Hi everyone, I am 41 years old, 5'9 and 213 pounds. I have been a type 2 diabetic since I was 27, so about 14 years. I have bought just about every diet book you can think of including the Paleo Solution. I have successfully lost weight 2 times, both times putting the weight back on. The first time was probably 11 years ago, I did the Protein Power Plan and dropped a considerable amount of weight and put it back on pretty fast. The next time was probably about 8 years ago, I did the Atkins diet and I got down to like 158 pounds, again, I put it all back on really fast. I am not getting much help at the doctors office. They want me to take medicine for not only my diabetes but for high blood pressure (which I don't think I have) and high cholesterol.
They sent me to a dietician but it was nothing but the same low fat high carb diet that everyone preaches. I recently purchased the Mayo Clinic Diet book and while I like the idea of the "habits", you break 5 bad habits, do 5 new good habits and then there's 5 bonus good habits, I am not sure this diet is good for a diabetic. It is loaded with carbohydrates and for the first 2 weeks they want you to limit meat to 3 oz a day. My blood sugar levels get really bad when I eat bad, I think the last time they took my A1c which I think is supposed to be around 6, mine was like over 13. I think that meant my average blood sugar level was like 250+. I know I'm killing my body and I can't find something I can stick to.
Anyone who can help me with what to do please let me know. Thanks!
Just do paleo, but not as a diet. As a way of eating forever. If you fall off the wagon, get right back on and learn from the mistake. If eating this way makes you look and feel better, then just stick with it for the long haul.
I am T2 diabetic and successfully lowered my A1c to below the pre-diabetic range in a few months of eating fewer than 50 grams of carbs a day. Yes, it take a lot of dedication, counting in the beginning, and vigilant mindfulness of EVERYTHING that passes your lips, but it is so worth it.
I am excited for you that you realize that the generally prescribed diets for diabetics are doing more damage than good. Though I would avoid the statins and blood pressure medications, a glucose control medication may be necessary, at least in the beginning. I take 1000 mg of Metformin each day as, even eating VLC, my numbers won't go below 100 without it. Once my metabolism and liver begin to cooperate and I continue losing weight, I am confident that I will be able to stop the Metformin.
Supplementing 400 mg Magnesium Glycinate or Citrate and getting your Vitamin D3 blood level up to 60-80 ng/ml will help your blood sugar control as well as your carb cravings.
More info on D3 at www.vitamindcouncil.org
This is not strictly Paleo, but it's consistent with it: Ray Peat believes polyunsaturated fats cause or worsen diabetes. Although I am not diabetic, I found that my ability to process sugar improved drastically after eliminating all significant sources of PUFAs from my diet.
To eliminate PUFAs, get rid of all vegetable oils (except coconut and maybe olive), margarine, mayo, and most nuts. You could use coconut oil or butter for frying. Limit chicken to at most once every 10 days or eliminate it completely. Beef doesn't contain significant amount of PUFAs, while fat from chicken, pigs, and fish do. You could eat fish that doesn't contain a lot of fat.
Paleo may well be how we, as humans, originally ate, but if the definition of paleo now includes copious starches, it is not necessarily a panacea for a serious case of T2 diabetes (as you unfortunately have). A lot of paleo people are quite young and already very healthy and the right diet for them will probably not help manage T2 diabetes. In particular, a lot of young, fit paleo people can seemingly tolerate quite high levels of starches in their diets. These young people are admirable in many ways but may not be good role models for someone with severe T2 diabetes. Your diet needs to be thought of more as a therapeutic intervention.
The best resource for diabetes is Dr Bernstein's book and the associated website and forum. A lot of people there are in your situation and they are very expert and knowledgeable about how to get blood glucose down. Jenny Ruhl's website is also very good.
I personally subscribe to most "paleo" dietary recommendations - plenty of saturated fats, getting a good balance between O6 and O3 polyunsaturated fats, plenty of healthy meat and in particular organ meats. But I have metabolic syndrome (arguably "pre-diabetes") and am not young, and I don't eat starches. I have a little sugar sometimes (in dark chocolate and almond flour cake) and eat moderate amounts of low starch vegetables, but no longer any potatoes or rice. I lost 55lb on my regime and reversed a lot of metabolic syndrome symptoms. At the moment I feel happy and satisfied with how I eat - I cannot imagine going back to eating starches.
