fasted58 MegaDork
3/22/23 11:42 p.m.

Per my last blood work several weeks ago my A1C is 7.2, so welcome to Type 2 Diabetes. My A1C had been mid 6's for the last two years so shoulda seen this coming.

My PCP office asked if I wanted meds or do diet and exercise. I said why not both. While I waited for meds and diet info I researched Type 2 sites and YouTube channels as I knew nothing about it. 

I found a consensus among docs and patients on recommended diets. I started immediately with a trip to the grocery store and quitting my old routine foods. Mainly cutting carbed foods. My carbs were probably in the hundreds of gs per day.

I quit the potato chips, pretzels, Sun chips, snack crackers, snack pies, bakery pies, spaghetti/ pasta, egg noodles, rice, potatoes, cereals, ice cream, candy, granola bars (more like glorified candy bar), frozen waffles and syrup, white bread, bananas, cookies etc.

I quit fast foods a while back. The food was bad enough but the service was horrible. I only used FF if I was short on groceries or didn't feel like cooking. I quit sodas/ colas years ago.

I started new diet with celery, carrots, broccoli, grapes, apples, oranges and popcorn for munchie food. I kept the meats, chicken breast, boneless chicken thighs, pork, steak and hamburger. I'll add more veggies, fruit and fish next time shopping.

I can still have a tortilla pizza at 25g vs a medium or large PJ pizza. Still buy bakery rolls at 35gs as I like burgers once or twice a week. I still like my beer but I can quit that also.

Docs recommended 30-40 carb gs/ meal or 100g total per day, less if you can do it. I think this is attainable.

Had a telemed visit with my doc today. I explained my diet approach and doc agreed. I don't have to take the 500MG Metformin script yet. The PCP dietician will send out a revised diet or I could meet with them later. My A1C will be retested in three months. 

I have high blood pressure and need to lose weight also. Back in the mid-2000's I went from 268 to 205 lbs by counting calories and burning calories, mostly by walking. So, I'll start counting carbs and calories and start my old walking routine. I used to do 3 miles per night and 7 miles if I had the time. I need good walking shoes which I haven't found yet.

I got myself into this mess. I retired in July 2020, planned on losing weight then. Soon to be 2 years ago Dad fell and broke his hip, my retirement time was cut in half by tending to Dad's house, bills, delivering meds, visiting etc. After Dad passed away I had executor duty and was the plumber, repairman, mover etc. I get very little help so it's mostly on me. The house is almost done, no new projects, just remove material and tools not needed and clean up.

I planned on finishing the house, selling and settling the estate before I worked on me. I've always done this, get the work done then it's my time. I gotta get started on me right now though. 

Any thoughts, experiences or recommendations on dealing with Type 2 Diabetes would be highly appreciated.


Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/23 12:05 a.m.

It's a journey, not a point in time. Do your best in the long term to change your lifestyle, but don't sweat it if you're not perfect every day.

Lose weight, move around as much as you can, add muscle mass if you can and try eat well. Don't beat yourself up if you want a pice of cake once in a while, but don't eat pasta late at night every day.

People think I'm crazy, but if I'm waiting for something, I'll pace back and forth to keep active versus sitting down. I pace if I'm on a conference call for work versus sitting in my chair. All the little things add up over time.


lnlogauge HalfDork
3/23/23 8:08 a.m.

I can't contribute a single thing about type 2 diabetes, but its really damn impressive how you're getting after this already. Everyone I know that has type 2 keeps the same diet and relies on meds. Those are great and necessary, but if there's anything you can do to improve your health and your need for meds, then why not do it? Really hope you get the results you're looking for with those changes. 

On running shoes are super popular right now for a reason. They are extremely comfortable for activities besides running too. 

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/23/23 9:15 a.m.

It's about compromises. I have been Type 2 for 5+ years now. Some of the changes I did was the obvious stuff like no more desserts and stuff like that. I was already a runner when diagnosed. Funny thing was I was in the best shape of my life having run 2 marathons the year before.

