By TommyG44 Latest Reply 2014-04-11 08:26:23 -0500
Started 2014-04-07 11:52:51 -0500

Hi all, recently put on Metformin and Dr said follow AHA diet plan. I'm a big guy and a eater. I have to make lots if changes I know but not sure what limits should be like carbs or sugar. I am looking at all this knowing it's not easy but any help greatly appreciated.

12 replies

oldskinandbones 2014-04-11 08:26:23 -0500 Report

Some time after I was diagnosed, I finally learned about complex carbohydrates were. Even my good friend who was diabetic and was a retired nurse did not know that eating a plate full of rice was worse than a half-cup of Breyer's vanilla.

A diabetic educator (nurse) did tell me a lot about testing and this is what it's all about. An endo also gave me a long to fill out noting my numbers testing before each meal and two hours after.

I also learned how to control my diabetes by eating low carb and walking two miles after every meal. I kept my A1c in the high 5s for 8 years doing this. I now have to take insulin because I can no longer walk comfortably, Older and have lots of arthritis.

Test test test. That's my recommendation. And I'm adding that the low-fat, no-fat diet for heart patients has NOTHING TO DO WITH DIABETES. It really does not. In fact, a little fat will slow down the conversion of complex carbs to sugar. We have to concern ourselves with carbs. These low-fat recipes are not going to help lower our blood sugar.

Good luck!

Nick1962 2014-04-09 12:12:21 -0500 Report

Hey Tommy,
Like others that responded here, I was in the same boat when I was diagnosed - bouncing between obese and morbidly obese all my life. I didn’t land in the hospital before I straightened out, but it was inevitable given the horrid shape I was in. Fast forward a few years and I’ve dumped a bunch of weight, feel great and am in the best shape of my life.

Basically I took myself on as a project. Rather than try to tweak my existing poor diet into something more healthy or diabetic friendly, I just started over. It wasn’t a cold turkey thing – it took about 12 weeks and a healthy eating class to discover just what the building blocks for my new diet would need to be. At first I was very restrictive with carbs and sugars (no more than 7 grams carbs or 7 grams sugar in any single food item I ate) and took in as much protein as I could. It really helped drop the weight, but looking back I probably could have relaxed a bit. Your doctor should be able to give you a reasonable guideline about what your limits should be.

Once you find a decent pattern and diet you can live with, it becomes second nature and stops being an effort.

haoleboy 2014-04-07 23:48:57 -0500 Report

Hi Tommy and welcome

I was 'big' all my life. they called it husky when I was a kid. As an adult I ballooned to 325 lbs. and at 6-foot I was kidding no one … I was morbidly obese.

When first diagnosed I didn't really get serious … oh, I switched to diet sodas and ate a few more salads, but my issue had never really been eating 'bad food' I ate pretty healthy food … A LOT of it. I lost a bit of weight, took my meds and figured since my A1c was right at 7.0 I was okay. Right?

WRONG! A couple of years back I lost all vision in my left eye and then had a stroke … both attributable to my not getting this disease under control. I spent 17 days in a recovery hospital after the stroke and realized that I had better get busy living or I would undoubtedly be busy dying.

That was 15 months ago. I now weigh 160 lbs., my cholesterol and blood pressure are excellent and my last A1c was 5.9.

I tell you this not to show what a great job I have done … I was an idiot and it literally took a trip to deaths door for me to 'see the light'. My hope is that I can help others avoid the mistake I made and possibly have some good come out of a horrible situation.

Figure it out brother … wake up every morning and renew your commitment to get healthy … not so much for you, but for your family and friends that love you.


TommyG44 2014-04-08 09:07:15 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing that's a lot like me minus the salads. I eat bad got to change that. I'm working hard but it's all new and difficult. Everyone here has been great. Very helpful thanks again

samarie 2014-04-08 18:55:50 -0500 Report

Hi Tommy, I am going through this too.I stay to low carb, no sugar. Well, mostly like atkins. I get enough to eat, have lost a lot of weight. It isn't happening overnight but all my blood work is normal and I feel good. I wish you the very best. :)

diabeticdummy 2014-04-07 19:12:20 -0500 Report

Tommy I'm a big man to at current 6'4" 360 lbs my weight ballooned from 280 to 470 when I got diagnosed with t2 have lost a lot of that weight now and still losing it I was raised up country boy eating huge meals I was a strongman competitor so are a lot of food to workout hard I used to destroy buffets and there were no left overs but once diagnosed I went on a diabetes food program still eat the same stuff just smaller portions but with that when I first stated used to laugh at portion sizes they were bird portions like 3 oz meat wtf I used to down the 72 oz steak and ask for more so it was hard at first but after couple weeks was easy smaller potions and more meals and snacks a day felt full and cravings subsided quickly my dietician helped put my program together using a diabetic menu on the point system five points a meal two for snacks mostly drink water not a big change there have always drank at least a gallon of water a day tea or coffee once or twice a day and diatician was able to incorporate my favorite foods so after 40 yrs eating like a fool it was hard at first but got so much better rather quickly talk to you dr get into a diabetes class and an diatician usually goes with the class program and good luck if I can do it it's not that hard lol

