Eating Like a Diabetic

If you’ve not been following along on  Facebook (and why aren’t you?!), then it might surprise you to hear that I have lost 20 pounds since applying for the Mamavation bootcamp. And, in the words of Leah (aka bookieboo, creator of Mamavation), 85% of the weight loss that we see in the campaign comes from what we put in our mouths – the nutrition is the key piece to losing weight AND keeping it off.

What diet am I doing?

fresh foodsWe refer to it as a LIVEt, not a diet. I am being retrained to eat properly – the right portion sizes, the right kinds of foods, and the right food pairings to keep a level blood sugar. This is a diet that is sometimes called a Diabetic Diet, because it does help keep blood sugar levels stable and that is very important for diabetics. You may have heard recently from talk shows or NPR that a study was released comparing low-fat, low-glycemic and low-carb diets – the results were really interesting, with the most calories burned in a day from the low-carb diet, but the weight loss maintained the best from the low-glycemic diet. In the results of the study, they also introduced the idea that by maintaining a balanced blood sugar, the body also released hormones that helped to cut the feeling of hunger – which you know, if you’re trying to lose weight, is where a lot of diets fail.

How do you eat like a diabetic or how does the low glycemic diet work?

In my case, I have the assistance of a registered dietician through the Mamavation campaign that I’m participating in. It would probably be easiest to garner the aid of a dietician to help you understand the diet, because it can be VERY confusing. I was given what exchanges I should eat for each meal – for instance, my next snack is 1 vegetable and 2 fats. She also provided me with an exchange book to look up what is considered each type of food, and how much a serving is to count in the exchanges. In the example of the snack, I could eat 1 cup of raw carrots and 2 tablespoons of hummus. Alternatively, I could eat 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables sautéed in olive oil. However, I’m taking this time as an advantage to moving toward the way I want to eat – as close to nature as possible. You can look up exchanges on the web – here is a good resource.

How does it work with a family?

During the campaign, I’ve been making separate dinners for myself and my family. I always have separate breakfasts and lunches, just because they like different things. But now that they are seeing me eat healthy, my husband and kids are more interested in eating healthy as well, so the dinners are becoming more like mine with fewer other things. We eat very little processed foods, we’re limiting grains (husband has a gluten issue we’re starting to figure out gluten-free, but the kids are still having whole grains), and we’re having only lean meats. So a typical dinner for us looks like fresh vegetables in the form of a salad, two options of steamed vegetables (broccoli is a fave with the kids now), fresh fruit, and roasted chicken or pork. It’s working out very well – the kids enjoy eating the same foods we do, the colors are vibrant which make the meal more interesting, and they love learning about healthy foods. I’m taking advantage of that opening while I can!

Are you hungry all the time with a low glycemic diet?

This is one of those questions that I just HAD to include in my writing, because it was something that I often worried about. No, I am NOT hungry all the time with the low glycemic diet. In fact, I feel like I’m eating constantly. And I’m proud of the food choices that I’m making. For the past few weeks I’ve pretty much stuck with the recommendations from our dietician, but this week I am planning to branch out a bit at the grocery store and try some new meals or foods. They will still be the same – fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, lean means, good fats. I’m also going to be on non-dairy milk products because my son and I did not react well to the increased dairy. Apparently we can handle some, but we are sensitive to it.

So there you go! That’s how I’m eating like a diabetic! Do you have any questions about the diet?

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Joanna is a stay-at-home mother of 2 young boys. She enjoys reading, writing, cooking, socializing, and constantly struggles to find new and better ways to manage the home.
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  • Jennifer Crum

    Fantastic diet. We’re aiming for a Whole Foods, Plant Based diet (for my diabetes and my son’s arthritis). It’s tough some days, especially with an increasingly picky 4 year old! It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job with your LIVE-it!