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Old 04-18-2005, 11:39 AM   #11
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How are you doing so far? Definitley stick to what your doctor is telling you. And please take diabetes very seriously. My work takes me to nursing homes and I would say at least 3/4 of the people there have diabetes. And about 1/4 of them have amputations, nerve damage, kidney damage, etc. And not everyone is elderly either.
My brothers best friend died in January of undiagnosed diabetes and he was only 16. It is a very serious illness and can have dire effects if you do not control it. And you have juvenile onset which is the worst to have. So please take care of yourself!!
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:49 AM   #12
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I believe that education is the key in many things. If you learn about something, you'll be much better equiped to succed at it. There's tons of information out there and most of it is either wrong or misleading. I'll try to sum it up for you nice and easy like...

Fact #1: The body burns energy (calories) to survive and function. The food we eat provides these calories.

Fact #2: If we eat more calories than we burn (through general function and activity) then the excess is stored. The easist way to store energy is to covert it to fat.

The two facts above are pretty simple to understand. Trying to make a plan that works for you to incorporate methods of utilizing these facts to your advantage is a little more difficult.

Here is some simple math on the subject. If you've seen all of this before, then bear with me as I want to make sure I cover as much as possible...
  • A pound of fat = 3500 calories (approximately).
  • A week has seven days (duh).
  • If you can negate 500 calories a day, for one week, you will burn 7*500=3500 calories. That's one pound of fat loss.
Seems simple, right? In actuality, it is as simple as it seems. You can either cut calories eaten or simply burn more through activity. The best option is to do both. I try to be really active 5 days a week. If I burn 200 calories through my activities, that ends up freeing around 1000 calories for food (per week). Or I can eat the same as I normally would and lose weight faster.

First you need to find out your basal metabolic rate or resting metabolic rate. You can get a ballpark number here. Put in a weight that is around 10 pounds lighter than you currently are. For the level of activity, choose "sedentery". This will give you a maintainance amount for a lower weight. Don't eat any more calories than what you it tells you. That alone will make you lose weight. Exercise is the next thing you want to do.

This is where it can get a little complicated. There are good ways to exercise and not so good ways to exercise. I will try to shed some light on how to exercise smarter for your personal goals. I am assuming that you sleep at night and wake up in the morning. After you wake up in the morning, the glycogen levels in your liver have been depleted. They will be restored after you eat. This is the best time to exercise. The reason for this is that your body uses glycogen for energy. If there is none to release into the blood stream, then it has to get energy from elsewhere. We talked about stored energy earlier. That's right, fat gets mobilized into the blood stream this make it available to be turned into energy. If you glycogen levels are higher, it will use that rather than mobilize the fat. Even though the fat is mobilized, it doesn't mean that it will get burned. More about that in a moment, but by keeping your calories down, you don't give your body anything to make new fat. Exercise also kicks the metabolism in as well. Starting it in the morning is a good thing.

More about fat and exercise. Your body will use calories to fuel exercise, however, the way you exercise will determine what it uses to get those calories from. Exercising in the morning allows more fat to be available for burning, but doesn't necessarily mean that it will get burned (it could just as easily get redeposited). The reason for this is that there are many things that the body can use for energy. I'm not going to get too scientific and will boil it down into carbs, proteins, and fats. First off, lean muscle mass burns calories. the more you have, the more calories you need to eat. Just ask any body builder how much they eat a day during the off (read: growing) season. From the ones I've spoken too, upwards of around 5000 calories per day. Anyways, the harder you exercise, the more your body has to use carbs and proteins for fuel. I'm talking intense exercise, the body doesn't know that you plan on quitting in five minutes, so it's throwing anything that will burn onto the "fire". When you are exercising at a lower intensity, your body can better utilize the fat that you have in your bloodstream. This is why mobilizing fat is important; you can't burn it if it's not readily available. Let's do some more math...

Let's say you do 30 minutes of cardio at two different levels.
High intensity (75% carb/protein and 25% fat)
Low intesity (50% carb/protein and 50% fat)
(the above percentages are estimates and will differ per exercise and per person)
Now if you do the high intensity, you'll burn around 250 calories, 25% of which will come from fat for a total of 63 fat calories.
If you do the lower intensity, you'll burn around 180 calories, but 50% will come from fat for a total of 90 fat calories.

Why does this matter? Even though you burned more calories doing the high intensity exercise, the protein you burn will need replaced to rebuild any muscle lost in the process (remember, muscle burns calories so you want to have as much as possible to facilitate weight loss). Any fat you burn is "good riddance" calories. The lower intensity will target your mobilized body fat.

Low intensity exercises include long walks, moderate weightlifting or calisthenics. Low impact aerobics may also count as well.

If you need any help with information regarding exercise plans, let me know. If I can't halp you directly, I can at least send you in the right direction.

