaw 2012-02-07 08:29:41 -0600 Report

Keeping my bg within healthy range. I manage to do this in spite of the fact that my body seems to be getting more and more sensitive to carbs. It's become more apparent over the long haul. I have to tighten up on portion control, restrict my carbs a bit more or incease my meds and exercise. I know of no other successful choices so far.
What worked in the past for me is not necessarily the case now. If you have any ideas, I remain open minded and all ears. I realize that I have some strong opinions, but I really try to not let them clog my ears!

Caroltoo 2012-02-09 15:37:23 -0600 Report

I have found I have a very disproportionate response to some carbohydrates which is one of the ways I picked up on my gluten intolerance, otherwise I might have just written it off as the result of decreased stomach acid/digrestive enzymes. Are there any patterns in what you are becoming more sensitized to?

Nick1962 2012-02-10 14:52:04 -0600 Report

You are right about the enzymes thing there Carol. I’ve found my tolerances diminished as well. If I eat ¼ of the pastas and rice I ate before, I get uncomfortable. But then, looking back I felt uncomfortable most of the time. My dairy tolerance has diminished as well. Course, I might just be getting old too.

Nick1962 2012-02-06 18:12:04 -0600 Report

It really does and I never suffered any hunger issues. Sure I cheat, but it gets less frequent. I did have a bagel back in december, but it took me 4 hours to eat it (1/4 per hour = minimal spike. Not that i recomend that behavior).

jigsaw 2012-02-06 22:01:53 -0600 Report

You must have amazing control! Put a bagel in my hands, and poof it's gone. That's why I try not to keep them in the house. Problem is they do appear in the frig from time to time. My wife loves them!

Nick1962 2012-02-07 11:21:28 -0600 Report

You know Jigs, control is an interesting thing. I have been called a control freak, but this was/is something I really freaked on. Many people in our diet group stated that it’s easier for men to lose weight than women. I don’t think that’s true. We work very hard at it, but we don’t like to fail (not that women do, but many seem to be able to justify a little setback). With us any project or task is pass or fail, and at least with me there is no grey area in between. I didn’t take the weight loss class because of diabetes, it was primarily to lose weight, and things like blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and other ailments were secondary benefits.
To begin with, I took the program with/against my wife – no way she would beat me I told myself – I couldn’t fail here and still keep my man card! Secondarily, the person who developed and ran the course put a great deal of time and effort into it and did it free of charge after her office hours. If I didn’t lose even 15 pounds, I would have failed her. I figured there was also the Freudian aspect to it – a guy always wants to impress the girl – and I probably wouldn’t have worked at it as much if her husband ran the program.
The better weight and better numbers that followed were all successes and I suppose I could have stopped at any point and said enough. I didn’t really feel as though I completed the task yet. I’ve reached the point now where I probably won’t lose any more weight unless I get into some heavy duty diet and exercise program I won’t be able to maintain (that would be a sure failure). Right now, if I decided to go back to my old ways, it’d be a major failure for me, especially in front of all of you now.
So for me now it’s not about control, its pain avoidance, physically and mentally. Could I eat a bagel? Sure, but then I’d have to test to find out when I should eat again. Bagel = 3 pin pricks and $1.20 in supplies. Apple and a handful of unsalted nuts = free! Right now the task is to keep it up to prove it can be done.

jigsaw 2012-02-07 16:48:48 -0600 Report

No point in trying to conquer the world. I agree with your point of view. Losing the weight that you did and managing your numbers to the point that you have is an exemplary feat in itself. Typical advice would be "take it one day at a time". You've already taken it a few weeks and maybe even years at a time. Not many people do it as you saw by the dropouts in your class! Pain whether it be mental or physical in nature has been one of the strongest motivators that I personally have experienced. It can definitely get the blind folders off and take one passed their own denial. For your info, you are one of the folks on DC that have motivated me to try and improve my numbers. I'm sure there are others that feel the same way. No matter what your reasons or motivations, I hope you are fully enjoying your results. More commendable then the help you have given yourself is the superb example you are setting for others. Superb job Nick!!!

