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Tips for a newcomer making lifestyle changes

Discussion in 'Newbies say hello here!' started by Teenpaini, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Teenpaini

    Teenpaini Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Hi all,

    I have been diagnosed with Type 2 about three months ago. Perhaps not entirely surprising given my family history and weight...

    Some stats: I weighed 103.5 kg, and had a score of 7.2. I did not want to take medication yet though, so checked with the doc and nurse to see if I could try to make some changes to see if I could reverse this.

    Since I was diagnosed, I have basically given up carbs and sweets. So no rice, no pasta, no noodles, no bread, no potatoes, etc. And no chocolate, icecream, or cake or anything of the sort. To be honest, giving up these things has not been too difficult, but knowing what to eat has been a lot harder (but manageable so far).

    I play a lot of sports for exercise, and am NOT a gym person. But a sports injury means I have not been able to play for a couple of years now, though I am on the mend and cleared to play again from next year. Since the diagnosis, and particularly for the last two weeks, I have gotten a gym membership and go 3-4 times a week.

    With the diet and the gym, during my last appointment this week, I lost 11 kg, and am now at 92.5 kg in 2.5 months. My blood test results will only come next week, but I am hopeful this will really lower my blood sugar level. I am absolutely determined to reverse the diabetes and go on remission asap.

    Do you have any tips for me (beyond all the resources available on this AMAZING forum)? Is it possible to deal with this with only diet control and exercise? Any personal recipes for filling low- to no- carb meals? (I particularly like spicy food!)

    I should note that I have not told anyone else (besides my partner) about my diagnosis. I know this is not something to be ashamed of, necessarily, but I want to give this a proper go to see if I can just overcome it first.

    Thanks for reading this far, and I look forward to hearing from at least some of you :)! Thanks again for being such an amazing community...
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
    Ditto likes this.
  2. Drummer

    Drummer Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    It is possible to get down to normal, for a lucky type two such as myself, just by avoiding eating carbs.
    My exercise has increased, but only because I felt more energetic. I keep to low carb foods and that sorts it for me.
    You could try curries with chopped cauliflower instead of rice - I steam it and then chop.
     
  3. Teenpaini

    Teenpaini Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Thanks Drummer! That's fantastic, and well done on losing 46lb! How long did it take you to do that?

    There are a few things that I am not sure about. For instance, are chickpeas ok? (Gram for gram, they seem to have double the carb of even white rice!) What about carrots? (The nurse told me last time that this was a good snack substitute, and I have been having eggs and carrots as lunch every other day or so, but it seems to have a fair bit of sugar too?) And hummus?

    Any other thoughts and suggestions most welcome too!
     
  4. SueEK

    SueEK Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Well done on the changes you have made, that is an excellent start and I’m sure will show in your next blood result. Food always seems to be the most difficult thing for a lot of us as we all have didn’t needs and tastes. Personally I don’t like spicy things but I have snacks like unsalted nuts, rasp/strawberries with cream, coconut (not too much as carbs but good source of fibre) and small chunks of cheese. I find that I don’t get that hungry anymore as stomach has shrunk and I’m used to what I do have.
    Carry on doing what you’re doing but maybe tell some of your friends as you never know maybe one of them is also diabetic and you could help each other but of course it is an individual thing. Best of luck to you and keep posting x
     
    SB2015 likes this.
  5. Teenpaini

    Teenpaini Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Dear SueEK, Thanks for your reply, and your kind words and suggestions. Wow, I did not know someone with such a normal BMI could also get T2! Looks like you have been doing really well though, so great job. My BMI has gone from 34.6 to 31.2 during this time. Still a while to go, I know, but the results do motivate me to keep up the new regime and keep trying to push this down. I still get quite hungry, and try to snack on carrots, peanuts, cucumbers, or fruit- though this does not always fill me up. I love the microwaveable popcorn (sweet and salty), but one packet has 30g of carbs, so I am trying hard to not be tempted to eat it (like right now!)
     
