Because of the number of messages, e-mails, and questions about how I dealt with my diabetes diagnosis through diet and exercise, I decided to make a detailed post to answer as many of the questions and the curious as I can.
If you don't know what I am talking about here is the previous post: https://www.weasyl.com/journal/85470/end-of-a-saga
Everyone is different! Every illness unique, even if they have the same name and symptoms. Each persons body handles things differently. So, for each treatment to work effectively, it has to be tailored to each person, and that persons body, mind, and spirit. What worked for me, may not work for you, but if everything else failed you thus far, this maybe worth a try. For me, my Doctor claims I cured myself of Diabetes with out medication. I do not condone the stopping of or altering any medications you are on. That is for your doctor and you (to some extent) to decide.
There three elements to my treatment of Diabetes. You need ALL three to make this work. Its all or nothing. They are: Discipline/Motivation, Exercise, and Diet.
There is no magic bullet, no spell, no pill, no medicine, no trick, that works without Willpower, and Action. This is the hardest of all the elements of my treatment. This is making yourself get up and follow the other two elements even when you are to tired to keep going, even when it hurts, to ignore and over come that little voice in your head that says, “You can do this later.” “Its rainy and cold.” “I did extra yesterday, I will take today off, and tomorrow, and the day after that.” “It hurts, you can stop now.”
I personally have terrible self discipline. BUT, I do have great self motivation. Which can be a good substitute. Every-time I hear that little imp of sloth whispering in my ear, “You can do it later”, “You don't need to do it today”, or “Oooo CAKE!” I would remind my self, “If I don't do this I am going to die!”, “Pandaguy, suffered greatly before dyeing, do you want to suffer like that?!”, “Move your fat ass maggot! Or “Maggots will get fat on your ass!” “Cake? If you eat that you're gonna die. Or worse, you're gonna have to do twice as much exercise!”, “It hurts?!... Death hurts more!” Finally, “You GOT TO do this!”.
These motivation were most important the first few weeks, until I started actually enjoying my outings, and the taste of the food I was eating.
I have always been told, “You can eat what ever you want, as long as you are willing to do the exercise for it.” Which simply means you can eat ANYTHING as long as you are willing to burn the calories that it contains. If you combine that say with a solid diet then you can't fail but to lose weight and get healthy.
Exercise is MORE important then diet. When you exert your muscles your muscles pull excess sugar from your body. This is as powerful as insulin shots. If you do 140 minutes a week (20 minutes a day. I did/do twice that) of VIGOROUS exercise you can burn more sugar then your body can eject. I can't stress this enough! If you have blood sugar issues Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!
What kind of exercise depends on you. I recommend vigorous, sweat inducing, cardio work out. I personally do cardio aerobic and/or Bicycling. Bicycling being my preferred activity. Riding hard and in aggressive bursts for several minutes at a time and then relaxing meanders in between. I live in a hilly area which helps with this. Pushing hard up hills, and cruising down the backside. As a bonus it get me fresh air, and out of the house and under a beautiful sky (Especially at Night).
For days that the weather did not permit (though that rarely stopped me), I would go to Youtube and find an aerobic work out and do that instead. My favorite is Billy Blanks Tae Bo Cardio Workout. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ybROmM_mBM
Really any exercise will do as long as it gets the blood pumping, the sweat pouring, and the muscles moving. Again, I must say Exercise is the corner stone of my diabetes treatment, do this if you do nothing else. Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!
Another thing I did/do, is before each meal I would sometime ride my bike around the block once or twice.
Processed Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Starch is your enemy! Its there to get you addicted, and give money to the food processing industry. Once you see it for what it is you will WANT to avoid it.
To do this diet successfully you are going to have to count calories and look at how much sugar things have in them (Hint: Use the internet for fruits and veggies). As a rule of thumb intake less then 30 grams of sugar for the entire day. This includes breads, processed foods with sugar, and carbohydrates. I reduced my calories to 1600-2000 calories a day.
The biggest and easiest thing I did was to get rid of all sodas, sugar drinks, and even fruit juices (only water, and unsweet tea). Just tell your self its poison and NEVER drink one again. Also, cut out ALL starchy foods (Corn, Pastas, Potato. This also includes HFCS, and Corn Starch, and rarely eat rice and always plain).
Have at least one fruit a day (Banana or Apple for me). At least one helping of vegetables with each meal, though two types of veggies is even better. Keep your meat intake to light meats and in small portions. Chicken, and Fish. Allow a lean red meat once or twice a week.
No butter! Use olive oil for every thing you'd use butter for.
If you need a snack, a handful of nuts, or pistachios. Peanut butter in small amounts works to. I often take a daily apple with a spoon or two of peanut butter.
Reward your self once every two weeks with a light sugary treat. My favorite for this was a chocolate dipped yogurt cone from an ice cream parlor.
If you start craving sugar (and usually after your exercise) eat something like fruit, or have a glass of fruit juice (Apple or Carrot Juice is a favorite for me, but I rarely drink juices. To much chance is will guzzle the whole thing.).
Here is a daily example of my diet:
English Muffin with an egg, a single piece of pan cooked chicken tenderloin, and half a slice of cheese (roughly 350 calories, and 3-5g of sugar), with half a cup of plain yogurt with half a banana diced up in the yogurt (125 calories, and 10g of sugar). Sometime I substitute to the yogurt for a half cup to 3/4th cup of low sugar cereal (Cheerios + half banana 2g sugar, Life 5g sugar, or Honey Bunches of Oats 5g of sugar are my usual flavors) This is my breakfast everyday.
Snack (between breakfast and lunch:
Handful of Pistachios or Peanuts or Apple or Carrot plus a spoon of peanut butter. Usually after my daily exercise.
Is often wide and varied, and as a result often my favorite meal. My usual fair is a fish or home made veggie patty sandwich with a spot of mayo, and ketchup with green leaf lettuce and sliced tomatoes on wheat bread. With a side of Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or peas, often with a half slice of cheese melted over them. If I let my diet slide any, its at this meal, and usually with fried food. Though I do not recommend allowing your self to that more then once a week.
No snacks after lunch.
Dinner is often my smallest meal. Consisting of a small pieces of meat, and a side of veggies. Though there are times when its been a PBJ sandwich and a carrot.
Twice a month reward your self with a light but tasty sweet. As I mentioned above my favorite for this was a chocolate dipped yogurt cone from an ice cream parlor. Though sometimes it was a piece of carrot cake, or even a doughnut. Though I got to a point where I did not always want this reward, as it only made me feel guilty, and hunger for more sweets.
Another thing I advise is research your favorite foods. Find out how many calories and sugar they have. Then you can adapt that to your diet.
Also, the diet is only as good as how much exercise you do.
I hope this answers any of your questions, though I am sure it will raise more. Of which I will try and answer.