How bad is it to cheat?

By clb2014 Latest Reply 2014-10-24 00:26:27 -0500
Started 2014-10-10 18:04:30 -0500

In the two years I have had T2, I have refused "to let it control my life". This means I have eaten what I wanted when I wanted. I knew my A1C would be high because my BSs were 200-400+ & I had gone to the ER a couple times because it was too high. My A1C in Sept. was 10.6. Frustrated in my inability to get my BS down, my doctor finally gave me insulin.
Since starting, I've tried to eat better, but my BSs are usually a minimum of 250. So, I started trying to better understand T2 and found this group. In the last 2 days, my BSs have been better, but not ideal. So, i have a lot of work to do.
Since I'm taking insulin, my question is how bad is it on my body to "cheat". I'm having a hard time giving up my daily coke. I rationalize that i can just take a bit more insulin. Thoughts?

48 replies

yogajunkie 2014-10-22 22:02:07 -0500 Report

I'm kind of confused after reading the posts about cheating, plus I am newly diagnosed. My dietician gave me a carb allotment for snacks and meals. So if I stay within that allotment does it really matter what type of carbs I eat. If I had some chocolate and was within the guidelines, would that be considered cheating if my numbers are in the normal range? Thank you.

jayabee52 2014-10-23 07:53:39 -0500 Report

Howdy Yogajunkie

Techinically you would not be cheating (IMO) if you stayed within your carb allotment and your numbers remain in the normal range. That said, do you not wish to get the most nutrition from the carbs you eat? You can best do that by eating complex carbs rather than more simple carbs.

Does that mean you kiss chocolate goodbye forever? No. You can have it occasionally as a treat. What is best is the dark chocolates with 75% and higher concentrations of cocoa. These chocolates have flavenoids which are antiinflammitory so if you want a treat, treat yourself to a small amount of dark chocolate.

Glucerna 2014-10-23 16:57:07 -0500 Report

Great question yogajunkie and James' response is right on target. Sometimes people notice that certain types of foods - even when they pay close attention to carbohydrate content - raise blood sugar levels. This varies from person to person, and by testing your blood sugar levels you'll learn how your body handles different foods. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Shawn Grant
Shawn Grant 2014-10-21 17:40:07 -0500 Report

The reality of diabetes is tough, but it is something we have to face. Not being able to eat what I want when I want is the biggest challenge I face. It would be nice to go to a party and eat what I want or order anything off the menu at a restaurant.

Here is the bottom line with diabetes. The best treatment for it is diet, period. Medication and exercise helps a lot but diet has the biggest impact. You have two choices. Eat what you want and die a slow painful death at a young age or control your diet and live a long healthy life. Got to get your A1C below 6. Only way to do that is to severely cut your carbs as low as your medication allows.

Cheating depends on your personality. If you have an addictive personality where just one ends up being 100, it is best to avoid cheating altogether. If you can stop at a little once a month a be satisfied, a treat every now and then is ok. I enjoy a bowl of ice cream once a month. Before hand, I lift weights like crazy. This helps keep my sugar down.

clb2014 2014-10-21 17:49:24 -0500 Report

Thank you for your input. Decreasing my carbs is helping. Fortunately, when I cheat, it can be limited. I'm hoping to start working out soon.

DiabetesSuperGrl 2014-10-18 10:59:34 -0500 Report

Diabetes management can be very difficult. Its a daily, hourly struggle sometimes…especially when you go to the grocery store or you start craving a food for no particular reason. I was diagnosed 2 years ago when I was hospitalized for several weeks, for what turned out to be foot ulcers and infection. Last year, I lost that particular battle when they amputated half of my foot. I also have a lot of eye issues…I see my eye surgeon every 6 weeks for one treatment or another that keeps me from going blind. I also have 7 other doctors. If you think that diet control is letting diabetes control you, it really isn't. Despite the fact that my life has been turned upside down, I spend all my time at the hospital, I take 16 medications and have 8 specialists, I try not to let THAT define me. Diet is nothing compared to all of that. That being said, when you take insulin and start getting lower readings, when you cheat, you feel horrible. I get hot, nauseaous, extremely tired. I know before I even test that its going to be high. Some people like to cheat then chase down the bs with insulin later, because they can. Its always your choice. I choose not to do that because I hate feeling miserable during the time that I have to chase it down. I also try to keep lower because of all of my medical issues. Sustained higher sugars for me usually means my eyes are going to bleed/leak behind the optic nerve, requiring more treatment; it opens me up to more infection, future amputation and God only knows what other complications that I haven't had yet. Its always a choice, you always have a choice. You can choose to cheat or try to do something else, like take a walk or listen to music or read a book or whatever it is that you do to take your mind off of things. Once you start doing that, you will find that you have the willpower to overcome it.