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  6. Drummer

    Drummer Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    I was in a bit of a state taking Metformin and a statin, walking around in a daze - and I stopped weighing myself due to the way I was putting on weight on a low fat high carb diet, so it might well have been more than the official 46 lb, and it can only have been months to do it, but I was away with the fairies.
    I can't eat peas and beans except in very small amounts - likewise fruit, I have frozen berries in the freezer to eat with cream a couple of times a week if I don't have fresh fruit, but I don't eat the sweeter fruits. I don't get hungry, even eating just twice a day, as fat and protein is what is required.
    I do eat some carrot, as part of my salads - which are huge.
    Watch out for peanuts as they are a legume, not a true nut.
    If I am hungry I tend to eat eggs and cheese, perhaps with a tomato and celery.
     
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  7. SueEK

    SueEK Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Hi again, watch the carrots, peanuts and fruit. All of these contain a number of carbs, the fruit natural sugars and bananas are quite high. There is a really good book or app called Carbs and Cals which is really useful, might be worth your investing a small amount in it as it gives a really good idea of the carbs, forget the calories it’s the carbs we need to reduce. Also a number of us have a tester. Because we are all so different in what we can tolerate it is a really good indicator of what we can and cannot eat. For example I can have a small amount of rice without too much of a rise but any form of pasta is a definite no-no but other people can tolerate small amounts of pasta. It does take a time to work out what is good and bad but once you know what you can have you can build your meals around those.
    And yes even us slim people can get diabetes sadly. The one good thing with you being overweight is that you can make a huge difference in your diabetes yourself by losing weight whereas we can’t . Seems like you are on the right road and I look forward to seeing your progress xx
     
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  8. CathyB

    CathyB Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Hi, welcome! You have certainly got the right attitude and have made a fantastic start, as the others have said, it is possible, I started at 22 on 4 x metformin a day and am now diet controlled only with my bg in normal range, 4 stone lighter and much happier and healthier all round. I always carry a little pot of nuts with me as a snack or if hunger hits earlier than mealtime, I get mixed nuts with almonds, Brazil nuts and walnuts, but only allow one pot a day. My daily treat was a little sugar free chocolate but I’ve now switched to one Aldi gluten free nut bar with dark chocolate & sea salt, 5.9 carbs a bar. I can also tolerate 2 small apples a day if I space them out.
    Do you test your bloods? Not usually advised with type 2 but most of us will tell you it’s the best way to work out what foods work for you and what to adapt or cut out, I kept a food diary and tracked against my readings. Took me about 6 months to get the weight off and have my readings in normal range, thanks to the support and advice I got here.
     
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  9. Felinia

    Felinia Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Congratulations on your amazing start in dealing with Type 2. I am almost 2 months behind you, being diagnosed 5 weeks ago, weighing 108.3kg. I too am trying to get it under control with diet and exercise only and just hope I do as well as you are doing. I am down to 102.1kg so far. At first I was shocked at just how many carbs were in almost everything including all veggies, until I read on this website that less than 130gm carbs per day is low carb. Going no-carb is impossible - your body needs some carbs to function. I have set my target at 90gm per day, inclusive of sugars 45gm and fibre 30gm. Time will tell if I am doing the right thing for me. This allows me to have a wide range of veggies, and a little fruit. I picked up the tip for frozen fruit from this forum, and I spin it out with sugar free jelly for a sweet hit. One thing I have discovered is Naked Noodles, which are virtually carb free and allows me to have turkey bolognese and Chinese style stir fry. You could up the spices to suit your tastes. I snack on cooked chicken (measured first for the calories) when really hungry. Best wishes
     
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  10. belugalad

    belugalad Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Hello @Felinia You sound as if you have a good plan,and you can tinker with that if you feel you want to reduce anything further,when I had the enthusiasm and energy for the exercise I did a 2 mile brisk walk twice a day so that was 2 x 30 mins for me,once early in the morning and once about 30 mins to half an hour after my evening meal,I think that helped kick start my body after being not very active for a few years sitting with my mum as I'm her carer.
     
