Better This Year

By NewSong53 Latest Reply 2015-01-24 17:33:31 -0600
Started 2015-01-17 17:32:50 -0600

Hi, all! I've started this new year drastically cutting back on carbs. Only 1 wheat roll for bread per day and one serving of pasta or rice or casserole for lunch with my veggies and baked fish or chicken. I still have trouble getting my BG under control, although it is down. I discover that I sometimes forget my metformin in the morning, but often forget it in the evening. I started setting an alarm on my iPhone for 7pm to remind me. So far I've lost 5 lbs. But I'm still frustrated by the numbers (215 being the lowest so far). I haven't started exercising yet. I get plenty of sleep and am pretty stress free at the moment. Does exercise make a huge difference? It's hard to fit it in because I commute by bus and train 2 1/2 hrs total each day and get 30 min for lunch. Thanks!

47 replies

NewSong53 2015-01-24 17:33:31 -0600 Report

Another exciting update! I just did a 30 min. walk in the park by my apartment. Had lunch of broccoli and cheese an hour before. An hour after my walk, checked my BG and it was 128! The lowest I've seen in years!!! Of course, a half hour ago I had a tall hot chocolate made from Swiss Miss Diet cocoa (2 g. sugar & 4 g. carbs per pak — no food, only that) and my BG was 166! It contains sucralose. Could that be the culprit?

NewSong53 2015-01-24 07:34:28 -0600 Report

I just had to give an update this morning and thank everyone for the encouragement and letting me know that even small increments of exercise can help. I'd been putting off walking because I didn't have time before or after work. We have a workout room at the senior living facility where I work. Yesterday, I jogged at 3mph for 6 minutes on the treadmill before work (still in my tennis shoes). During my morning break and lunch break (in work shoes) I walked at a steep incline for 7 minutes once and 9 minutes the other time. Each time I came to my desk pumped full of energy, feeling alert and nearly euphoric!! I mentioned it to a co-worker and she's going to start doing the same thing. This is so encouraging that I plan to do my walk in the park today — we have beautiful, cool weather today! Thanks again for all your encouragement!!

RosalieM 2015-01-18 09:36:55 -0600 Report

Exercising does lower blood sugar. I do it every day, however exercise doesn't do much for weight loss. Your body uses glucose first for energy. If you feed yourself too much carbohydrate your body never gets around to burning fat which is necessary for weight loss which will lower blood sugar.. Cut all flour based products, rice and potatoes pasta and of course sugar etc. and you will lose weight. When you cut out that stuff, your exercise will improve your fat burning and you will lose weight. It isn't really that hard to do. There is no other way.

Pegsy 2015-01-21 18:21:23 -0600 Report

I lost 92 lbs primarily due to exercise. I had already reduced my carbohydrate consumption. While I did lose weight prior to adding exercise I lost it a lot faster after adding exercise. I know too many women who eat like little birds, even low carb diets but can't lose a pound. Once they start exercising (even just walking at a slow pace) the pounds start falling off. Resistance training also contributes to weight loss. Muscle mass burns calories all day long even while you sleep. Fat does not. Once desired weight is reached exercise is very important in maintaining that weight loss.

MarkS 2015-01-20 09:20:46 -0600 Report

How can you say that exercise doesn't do much for weight loss? Exercise is a key component to any weight loss program; that and a healthy diet.

RosalieM 2015-01-20 14:12:44 -0600 Report

Sorry Marke S,
Exercise will only lead to weight loss if the carbohydrate content of your diet is below what your body requires for energy. Most of the overweight people I see at the YMCA are exercising their butt off but they do not lose their weight. If they lowered the carbohydrate in their diet, the exercise would work and their butt would get smaller. On the other hand if you don't exercise
but your carbohydrate content of your diet is lower than you need for energy, You will lose weight without exercise.

MarkS 2015-01-21 08:14:35 -0600 Report

Yes, I know that. But you said that exercise doesn't do much for weight loss. It does along with eating a healthy diet - which does not mean overeating!

RosalieM 2015-01-21 10:44:55 -0600 Report

It is not just over eating. It is carbohydrates. We get all the carbohydrates we need to be healthy from fruits, vegetables and dairy. The amount of carbs in starch foods, flour and sugar is way over our needs. I makes us fat and sabotages weight loss efforts.