karen7t2 2014-10-17 05:58:37 -0500 Report

Thank you Cib2014 for your discussion topic. I am struggling here too. potato chips follow me everywhere. I have been a T2 for three years and am on metforum. At first I lost a lot of weight and thought it was the "cats meow" my sugars were in range but have gradually starting creeping up. I am trying to get them down from 10-12 . I get up in the morning, have two cups or coffee and then test my sugar and sometimes miss a week. I should be ashamed of myself because I saw my mother suffer with vision loss and kidney failure and finally death.
Please take this more seriously and take note of how you feel when you eat right and exercise.
I am seeing the truth of not taking it seriously and am struggling to behave myself.

clb2014 2014-10-20 13:57:44 -0500 Report

Thanks. I am taking it seriously as of this year. That's why I'm trying to educate myself. My bs has been much better over the last week as a result of greater understanding about carbs. :)

Glucerna 2014-10-17 18:18:35 -0500 Report

I give you a lot of credit for your honesty about what's happening and that diabetes management can be difficult. It sounds like you're starting to make changes in your daily routine to help you get the diabetes control you want. Good for you! ~Lynn @Glucerna

Lakeland 2014-10-15 19:40:29 -0500 Report

what I was told was if your blood sugar is high, your blood is like syrup, it's thicker & because of that it's hard on every vein in your body, it will effect eyesight, kidneys, ect.

My dad did cheat, he purposefully over injected himself so he could eat cake or candy. He passed away at 84 but he was on diaylsis for 3 years. & lost some toes & things.

My numbers are controlled & I cheat, but I wait till I have days at 84 ( I'm not on insulin) but when I cheat my sugars spike in the 200's & I definately can tell in my eyes, heck I just picked up my first pair of glasses last week. (and by the way, my BS spike with fruit, so to me cheating doesn't always mean candy!! so healthy foods play games with my foods, but I tested often to learn what foods do what to me)

I was told that too the body, a carb, whether it's sugar, or bread or pasta has a similar effect on the body, so If you want your soda, try to get rid of the other carbs & then test & see what happens. I've noticed with me, if I cheat & am a little high, I can take my dog for a walk & drop my sugar numbers 20 to 30 points. So the days I do cheat I'm sure to take a walk.

Please take your diabetes seriously, my aunt is blind from it. my dad lost limbs & was on dialysis, my brother will start dialysis, & my great uncle today signed papers to quit his dialysis, so he'll die soon. This is a nasty disease but you can control it with what you eat & how often you walk.


lilleyheidi 2014-10-15 01:57:00 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed in 2010 as t2, and for almost 4 years ignored my diabetes. I tested maybe once or twice a week, didn't take my insulin, shoveled in reeses peanut butter cups when i got severe lows and slept like crazy when i got highs or ran to the ER if it was an extreme high (over 500). I ate any and everything I wanted. I refused to let diabetes control my life. I let my emotions control my life.
This spring, for many reasons, I chose to take control, with an A1C over 12, and weight pushing close to 300lbs, I am making the changes in my life to control my diabetes. Yes, I miss the reeses peanut butter cups. I ate them daily (a king sized bar a day). I walk by them every time i go into a store and see them at the register. I'm tempted. But, with bg levels running around the 110-125 level daily now, controlled by low carb diet and insulin (recently lowered) and strong desire to just be healthy and in control of my life and not let a disease have control of me, I walk away from the candy.
YOU have to walk away from the Coke, it is loaded with sugar, and sugar is the killer in this disease. You are only doing what I did, fooling yourself over who has control. The addiction to the sugar has the control. Take control over your disease and get healthy, don't lose your eye sight, or your kidney's or your limbs. Do whatever it takes.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-10-14 17:20:41 -0500 Report