It was purely genetics for me. 

I got on the meds as no matter what I did, I wasn't going to change course. Metformin is the drug of choice. It's helped. With that it's been easily managed. I was over 10 A1C when I started thing. 

FSP_ZX2 SuperDork
3/23/23 9:17 a.m.

I'm in a similar boat.  I started about 3 years ago by losing almost 30 pounds.  I drastically cut carbs.  No sweets...except Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate granola (protein) bars, which have 15g per.   I eat low carb/hi protein yogurt, keto bread (the "hawaiian" stuff is actually pretty good), keto tortillas, burger buns etc.  There are plenty of keto/low carb alternatives that are palatable.  I eat a salad with chicken on it at least 3-4nights a week.  When dining out I get a steak with veggies instead of potatoes, or a salad with steak or chicken.  I drink mostly light beer-but there are some pretty tasty "light" IPAs available (Slightly Mighty and Daytime)...and when out basic Miller Lite on tap or a Bourbon & Diet. 

I exercise about a half hour a day at the local Y.  I stretch and warm up a bit and then do about 15 minutes of VERY vigorous (stationary) biking--basically I run the calorie meter up to 300 as fast as I can...and then cool down.  I'm holding my weight and my numbers are good. 

You can "get right" with diet and drugs. 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/23/23 9:26 a.m.

We have some experience with my son being t1d, wife had gestational diabetes and my fil having type 2. 

Diet and weight are the biggest knobs. My wife was able to only have gestational diabetes with her first pregnancy and not the others just by minding things and being in much better shape. My fil managed his t2 with just exercise and mild diet control before he had to finally go on meds in his 60s and insulin in his 70s. 

Having our t1d kid and getting to watch a continuous glucose monitor you *really* get to see what certain foods do and don't do to blood sugar. 

Peabody MegaDork
3/23/23 9:27 a.m.

A coworker and good friend went in for a checkup a number of years back. Doc told him he was diabetic and would need to take XX medication, which would lead to XX medication, and so on. He said no berkeleying way I'm doing that, researched it on his own, and found an experimental protocol from a university in the UK requiring a very low calorie, low carb diet to get his BMI under control. When he reported this back to his doc she told him he was nuts, it wasn't going to work, and he would be back. He's been medication free with perfect numbers for probably 7-8 years now. He was a fairly active guy, probably 5'8", maybe 170lbs so his BMI was in the higher range. He's now probably closer to 140lbs

Edit: I think this is it.

Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/23 9:43 a.m.

My father was diagnosed 20 years ago and the doctor recommended insulin and drugs. He told the doctor there was no way he was doing shots every day. He has been regulating his type 2 with diet for 20 years with no real issues. He started out checking his blood sugar level daily until he figured out how to regulate it. Now he checks it every week or so. 

I'm borderline myself so that is one of the drives to dump a bunch of weight over the next few years. 

slefain UltimaDork
3/23/23 9:52 a.m.

Thank you for taking it seriously right off the bat.

My best friend since kindergarten berkeleyed around and found out with his T2 diabetes. One day he just stopped watching his diet and taking his meds. His weight dropped rapidly, which is bad. He thought he was fine. The first stroke put him in the ICU for a week. He didn't learn his lesson. The second stroke put him in a coma for a few weeks and scrambled his brain. I talked with him a few months before he died, he wasn't the guy I grew up with anymore. My friend probably died with the second stroke, the guy who came out just looked like him. Third ICU stay his last.

triumph7 HalfDork
3/23/23 10:19 a.m.

I've been diabetic for over 15 years now so here's a few tips...

Keto is great to a point.  I went from 225 to 175 in about 4 months and stayed there.  Then I started noticing when I went to the gym i wasn't able to lift what I used to, over a period of months I dropped 3 plates on the chest press.  After putting some carbs back in I gained 4 plates in a month.

If you do put some carbs back in the diet, be careful.  It's too easy to backslide into a worse diet than before.  "It's only a little candy bar."

