Just started a low carb diet, has anybody tried snacking lightly on low carbs instead of regular meals?

By randalo Latest Reply 2012-08-19 04:10:03 -0500
Started 2012-08-15 00:30:04 -0500

Have been on a low carb diet just about 3 weeks now. Seems my worst reads are in the morning. I tend to snack too often during the day and my bg starts at about 135-140 and lowers steadily all day. I have been thinking of getting up in the middle of the night to eat? Maybe I should try eating lightly all day till bed time? Anybody? Any experience?

35 replies

JSJB 2012-08-18 04:12:53 -0500 Report

How many carbs are you consuming for the day? I stay at 86- and it seems to be working at keeping my bg in the 100 to 120 area. It is hard work or a PIA figuring what to eat but after awhile you learn and enjoy.

Patty0057 2012-08-18 00:00:34 -0500 Report

I keep my carb intake to 30 grams at a time. Then I add a snack in between so that I total around 100 carbs daily. My snacks are things like sunflower seeds (1/8 cup), kashi bars or Shaklee cinch bars. I eat as much fiber as I can- close to 20 grams daily & exercise. You must work that in.

CJ55 2012-08-18 00:14:29 -0500 Report

Mary you mentioned 1 slice of toast. Isn't that 1 serving = 15 grams? Doesn't just about everything have some type of carb? Maybe I am wrong. I don't know. I just read that grapes had carbs. I knew is was a fruit and it does contain some natural, sugar, but i would count it as a fruit not a carb. Am I doing something wrong? I bought the Calorie King cab book and it seems that just about everything I thought didn't have a carb, does.

JSJB 2012-08-18 04:44:08 -0500 Report

Petridge wheat has lo carb at 5 grms a slice. Grapes, 1 cup 15 grams. Keeping count, planning and knowing the serving size is the secret.

CJ55 2012-08-18 22:55:38 -0500 Report

Than you JSJB. Its learning everything that takes time. I have to write everything down and keep referencing it.

jayabee52 2012-08-18 00:34:08 -0500 Report

ABOUT the only thing which does not have a carb or can be turned into a carb by digestion is fats.

You are correct, that grapes, blueberries, strawberries all have carbs in them which need to be counted. They are more complex carbs as opposed to starches which are simple carbs and raise the BG levels quickly and cause spikes and quick drop offs.

JSJB 2012-08-18 04:08:36 -0500 Report

I use to eat chips, candy and other junk food while at work. Now I snack on blueberries, tomatoes(from the garden) and gra;pes. Next year everything should be from the garden/mimi-orchard. Keep my carbs for the day at 85 and it seem to be working in keeping my BG low

CJ55 2012-08-18 01:34:49 -0500 Report

1 apple & 1 small banana is 2 serv that = 30 carbs. I only can eat 30 carbs at each meal. 15 carbs for 1 snack. Im having a hard time trying to find filling meals with only being able to have 30 carbs or 2 servings. do veggies have carbs with exception of carrots and corn? I am very glad
I took the advice and found the book The Calorie King. I was amazed when I read t. It put a whole new respective to my eating habits. I do know it takes a lot of planning and configuration to fix meals. I am very slowly learning. I thank you and everyone who has helped me these past 2 months. Everything has been taken to heart. I greatly appreciate every bit of advice people on DC give me.

CJ55 2012-08-18 01:25:14 -0500 Report

I guess I better re check my carb counting. How can (mary or how do you count) 2 strawberries, 1 prune? I wouldn't even begin to know how to do that without having to do a lot of math and i hate math. Lol

JSJB 2012-08-18 04:52:52 -0500 Report

5 large fresh strawberries = 4 grms so 2 would be about 2+ and prunes 4 med. 19 grms so 1= 5- The book of carb counting I am useing is what I started with 30+ years ago. Like I said you have to do the math and it will work. Good Luck in Carb Counting.

CJ55 2012-08-18 23:00:39 -0500 Report

I bought the book Calorie King for carb counting. Several people recommended it. I was told to eat 30 carbs breakfest, lunch, dinner and 15 carbs each for 2 snacks.

JSJB 2012-08-19 04:10:03 -0500 Report

I guess it is up to the indvidual on how many carbs they need. For me I usually take in about 20+ a meal but try to stay under 90 a day and it seems to be working on my BG readings. You have to try different ways and keep daily records to see what works best for you. Keep trying. Check the sugar content in everything. I ate cantalope (from the garden) and the next morning my sugar reading was 135. It hasn't been that high in quite awhile so no or just a little cantalope. You will find things like this that will help in the carb counting. OH, don't forget exercise. I'm returning to the gym next month so along with bike riding I will be on the tread mill a few days a week.