TommyG44 2014-04-07 20:12:16 -0500 Report

Thanks man very helpful

diabeticdummy 2014-04-07 20:29:28 -0500 Report

No problem got ? Ask away a lot of people have good advice here I have some personal experience but only t2 for almost two years and mine has been rough but getting better just had to get my health team together my wife supports me 390% first year I fought it and list big time to the point of icu for two weeks and a lot if time in hospital lost my cdl and job cause I fought instead if embracing it and living my new life a little secret you should avoid I didn't change till I was technically dead for couple minutes last June in icu dka doctors fixed me listed me as non compliant diabetic almost lost insurance due to that non compliant thing since I have done everything I can to be normal again and ya know what I feel better still an ass sometimes my wife says but the anger that comes with diabetes is getting much better I have only been here in this site for couple months but it is great best one I ever found everyone is very supportive and I've learned allot from the old hands with t2-1 both almost the same just some peoples experience are different don't be a dummy like I was in the beginning and later found out it was pretty easy still paying the price for my stupidity and denial but hopefully this surgery (4th) will be last and I can get back on my feet and enjoy life again

TommyG44 2014-04-07 13:54:36 -0500 Report

Thank you both very helpful info. Trying to not be overwhelmed. Thanks again for the advice

jayabee52 2014-04-07 13:56:02 -0500 Report

You're welcome Tommy! It may take you some time to gain your equilbrium and perspective, but I would expect it will happen, especially if you hang around DC and keep asking questions! And please ask any question which may come to mind because, IMHO, here on DC the only foolish or stupid question is an HONEST question which is NOT ASKED! (and I think that is a pretty common attitude here among the regular posters)

jayabee52 2014-04-07 13:32:02 -0500 Report

Howdy Tommy!
The American Heart Assn meal plan (I dislike the term "diet") is for people who need to lose weight for their heart health but is for otherwise healthy folks who are not otherwise "insulin challenged". Here is WebMD's take on the AHA meal plan ~

Did your Doc give you a glucometer ("meter") and instruct you to test your Blood Glucose (BG) at certain times?. If not, ask why not? It is IMO "borderline malpractice" to put someone on a Glucose lowering medication and not provide a way to know what that medication is doing as far as lowering one's glucose.

Undoubtedly you will need to modify your food intake in some fashion. You may need to lower the volume of you food and drink intakes,

Ask your Dr for a referral to a Registered Dietician and to a Diabetes Educator to talk about what changes will be needed in your life.

There will be a lot of changes in your life, but you wil not have to make them all at once. Having diabetes is in certain aspects like running a race, but that race is not a sprint, it is more like an ultramarathon or maybe even an ironman race, It is something where you have to pace yourself to safely make it to the finish line. You will be in this "race" from now till you die

God's best to you and yours Tommy

James Baker

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-07 13:30:15 -0500 Report

Hi Tommy, even big guys can change. I am a big girl and I changed. There are a few things you should do. Ask your doctor to refer you to a Registered Dietitian who can help you devise a meal plan you can work with. Also call your doctor and ask how many carbs per meal you can have. This will help the Dietitian.

Step two Believe in your self, stay positive, and look to the future. Don't dwell on the fact that you like to eat. Everyone likes doing that.

Step three. Say goodbye to as much processed foods as possible. Frozen dinners, lunch meats and pizzas are no longer your friends. Get rid of the white foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta. Bake, Broil or Grill meats. Please go to a Diabetic Education Class. You will learn how to read labels and manage your diabetes.

Buy a diet scale, get a measuring cup and spoons. They are going to become you best friends. Weigh and measure everything you eat. Look up diabetic portion control to see how to portion foods. Get a notebook and write down everything you eat and add your Blood Glucose readings that you take after each meal. This book is going to come in handy when you meet with the dietitian.
Make a list of every question you have for your doctor and take them with you. Ask him the questions and get the answers. Doctors are not that good when it comes to diabetes care. Self educate. Go to the library and get books on meal planning for diabetics, recipes and other information.

Don't view diabetes as a problem. You can still have fun and enjoy life you just have to now make sure you eat healthy, carry a meter and snacks with you. You can still eat out just be careful of the amount of food you are served. If it is a lot of food, eat half and ask for a doggie bag. Get up, Get out and get active. Exercise will get the weight off. None of this is going to happen over night. If you feel you are getting overwhelmed or frustrated, refocus your energy on something else. When your get a good report from the doctor, go out and do something special just for yourself and no one else. Buy a new shirt, fishing rod, game, book, or just go somewhere and sit and relax. Be proud of yourself.

I get up in the morning and after I go on Facebook and tell my friends "I am awake world watch out" I say, "Just for today, I am going to______________. You fill in the blank. It can be make sure I test, make sure i exercise, make sure I have fun.

By the way, Metformin might upset your stomach. Eat have your meal, take the meds and eat the rest of your meal. Very best of luck to you.

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