Hi Nea, glad to meet you and congratulations on the we. ht loss. I agree with you, it is a hard battle, but you have to fight. I am on b the Atkins diet. I eat lots of protein about 8 oz. per-day. Salads
veggies ( lots of veggies) fresh fruit, which I have to be very careful with the ones I eat, some make my BG go up sky high. Then some dairy. I don't buy Atkins diet foods except for the protein bars. Their real good and help with any cravings I might get. When I've lost the weight (I have 60 lbs to on go) then I will adopt eating like my boyfriend does. It will help to keep the weight at a healthy weight. If you would like a copy of that eating
plan email, jayabee52. James will be happy to share. He. Lost 65lbs. On it and had too fix it so he could stabilize. Hope I've
been of some help. Keep me posted. Peggy

Naedizzle 2014-10-13 15:21:21 -0500 Report

Hi valentine Lady - My name is Nae and I thoroughly understand how you feel. Like you at first, I was out of control. I was angry when first diagnosed with this dreadful disease and then I felt sorry for myself. On the day I was diagnosed, I was given a prescription for some oral medication and on my way out of the clinic, I threw the script in the garbage and that was the end of my diabetes or so I thought. It took two years of feeling like crap to accept the fact that I had a problem that needed taking care of. That was in 1993. Today, I am working fiercely on my diabetes. I am still taking oral meds but my doctor is thinking about insulin. Ugh! My a1c was over 11 two years ago; last week I discovered that I had managed to get it down to 9. I am working towards having it at 7 or below. everybody has their own way of dealing with this; I don't touch carbs until Sunday which is when I eat what I want. this has made a difference and makes me feel not so deprived. My sugar levels hover between 140 and 160 but I want them to go down to 100. I no longer drink soda, diet or otherwise. That was so hard! I drink sparkling green tea made by Lipton because I like the bubbly. The ICE drinks are nice but they contain caffeine. I drink Smart Water with lemon & splenda or on hot days just plain water.I have decided to stop eating chicken; I haven't eaten red meat in more than 30 years. I made the decision to cut out chicken because I am spilling protein again. Two years ago, I was spilling protein and when I cut out chicken and had two vegie meals in each week, the protein went back to normal. Maybe you should make your own soda with that machine they have on the market. That way you can control the sugar. I have a friend on dialysis and she has been very, very sick so try your best to control your sugar. Be careful and think about the quality of your life and how you want to live it Dialysis, blindness, amputations, no fun! I also lost 63 pounds and have 50 more to go. It is a hard battle we are in but you have to start somewhere. You talked about Coke but not much about how you eat. What is your overall diet like?

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-10-12 18:24:14 -0500 Report

Hi, you've now been told by the best. Please take heed and just do it.
When I first read your discussion all I could think of is a spoiled brat. But a spoiled brat that's playing a rough game with her life. You were
honest and that count as for something. It was said in this discussion
something to the effect your playing a game you can't win. That's so
true. So here's my final word, put on your big girl panties and act like a big girl.

clb2014 2014-10-14 16:07:42 -0500 Report

I'm not a spoiled brat. I'm trying to educate myself. You may want to be critical, but I just need info.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-10-14 16:45:12 -0500 Report

clb2014, tosay I eat what I want when I want it. Also, I can't give up my coke. How bad is it to cheat?
What does that sound like to you? I said you were honest and that counts for something. You claim you eat what you want on Sunday. With diabetes you can't cheat like that once a week and expect to get your numbers down. You just have to do it. We
all felt deprived in the beginning, we still do now from
time to time. We may even cheat a little, but we don't
ask a group of seasoned diabetics if it's ok to cheat.
Please do educate yourself, you need it. I'm not
critical, I am a realest.

clb2014 2014-10-14 16:06:07 -0500 Report

I'm not a spoiled brat, however, I have enjoyed life on my own terms. I am educating myself. Don't need the criticism.

rolly123 2014-10-11 21:22:04 -0500 Report

Hi welcome aboard to dc
What type insulin u taking if lantus it only helps when u don't eat if taking lemimer that short acting novolog that help if cheat! I had same problem u had it not easy! What diet eating! R u on low carb it's good got stick to it im struggling but working hard on it I take lantus and glimzide ! That's helping a lot! Keep asking question here everyone is very helpful they help a lot for me! Get friend one one they help u a lot !

clb2014 2014-10-14 15:54:01 -0500 Report

I've had good bs readings for 2 days by lowering my carbs :)
I'm on humolog, glimepride, & metformin.

GabbyPA 2014-10-11 06:01:26 -0500 Report

I suppose you can look at it this way.
Do you benefit long term for cheating on a test at school?
Do you benefit from cheating in a relationship?
Do you truly win if you cheat at a game?

