100 lb. Club - Can counting calories stave off diabetes as well as low carb?




Truffle
10-19-2009, 02:39 PM
I know that low carb can do wonders to control/head off diabetes, but after LOTS of tries at it, I just don't stick to it. I don't mind cutting back on my portions, but once I try to reduce a food group way down, it just makes me want to eat more junk.

Do you think that simply counting calories and getting some of the weight off can stave off diabetes as well, or almost as well as, low carb?


H8cake
10-19-2009, 02:51 PM
My big motivation for weight loss was the fear of diabetes that runs in my family. I've lost the weight by counting calories. I have to make sure they are good calories though. If I eat processed white flour kind of carbs I feel awful. I am careful with carbs, even the good ones. I have old fashioned oatmeal every morning, not the packets with all the sugar in them. I will have a very small serving of wheat pasta or rice with dinner. I eat the la tortilla factory low carb tortillas or flat out wraps. I feel a thousand times better than I did at my high weight. What makes me crave sugar is to eat some of it, that will send me into a craving frenzy. Maybe try eating the whole grain type carbs and see if that works for you. It really is a trial and error sort of thing since every persons body is different. Exercise plays a large part in helping your body to process insulin correctly.

H8cake
10-19-2009, 02:55 PM
Becky, take a look at this article
http://refusetoregain.com/refusetoregain/2009/10/insulin-and-dementia-taming-the-spider.html
Alzheimer's and dementia run in my husbands and my family as well as diabetes and I thought this explained it very well.


2behealthy
10-19-2009, 02:56 PM
This is simply my opinion so take it for what it is worth. I am diabetic and have learned a lot through the last months since I found out in February. Counting carbs helps if you are diabetic. For example- I can eat no more than 30 carbs at a meal if I want my sugars to remain in the range I want. If your numbers are fine you should not "need" to worry about carbs. Your weigh would have more effect as the more you weigh the more your body is resistant to the insulin that it makes. Losing weight and exercising would far outweigh any carb counting.

Speaking from where I stand now, if you have the chance to avoid developing diabtetes, give it all you have! I wish I would have been able to deal with my weigh before I developed diabetes.

DarkAspen
10-19-2009, 03:07 PM
That was a very interesting article, H8cake. Diet and exercise really do seem to be the "magic bullets" for a lot of health problems, big scary health problems.

2Bhealthy, I am sorry about your diabetes diagnosis. Sucks, sucks, sucks! But you are probably doing exactly what you need to do by being here and working to get the excess weight off. :hug:

nelie
10-19-2009, 03:19 PM
I don't have diabetes but I have PCOS and I've known many people with diabetes. Diabetes really can be controlled by diet, which means the types of foods you eat.

One interesting book I read was 'Dr Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes', where he shows that through diet, type 2 diabetes can be reversed in most cases. It actually isn't even a low carb diet but the glycemic index definitely plays a part in it.

Truffle
10-19-2009, 03:23 PM
H8cake, thank you for that article. I just forwarded it to my sisters.
It contained some very sobering information.

My father is severely diabetic, and I know I'm on that road, and would like to stave it off as long as possible.

I guess, no matter what, I am going to have to pay attention to how much starch and sugar I eat. Of course, that's something I didn't want to have to worry about.

I was looking for whatever might be "easiest" to do, in hopes that I could do it for the rest of my life. I can't see myself low carbing for the rest of my life, and I can't see myself calorie counting for the rest of my life....but I've got to do something... :(

nelie
10-19-2009, 03:35 PM
Truffle,

My personal recommendation would be to look at a whole foods diet. I have to say that many of my insulin resistance issues went away when I was eating better, despite eating a high carb diet. I do think processed sugars/starches aren't good overall for the body but many people with insulin issues can eat natural sugars/starches in moderation. Of course there are others that choose to go low carb but that may not be your path.

kaplods
10-19-2009, 03:55 PM
You may have a misconception about low carb programs. No low carb plan (that I'm aware of) expects you to eat very low carb for the rest of your life. Even Atkins (if followed as recommended) increases carbs gradually in 5g increments every week until you stop losing - they you're supposed to back down only in 5g increments or so if you want to continue losing. Because the books say you CAN stay on induction longer, many people ignore the rest of the program and stick with 20g of carbs throughout their weight loss (or until they get sick of eating a diet that low in carbs). This IS NOT how the program was intended to work.

