Reclaim Those Summer Strategies

By Kathy Wool, RD, LDN

 

August is here! How quickly those summer days go by. As we all know “time flies when we are having fun!” So now is the time to be sure you are still on track with those healthy eating habits to manage your blood glucose levels and your weight. If those summer get-togethers, picnics and parties have put a little extra weight on you, here are a few suggestions that can help you to eat less, balance meals, and see those numbers on the scale you have worked to achieve.

 

            Slow down and ENJOY each bite. With a little practice you can learn to chew slowly and savor each bite you take. Not to mention the slower you eat the more likely you will recognize when you are full and not overeat.

 

            Portion it up. That means avoiding eating out of a bag or box with several portions, as it is nearly impossible to know how much you are eating if it becomes mindless. So use smaller bowls, containers, plates and measure out how much you want to eat. Then enjoy the smaller portion you have chosen.

 

            Keep that food journal.  Remember, keeping track of both your blood glucose and your foods can help you identify what caused that change and next time you can modify the choice. Recording our foods can help you to think about the food choices you make before you actually make them!

 

            The New American Plate: This is a plate ½ full of vegetables, and ¼ with lean protein and ¼ whole grains. You can sneak in that fruit too for a well-balanced meal with carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Your blood sugar will thank you.

 

            My favorite food! This can be the one food you have trouble resisting larger amounts of when it is available. The food you can’t say NO! to. When you know these foods, decide how to resist their pull. It may mean not purchasing it, planning ahead how to resist it when offered, or plan your day’s food choices around having a reasonable amount of this food in your meal plan.

 

            A good deal for your money! That means when you dine out, be aware that restaurants do not typically serve the recommended portions- typically we tend to over eat when eating out. Don’t let price control the amount- use a take home container when the meal is served to help you stick to your intentions of only eating half! Besides if it tasted good the first time it will surely taste good the next day. Your blood glucose will thank you!

 

             Build those healthy habits each day even if weight gain is not your issue. These suggestions can be the foundation of positive self-management for better diabetes control. A healthy lifestyle for diabetes is a process- it is a journey not always a destination. Keep learning and keep practicing to help you be just a little bit better each and every day.

 

 

Featured Article Contributed by: Linda A. Wilmer, 67 of Crisfield, MD

 

For the past two years during my annual physicals with my primary care doctor he told me that I needed to “watch” my sugar. I really didn’t realize the importance of what that meant or just how to approach this.  I thought eating a smaller portion of ice cream every night and saying “no” to an occasional dessert was cutting back. 

On September 14, 2016, I had my most recent annual physical. Apparently, I was successfully “watching” myself become a Type 2 diabetic.  My doctor informed me that my A1C level was 6.8 and my fasting glucose was 116.  I really didn’t understand what these numbers meant but when the doctor started to talk about taking medicine, I asked if he would allow me to take the four months until my next check up to try to control this with diet and exercise.  He agreed with this plan.

I say “plan”, but I really didn’t know where to begin.  I walked out of the doctor’s office with a blank slate.  I had only heard of other people with diabetes going on special diets to get their condition under control.  I was somewhat in shock and a bit embarrassed that I had neglected my health this way and I was determined to do what I could to try to make it right.  I began my search on the internet and of course there is an abundance of information there.  There’s so much information, in fact, that I was immediately overwhelmed.  I knew I could not sift through this by myself. 

Read more: A Story Sweeter than Sugar