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  11. Felinia

    Felinia Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Thanks. My GP did not want to put me on medication straight away and gave me 3 months to put my life in order. She would not give me a monitor, and before I go down the route of medication and monitoring, I want to see what diet and exercise does. At 69, with arthritis in my spine, knees and hips, and needing a hip replacement, I had to give up my power walking 3 years ago, as I cannot stand or walk for more than a few minutes. I did five 5 mile sessions a week up until then, but it just became too painful. However I can do Aquafit, which I am doing each week. Plus I have a mini exercise bike, which I have installed in my kitchen, and I use it about 6 times a day, when waiting for the kettle to boil, the tea to draw, or when just passing. I must admit that at times I feel very tired, but the GP said that was a combination of changed diet, increased BP medication, and the effect of the diabetes. As the weight comes off I hope things will improve.
     
  12. belugalad

    belugalad Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Hi I must admit I did start to feel tired about 6 weeks in and that has passed now,I put that down to the change in diet as you say,there is a nice lady over the road from me that I visit for a chat,she's 70 and has just had her second hip replacement and both times it went really well,it's amazing how quickly people are up and about after that op.
    Best wishes for the future.
    Alan
     
  13. SB2015

    SB2015 Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 1
    Welcome to the forum @Teenpaini .
    There has been plenty of advice from others managing their T2 very effectively, so I will just add my encouragement to keep asking questions. I know that I have learnt most of what I know from others on here.
     
  14. Teenpaini

    Teenpaini Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Thanks Drummer. Sounds like a tough time, but glad that you got through it, and have managed your weight so well.

    Thanks for the great tips re: food. The nurse told me two fruit a day...I tend to eat Apples or Peaches, and sometimes oranges. Usually I get to two or three...
    I eat a fair bit of carrot and cucumber for lunch and as snacks. I wonder if that's ok...will check with the nurse on Weds too.
    Good to know about peanuts! They are the dry roasted kind, and it says 25g has 2.5g of carb or something so I am hoping this is fine.
    I eat a lot of eggs too, esp as I thankfully do not have cholesterol issues, but have also stocked up some cheese this weekend, thanks to your heads up!

    Thanks again for your useful comment, and if you think of anything else, please do let me know!
     
  15. Teenpaini

    Teenpaini Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Thanks Sue; very helpful, and good to know. Yes, indeed, this is the silver lining with the weight, and I am hoping some serious control will help me get to a place where I am no longer considered "diabetic". That is certainly the motivating factor. Really sorry that you are stuck with this even without the weight...I can imagine it becomes a lot harder to manage as a result!

    For now, until I get there, I am actually quite happy to just cut out all the rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, noodles, etc. Knowing what to eat is a bit tough, but I am figuring it out...and want to keep it that way.

    Interesting about the carrot, peanuts, and fruit. I had been told carrot is good as a replacement snack, and that I could have two pieces of fruit a day. I will see what my results say now, and also check with the nurse and see what they advise on Weds.

    I do not have a tester, but I will look into this and see if it is something I should be getting. My family have diabetes too, so maybe I will purchase some of this for them in any case.

    Thanks again, and if you think of anything else, please do let me know!
     
  16. Teenpaini

    Teenpaini Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Thanks CathyB! Sounds like you have got all of this under control, so well done!

    I do not take any medication at the moment, and am also generally ok without treats. I just get hungry, and do not always know what to eat...but do not necessarily crave sweet things- though I used to love them before. Sometimes cake or brownies are tempting, but I have been able to resist so far. I do have plenty of carrot and some fruit and such for snacks, so I need to find out whether I need to cut these out as well.

    I do not currently do any testing...let's see what comes up on Weds, and I will use that as a way to decide next steps. I am happy going fairly hardcore to try to get the levels to normal range asap, and then will experiment to see what I can eat to maintain that level...but for now I am not missing the carbs too much so long as I know what else I can actually eat.