Keto is more about fresh simple quality foods, avoid anything labeled "Keto" as it's highly processed.  This leads to the next tip.

When shopping, avoid the interior food aisles.  The outer areas are where the real food is, processed, sugar laden, grain laden crap is in the middle of the store.

Keto is easy to follow but you must cook.  When we were into it my wife commented that we weren't depriving ourselves at all... the meal that night was steak with bearnaise sauce and bacon wrapped asparagus.

Avoid artificial sweeteners.  When your body senses a sweet flavor it tries to store food as fat.  If you're concerned about weight loss this is important.  Fat also holds glucose, so....

Speaking of weight loss, exercise does little directly.  What it does is increase metabolism, which, when combined with diet controls weight.

There is a Facebook group called Reversing Diabetes.  The group is hardcore Keto, 20 grams/day or less of carbs but beyond that there is a lot of good info there including food ideas.

Good hard cardio workouts will have two distinct effects.  First, in the first hour +/- after working out blood sugar will be elevated.  Second, if you exercise long enough to pull down BS, it will stay down for a fairly long period.  I used to do the MS150 bike tour and after 75 miles BS would be in the 70s, and, yes, I was staying fueled and hydrated.

Metformin is good, very few side effects and will not drive your BS too low.  Avoid the newer drugs, like the ones that start with O or J or R.  They have too many serious side effects to risk at your A1C, if you were at 13 then......

If I think of anything else, I'll update.  If you have questions, just ask.

Edit:  After 15+ years, I'm still on the same dose of Metformin.  Long term on Metformin can cause a drop in vitamin B12 levels so you might want to add some in.  I do one B12 every other day.

Edit #2:  The other rule to consider is "Eat only when you are hungry and eat til you are satisfied".  If you think about snacking ask yourself "Am I hungry?".  If you say "NO"....

mr2s2000elise PowerDork
3/23/23 11:16 a.m.

Dumb question:


For those who are T2 diabetes, or borderline with the A1C, once you make lifestyle changes, drop weight, etc, are you not diabetic anymore, or once you are T2, you always are?


*comes from a part of the world everyone is diabetic, and genetically parents (fully healthy, vegeterian, still diabetic)

jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/23/23 11:44 a.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

Dumb question:


For those who are T2 diabetes, or borderline with the A1C, once you make lifestyle changes, drop weight, etc, are you not diabetic anymore, or once you are T2, you always are?


*comes from a part of the world everyone is diabetic, and genetically parents (fully healthy, vegetarian, still diabetic)

My ex-wife is a physician and specialized in diabetic treatment for a few years so I picked up some anecdotal information.    Some people can lower their A1C with a diet change plus exercise. Its been done. (she said engineers are the best diabetes patients because they understand how to track the  glucose numbers, measure portions, and like to do it).

  Others people cannot use behavior modification methods. Genetics I guess.

You have to just try the carb/sugar reduction/meat & veggies diets, plus exercise, to see if you are one of those people.   Otherwise its Metformin like mentioned above.

Whatever you do don't just keep the detrimental habits and demand higher and higher Metformin/insulin doses.  This is the pathway to an earlier than necessary death.

triumph7 HalfDork
3/23/23 11:47 a.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

Just like an addict or alcoholic, you will always be diabetic... you just have it under control.

fasted58 MegaDork
3/24/23 1:08 a.m.

I'm going to stick with this diet to see any results in A1C in three months and see what doc says. I'd like to get my A1C in the 5's or low 6's. I'll start Metformin if necessary. I'll start counting carbs best I can. I think the first diet the PCP sent was meant for with taking meds. There weren't any foods they said no to but were portion limited. 

I'm not sure about genetics. My parents didn't have diabetes but Dad's mother did. I'll ask doc next time.

Went grocery shopping tonight to expand the variety. It was funny walking past my old foods, I chuckled. I don't miss them at all.

Work on exercise and metabolism also. I'm currently 275 lbs, my old comfort zone was 230 +/- 5. That should help preserve my knees also.

I'll weigh in later with any results.

Thanks guys, great comments.


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