I think far too many people get fed up with the 20g and never try adding more carbs - they just say "I couldn't stick with Atkins, because it was too low carb," well Atkins NEVER tells you how many carbs will work for you -that's something you're supposed to find out by adding the carbs back in gradually.

I also have a hard time seeing myself making some of these changes for life, but I know that if I do the same as I always do, I'll get the same as I always get - so I'd better LEARN to see myself doing some of these things, because otherwise I can see myself being this fat or fatter for the rest of my life.

For me, I'm coming to that realization rather slowly that I cannot eat, even the "healthiest" carbs in excess. Too many apples, is nearly as bad for me as too many candybars, because I can and have been able to stall weight loss and even gain by eating fruit as my only carb. And grains are very easy for me to overeat, even quinoa and other whole high-fiber grains. And since they trigger hunger and cravings, there are some carby foods that a single bitefull is too much, because it's easier to not eat it at all than to stop at one bite. Will I have to avoid these foods for the rest of my life? I don't know, but I do know that right now I have to. What is true in the future is something I don't have to worry about - as they say "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."

I think we often talk of looking for the plan that we can do for the rest of our life, but sometimes there isn't a plan on the planet that we initially can imagine doing forever. When that's the case, we have a choice of finding the plan that we would be most comfortable doing "for now" or for the longest period of foreseeable future OR finding a way to learn to see ourselves finding a way that we can maintain our weight in the future.

I really think we only need to see ourselves "doing something" for the rest of our lives. We don't even have to know what that something is yet. All we need to to is find something we're willing to do NOW, and be willing to do something else if we either get fed up with what we're doing now, or what we're doing now stops working for us.

Usually when we regain, it isn't because we've decided to try something else than what we've been doing, it's because we've decided to stop doing any of the things we were doing to lose the weight.

So if you get sick and tired of low carb, or calorie counting, you have the option of giving up entirely and going back to old habits (and you'll regain) or you have the options of looking for something else - heck you probably can try a new food plan every month and still find a way to at least maintain your weight. The only thing I think we really have to commit to is not going back to the habits we know don't work for us.

Truffle
10-19-2009, 04:13 PM
>>>really think we only need to see ourselves "doing something" for the rest of our lives. We don't even have to know what that something is yet. All we need to to is find something we're willing to do NOW, and be willing to do something else if we either get fed up with what we're doing now, or what we're doing now stops working for us.

Usually when we regain, it isn't because we've decided to try something else than what we've been doing, it's because we've decided to stop doing any of the things we were doing to lose the weight.

So if you get sick and tired of low carb, or calorie counting, you have the option of giving up entirely and going back to old habits (and you'll regain) or you have the options of looking for something else - heck you probably can try a new food plan every month and still find a way to at least maintain your weight. The only thing I think we really have to commit to is not going back to the habits we know don't work for us.<<<

Boy, this says it all, doesn't it? Yup, I'm guilty of wanting to keep eating what I want to eat, but still avoid diabetes, and avoid having to do anything other than what's comfy and "easiest". I need to get my thinking straightened out on that.

rockinrobin
10-19-2009, 04:41 PM
I was looking for whatever might be "easiest" to do, in hopes that I could do it for the rest of my life. I can't see myself low carbing for the rest of my life, and I can't see myself calorie counting for the rest of my life....but I've got to do something... :(

For me, making certain food groups (sugar/flour/rice/pasta/crackers/bread/grains, etc) OFF LIMITS WAS easiest. This way it didn't leave the door open. Should I? Shouldn't I? One bite led to 2 to 10 to an empty box. Nope. You ban them and that's that. You no longer have to think about them. It's not an option to eat them any more. After resisting for years, getting rid of the foods that I loved & craved the most, ones that I was sure I couldn't possibly live without, was the answer *for me*. I thought I was just going to have to suck it up my whole life, and I was okay with that ,because I was just THAT miserable with my poor quality of life and my fear of dying and/or developing some horrible, dreadful totally avoidable disease or condition. Because like you said, I had to do something. After about 10 pretty darn rough days, it was like a miracle occurred. My desire for "those foods" vanished. They no longer called out to me. My wants for them dried up.

And yes I can count calories my whole life. And do without "those foods" for my whole life, though I have brought them back in small portions under VERY controlled circumstances. It's worth it. I'm worth it. My life is worth it. I LOVE my life now. LOVE IT. Love it. LOVE IT.

