Diabetes Support - Having a rough time limiting sweets

11-06-2013, 08:44 PM
I was diagnosed with Type 2 about a year ago. I'm on Glipizide and Metformin. 6 months ago, my A1C was 6.1. I just had my blood test a week ago and will learn the results on Friday.

Yesterday was a bad day in terms of eating. I have never thought of myself as a compulsive overeater before...but yesterday, I definitely was. I was eating pretty much all day long, even though I wasn't hungry. And I was eating junk (the Halloween candy people brought into the office) pretty much non-stop during the work hours. I went to the gym after work and did 20 minutes on the bike (since I hadn't been in a couple weeks, I stopped when I started to feel the twinge in my back). Once home from the gym, I heated up some split pea soup that D made and brought over the other day. It was delicious.

Today, I have promised myself that I can go 1 day without any sugar. I did use Splenda on my steel cut oats, and it's in my flavored water, and in the sugar-free cocoa that I use to make my morning cafe mocha. But no candy, cookies, or anything like that for me today. I usually eat a Quest protein bar right before I go to the gym. They have lots of protein and fiber and are made with Sucralose.

It boggles my mind how I can continue to eat sweets when I know what it's doing to my diabetic body. It's flippin' ridiculous, and embarassing to admit. All the consequences that go along with diabetes are super scary. I am seeing my doc on Friday to review my blood tests...no idea how they'll turn out...hopefully I'll be in the okay range. I've got an appointment with a clinical nutritionist next week Thursday. And hopefully, I'll be able to get some physical therapy visits too.

I just wonder how you all do it? I am a believer that what we focus on we attract into our lives, so I'm trying to avoid thinking about all the scary consequences of not controlling my diabetes. Instead I'm trying to focus on how to eat healthy...and live longer...and be good to my body. But I still struggle when it comes to candy, cakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream, etc.

Any suggestions/advice are greatly appreciated.

An update: I succeeded in my no sugar day. And as much as I kept trying to detour away from going to the gym...literally, I did....I took the most circuitous route possible I think....I ended up going to the gym and doing 30 minutes on the bike.


11-07-2013, 02:39 AM
Michelle, I'm not on any meds to manage type 2. I don't do well on them. My A1c tested at 6.0 last year. I manage entirely with diet and exercise.

To be honest, I'm not at all attracted to sweets. I'd rather have mashed potatoes! I like savory carbs. A lot! But I have to stay away from the starchy ones altogether, because I've found that for me, one bite always leads to about 30 more. And I'm like that with sweet stuff too, even if I'm not into it. I'll have one sweet treat on a Friday, and it'll lead to a lot of sweets by Sunday. I just don't eat it. Not even sugar substitutes.

I will occasionally have fruit, but only from a short list, like a serving of berries, melon or citrus. Never more than one serving. Never dried fruit. Never juice.

After I was first diagnosed, I tested myself after eating a lot of different foods. I found that I was really sensitive to all starchy carbs, even if they had a lot of fiber with them. My blood sugar also spiked if I ate too much protein at a meal. Fats don't make my blood sugar spike, and neither do non-starchy vegetables. Over time, I figured out how to organize my meals. A bit over half the plate is non-starchy veggies, a bit over a quarter of the plate is protein, and the remainder of the plate is a healthy fat. I also exercise for an hour twice a day, a cardio/weight training HIIT class and a Pilates class. This helps my blood sugar stay pretty even.

On the weekend I splurge, knowing fully that it'll lead to another splurge. But I keep the splurges to a minimum, after years of practice. And I workout on my rowing machine within 30 minutes of eating. It takes me a couple days to get over the carby splurges. If it was sweets, three to four days of struggling with cravings. If I go on vacation and go off track, I struggle a week or two after returning home.

One more thing I do is to fast regularly. Once a week I do a 24-hour fast. No food at all. Not for everybody, but I find that if I'm caught up with a starchy carb binge from the weekend, the best way for me to get back on track is to fast. I drink a lot of water and some tea, and I'm free from cravings again.

So far, this serves me well. Hope you can find something that will help you.

11-09-2013, 11:40 AM
Georgia, I am much like you in that I don't crave sweets. My husband will head for dessert while I go back for second helpings. Portions are my main problem. I feel terrible when I eat until I feel stuffed, but my body is just not comfortable with "satisfied." I am working on it.

