I want to lose weight but I find it difficult as a Type II to consume a low-carb diet and avoid lows. What can I do?

Amy Campbell


Losing weight can be challenging enough without having to deal with or prevent low blood glucose at the same time. While it’s certainly fine to cut back on your carbohydrate intake (especially refined carbs, like white bread, white rice and white pasta), eating too little carbohydrate can have its drawbacks. First, you still need some carbohydrate in your eating plan, even when you have diabetes. Carbohydrate is the main fuel source for the body, and carb-rich foods, like whole wheat bread, fruit, beans and lowfat milk, provide many other important nutrients that you won’t get from eating just protein and fat. Second, cutting back too much on your carb intake can very likely increase the risk of low blood glucose, as you have experienced. My advice is to aim for at least 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15 grams of carb per snack. I’d also recommend that you talk with your healthcare provider about decreasing your dose of diabetes medicine as well, as you likely will need less as you cut back on your food intake and (hopefully) exercise more. Finally, focus on an eating plan that you can stay with longer-term, rather than one designed to lose weight quickly. Lower-carb eating plans are appealing because people often find that they both lose weight and lower their blood glucose and A1C (all good things), but then they can’t sustain the low-carb eating for very long. The result is that once they go off of the diet, they quickly regain their weight and their blood glucose levels creep up. You might consider meeting with a dietitian who can help you with a plan that you can follow long-term and that is more suited to your food preferences and lifestyle. Your doctor can give you a referral to a dietitian in your community.

February 5, 2013 at 8:17 am

4 replies

tojoluvr 2013-04-13 18:54:57 -0500 Report

To concretediva
First you don’t say if your mom has a gluten intolerance. Or if she has celiac disease. Celiac is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. It has not been linked with type 2 diabetes, but it is still possible for someone with type 2 to have celiac disease. The gluten free diet may also differ in the amount of carbohydrate grams per serving, which can make carbohydrate counting and meal planning difficult. For example, gluten-free bread can have twice as many carbohydrate grams as whole wheat bread.
You can use gluten-free products and recipes if you have type 2 diabetes. Just be sure to check the carbohydrate count and calories, and adjust portion sizes as needed. The main concern is to keep control of your blood glucose levels while following the diet. My personal opinion is that if she doesn’t have these diseases it’s better and easier to just go on a lower carbohydrate/diabetic diet. And yes, her blood sugars are way too high. This can cause nerve damage also.
There's a debate about whether ditching wheat and gluten actually does help you lose weight more easily than simply dieting. I tried this diet of gluten free and I felt deprived and it was much more trouble to follow than the carbohydrate diet. I have several family members with Celiac disease so in their cases they have no choice but to go gluten free.Your mom should see a doctor if you feel she may benefit from eliminating gluten from her diet. You never want to self diagnose yourself with this disease. It gets a little frustrating regarding what blood glucose readings should be. I personally believe the levels the diabetes association recommends is too high after meals, but you can go on line and you can find different opinions. Or ask your doctor.
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. More or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.
Glycemic control
A1C 7%
Preprandial plasma glucose (before a meal) 70–130 mg/dl
Postprandial plasma glucose (after a meal)* <180 mg/dl
I personally think the after meal number should be 140 or less. My doctor says 150 or less.

LadyPandora407 2013-03-13 18:14:06 -0500 Report

I started taking a new diet pill made for diabetics called Qsymia. I started taking the medication on Feb 19th and so far have lost 20lbs. I was initially told it was suppose to help me slowly take off the weight but I have pretty much lost my appetite completely and have been living on a bowl of cereal and a lean cuisuine a day. (approx 600 cal or less a day) I go back to the Dr the beginning of April and will see what my final progress is then.

locarb 2013-03-08 15:28:45 -0600 Report

A low carb diet doesn't mean that you have to go hungry. It's hard losing weight. I lost over 30 pounds and at first was always starving. Lot's of high fiber, low carb and low calorie foods are available and you can snack on them frequently. By eating frequently I wasn't hungry anymore and as a result never had cravings. A handful or two of almonds, or almond butter, celery things like that. I also have protein shakes, you stay full for a long time and tastes great.

Good luck. The only encouragement that I can give is to promise you that you will succeed with perseverance.

concretediva 2013-02-27 15:45:26 -0600 Report

Sorry I might of posted my question in the wrong place! Has anyone with Type 2 tried the Gluten free diet. I know nothing about diabetes and am finding it Very challenging trying to help my 82 yr old mom.I finally got my mom to start checking her blood this morning and from what I've been told it was high. 193 at 8 am(before breakfast) and at 10 am it was 296 …then before lunch it was 163 then 2 hrs later it was 118. Which I was So excited! I was told it should be under 140 or below. I did eliminate the GF bread at lunch. Should I keep her off the bread for a while or what??? What is too high ?? and too Low?? She's not liking it.. but I want to help her.(She's Not going to do it on her own!)Since she's been here I feel like she has been eating way to much! I'd of been afraid to see what her sugars were running before today.I finally explained to her that I have to have a base to start from so I can find out What to do to help her. I've been trying the GF for sometime for MY stomach issues.It's helped me and I had read it also Helps Diabetic's also..but I don't know of anyone who has tried it. Please any info would be Greatly Appreicated! Thanks