Back to diet. Most of this I'm going to leave up to you. Plenty of people have listed diabetic friendly websites, etc. I will tell you my ideas as far as food is concerned.

The suggestion to get rid of sugary drinks is a good one. I would get rid of all drinks that contain calories. If you have to drink milk, that's fine just make sure to track the calories. Think about this, an 8 ounce glass of orange juice runs around 110 calories and won't fill you up or keep you full. An orange will run you 60 calories and fill you up and contains fiber and forces you to chew (psychological effect). Which one will help you lose weight if you want to taste an orange?

For me, I count every calorie. I have a digital scale I got on ebay for $25 and I weight stuff out. If you're serious about losing weight, you might want to get one as well. I also graze all day on small simple foods. Breakfast is either an apple (55 calories) or a couple of hard boiled eggs (150 calories). I'll probably eat about an hour or so later. Some fresh, raw veggies. A handful of baby carrots and some celery will keep my good for another hour or so and only cost me around 60 calories. The fruits and veggies won't keep me from getting hungry for much longer so I'll eat a chicken breast cooked on a george foremen grill (those things are great for chicken) between two slices of light whole wheat bread (170 for the chicken 70 for the bread). You can use certain condiments as well. Be wary of mayo for obvious reasons. Cheese can also be a calorie killer; 1 ounce of colby jack is around 110 calories. Just some examples.

Personally, I'm on a 1800-2000 calorie per day diet. With exercise I am losing a little over 2 pounds per week. Quick losses are not good, 1-2 pounds per week is about what you want to keep it off permenantly. I'll eat around 1000 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. This allows me to have a sizable dinner so I'm not hungry before bed. I am allowed to eat whatever I want as long as I account for the calories.

As far as diet is concerned, the best approach (in my opinion) is to plan everything you're going to eat that day. Don't leave things up to chance. Like the investment firm commercial says "Nobody plans to fail, they just fail to plan." One thing you might try is to come up with food ideas (from where ever) and write each "meal" on an index card. Just write the food, the portion size, and the calories on the card. When you are planning the next days meals, just put what you want in one pile and add up the calories. Then get everything together (I do all my prep the night before). Or you can use them like coupons where after you eat something you put the card for it away. Whatever works for you.

Things to look out for...

Don't eat too few calories. I see people try to starve themselves all the time. It works for a few weeks and then they start gaining weight and can't figure out why. When your body isn't getting enough calories, it thinks it is starving and starts to store energy (fat). It uses muscle mass to fuel the body which makes it less efficient at burning calories (remember, muscle burns calories). Basically, don't eat under 500 calories under your current maintainance level (the one we checked before was for a goal level and should already account for caloric restriction) and you should be alright.

Watch out for additives. I try to cook all my own food so that I know what's in it. Prepackaged foods have much higher fat, sodium, and sugar content. Fresh raw foods and foods you cook yourself are way better as you simply have more control. I can send you links to online databases of food info. Let me know if you need them.

Consult with your doctor on your diet as well. Come up with something and run it by him. I don't know enough about high blood sugar and diabetes to say "I know what you should eat." and I certainly wouldn't want to be at fault for sending you in the wrong direction. Also, doublecheck any info anybody tells about on this subject (including mine). It may take a few weeks for you to start noticing any major difference (although I doubt it will take more than a few days). And keep in mind that it may take some time for your body and metabolism to adapt.

And don't get mad at yourself if you have bad days. I give myself a splurge day once a week. I don't go crazy, but I don't count calories either. I've noticed that even though I don't have to count calories, I still eat smart and use smart portion control as well.

Hopefully I didn't confuse you too much. If you have any questions feel free to ask them.
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:18 PM   #13
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my eyes burn...
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Old 04-18-2005, 05:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rach101
my eyes burn...
from my super long post or from something else?

If it's from me, I'm sorry, I tried to keep it at an introductory level. But it is a subject with many related avenues of knowledge; to learn anything about one you must learn about the others.
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:38 PM   #15
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No reason to be sorry..just let me sleep for another ten years and ill be fine.
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:24 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Rach101
just let me sleep for another ten years and ill be fine.
Sleep won't help .... you need to exercise!

Seriously, try this for some basic info. .... even has pretty pictures:
http://www.diabetes.ca/files/JTB17x_11_CPGO3_1103.pdf

Juvinile Diabetes is bad news, but all is not lost. A lot of patients (maybe 50%) will not be diabetic (or more correctly - will not have raised sugar)once they lose some weight.