Michelle, since I am not much of a sweet eater I can't really tell you how to avoid it, but from what I have heard from others, artificial sweeteners can make you crave sweets. And it might help if you ditch the protein bars. They tend to feel like a treat, and your body reacts as if it is. If you can continue with the "no sweets" days it should help you. If you stay away from it your body should quit craving it. To me, if I try to eat even a small piece of cake at a birthday, it seems sickening sweet to me and I have to have coffee or something to get that sweet taste out of my mouth. Sometimes I even feel nauseated, especially if I eat sweets on an empty stomach. But I'm still overweight. It's the portions of good, regular food that get me every time.

11-09-2013, 12:01 PM
I am in the same boat as you. I was diagnosed with type two almost 5 years ago. I was determinded not to be on meds. I went on a strict Atkins diet. I was a binge eater and carb addict. It worked to control my type two, got off blood pressure meds, lost weight, and after a life time struggle controlled binge eating.

Eventually I fell off the binge eating wagon, have tried for over a year to get it back under control. I have gained back 30 lbs, and trying to drop the 20ish pounds left. My last binge was 13 days ago. This is a record for me id eat an entire cake, wash it down with two extra. Large chocolate peanut butter shakes, a bag of chips, 5 candy bars, a hot fudge Sunday, and graze thru the fridge as it wound down. This would only be the first binge of the day, id have at least two more in a day, this is how bad it got. It had never ever been this bad before.

I had tried over a dozen times to get back on Atkins and kept failing after a day or two. Always a failure. I had stomach and digestive problems, stomach pain, was living on immodium, pepto, and gas x. I had told myself I was killing myself, that I hated myself deep to the core and for some reason felt I had,have to abuse myself. I'm trying to figure out why I would punish my body and Hate myself so much that I would posion myself slowly with sugar and carbs when I know diabetes isn't anything to play with. There's a mental and emotional reason I do his and need to get to the bottom of it, an addiction as well. I feel it, eating sugar and carbs, is closely related to a cancer patient smoking. Like somewhere in my mind its telling me I already have diabetes so what else could happen?

I wish you strength and know your not alone.

11-10-2013, 10:58 AM
I think a lot of us have found we have to drop the sweets or the starchy carbs altogether. Whether you believe it is addicting, or whatever, we have trouble stopping. I can have certain carbs. Last night I was at a vegan indian buffet, so my meal included rice, but I didn't have the wheat Naan. Did just fine. BUt for me, wheat just starts me going, so I don't start. This is recent, and I too have struggled a lot.
DO NOT beat yourself up about it. You WILL have days when you cave.
You start again, right away. Without JUDGEMENT.
Fasting is a good start for some people, as it cuts off the bad stuff.
I remove stuff from the table at work and put in the fridge or freezer, or into the office of the "sharer" if I can't eat it and it tempts me too much. I don't appreciate being tempted.
I had to "back into" atkins at the beginning, I couldn't stick it to suddenly drop the carbs, I had to decrease my carb counts slowly, so I could learn how to eat. It helped a lot, even if its not "the way".
Do what feels right and works for you. Good luck and keep visiting.

12-27-2013, 01:02 AM
I am really touched by all the posts, especially yours mainecyn. I have felt that self hate. I was part of a hospital based Binge Eating Cessation Program many years ago that worked for me. The biggest ah ha moment I had was realizing most of my binging was precipitated by a bout of perfectionism. I could never live up to the impossible standards I set for myself. Part self hate and part self sabotage.

Also when I was in that program there were some medications that people took that helped them to stop binging. I did not have any personal experience with that but a psychiatrist familiar with eating disorders might help.


12-27-2013, 09:45 AM
The ADA now says that Splenda causes the body to crave sweets and it also gets the same reaction in the body as if you ate sugar.

01-29-2014, 06:14 AM
The ADA now says that Splenda causes the body to crave sweets and it also gets the same reaction in the body as if you ate sugar.

Well durn! :?: I thought that was just supposed to be Aspartame. That's fine... I guess I'll just eat water and dirt and THEN I'll be able to lose weight... that's just fine !! :mad:

01-29-2014, 09:37 AM
For what its worth, I can't eat any artificial sweeteners - besides cravings they also seem to trigger panic attacks - and I really try to limit high GI carbs. The less of those I eat, the less I want. I'm a very slow loser, but I'm losing and more importantly, feel really good.
I also think there is something to your comment about perfectionism Activeadventurer. It's a control issue - as is overeating. A cognitive behavioral therapist may be a way to get a handle on that.

01-29-2014, 10:30 AM
Well durn! :?: I thought that was just supposed to be Aspartame. That's fine... I guess I'll just eat water and dirt and THEN I'll be able to lose weight... that's just fine !! :mad:

I think it depends on the person. I don't feel that any artificial sweeteners effect me that way, but I only use them in the form of Diet Coke and in my tea, neither of which I use often. Actually, water IS better for you, in so many ways.