NewSong53 2015-01-20 19:36:37 -0600 Report

Well, I know that when I lower my carbs drastically — even when I'm eating plenty of protein, fat and complex carbs — I can easily lose weight. I've been such a bread and pasta person all my life, that it is hard to resist those cravings. It's just so much work to figure out how many carbs are in all the ingredients when I cook from scratch. I'm going to look for a good real diabetic cookbook that gives carb and sugar counts in their servings. I'm loving making complex carbs in my new crockpots. Put green beans on with a little bacon and cooked them on low overnight — had a great pot of green beans to eat with my spaghetti sauce (italian sausage, onion & green pepper) over slow-cooked cauliflower. BG too high due to the tomato sauce, so back to the drawing board . . .

RosalieM 2015-01-22 05:50:15 -0600 Report

You don't need to count the carbs in those things because it is so low. The term complex carbs is normally used to refer to whole grain flour as apposed to white flour for instance. If you eat the vegetables you mention above, you can eat all of them you want without counting the carbs in them.

lilleyheidi 2015-01-17 21:32:02 -0600 Report

It sounds like you've made a good start, congratulations.
One of the things I do is use veggies instead of pasta for my pasta sauce, i pour my pasta sauce on either green beans or cauliflower or spaghetti squash. I've totally given up on pasta. The little changes make a big difference in the long run. If you eat a roll, don't eat pasta, if you eat pasta, don't eat the roll. That kind of thing. As for exercise, it will really make quite a bit of difference, try to find a way to fit 10 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. Best of health to you. Heidi.

Pegsy 2015-01-18 07:14:51 -0600 Report

I've heard so many good things about the spaghetti squash but have yet to try it.

NewSong53 2015-01-18 07:20:59 -0600 Report

A friend of mine made some for me once and it was delicious (esp. with the sauce on top)! She just halved the squash, covered both sides with microwavable Glad Wrap and popped them in the microwave — I'll have to ask her how long it took. Then she scooped it out into a bowl with a little olive oil and served it with the sauce. Loved it! She told me it isn't good warmed over, but that might just be a matter of taste.

Pegsy 2015-01-20 18:44:34 -0600 Report

Well. I tried it. I think I will like it once I master it. I have no idea how to tell if a spaghetti squash is ripe. So I think my troubles started there, LOL. I could NOT cut that thing in half for the life of me! So I stuck it in the oven for 30 minutes trying to soften it. I still couldn't cut it. I am NO weakling. I pump iron, regularly! My husband got it cut in half. So I scooped out the seeds and placed one half cut side down in a dish with some water. Covered it with plastic wrap and microwaved it for about 10 minutes. Then I scooped out the strings and topped with my favorite spaghetti meat sauce and added Parmesan cheese. I thought I was about to go to Heaven but…it was kinda crunchy and tasteless. So again, I am thinking I got one that wasn't ripe? I am hopeful to get this right in the future. The other half of the spaghetti squash is cooking in the oven now. I hope it will be good, reheated, tomorrow. We'll see. So…I'm going to brush up on how to select a good one and how to cook it properly.

RosalieM 2015-01-21 06:35:44 -0600 Report

Those squash are hard to cut. I just bake mine whole and when it is baked, it is easy to cut. Why do we have to take the seeds out before we bake it? Seeds are
not poison or anything.

NewSong53 2015-01-20 19:30:46 -0600 Report

Your post had me laughing! I'll have to ask Sue how to tell if one is ripe — that's an awful lot of effort just to have it go splat on you!! Hers was delicious and I think she cooked it longer than you did. I'll find out.

Pegsy 2015-01-18 07:30:32 -0600 Report

OK! You talked me into it. I didn't realize it was that simple to prepare. I just put spaghetti squash on my shopping list. :~)

RebDee 2015-01-18 07:55:15 -0600 Report

Instead of scooping out the spaghetti squash, take a fork and keep dragging it over the inner part of the squash so that it makes the long spaghetti noodles. Of course you do it aftr it is cooked. Then after you make the "noodles" pour the spaghetti sauce over it. Delicious.

RosalieM 2015-01-18 09:38:56 -0600 Report

Spaghetti sauce you buy in the store has sugar added. I make my own, but you could buy canned tomatoes (no sugar added) and make your own. It is very easy to do.

