Let’s all face this inconvenient truth together: plain and simple, most type 2 diabetics are over-weight. In fact, many of us are down right obese. It is also a well documented fact that one of the most effective ways to significantly lower blood sugar is to lose weight. Keeping the weight off keeps the blood sugar down. So, what is the obvious solution? Most diabetics need to lose weight and all diabetics need to control their weight. How do we do this? Exercising on a regular basis definitely helps but learning how to control portion size is also key. Controlling portion sizes will likely take some re-training of old habits but it is definitely worth the effort if we can significantly lower our blood sugar and perhaps in some cases even reverse our diabetes.
I was recently diagnosed with diabetes so I almost immediately bought some healthy low carb snacks to have on hand. This included some lightly salted roasted mixed nuts. Of course, nuts are a very nutritious low carb snack but the problem is I tend to over-indulge. For a can that contains about 10 portions (1/4 cup or a small handful), I can go through half a can in one siting. Roasted nuts are delectable little morsels, each one of them an exceptional gift from Mother Nature. Once I start eating them, I find it really hard to stop sometimes. When I finally do stop, I feel guilty for having over-indulged. Does this sound familiar?
To control portion size, I recently thought of something my Grandma told me a long time ago. It was very simple yet very sage advice. She said to take out what I wanted to eat and put it in a separate bowl or plate — then put the container away — out of reach. I was very young then with that invincible spirit that most young people possess and wasn’t so concerned about my health. Yes, I was young and stupid as they say. I didn’t follow my Grandma’s advice then but I have been following it lately and it has made a world of difference. Not only have I re-trained myself to control portion size, I have been surprised that I actually enjoy my meals and snacks more. You want to know why? It’s because I’ve eliminated the guilt because I now know in advance that I’m not going to eat too much.
This same simple technique works with other foods too of course. I no longer allow myself to eat the cottage cheese right out of the container. Instead, I put a portion into a separate bowl. When I allow myself some crackers (high carb) with a meal, I take out a few and put the package away — completely away and out of reach. I basically make it inconvenient to go for more which of course gives me time to make a conscience decision not to go for more for the sake of my health, i.e. it is no longer an impulse decision. I also sometimes put away the left-overs before I eat dinner so I’m not tempted to go back for seconds.
I hope anyone reading this takes my Grandma’s advice. She was very wise indeed.