There really is no "cheating" in diabetes. There is a point of choice and I would say it's more poor choice than cheating. Sometimes we don't know we are making poor choices because we don't understand, and sometimes we make poor choices because we are lazy or don't care at that moment. Learning to make choices that are disciplined and intended for long term results are what you want to train yourself to do.

Diagnosis of diabetes does involve some changes in your life. Even if they are small ones. I doubt that a coke a day is really the culprit. Unless its a Big Gulp Cup with free refills. It is most likely a combination of things and as you learn that "sugar" comes in many forms, you will find ways to substitute or cut it out. It is a learning process and being here will really be helpful in finding ways to improve your diet and adding exercise to help you along. I had to cold turkey on a lot of things because I am not disciplined enough to have a little and be satisfied. Other people can wean themselves off their nemesis foods and still others can entertain a small bite or two and be fine. You have to find the method that works for you. Knowing yourself is vital to that success.

It also takes time for our bodies to come down. 143 is a great number compared to where you were, let that be your motivation. I remember my first 98 and it was so exciting. I constantly struggle with high numbers. Even when I eat salads all don't give up. There will be good and bad days, but when you can get the good ones to outnumber the bad ones, you will be on your way to a healthier outcome.

Type 1 diabetics can often "eat what they want" because their insulin that is injected works. Often in a type 2 there are things like insulin resistance that don't allow us to "eat what we want" because even with insulin injections, our resistance is still there.

clb2014 2014-10-11 13:16:08 -0500 Report

Thanks, Gabby.I am trying. It's a learning process.

GabbyPA 2014-10-12 05:25:14 -0500 Report

That is the thing. Even after years of dealing with it, it's still a learning process. You will do fine. Just hang in there, never give up and shoot for those lower numbers. Also, if your doctor is not really on board with educating you, maybe ask him to direct you to a class or to a nutritionist to see if they can give you some one on one.

clb2014 2014-10-15 17:25:13 -0500 Report

Monitoring my bs regularly & taking insulin on a sliding scale. Cutting down on carbs has made an amazing difference. I didn't realize how much of a difference until I focused on it. Cut back on cokes… Pleasantly surprised a few changes w/were not that difficult make a big difference.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-10-10 20:22:22 -0500 Report

It appears that you are not letting diabetes control your life, you are not being responsible for your life or your health.

You can keep drinking the coke and slowly do more harm than good or you can stop drinking it cold turkey. I have never had a 200-400 BS since a month after being diagnosed.

You have a choice to make, you can call it cheating all you want but the end result is that you are going to damage organs and this will only complicate your problems. Diabetes is not a game that you are playing it will win and it will kill you.

I am a T2 I am not on any kind of insulin and take 500 metformin a day. My BS runs between 80-120 and I eat what I want to eat. If I want some things I test before eating it. If my BS is at 120 I won't have cake, pie or cookies.

So if you want my thoughts, you need to take this seriously and get your act together or diabetes is going to be the least of your problems. You can lose your vision, your limbs and your organs are going to slowly be affected. The choice is yours you can continue down the path you are on or you can become a responsible diabetic.

tabby9146 2014-10-11 13:46:35 -0500 Report

True. They told us in D class no soda. That was the one thing we could not have and they frowned on juice of course but said a small amt with protein I can not recall the amt but a piece of fruit is so much better than juice so nutritious. I know it is hard but you have to make a change no gentle way to say it.

clb2014 2014-10-10 20:57:07 -0500 Report

Thanks. I have never been able to get my BS that low since I was diagnosed & started testing. I've seen the the same dr. for 2 years. I had to insist that I start insulin because my BS were high-even when I ate better. The last couple days after reading about food on this site, my BS was down to 143 at the lowest. I also talk 850 mg metformin & glimepiride.

Glucerna 2014-10-11 15:43:25 -0500 Report

I'm glad you're making more changes after participating in this forum. You're taking charge of diabetes and I hope that feels good. ~Lynn @Glucerna

KaylaCarroll 2014-10-10 19:25:15 -0500 Report

talking about replacements, my addiction was juice.. which we all know is a big "no-no" for diabetics.
we have replaced it with crystal light tea and the mio squirt bottles. there's a ton of different flavors including Arizona tea flavors, powerades, and much more. I get bored of water and with all those there's always new ones out there!

haoleboy 2014-10-10 18:43:11 -0500 Report

Sorry but you are not refusing to let diabetes control your life … you are refusing to take responsibility for your health

Perhaps the question should be …
How much do you like your feet? your vision? your kidneys? your life?

