I have trouble with counting calories and understanding about Carbs,help!

By jennny Latest Reply 2010-05-13 00:28:23 -0500
Started 2010-05-11 17:05:41 -0500

My doctor has me calling him every week day to tell him my reading with the testing of my blood sugar at 8am. Then I Have to call every Wednesday to tell how much I weigh. I take insulin 5 times a day. I am type 2. What I dont understand is counting calories and carbs. Please help if you can. jenny

4 replies

dr8m1t4 2010-05-13 00:28:23 -0500 Report

Jenny! Don't despair! It's a lot to assimilate, and it takes some time to get it all. There are great internet resources, starting with www.diabetes.org which is the website for American Diabetes Association. I think I recall that they have not only info, but links for further study. I read several books, but found the book Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy by Warshaw and Webb and published by ADA to be the best. It's accessible, easy to follow and has lots of information about food groups, foods, nutrition and putting it all together in meals. It's not that difficult to do, but it takes a positive attitude to stick with it. You can't control your diabetes until you own it; read, read, read all you can about diabetes, diet and nutrition, meal planning. Another suggestion - don't let the title put you off - is Diabetes Cookbook for Dummies, by Dr. Alan Rubin. The "Dummies" series of books are easy to get into, and they try to communicate with a sense of wit and humor. (I must be a big dummy, because I have a dozen or so books.)
This information will not be that much help if your doctor has not given you targets for calories and carbs. If you need to, ask your doctor. If s/he doesn't give you good information, ask about diabetes education classes and nutrition and meal planning classes in your area. If all else fails, find another doctor, perhaps an endocrinologist - a doctor who specializes in diabetes.
Stick with it, and you'll find, as I have, that it's a challenge, but not an unreachable goal.

GabbyPA 2010-05-12 09:06:28 -0500 Report

At least your doctor is involved. That is good. Most just give us a prescription and a boot out the door. It might be a pain, but it is a good start.

I went to a diabetes education class and shared many of my notes with the members here. This one gives you an outline of food types and what we need to be consuming: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions/3223-tcoyd-class-4

And this one helps with your carbs: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions/3289-tcoyd-class-5

Your carbs are important because they are what turn into glucose the quickest in your blood. Usually you want to limit your carb intake to 30-45grams per meal and 15grams per snack. There is a great booklet from the American Diabetes Association that gives you a very basic exchange. It is a great place to start to begin to understand how it works. The trick is matching up the grams on your labels with what your goal is in your meal.

Let's say for breakfast you like to have a slice of toast, a bit of butter, an egg and a cup of coffee.
Toast could be from 7grams to 28 grams of carb. You have to read your label.
An egg is 0 grams of carb, but there are calories and cholesterol and protein to look at.
Your coffee is free until you add things like milk (which is a carb) or a sweetener.
Your butter is a fat and usually doesn't have carbs, but again, read your label.

It takes a lot of patience and time, specially in the beginning. But you will catch on. What I do is take a notebook, and write down everything I am eating. How much, what time. I was (and need to again) tracking my fat, calories, sodium, carbs and proteins. That is overwhelming, so just do what your doctor needs for now and as you get comfortable with it, you can add things you are curious about.

monkeymama 2010-05-11 20:51:21 -0500 Report

Hello there Jenny! I was kind of wondering if you were put on a specific amount of carbs for your meals & snacks? Mays has some pretty good links here for you to use. Though if it is a label and understanding how to read and figure out your carbs when you are eating. I can help you with this. I though do nto use scales. I use measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a divided toddler plate. It has been working wonders for me now. Along with a great new Endo team, improved diet plan, small changes, and a stronger & more positive attitude. You can do this. I can help you if you would like. Hang in there, you'll get through this with a little guidance. We're all here for you :)

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