    Do you mind posting a pic of your pot of nuts? I want to know what size we are talking here. Another person here shared that cheese is a good snack, so I have already started doing that...some chilli cheddar (do not judge me!) and also plan to do fried halloumi.
     
    CathyB likes this.
  17. Teenpaini

    Teenpaini Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Hi Felinia, Thanks for your post, and amazing job so far. 6 kg in 5 weeks is no joke, so very well done. I think my rate was similar, where the first 6 kg was about 5-6 weeks, and then it slowed down a bit. I measure first thing in the morning every day (with nothing on- every bit helps!) and seeing even a 50g, 100g drop each day is so satisfying! I have noticed that not eating properly even one day leads to a rise in weight, so that motivates me to stay committed to the plan.

    I have been eating plenty of veg and about two piece of fruit even now. I know there is some carb there, but is meant to be good/fiber-based carb...so I am hoping that doesnt screw me over. I have an appointment on Weds for my blood test, so let's see what that says!

    I will have to look into these naked noodles. I love bolognese, so if that were back on the menu, that would be great. Right now, I have just been making minced meat and eating that, usually with some fresh green leaves.

    Good luck with your progress, and keep up the great work. If I can be of any help in any way- seeing as I am just 'ahead' of you- please do not hesitate to let me know.
     
  18. Teenpaini

    Teenpaini Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Thanks SB. This is clearly such an amazing community! I am still in the learning phase, trying to understand what to do, what to eat, how to manage, and how to keep things under control. I hope to be able to repay the favour some day, hopefully soon, once I have brought my own situation under control...and when I understand the nitty gritty details of this process a bit better myself. In the meantime, I feel really grateful for this wonderful community that has been so fantastic in providing feedback and advice.

    If you think of anything else, as ever, please feel free to share them!
     
  19. CathyB

    CathyB Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Not sure how to post a pic but the pot is about an inch deep and maybe 2.5 inches square. Personally I would ditch the carrot and switch for celery or cheese, be careful with fruit, avoid grapes, bananas or anything tropical as they are highest in natural sugar, try a few blueberries or strawberries, many find these work, especially with some full fat Greek yoghurt (the full fat is used instead of carbs for energy so weight isn’t an issue). Small apples work for me but only 2 a day max. Try also making a pastry free quiche, with bacon, peppers and a little tomato, I often use this for a quick lunch instead of my Livlife sandwich. Another good meal with the cooler weather is to make a shepherds pie but instead of potato topping, mash cauliflower with a splash of whole grain mustard and top with cheese....yummy! Cauliflower is SO versatile, replacing rice or potatoes in any meal and of course cauliflower cheese but don’t make the sauce with the usual flour base, use cream cheese and grated cheese. Last night I made chicken with loads of mushrooms, a little red pepper and then used about half a cup of dry white wine and double cream to make a sauce....it was amazing! I’ve found that going low carb/high fat means I can’t eat as much as I used to as I get full quicker.
     
  20. Felinia

    Felinia Well-Known Member

    Relationship to Diabetes:
    Type 2
    Hi. I get the Bare Naked Noodles from Sainsburys Online. I avoid the flavoured packs, just get plain and add my own toppings (check out my Naked Noodle Salad, which is loads of roasted veggies, tomato pulp and a dash of reduced sugar sweet chilli sauce). But there are also Boodles (butternut squash noodles) or Courgetti (a bit more obvious). You can make lasagne with butternut squash sheets. Or similarly a Moussaka type dish with minced lamb and sliced aubergines. There are various recipes here for a white sauce, which I flavour with mustard powder. I too stick to a couple of small portions of fruit - 30 gm blueberries with my porridge, and 80gm frozen fruit with 0% Greek yogurt as a snack. I stopped weighing daily as I can vary by a couple of pounds a day, now just weigh once a week. I'm going through a starving stage for the past couple of days and drowning it in water! But my NC calorie limit is rock bottom even though I have so much to lose and have upped my activity - how I envy those with higher limits.
     
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