01-29-2014, 10:39 AM
You certainly don't have to eat dirt! I do agree that cutting out carbs/sugar for a few weeks would help you see if it makes a difference. How about making a plan of what you will eat? Some ideas are:

B: Omelette with veggies/cheese/ham
L: Bowl of chili
S: Veggies with dip
D: Zucchini noodles with meatballs and marinara
S: Nuts

B: Frittata
L: Salad
S: Beef jerky
D: Stuffed peppers
S: String cheese

B: Deli/cheese roll up
L: Chicken or tuna salad with cucumber slices
S: Hard boiled egg
D: Veggie/protein stir fry
S: Peanut butter on celery

It can seem like a lot of work, but things like frittatas, chili, or soup can be cooked once and frozen into portions to warm up when ready. Almost everything else requires very small amounts of preparation. :hug:

01-29-2014, 12:09 PM
I really appreciate everyone's comments. My eating has improved overall, but still very far from "clean" or "perfect".

Munchy, I appreciate your meal suggestions. I need to "prep" more so that the grab and go foods are healthy.

01-30-2014, 02:20 PM
I really appreciate everyone's comments. My eating has improved overall, but still very far from "clean" or "perfect".

Munchy, I appreciate your meal suggestions. I need to "prep" more so that the grab and go foods are healthy.

I prep like there is no tomorrow!

Think about this - if you make one pot of chili or soup, you can separate it into number of servings and stick it in the freezer. Now you cooked one time, but you have 6-8 meals for 6-8 other days.

I find that having an arsenal (sometimes huge, sometimes small) of pre-cooked food in individual portions has been the greatest help to me. They don't need to be "freezer recipes." Most foods freeze and store perfectly. I can post a few examples if you'd like.

01-30-2014, 02:22 PM
Yes, Munchy, please, please please, share examples, recipes...all your wisdom and successful tips!

01-30-2014, 02:39 PM
Yes, Munchy, please, please please, share examples, recipes...all your wisdom and successful tips!

I have the longest document ever, so don't mind me. Pick and choose what advice works for you and your plan. I just have some ideas that may help:

There are three reasons why we tend to fail with healthy eating: time, taste, and cost.

It's hard to cook on a budget, let alone a household of different tastes. I'm a single mom and definitely cut corners wherever I can. Freezer meals help me save money so I'm not wasting time/energy (cooking once for many, many servings), not wasting food (cooking it before it goes bad), and I feel good knowing I'm serving healthy food that I made with my own hands. Incorporating vegetables is great because it stretches your meat, which is often the most expensive part of a meal. Shopping at discount markets such as Aldi’s, Asian markets, PriceRite, and ShopRite further reduce costs.

With my daughter, I usually cook things that would be considered "kid-friendly," but I incorporate vegetables. I've done it since she was born, but I serve the same food to any other kids (and adults!) that happen to be around, and it always is well-received.

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese:
Take one chopped head of cauliflower, steam in a small amount of water until tender. Puree cauliflower, add 1 cup sharp cheese, and season to taste. Freeze in ice cube trays until frozen, transfer to a labeled freezer bag. To serve, microwave as many cubes as needed and mix with cooked pasta or a mixture of cooked broccoli and pasta. This can also be used as a cheese sauce for veggies.

Chicken/yellow squash nuggets:
Shred 1-2 squash and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Mix with 1lb ground chicken, 1 egg, seasoning, form into “nuggets” and bread with your choice of bread crumb. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cool and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a labeled freezer bag. To serve, microwave until thawed or bake for a crisp exterior.

Turkey/zucchini meatballs:
Shred 1-2 zucchini and squeeze most of the liquid out. Mix with 1lb ground turkey, 1 egg, seasoning, parmesan cheese, and choice of bread crumb. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Cool and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a labeled freezer bag. To serve, microwave until thawed or simmer in sauce.

Breakfast burrito:
Sauté onion, pepper, mushroom, spinach. Chop 8 slices of turkey or center cut bacon, and crisp. Cook 8 scrambled eggs, and mix all cooled ingredients together. Lay out 8 large high fiber/low carb burritos (like La Tortilla Factory smart and delicious line or Ole Wellness High Fiber). Divide mixture amongst 8 burritos, top each with ¼ cup of cheese of choice, and roll into burritos, folding in the sides. Lay seam side down on cookie sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to labeled freezer bag. To serve, microwave wrapped in damp paper towel for 2-3 minutes until thawed or microwave until thawed and crisp in lightly greased pan until browned. Options: add in cooked potatoes, vegetables to taste, sun dried tomatoes, jalapenos, hot sauce, or any other preferred fillings. Can substitute 2 egg whites for each whole egg.

