Pre-diabetes/diabetes. What has worked for you

I am in desperate need to reverse my diagnoses. My main question that I have facing me is if I should do full blown low carb (i.e., going into ketosis), or if I should work hard to kind of straddle the line between low carb but still allowing fruits and what not and not having my body go into ketosis.

I was diagnosed pre-diabetic a few months ago and did not take it as seriously as I should and now that I am ready to change things, since I really have no choice, I am probably full blown diabetic or almost there.

Would love to hear experiences of yo yo dieters, pre-diabetic, diabetic, what diets are best etc.


  • I'm glad you're ready to make changes to take control of your health. There isn't one way of eating that works for everyone, and figuring out which changes work for you is going to give you the best results. Ask your doctor for a referral to a diabetes educator and learn everything you can about diabetes, and then you'll be able to apply it to your own situation. Ultimately you want to make long-term, lasting changes that you can incorporate into your regular routine. ~Lynn /Glucerna
  • Iesia
    Iesia Posts: 6 Member
    I have been diagnosed as a pre-diabetic, I have been working with a nutritionist that recommends the plate method, where half of your plate is veggies/fruit, 1/4 carbs and 1/4 meat. She also says keep it under 45grams of carbs for each meal/snack.
  • SnowWhiteFanatic
    SnowWhiteFanatic Posts: 129 Member
    Diabetic here. Was diagnosed the end of July. I cut carbs down drastically and really changed around the way I eat. I stay away from a lot of fruits because of the high sugar content. Berries are good. I read all labels and compare no fat to low fat and sugar free to low sugar. I saw a nutritionist who helped me learn. You need to read everything that has a label and stay lower on carbs and sugars. I also added exercise and have almost lost 42 pounds since the beginning of August. I refuse to go on meds and insulin.
  • walleyebob977
    walleyebob977 Posts: 202 Member
    Use to be type 2 with a lot of work i changes that to being diabetic free Changing my food habits didn't do it alone for me. Working out played a huge part. After i lost 44 lbs I was not longer type 2. It can be done and it does take time and a lot of hard work and self disciplined
  • miranda_mom
    miranda_mom Posts: 873 Member
    I have gestational diabetes currently but it is controlled through diet. However, I think it is related to the fact that I have PCOS, and that is a lifetime thing.
    I have to take my blood sugar in the AM and after each meal and I can tell you that while I follow the diet religiously (breakfast = no more than 30 g carbs, AM snack = no more than 15 g carbs, lunch = no more than 45 g carbs, afternoon snack = no more than 30 g carbs, dinner = no more than 45 g carbs, and bedtime snack = no more than 45 g carbs), some foods affect me more than others. For example, I can have corn tortillas but no flour tortillas. I can have pasta (especially whole wheat pasta, which really does not seem to affect my blood sugar) but not rice. Any baked goods I've had so far have sent my blood sugar too high but I can have fruit, granola bars, and a little bit of cereal. Do you measure your blood sugar? I think knowing what the good and bad foods are for your blood sugar is really helpful. They say everyone is different in that regard.
  • happieharpie
    happieharpie Posts: 229 Member
    I'm not in ketosis, but omitting all grain, dairy, sugar, and salt has given me better health than I've ever had.

    My diet is mainly vegetables, eggs and egg whites, unsalted mixed nuts and berries or green apples.

    My last two a1cs have been solid average, and my blood sugar has been below 100 on all recent blood tests.

    I have also reversed prehypertension.

    Aside from a few struggles during Thanksgiving and Christmas, I typically have no cravings or binging. I feel much more peaceful when I am eating well.

    I did not "cut down" on unhealthy eating, I just stopped cold. If you have enough determination to stay off pharmaceuticals, you will not find it difficult.
  • Olblueiiii
    Olblueiiii Posts: 43 Member
    I was pre-diabetic, too. I believe the answer is eating Low Carb, High Fat. It's working for me. I recommend reading "Grain Brain" and/or "Wheat Belly".
  • Angie5501
    Angie5501 Posts: 15 Member
    Two weeks ago today I received the results of some lab work that indicated that I was insulin resistant. My fasting glucose was only 81. What made them determine that I was insulin resistant was the triglycerides level of 153 and the LDL-p number was through the roof. So in the last two weeks I have gone low carb higher fat, but I have no idea how low carb I should go and whether to count total carbs or net carbs. My total carbs have varied from a low of 40 grams per day to 75 grams a day.
    I have tried to eat a much higher fat diet, but I don't do well with too many animal fats.

    How do I figure out how many carbs/proteins/fats to eat each day? Any advice that anyone could offer would be appreciated. I am going to also increase my exercise, but I gave had eye surgery and can't go all out yet. Also, I have to stay on 1200 cal/day.
  • LatinaGordita
    LatinaGordita Posts: 378 Member
    Lowering carbs is probably the best answer for prediabetes or diabetes (type 2) I used to eat 300 plus grams a day of carbs. Just slowly started lowering them. I went from 300g a day, then went to 150 gram, then to 100, then to 70, then to 50. Now I'm at 20 grams a day, because I am following a keto diet.