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2012-08-17 21:39:21 -0500 Report

When you are on the right low carb diet, you should never feel hunger and your snacking should be non-existant because of you're never hungry.
We eat between 4 and 5 servings of carbs (15x5=75 grams) per day. I'll give you an example of one of our daily menus:
Strawberries (2 fresh)
Blueberries (1/8 to 1/4 cup)
Prune (1)
Toast (1 slice of Nichols 35 Lite bread - 8 grams)
Coffee black
Diet soda
Roast beef
Green beans
Well that example didn't even come close to 4 or 5 servings of carbs but that is quite typical of our meals. We are not hungry between meals. We go to the gym 3 times a week and we stay active throughout the day.
I hope this helps.

JSJB 2012-08-18 04:56:45 -0500 Report

Like your list and I do eat alot of items on your list. Knowing the amount of carbs in each serving and doing the math is the secret. Read the labels if there is one and know the serving size. For fruit and veggies, I go by the lo carb book.

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2012-08-18 05:19:37 -0500 Report

You are so right. Our motto especially as tou begin is "measure, measure, measure! Know the serving size and the amount of carbs in each serving. When we started we bought additional measuring cups and put them on our table so that we didn't have any excuses, :).

Set apart
Set apart 2012-08-17 05:59:25 -0500 Report

I usually am at a normal rdg before bedtime, but I have learned the hard way that no matter what my rdg is before bedtime I have go have a snack or I run the risk of experiencing a low during the night. My snack like others here is usually protein like peanut butter with celery or a small piece of bread. I like whole wheat, natures own one slice has only 10 g carbs. Good luck!

Nick1962 2012-08-15 10:57:18 -0500 Report

Ditto all the responses so far. I snack my way through most weekdays as well, but I don’t eat “meals” in the conventional sense either during the week. I try to match my intake to my activity level. Have been low carb for a few years now, and a before bed snack (higher protein) is a must for me to cover those 8+ hours I don’t feed myself. For me, big meals = big spikes and I try to maintain a fairly constant level rather than up and down throughout the day.

randalo 2012-08-15 17:05:58 -0500 Report

Hmmm… How low of a carb diet, and has your glucose tolerance improved since you started on a low carb diet. I have been keeping my carbs below 100mg (usually half that) for the last few weeks, although I am eating raw veggies several times a day and sometimes I have found them to becontributing more o my carbs than I would have thought.

Nick1962 2012-08-15 18:31:44 -0500 Report

At my strictest I was consuming 30 grams/day. My choice was for weightloss primarily, but my numbers responded as well. Some vegetables are higher in sugar (corn, carrots) so i even avoided those. My glucose tolerance has improved greatly, but it wasn't directly in line with the amount of carbs I ate - it took time for my pancreas to react to the new diet i.e. if I eat a grilled cheese today, my spike would be far less than it would have been last year (and I do tests on certain meals from time to time to prove that). Don't know if there is a rebuilding/rehabilitation possible with old Mr. Pancreas, but it seems the less I stress him, the better he handles things. Right now I show no signs of diabetes.

randalo 2012-08-16 01:37:42 -0500 Report

You are very encouraging, thank you for that, I tend to feel pretty much doomed all the time. I am trying real hard to not pick up other bad habits to replace my carb habit. Tonight with the intention of eating something to try to keep from having a "liver bump "

randalo 2012-08-16 18:38:48 -0500 Report

… I ate too much creamcheese. Probably not a great idea. Sometimes I hate my android (and diabetic connect app.) It keeps sending when I am half way through a message.

Nick1962 2012-08-16 07:49:07 -0500 Report

Oh don't worry, once you get over the hump, it becomes a lifestyle and you really don't miss the carbs. You will actually lose taste for many of them. Getting the biggies like rice, potatoes, and pastas out (or almost out) of you daily diet goes a long way. For lots of us eating has become a bad habit, and you do feel a whole lot better once that habit has been broken.