Were you to have your A1c somewhere <6.5 my answer would be totally different but at this point you are at serious risk of complications and need to be making a 24/7 concerted effort to get this under control NOW!

I truly understand how hard it is to give up your daily coke … I was a Dr. Pepper addict myself. But trust me on this … I am having a harder time dealing with having lost vision in one eye.

I hope you take this in the spirit in which it was intended …


Phoenix Eye
Phoenix Eye 2014-10-19 21:50:50 -0500 Report

As usual Steve hit it right on the bullseye. It is good that you are on here and trying to learn about your condition. But as Gabby and Steve are saying you cannot cheat diabetes and it is your responsibility to take care of your own body, temple.

I was also a soda addict. It gave me some boost with the sugar and caffeine. It also was great with any kind of greasy food.

I was in denial for two weeks after my HBA1c. I didn't fill my prescription for those two weeks either. My aunt gave me an extra BG meter. I read about the dangerous levels that I should try to avoid. I had one beef noodle soup. Two hours later I tested at 264mg/dl. I knew I was in trouble. Serious trouble of losing feeling in my nerves, getting pain from nerve damage, losing my eyesight, losing my limbs and damaging every organ and cell in my body!!! That was my wake up call. All of us had our wake up call. The moment you realized that it was already too late and you needed to change your lifestyle now before it gets out of control.

My heart really goes out to you and all of us inflicted with this disease. It really is hard, but you cannot cheat.

My advice is to IMMEDIATELY stop the HFCS and sugar sodas(coke). I have found Coke zero to be a very nice substitute for the real thing when its nice and cold. However I am trying to ween myself off of the caffeinated sugar free sodas slowly.

You can eat whatever you want IF you count your carbs and sugars. Make sure to keep everything in portion control. For me it is not worth it to skip a whole meal very often just so I can have a small serving of the "good tasty stuff". What I am saying is IF you want to "cheat" or eat something that has a high glycemic load, then you need to count the carbs and sugar so that you make sure not to go over your target of less than 140 mg/dl.

All lot of very wise people have given you great advice here. They have saved you a lot of heart ache and time by trying to give you the benefit of their experiences in managing this disease.

I myself am no perfect Angel either. I eat two fatty protein rich meals a week. That is my vice. On other days my new name is "Chicken Salad".

Don't wait until your health gets worse before you get your wake up call. So pour out that Coke and welcome to the club. You can do it! Don't be stubborn and learn things the hard way. There are a lot of good food substitutes that make life bearable.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-10-10 20:24:00 -0500 Report

Steve you as usual hit the nail on the head. You can't call it cheating if you are not doing what you should be doing and that is being responsible for your own health.

tabby9146 2014-10-11 13:49:22 -0500 Report

I do not believe in eating whatever one wants in the amounts they want and cover it with insulin. In class those on insulin were advised against it

yogajunkie 2014-10-22 22:00:48 -0500 Report

I'm kind of confused after reading the posts about cheating, plus I am newly diagnosed. My dietician gave me a carb allotment for snacks and meals. So if I stay within that allotment does it really matter what type of carbs I eat. If I had some chocolate and was within the guidelines, would that be cheating? My numbers are in the normal range when I check. Could someone please clarify? Thank you.

clb2014 2014-10-10 18:45:54 -0500 Report

I am. I appreciate your comment. It's because the complications of T2 that I am trying to change.

Glucerna 2014-10-10 20:47:23 -0500 Report

I give you a lot of credit for being honest. Learning to manage diabetes is going to empower you to live the life you want, and you're making a good start. ~Lynn @Glucerna

TJ614 2014-10-10 18:16:50 -0500 Report

My numbers are not that high. I do cheat, not at every meal but usually on a meal or two a week. Of course I'm new so I don't have much experience but your numbers seem high to me. Have you tried replacement s?

clb2014 2014-10-10 18:25:41 -0500 Report


TJ614 2014-10-10 18:28:17 -0500 Report

Like diet green tea rather than soda etc… substitutions may not taste as good but finding one you could live with may be good. I don't know maybe I'm naive.

clb2014 2014-10-10 18:30:09 -0500 Report

I've been trying to drink water or unsweetened tea. Diet or green tea w/o sugar is a good suggestion. Thanks.

TJ614 2014-10-10 18:42:47 -0500 Report

I like coffee and tea.. I brew tea in my kuerig and like the diet liston green teas… helps me stay away from soda most times.

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