For the record, I plan on showering my whole life, brushing my teeth, wearing clean clothing, paying my bills, being kind to strangers, washing my toilets and a whole slew of other things that help me to be a productive and happy human being ;). Whatever it takes. You do what you have to do.

You can't have it both ways. You just can't. You must make peace with that.

But like I said, this DOES get easier. TONS easier. Give yourself the gift of letting your wants and desire for "those foods" dry up and atrophy.

New good and healthy habits, once established are just as hard to break as old bad and unhealthy ones. Know it. Hold on to it. Push yourself.

You CAN do this. You have the ability to do so. And once you do, I am CERTAIN that you will wonder why in the world you didn't do it sooner. I am CERTAIN of it.

beerab
10-19-2009, 04:46 PM
Since I use spark people I get to see all my numbers at once, and though I try to get 20-30% of my intake from carbs, I also notice on average my calories just happen to fall around 1300 a day- not a bad number IMO :)

ladyrider72472
10-19-2009, 04:57 PM
Truffle you have gotten some excellent advise. Let me "drive home" what kaplods and rockin robin have said, in my own words. You will have to do something for the rest of your life to maintain the weight loss-- so make sure that you don't do anything while losing weight that you would not consider doing for the rest of your life. With me..... I am just learning my sensitivity to foods..... like the simple carbs. I have to stay away from them if I want an even BS and I want to be able to function normally. For example, this weekend-- I ate 2 pieces of pure sugar fudge.... was it good, YES, was it worth it NO..... not only did it bring on horrible cravings, but it made me soooo lethargic that I had no choice but to take a nap. When I was at my heaviest I was diagnosed with pre diabetes, so it is up to me to change what I need to so that I do my part not to develop full blown diabetes. For me to know that these foods will kick my rear like they do and continue to eat them is just pure irresponsibility. My point, you do what is right for YOU and your WL/ health.

Also..... let me throw in that losing 70+ pounds (even though I am not at goal) is better than winning the lottery..... and I would not want to give it back for the world! So no piece of fudge, candy, bread, etc. is worth that!

rockinrobin
10-19-2009, 04:59 PM
I just wanted to add - I looked "at it" as if my very life depended on it. That giving up "those foods" was a matter of life and death. Yup, that's how I looked at it. Because it WAS a matter of life or death. When you look at it that way, when you realize that your very life is on the line, the decision to give up those foods becomes a whole lot easier. The choice becomes clear.

No food is worth risking your life.

And besides, eating "those foods" never ever brought, me happiness, peace, comfort and security. All things that I get NOT eating "those foods".

rockinrobin
10-19-2009, 05:04 PM
Also..... let me throw in that losing 70+ pounds (even though I am not at goal) is better than winning the lottery..... and I would not want to give it back for the world! So no piece of fudge, candy, bread, etc. is worth that!

We posted at the same time.

This is EXACTLY how I feel. Being slim is like a MILLION times BETTER then winning the lottery. You will want to stay on plan just to remain feeling this way. You will want nothing to ruin this feeling, it's just THAT good. Better then I ever would have imagined.

This is no hardship this lifestyle. Just the opposite. This is no deprivation living this way and eating these foods. Just the opposite. Leading a healthy lifestyle is a joy and a blessing. I wouldn't go back for anything in the world.

kaplods
10-19-2009, 05:21 PM
I want to clarify that I do think it many times may be perfectly reasonable to try something that you can't imagine doing for life (at this point in time). You just have to be able envisioning "doing something."

I do think it's generally best to avoid things that you PLAN on changeing when you get to goal. If you think "I can't wait to goal, so I can stop exercising," or "so I can eat more calories or more of the foods I love," you're going to find yourself regaining. But if you can't imagine yourself exercising twice a week forever, but you can imagine doing it for two weeks - then by all means start with those two weeks.

ANewCreation
10-19-2009, 05:53 PM
H8cake, thank you for that article. I just forwarded it to my sisters.
It contained some very sobering information.

My father is severely diabetic, and I know I'm on that road, and would like to stave it off as long as possible.

I guess, no matter what, I am going to have to pay attention to how much starch and sugar I eat. Of course, that's something I didn't want to have to worry about.

I was looking for whatever might be "easiest" to do, in hopes that I could do it for the rest of my life. I can't see myself low carbing for the rest of my life, and I can't see myself calorie counting for the rest of my life....but I've got to do something... :(


I'm pre-diabetic and I sympathize with you. Having said that, I want to share my experience with you. It might not be your experience in the long run but maybe you'll be encouraged at the possibility of changing your eating habits long term.

