When I was first diagnosed and met with a dietician they had one piece of advice for me – Eat. Eat six times a day. Three meals. Three snacks. And, don’t skip any.
Did I hear them right? I was supposed to eat? Yep, I heard them right and followed their advice.
One of the secrets I have learned is that to win the battle to control Diabetes is that I have to eat – and eat often, like about every two to three hours. Whether I am hungry or not, I eat a bit. I eat more ‘by the clock’ than I did before being diagnosed. Why?
Well, eating a snack between meals keeps sugar levels kind of even, but more important, it keeps you (or me) from getting too hungry. What happens when you get hungry? You want to eat…and eat…and eat. In fact, if you are anything like me, you really want to eat a lot of carbs because they fill you. That’s kind of a no-brainer, right? Carbs fill the void. And when I am that hungry, I might not stop eating when I should. What else do carbs do? They turn into sugar – not something a diabetic needs a lot of, that’s for sure.
Stop eating when I should? You saw that, did you? The fact is your stomach is full before your brain communicates it. Why? I don’t really know. I just know it’s true. If I count my carbs and eat my meal – follow my little plan, I stop eating before I am full and about 10 minutes later, I am suddenly satisfied. It’s amazing how that works. Almost like magic. What I am doing is allowing time for my stomach to get in touch with my brain to let me know I am full.
One of the keys to having that discipline to stop eating is to eat a snack between meals so I am not ‘starving’ when I finally get to the meal. The snack, for me, is about 15 to 18 carbs and I make sure I eat it. In fact, I have a snack three times a day – morning, afternoon and night. The reality is that I am eating far more often than I ever have because I thought snacking caused me to gain weight. I was wrong.
Smart snacking – 15 carbs of the right foods – is part of a good weight loss program and is a strong tactical move in your battle to control Diabetes. What are the right foods? The American Diabetes Association has a list of them broken down into carb count – how convenient!
So, eat and be merry…and beat back Diabetes!
As always, thank you for reading.