Other supplements to think about: chromium, choline and - strongly recommended by Dr Bernstein - alpha-lipoic acid. As well as helping with glucose metabolism, alpha-lipoic acid also seems to help heal neuropathies and other effects of elevated blood sugars.
Best of luck in your search for healing.
Hi everyone, thanks again for all of your support and answers/tips. I wanted to let everyone know I weighed in today, 213.4 and I began my journey to get healthy for the last time. For breakfast I had bacon/eggs. For lunch I had 2 hamburger patties with mustard and for dinner I had an 8 oz sirloin and 2 cups of broccoli. I had 1 snack, a piece of jerky and that was it. Black coffee, tea and water for drinks. I got up and went to the gym at 5:00am before work, did 30 min on the treadmill and lifted free weights. I am exhausted right now but excited. I have a hard time talking about my weight with family/friends so you will be my surrogate family when it comes to changing my life. My goals are more around my health than my weight, but I know if I achieve my health goals I will be at a good weight. I wan't to get completely off all medication and control my diabetes with diet and exercise alone. I will keep you posted, day 1 down, many more to go!
Start by doing breakfast Paleo style, then add lunch then dinner work your way into it. It does take time to change habits. Also, sounds like you need a strong support system to go to when you feel like you are falling. I hope you have that, twitter and following Robb Wolff and various others s great motivation. A workout class is a great place to start building that support, walk thru a Zumba class at your Y. I wish you the best, really is all about taking one step at a time ;)
I was diagnosed Type II in 2010. A1c at 9.2. Most recent A1c was 5.4.
I fiddled around trying to get weight off (was around 200lbs) and drifted into a 'slow carb' style of eating (look it up in Ferris' 4 hour Body) starting with breakfast, eventually including all my eating. My carb intake stayes below 100 grams per day, almost always under 75. I keep tinkering with my workouts, generally doing bodyweight strength and kettlebell metabolic stuff.
30 lbs came off in about 6 months, 10 have come back and I am not certain if that is entirely bad.
ALL temporary diets have only temporary effects. Make an eating change, or an activity change and see what happens. Then try another. Some will accumulate, some you will discard.
I've been sick with various illnesses for over 10 years, so when I tried Paleo and it fixed these problems (==made asymptomatic), I adopted it for life. I knew that if I go back to eating SAD I would be sick again. The thing with Paleo is that it's not a diet, but a lifestyle. Even if you don't want to follow the whole lifestyle, the diet will have remain for life. The SAD diet is not a normal human diet, it's an abnormal one, so you should never go back to it. Sticking to Paleo is a mentality thing more than anything else. As my husband says: you have to be desperate-enough. I was.
Based on your experience with Atkins, which isn't an uncommon one, staying in ketosis may be your best option. In other words, ignore everything about adding carbs back in and just keep eating your fat and protein like a boss.
My approach for dealing with my own non-diabetic blood sugar weirdness is to aim for the 30-60 g carb mark, with greens and whole fruit constituting most of that, a VERY MODERATE amount of starchy vegetables or sweet fruits within 15 minutes of intense exercise. I've found that 20 grams of carbs at one sitting is the most my body can handle, and if I push it, my blood sugar gets weird and I start to crave carbs like a beast. If I were to try to add carbs back in 5 grams per day, I'd be off the wagon within a few days, same as you.
A lot of diet guides steer you away from staying on very low carb diets for long periods of time, but in most cases, it's not a concern. I've kept it up for months at a time with no problems. If you were an ultra-marathoner and a 5x per week Crossfitter, I'd have different advice, but since blood sugar maintenance and weight loss are your top health goals, I'd say you have nothing to worry about and everything to gain from a very low carb diet.
You're absolutely right to stay clear of the Mayo Clinic diet. Recommending low-fat high-carb diets for diabetics is so crazy that in a better world it would be considered malpractice.
I think you're on the right track by taking this seriously. Keep it up.
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