Personally, I would avoid any fad diet, or any diet that cut out any specific food group <note that Low fat or low carb does not mean NO fat or NO carb>, or that promise you instant results without work. Eat healthy & in moderation AND exercise LOTS & you can have lifelong control of weight & diabetes.
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:51 AM   #17
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Rach- If you aren't that enthoused in exercise, try walking with friends. Start out walking a couple miles a day. Then gradually increase it to jogging. That's how I got back into shape. I took my mom with me and it was our "bonding" time. Try going up hill, not on a tredmill (too boring), around town. It feels like it takes FOREVER walking or jogging the track or on a tredmill. But walking around town feels like it took 10 minutes to walk 2 miles. Walking won't be the extent of your exercise, that's why I say go uphill or jog. And water, drink lots of water.
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Old 04-19-2005, 09:41 AM   #18
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Personally, I think that "low fat diets" are a crock of , well, something unpleasant.

As far as weight control is concerned, what matters is calories, not their source. If I ate 3000 calories of vegetables everyday and sat on the couch watching tv all the time, I would get fat. The excess calories are converted to stored energy (fat). I would also probably start to develop other health problems as well.

One key point to think about is this, How much you eat (calorie-wise) will determine whether you gain or lose weight. What you eat will determine what you gained or lost (fat or muscle).

You have to keep the diet balanced. You'll have special restrictions due to high blood sugar, but the basics are still very much the same. Most people concentrate on the trees and not the forest when it comes to weight loss. "If I give up _______, I'll lose weight." You have to look at the whole picture when it comes to food intake. A little spaghetti isn't going to make you fat as long as you a) know how much you are eating (calories) and b) don't unbalance your diet by making the bulk of your calories come from that source.

You want to make about 20% of your caloric intake from fat. If you are eating 1800 calories, then you want about 360 calories to be from fat. This equates to 40 grams of fat. The thing you should look out for is the source of the fat. Stay away from saturated and trans fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are the ones you can have. You can find more basic info on fats here.

Carbs and protein should be at around 40% each. Think about it like this, carbs and protein come in at 4 calories per gram. Fat comes in around 9 calories per gram. Eating at 40/40/20 ends up being a fairly balanced diet as you are eating twice as much protein and carbs than fat. This means you aren't over or under doing anything.

Sleep is a good idea, but not more than 8-9 hours at your age. Most people find that the more active they are, they more active their body wants to be. Being lazy promotes staying lazy. Being active allows you to sleep better as well.

I'm wondering though, last I read, your blood sugar was high. Has there been an official diagnosis or are they waiting to see how a diet change affects it before they continue testing?
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Old 04-19-2005, 09:42 AM   #19
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Deli_conker,
You made an excellent post and kudos to you for trying to be very helpful. I'm 21 and have been a diabetic for 12 years now. I'm around 6 feet tall and weigh 135 pounds. I've had trouble keeping my sugar under control for some time now. I just recently went to see a nutritionist for carb counting classes. I'll briefly sum up what I learned which might help you rach. Main thing is this: EVERYTHING you eat that has carbs in it will have an impact on your blood sugar levels. The average way of calculating this is: for every 15 grams of carbohydrates you consume (drink, food, pasta, bread, etc) it will raise your blood sugar levels approximately 50. The target range of the blood sugar levels in people who aren't diabetic usually run in the range of 80 to 120 mg/dl. So say your sugar was at 120. You consume a can of pepsi or coke. In the 12 ounces it has roughly 45 grams of carbs, or enough carbs to raise your sugar 150 points. Take that and add it to the 120 it was already at, and now your sugar is at 270, which is in the "danger" zone. Having your sugar run at those levels for quite some time can be very detrimental to your health. I'm not sure if you are taking insulin or not. If you are, what insulin are you on or are you just taking pills? I take novolog, and what my doctor has come up for me is this: for every 15 grams of carbs i consume, I take 1 unit of novolog. Which in theory should drop my sugar levels by 50 mg/dl. It evens out. If I want to drink a non diet drink, I'd just have to count the carbs and then give myself that much insulin. (in a case where it was 45 grams, you would take 3 units). The key to keeping a healthy lifestyle is not to eat tons of food that is high in carbs. It is better say at dinner time to fill up on veggies or meat/protein because they don't have alot of carbs. When you eat alot of carbs and don't get the proper insulin amounts for it, your sugar will run high, which in turn will cause your body not to get the right nutrition. You body will try and digest the food and use what it can for the food, but it will put your body in a "hyperdrive" state so to speak. Your body will be more concerned about breaking down the food and trying to have the food not affect your sugar as much. This in turn will result in you not getting the proper nutrients you will need. There are other things to consider as well. The actual sugar in food/drinks is actually part of the total carbs. I was told that if I eat something that has sugar alcohols or over 4 grams of fiber in it, then to subtract those numbers off the total carbs since those two things have a VERY minimal effect in the blood sugar. Take this seriously, and if you ever have any questions, feel free to PM me and i'll try and help out as much as I can.
HTH
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:54 PM   #20
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my brain has officially stopped working
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