When my doctor first told me I was pre-diabetic and I should eat a low GI diet I was completely overwhelmed. I was also the first to say I will not give up certain foods. But, as I began to increase my protein and decrease the simple carbs I lost my cravings for those certain foods. It took a couple of months--probably close to three. But one day I woke up and realized I hadn't bought any 100 calorie packs, or eaten any of the sugar free ice cream in my freezer. As a matter of fact I have a number of items I once considered 'important' just floating around the house that I just forgot about. I'm completely fine without the foods that used to trip me up all the time.

As many others have said, in the end you must realize that you can not go back to the way things once were. You will have to make some permanent changes. What works for one person does not always work for another but be prepared to give up something--it might be calories, portions, carbs, or specific foods. In time it won't hurt so bad, I promise. Whether you find out your lacking nutritionally that causes your cravings or whether you ban certain foods for good I promise it's worth it.

NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS GOOD HEALTH FEELS! I can't wait to say that about being slim--but my day is coming, regardless of what I have to give up.

Glory87
10-19-2009, 06:25 PM
I agree with Robin (as usual). It was easier for me as well to just say "I don't eat that." That makes it black/white/easy peasy.

After awhile, everything does get easier. It's like you have this big soft cushion of habit you just fall in to. On Sundays, I go to the grocery store. Monday mornings, I pack lunches for the week. I start off every day with a good breakfast. I have my favorite dinners I like to make. I know the restaurants where I can order a healthy dinner and still be sociable (P.F. Chang's SHOUT OUT). Like Robin's toilet scrubbing analogy - that is just what I do.

And...you don't have to be perfect. Wanting to be perfect was a big sabotoger for me in previous weight loss attempts. If I ate off plan, if I wasn't perfect, I just gave up for the day (or the week or the month or whatever).

Since this is for life, I have accepted I can not be perfect for life. I can do the best I can. Sometimes, I will eat off plan. But, I did not get fat eating too much crackers and crab dip one afternoon (see last weekend at my dad's house). I got fat from making bad food decisions most meals, most days.

Now, I make good food decisions most meals, most days. And I am slim. I don't really put a rock solid number on it, but I would break down my eating as follows:

85% on plan
10% planning to be off plan - a nice dinner out in a restaurant, occasional 100 calories of dark chocolate, occasional biscotti with my coffee
5% truely offplan - the occasional cracker and crab dip episode (as an example) - the uplanned tempatations that still get me after all this time

It isn't all doom and gloom and deprivation and misery. I love the onplan foods I eat and I have the occasional planned treat/indulgence. And, when I am tempted and yield to tempation, I forgive myself and get back on track at my next eating opportunity.

My dad's mother died of complications of diabetes before I was born (I am named for her) - it's definitely in the back of my mind.

DCHound
10-19-2009, 08:37 PM
It really does seem overwhelming, before you start, to know that you are going to have to not only track something (calories, carbs, etc.) but also have to THINK about it for the rest of your life. It seems boring and depressing. I already have so much going on, who wants to THINK about food/health/diet too? For-EV-er? Ugh!!!!

But.

If you start, just jump in and do it...once you start getting results, health-, weight- and appearance-wise...you realize one day that, hey, counting stuff, and thinking about stuff, really ain't so bad. For me, I started out with a pretty high level of enthusiasm (AKA 'motivation' which we talk about a lot on this board) but that subsided into a solid, ongoing level of what I like to call 'quiet joy' (AKA commitment). Some days are more joyful. Some are less. But, it's commitment, and it remains.

Don't let the idea of having to think about dieting/lifestyle deliberately for the rest of your life derail you. Go ahead and start, and let that part take care of itself. By the time you realize it's really not a big deal...it won't be a big deal anymore. Really.

Glory87
10-19-2009, 09:30 PM
Quiet joy - love it!!! So true :)

Truffle
10-20-2009, 06:33 AM
Thank you for all the replies in this thread.

Yes, perfectionism and the thought of having to count/weigh/measure/think about food so much for the rest of my life is overwhelming. It's good to know that it becomes "not a big deal" after awhile.

Shyleia
06-24-2013, 04:13 PM
so many of these comments mirror my own thoughts. Its refreshing to know I'm not alone.