NewSong53 2015-01-18 06:57:13 -0600 Report

Thanks for your suggestions — I'd actually been thinking of using cauliflower or spaghetti squash instead of pasta!! I was trying to eat in the cafeteria at work, but their diabetic-friendly choices are so limited. Looks like it's back to bringing my lunch. It really makes a difference.

RebDee 2015-01-18 07:56:42 -0600 Report

Try something different. Roast the cauliflower whole with garlic and onions. Its the newest specialty dish at Stonefire Grill. Delicious.

Pegsy 2015-01-18 07:28:35 -0600 Report

I find eating in restaurants and cafeterias to be so difficult. There are so many hidden things. Even if I ask, they don't always know what's in it or they don't tell the truth. I pack my own lunch nearly every day. My husband only gets half an hour for lunch so what he does (I don't know if this would be an option for you.) is he eats his lunch at his desk while he works. Then he takes his lunch break and walks or goes to the workout room. Since he is required to leave his work area during his lunch break this works well for him. He eats quickly and is not one to linger over his food so his lunch is gone in just a few minutes, LOL.

It takes effort to make exercise fit into your day but it is well worth it. Starting out at 10 minutes a day is fine but you really need to work it up to at least 20 - 30 minutes where your are breathing harder and getting your heart rate up. You need to get your heart rate up and sustain that for a time for good cardio, and calorie burn. This is what works best for weight loss and glucose control as well.

Pegsy 2015-01-18 07:16:42 -0600 Report

I find eating in restaurants and cafeterias to be so difficult. There are so many hidden things. Even if I ask, they don't always know what's in it or they don't tell the truth. I pack my own lunch nearly every day.

sweetslover 2015-01-17 19:26:51 -0600 Report

For me, exercise has been one of the best ways I have found for controlling my BG. I have found it even helps if I move my hands and feet when I am sitting and reading. Any movement helps.

NewSong53 2015-01-18 06:58:54 -0600 Report

Thanks for sharing that — I've always been an "all or nothing" thinker but realizing it has gotten me nowhere. This inspires me because if even this helps, then it is worth it to try even if I fall short of my expectations.

Pegsy 2015-01-17 19:09:55 -0600 Report

Congratulations on what you have accomplished so far! You are making progress and learning about what will work for you.

For me, exercise makes a huge difference. It brings my glucose down faster than anything. I take Metformin too and if I miss a dose I really see a difference. I am very careful to take it at breakfast and dinner without fail. I don't know how much you take so I am thinking it is possible that you aren't taking enough. Mine is Metformin ER which is longer acting. Perhaps you need to add another medication until you have lost more weight and your body adjusts? I think you should discuss that with your doctor. 215 just isn't low enough.

As far as diet is concerned, I cannot eat pasta at all. If I do my glucose will spike regardless of medication, sleep, exercise, etc. If I eat rice it has to be brown rice and I only allow a half cup. If I eat potatoes they have to be the smooth skinned kind and again, no more than half a cup. Breads are 100% whole wheat and low carb for me. I also limit fruit to 1 or 2 servings per day. I do not allow myself more than one serving of these things per meal, once every 4 or 5 hours. If I step outside of that plan my glucose will run too high.

It's great that you are sleeping well and living pretty stress free right now. I would try to find ways to get in some good exercise. RebDee's idea of walking on the train is a good one if it will work for you. I have time during the day to walk so it isn't much of an issue for me. When the weather is bad and I can't walk outside I will get on the treadmill while I watch the news or a show. I also have a collection of exercise videos. Leslie Sansone is my favorite. You can find her for free on YouTube. Easy moves that don't require a lot of space or coordination. Sometimes I just march in place while watching a favorite TV show before bed. I even use hand weights while doing that to build some muscle mass. Exercise is extremely important for glucose control and weight loss. It takes commitment on your part but it is so worth it. There are many days that I just don't feel like it but my motto is "just do it anyway". Afterward I always feel better and I never regret that I did it. I have lost 92 lbs. and exercise has played a huge role in that.

This is what has worked for me. I hope it helps and encourages you.