Non-breakfast burrito:
Mix 2 cups of cooked rice of choice, sautéed vegetables of choice, one can rinsed black beans, salsa (optional jalapeno, hot sauce, sofrito, corn, etc). Lay out 8 large high fiber/low carb burritos, divide, top each with ¼ cup cheese, roll, and freeze on cookie sheet. To serve, microwave wrapped in paper towel for 2-3 minutes until thawed or microwave until thawed and crisp in lightly oiled pan until browned. Options: replace some or all of the rice and beans with shredded cooked chicken/beef/pork or cooked ground meat.

Burgers and meatloaf are other great options. Just finely shred or pulse any vegetable you want into them. You will be surprised at how nobody detects them, especially if the colors are similar. Raw burgers can be formed and frozen on a cookie sheet and once frozen bagged or packaged with wax paper in between each burger. Meatloaf can be cooked in a muffin pan for individual servings, then cooled and frozen on a cookie sheet before bagging.

Oven baked "fries" can be made out of potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, or other root vegetables and kids will eat them up. They can even be baked, cooled and frozen onto a sheet pan and transferred to a freezer bag for homemade frozen fries.

A variety of chili, soups, and stews are family friendly, low calorie, and can be frozen in individually portioned containers or in jars. Pureed or finely chopped vegetables can be incorporated easily. In order to quickly cook by crockpot, chop vegetables and meat once to make several meals, using 1lb of meat per bag. On busy mornings, one bag can be taken out and put into the crockpot.

Ground beef mixed with pulsed mushrooms (1lb meat with 8-16oz of mushrooms) cooked together is undetectable. It’s a great trick for burgers, tacos, sloppy joes, shepherd’s pie, etc.

Casseroles like chicken divan, pot pie, pasta bake, lasagna (made with traditional noodles or mandolin sliced eggplant or zucchini), shepherd’s pie, and layered enchiladas, can be cooked, cooled, and frozen until almost solid, cut into number of servings, then bagged as squares to heat up at a later date.

Vegetables can be “noodled” by either purchasing a noodler, using a mandolin, or peeling into strips with a peeler. Zucchini and squash are particularly good as noodles, and can be sautéed until slightly soft or can be served raw and warmed with sauce of choice.

For more healthy recipes, visit www.skinnytaste.com, www.cookinglight.com, www.eatingwell.com, or www.livebetteramerica.com. For ideas on how to cook on a budget, try www.budgetbytes.com

Ideas of quick meals are:
Cheese/black bean/vegetable corn tortilla quesadillas, with a simple side of tomato salad (chopped tomato, olive oil, fresh cracked salt and pepper), and corn.

Loaded baked potatoes with center cut or turkey bacon, cheese, roasted broccoli, and light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Frozen vegetables, frozen fish, and stir fry sauce over rice noodles, rice or standing alone.

Turkey kielbasa/frozen fish/chicken tenderloin paired with a starch and a roasted or frozen vegetable

Pizzas on flatbread, flour tortillas or pitas. Kids love to put their own sauce (I cook large batches of marinara sauce), cheese, and toppings onto them. Look for the high fiber/low carb flour tortillas linked above, Flatout light, or Trader Joe's wholegrain pitas.

Tuna cakes (like crab cakes). Mix a can of drained tuna, a microwave-cooked small potato (cooled and peeled), a little bit of light mayonnaise, lemon juice, peppers, seasonings, and chopped scallions. Patties can be formed and pan seared, and topped with a simple sauce of mayo and Greek yogurt or sour cream and either: garlic and roasted red pepper, lemon and capers, or cajun seasonings.

Snacks we typically eat:
Baby carrots, chopped cucumbers, grape tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, mushrooms (all can be dipped in a low calorie ranch or hummus), popcorn, nut or rice/seed crackers, any and all fruits including purees and dried fruits, nuts, jerky, yogurt, cheese, or banana ice cream.


I hope it helps - let me know if you have any questions or could make it through the entire thing, lol. Even if you don't go gung-ho with freezer cooking, you can certainly make things easier for you by grilling chicken and portioning it into serving baggies (to freeze or not), or making just one dish that is a one-pot meal (chili/stew/soup/casserole) and separating that out.

It can become addictive!

02-05-2014, 06:44 PM
Munchy, thank you for posting your food preps!