Few of us count the calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein that we eat. It is just too complicated and time consuming. And when we eat out, we can’t know for sure just how much anything weighs.
But unless we go to the trouble of counting what we consume we can’t do a good job of controlling our blood glucose levels and lose weight while at the same time making sure that we get enough – but not too much – of the macronutrients. Some of the other strategies to lose weight or maintain the weight we already lost -- like weighing ourselves every day, exercising a lot, not eating after dinner, eating breakfast every day, and some of the other tips I’ve shared here -- are important.
All of us who have diabetes absolutely have to control our blood glucose levels. If we don’t we run a serious risk of ending up with one or more of the complications. Not everyone who has diabetes has to lose weight or maintain the low weight level that we have already achieved. But practically everyone who has type 2 diabetes and even many who have type 2 have to constantly fight the battle of the bulge. Fully 85 percent of all American adults with diabetes are overweight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
But counting is key. I know because I’ve diligently followed those strategies for years. But it was only when I carefully counted what a consumed that I finally reached my body mass index, or BMI, goal.
My first goal was a BMI just below 25 – barely normal, but still a long way from where I started. Then I read that the Harvard’s Nurses’ Health Study showed us that a BMI of 23 or below is even healthier. That became my second goal.
Eventually I read a study demonstrating that the healthiest weight was “towards the lower end of the normal BMI range.” Since the normal BMI range starts at 18.5, I determined to set my final goal at a BMI of 19.0. I reached that goal today by counting all of the calories, carbs, fat, and protein that I consume.
What’s the point of counting anything unless we we are trying to reach a goal? In another context that’s why I have been so determined to find out what a normal A1C level is. We need to set goals for the total amount of calories that we eat as well as the macronutrients, carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
Several times in the past I’ve gone to the trouble of making these food counts. But then I didn’t have a good idea of the goals I was trying to reach.
Now, I know a little better. But it turns out that I was not only eating too much but also setting some of my goals too low. In other words, I didn’t know what I was doing. But in just one week of counting, this time I learned a lot.
For example, I figured that I was eating about 1200 calories per day. That figure was way off. I set my calorie goal at less than 1500 in order to lose a pound a week. But in fact I averaged 1733 calories each day and lost 4.8 pounds, according to the digital scale in my bathroom. While I was happy to finally reach my weight goal, that is way too fast.