Nick1962 2012-02-07 18:31:39 -0600 Report

No buddy, not trying to conquer the world, just my little portion. I don't know if I'm much of an example, most already know it can be done if we try hard enough. And many here do! When i look at the folks like James and Carol and so many others, I just think I've got it so much easier and I should really be able to handle what little life's put on my plate. While I'm extremely flattered at your compliment, I think you may just be feeling their inspiration channeled through me.

jigsaw 2012-02-07 19:25:06 -0600 Report

I find Carol and Jay very informing and inspiring. I'm sure many of us have gained much from their discussions and postings. That's very humble of you to put it in that context, but I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. Enjoy it !

chayogarza 2012-02-09 16:58:22 -0600 Report

i myself am trying to eat healthier. i must be doing somthing wrong my weight aint going down. my readings are in a normal range.i keep away from carbs except in the morning i will have whole wheat toast with p nut butter. help i need ideas

Nick1962 2012-02-09 18:26:52 -0600 Report

Well, there's a lot to look at. First, are you sure you’re looking at all your carbs? When someone tells me their watching them, I can usually find a bunch they’ve missed. Second, what about sugar intake? Keeping that low too? It’s a major part of weight loss, and once we get our body to burn what we are storing rather than what we just ate it goes a long way. I usually try to do no more than 7 grams sugar or 7 grams carbs per single food item. Third – caffeine – I had to cut way back. Of course meds and insulin play a part too.
It may not only what you’re eating, but what you’re NOT eating. Are you getting enough protein in during the day to keep up your muscles? It also keeps metabolism going because it’s slow to burn up.
Are you keeping a food log? And of course, how about exercise? I know we can get it worked out.

jigsaw 2012-02-09 18:16:25 -0600 Report

Hi chayogarza…Have you looked into portion control? Portion control along with the correct daily calorie intake for your body and circumstances might be helpful. If you can see a registered dietician, the expert guidance would probably help you quite a bit.

jigsaw 2012-02-06 15:57:03 -0600 Report

Your meal plan sounds very similar in many ways to mine. I believe that healthy variety is important in order to get many nutrients that we need. My RD insists that this is the way to go. I occasionally have sausage also. I actually make it from scratch to keep the fat content low and I purchase my own casings as well. Hard to resist once in a while! A variety of stir fries is another healthy way to go. I keep a few woks on hand for this purpose. I guess you already came to the conclusion that I enjoy cooking up a meal. Anyway, I know your getting good results and from the looks of it, good nutrition!

Nick1962 2012-02-06 18:18:54 -0600 Report

Jigs you do strike me as someone who knows his way around the kitchen. I got a mess of fresh pork sausage a while back and it was still in the 2-3 foot coils - no links. Well I grilled a few of the coils up and the 7 and 8 year old neighbor boys came over to check out what I was making. They'd never seen fresh sausage before (that wasn't in links) so i told them it was snake. Brought out a knife and let them try some and they loved it. About a half hour later their mother came over and said "please tell me you weren't feeding the boys snake!" I told her what it was and gave her 5 lbs to take home. I still don't know if she ever told them the truth.

jigsaw 2012-02-06 22:07:36 -0600 Report

I could just imagine the look on her face when she asked if you fed the boys a snake. Must have been a sight to behold!

Nick1962 2012-02-07 11:34:54 -0600 Report

Actually she was pretty cool about it, she knew us well enough to know I wouldn't do anything funny to the little tykes. She also knew that I am into trying new things, so she had to check (especially after the pickled squid incident).