CJ55 2012-08-18 01:46:41 -0500 Report

Hi Nick.. I gave up potatoes and pasta last feb 2011 when I had kidney surgery and went on the 10 day diet plan. (I think that is what it was calked). I had to give up all carbs. I did and lost weight and to this day, i still have NO craving for pasta or potatoes. When you stop eating something for so many days, the craving goes away. I was eating pasta at least 3 xs a week even with diabetes. I don't anymore. \U+127803

Nick1962 2012-08-18 09:22:16 -0500 Report

Exactly! We might have a small amount of angel hair pasta with pesto maybe once a month - just enough to satisfy a craving (which I think is more the pesto than the pasta).

yinghong 2012-08-15 07:48:19 -0500 Report

This is so called dawn effect? Am i correct? I used to be like ur situation before.. but after i googled about this, then i know it is a dawn effect.. try to eat some bed time snack before u go to sleep.. i`ll have a piece of cracker before i go to sleep.. currently still not bad.. my morning fasting BS is around 6 mmol.. but i think it is still considered high.. hope to get it below 6 or maybe 5 mmol.. any idea on it?

randalo 2012-08-15 16:58:40 -0500 Report

Out of curiosity is your morning bg the highest of your day? That's the part that is the hardest for me to understand.

yinghong 2012-08-15 18:00:17 -0500 Report

Yes.. it is the highest of everyday… i check my bs in the morning and evening.. both are before meals..

Caroltoo 2012-08-15 01:30:31 -0500 Report

You might try a protein snack before bed to see if it lowers the morning BG. If not, experiment with a mix of protein, fiber, and some carbs. What works for one, may not for another. When I had higher morning readings, a piece of string cheese or a couple slices of really thinly sliced roast beef was all I needed to bring it down.

I snack quite a bit during the day, so my meals tend to be "large snacks" so my total intake is still in the normal range and so are my BGs.

Good luck … do keep experimenting until you find what works for you.

Another thought, walk 2 miles before breakfast and you may find the BGs behave better all day.

randalo 2012-08-15 16:56:45 -0500 Report

If it comes to walking in the morning, I think I'm doomed, I roll out of bed at about 6:00a but usually don't wake up till sometime close to noon. :) Worst part of that scenario is I have to drive a couple of miles to get to work. Yikes! I was thinking maybe I should try a walk right before bedtime and then a snack, and then bed… Spoken like a true (not-a-morning person!) Plan as many of the day activities in the last few hours of the day. :)

jayabee52 2012-08-15 00:46:18 -0500 Report

Howdy Randal0, WELCOME to Diabetic Connect!

What you may be experiencing could be inelegntly called a "liver dump". Your Blood Glucose (BG) may be going too low during the night and the liver dumps its stored glycogen which raises your BG levels. It is an emergency system to keep your body running during the times when you aren't eating. (Other reasons for liver dumps would be some kind of stress whicn triggers cortisol and you get a liver dump then.)

When I asked my GP about my higher AM BGs he suggested I test my BG before retiring for the night. If my BG was under 135 to 140 I was to eat something with a complex (slower digesting) carbohydrate and pair it with a protein (example: half an apple slathered with peanut butter) That will keep your stomach digesting long into your sleep cycle and since your body is being nourished your liver won't dump glycogen.

When I followed his suggestion my early AM elevated readings went away.

I pray this is helpful to you!

James Baker

Elegie 2012-08-16 19:38:42 -0500 Report

This approach worked for me. But I did notice that my bg was higher when I had to get up to go to work than when we were on break. Randalo, stress could be affecting you too, especially if you are not a morning person. I think you are on the right track to think about walking in the evenings. My levels evened out when I made sure I was walking every day and my stress improved too. I also kept a food journal including notes on how my bg reacted to certain meals. Don't get discouraged. I don't know how long you have been diagnosed, but if it is recent, it may take awhile to get a handle on it. Keep working hard.

randalo 2012-08-15 16:43:55 -0500 Report

I doubt that two nights will qualify as a study, but I did ingest some veggies and a glass of Almond milk last night before bed and the night before a beef cold cut and some cream cheese. Based on those 2 events I didn't see any improvement. I think I should look into Cortisol as being a possible contributor and will keep on a low carb diet and maybe in the long run it will change. Staying between 100-135 for the last couple of weeks is a huge improvement over last month even if it is starting at 135 and slowly lowering to 100 over the length of the day. Thanks for your ideas.

jayabee52 2012-08-16 12:20:09 -0500 Report

give it a bit more time.

randalo 2012-08-16 18:49:10 -0500 Report

I have been fiddling with everything, but one thing I better not do is cut back on my metformin. Last night after cutting back on my metformin for a couple days and being three hours late on my evening dose, and after eating too much cream cheese, I got up this morning and checked my bg. It was 247 then after 10-15 minutes I got to thinking my meter must have been wrong so I tested again and it was 271. I went ahead and had my usual low carb breakfast, went bact to taking my metformin morning dose and in a couple of hours it was back down to 135.