NewSong53 2015-01-18 07:06:33 -0600 Report

Thank you for the tips. Yesterday I shopped at Target and found a blend called "Whole Grain Medley" under the brand "Simply Balanced" in the section where rice and pasta is kept. It has brown rice, rye, bulgar, wheat, red quinoa and wild rice — hope it tastes better than it sounds!! If that doesn't help, I'll switch to the brown rice. I thought it was making my BG spike, but it might have been something else that went with it. Since the days are short and the skies are dark when I have the time to walk, I think I'll give the marching in front of TV with weights a try. You've inspired me by explaining what it's done for you!! (That black or white thinking again . . .) I can walk the hallways at work or go outside for a few minutes when the weather's nice. It would only be for 5 or maybe 10 minutes, but ya'll have convinced me that it won't be in vain!!

RosalieM 2015-01-21 06:46:28 -0600 Report

Brown rice is white rice with the B vitamins removed, but with all
the starch still in it. Brown rice and all grains raise blood sugar there is no getting around it.

MarkS 2015-01-21 11:58:22 -0600 Report

No, white rice is brown rice with the husk removed by milling. The milling and polishing processes remove nutrients from the seeds. However, white rice is fortified with some of the B vitamins and iron. And there are more carbs in a cup of white rice than brown rice, 53 grams compared to 45 grams, respectively.

Pegsy 2015-01-21 18:25:03 -0600 Report

I occasionally have brown rice but only about half a cup without a blood sugar spike. I never eat white rice.

RosalieM 2015-01-21 15:33:44 -0600 Report

You might be right about that count, however 45 grams of carbohydrate is enough to shoot blood sugar up. How do they get B vitamins and iron in the white rice?

Type1Lou 2015-01-18 17:07:22 -0600 Report

Look at the carbohydrate content and serving size of the "Whole Grain Medley". I checked Bob's Redmill brand Whole Grain Medley and it has 36 grams of carb per 1/4 cup. Too high for my diet. I've eliminated rice entirely from my diet because it is quite high on the glycemic index.

NewSong53 2015-01-18 18:04:58 -0600 Report

Thanks for telling me! I still forget to look at carb counts for things like that. Just looked and it's 38 grams per 1/4 cub!!! Looks like I'm going to have to give it to a friend who doesn't have diabetes . . . it just sounded so healthy.

RebDee 2015-01-17 18:20:45 -0600 Report

My Dad used to walk on the train rather than sitting down. Could you try that? How about spinach pasta, brown rice and gluten free roll as a change. An Alarm on the iPhone sounds like a great idea. I have stairs in my townhouse so I go up and down all day long as a form of exercise. Try using to keep track of your food and exercise. Hope my suggestions help.

RosalieM 2015-01-21 06:49:45 -0600 Report

Gluten free bakery is made of rice, potato and tapioca flour. They raise blood sugar like crazy as does rice of any color.

NewSong53 2015-01-18 07:09:19 -0600 Report

Thanks for the tip on the "myfitnesspal" website! Unfortunately, I could never walk on the train — too much stuff that I tote around and crowded aisles with standing room only. Wish it were possible!

RebDee 2015-01-17 18:20:29 -0600 Report

My Dad used to walk on the train rather than sitting down. Could you try that? How about spinach pasta, brown rice and gluten free roll as a change. An Alarm on the iPhone sounds like a great idea. I have stairs in my townhouse so I go up and down all day long as a form of exercise. Try using to keep track of your food and exercise. Hope my suggestions help.

RebDee 2015-01-18 08:07:38 -0600 Report

For a long time, I had a stationary bicycle sitting in my den gathering dust and acting as an ornament. Now I use it daily while I watch a half hour tv program and cycle in front of the tv. I forget about what I am doing and actually go faster than I think I can especially if the program is funny. I have now incorporated holding a full water bottle and doing arm exercises with it (first one arm then the other). I found it too hard to do both arms at the same time. Each commercial, I change hands.

RebDee 2015-01-21 10:41:53 -0600 Report

I have been walking through shopping centers for the first time this week. I have done it twice (2 different centers). I am able to window shop as I walk and my walking partner and I talk and show each other things we like in the windows. I had been having a hard time getting over the hump of 160 lbs. Just the change of walking for two hours each has lowered my poundage to 158. I'm going to keep walking.

NewSong53 2015-01-22 05:08:04 -0600 Report

I love doing that! That would be something good to do on a rainy weekend. I don't have a car right now, but am looking forward to more daylight — then I can walk before or after work at the park next to my apartments. It's beautiful!