Nick1962 2012-02-07 18:24:49 -0600 Report

I had stopped at an Asian market one Saturday and picked up a few packs of pickled squid (common Korean side dish) – just little clear 2oz. packs of the stuff I had been introduced to in college. Came home and the neighbors and kids were out and noticed my bag and wondered what I got. I told them and opened a pack for them to try after popping a few in my mouth. It’s an acquired taste (imagine spicy rubber bands in pickle juice). They all took a piece, mom and dad made a few faces but got it down, and since the stuff is a little spicy the boys were running around fanning their mouth. However, wanting to be “grownups” they did finally swallow it. The youngest then asked me if I really liked it and I told him “doesn’t matter, as long as the fish do.” They all looked at me puzzled for a moment then I said “I use it for bait” (which I did). Now, they’re an open minded family (heck the kids eat hummus and Brussels sprouts), but dad finally piped up and said “really? you just fed us bait?”
Hey, it’s not like I didn’t eat it too!

jigsaw 2012-02-11 17:54:39 -0600 Report

I had catfish a few years back when I was down in Texas. It was very tasty! Being that it is a scavenger, I wonder if its considered to have health benefits?

Nick1962 2012-02-11 18:32:14 -0600 Report

Well, its low calorie, high in B12, omega 3 and omega 6 as well as high protein. Today's farm raised salmon doesn't come near that because they are fed low nutrition fish pellets. Certailnly a winner in my book!

jigsaw 2012-02-11 18:42:46 -0600 Report

Sounds good to me! As far a salmon, I eat wild Alaskan. I also fish for Cobia, Mahi Mahi, and Kings.The Kings are hi in mercury, so I usually give them to others that I fish with. They're are aware, but apparently not to concerned. The Mahi Mahi and Cobia are very tasty.

Nick1962 2012-02-11 18:50:38 -0600 Report

Thanks for reminding me - I gotta smoke some up one of these days. Graet with a little lemon dill butter and a side of slaw.

Caroltoo 2012-02-07 06:21:56 -0600 Report

Oh, guys, this is so funny!!!! On a more serious note, never tried it, but I've heard rattlesnake meat is good grilled.

Jeanae 2012-02-06 08:31:25 -0600 Report

Because it is a lifestyle I had to journal everything I ate so I got a better idea of exactly what I ate and how much. I weighed and measure everything for weeks until I got the hang of it. I totally cut out red meats and I felt better. I used to eat a lot of desserts but now when I want something sweet I settle for an appropriate amount of fruit instead. Because I am a "give me an inch and I will take a mile" type of person- I do not cheat at all. I also try to eat things with no preservatives and no sauces or limit myself to salsas that I make so I know how much sodium etc. Lots of veggies. My bg has been in the 89's and then after eating it will spike up to 120's and then go back down. I also drink lots of water and hot herbal tea with meals. My dr. said to drink warm or hot liquids while eating to help flush the food/fat through your system. I don't know if that is true but… I do it. That is what works for me.

jigsaw 2012-02-06 09:33:59 -0600 Report

I can only say wow! Sounds like your doing a terrific job! I have to admit I cheat from time to time. Hopefully the future price isn't to great!

berrykins0 2012-02-06 07:50:53 -0600 Report

i count my carbs and calories like told to do and make sure to include veggies at snack time when i can and meal time i usally have salads 2 times a day eat whole in stead of white stuff exercize 5 times a week.try to eat turkey and chicken and fish more then beef or pork.

jigsaw 2012-02-06 08:00:51 -0600 Report

I'm also enjoy poultry,fish, and veges. Has your meal plan helped you to manage your bg in a positive way? What are some of your results?

berrykins0 2012-02-06 09:38:39 -0600 Report

yes it has make a big diffeerence went from ac1 8.2 to 5.6 within 5 months ever sense 2009 sept i have been at 5.6

Bamberg 2012-02-08 22:21:22 -0600 Report

I was diagnosed 3 months ago and went on the standard weight watchers diet. I don't do treats and I give a nod to the glycemic index. My numbers are now in the normal range and I lost 25 pounds. It seems to have worked out.

jigsaw 2012-02-06 10:17:51 -0600 Report

I hope many others examine your diet plan and results. The results speak for themselves and have great merit!

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