    Of course you go where you feel comfortable at. I just know that reducing my carbs has helped with my spikes in glucose and weight loss. My fasting glucose averages 70 to 98. I notice my sugars are higher if my consumptions of proteins was high the night before.

    Best of luck!
  • I love hearing about all the positive changes that people are making! Angie, I think you'll get the most information by asking your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian to help you sort out the best type of eating plan for you. Also, you might try using more of the healthier vegetable fats such as canola or olive oil. Staying within a 1200 calorie meal plan and balancing everything will take a bit of time, and working with an RD will be helpful. ~Lynn /Glucerna
  • elyelyse
    elyelyse Posts: 1,477 Member
    Cutting out excess sugar and carbs is of course the right idea...but I will tell you the single thing that took me from pre-diabetic to normal...dropping some weight. Of course, cutting down on those things some helped me drop the weight, but I didn't have to get too drastic.
    And while I'm not at a healthy weight yet, my blood sugar levels are fine, and I can eat sweet things and carby things now without worrying about blood sugar.
  • I totally agree with visiting a dietician! I was diagnosed with Type 2 back in April. My doctor put me in touch with the local hospitals Diabetes Management class. I credit it with me being able to stay off medication for the diabetes. And it wasn't a matter of cutting out carbs. The dietician put me on 165g carbs a day. It was a matter of when I ate the carbs, no stockpiling them. 45 for breakfast, 15 for mid-morning snack, 45 for lunch, 15 for afternoon snack, 45 for dinner and 30 for a night time snack (crazy I know!) but my blood sugar dropped significantly. I was concentrating on the amount of carbs I wasn't paying attention to the number of calories I was intaking, until I started using myfitnesspal and my fitbit, to count calories did I start losing significant amount of weight. I have lost 30lbs since June using diet and exercise.
  • elyelyse
    elyelyse Posts: 1,477 Member
    I love hearing about all the positive changes that people are making! Angie, I think you'll get the most information by asking your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian to help you sort out the best type of eating plan for you. Also, you might try using more of the healthier vegetable fats such as canola or olive oil. Staying within a 1200 calorie meal plan and balancing everything will take a bit of time, and working with an RD will be helpful. ~Lynn /Glucerna
    Probably not necessary for you to go as low as 1200. Most women can lose weight eating more than that, unless they are very short and/or older. A calorie goal that is too low often leads to binges (omg I'm so hungry!!!) and frustration...which make it hard to stick to.
  • willnorton
    willnorton Posts: 995 Member
    please please watch you tube video by Dr Joel Fuhrman... and i bought the book..EAT TO LIVE..i have been a type 2 diabetic since Jan of 2005...i have done every diabetic diet known to man....

    i know you have read about low carb and you can really eat some great can eat butter sausage ham steak mayo lots and lots of fat...i have done that one many times its a life killer...this is just my opinion...there are a lot of people who do it but if you really do the research, all that fat especially animal fat is and will kill you.... i always went on low carb when i wanted to eat crap...fat fat fat.....

    i know you can find 100 people who love low carb and 100 who got to do the one that works for you...bottom line...we got to lose weight and get ourselves healthy...

    if you want to eat all that fat and think that will heal you, do it....but please just watch Joel Fuhrman videos.... Im doing it now ..its a plant based diet very low fat ..adn my blood sugar numbers are dropping drastically... i lost 6 pounds just in the first 2 days....

    one last what you feel is right...but i have done the low carb and had blood work done and i have done the plantbased diet and had the same blood work done and my doctor was amazed at my blood work when i did the plantbased.... the numbers dont lie...

    i actually lost 29 pounds in 2 weeks on this plant based diet.... EAT TO LIVE...lots and lots of great food.... please check it out....

    holler back if you want to talk..i always love fellow diabetes friends....

  • LiftAllThePizzas
    LiftAllThePizzas Posts: 17,857 Member
    I reversed my prediabetes and insulin resistance by going from 28% body fat to <20% while also keeping all of my lean body mass (muscle etc) by doing strength training. (Lifting heavy things and putting them back down again.)

    Your muscles help fight insulin resistance, so if you just eat 1200 calories and drop your scale weight (much of which will be muscle) you will not be getting as much benefit from it as you can. (Plus who actually wants to eat only 1200 calories a day?)
  • airangel59
    airangel59 Posts: 1,887 Member
    570 odd days ago I started here, a month into being dx'd with T2. My insurance was the pits, could test 1x daily, could take ONE class or meeting in a year only.

    Started on 1450 calories/140 or so carbs, now eating 1250 calories. I was taking Metformin 500mg twice a day.

    For me it also was dropping the pounds. Once they dropped, exercise kicked in, am now walking and working on running

    Not only do I no longer take Metformin but I am no longer on the 2 meds I was taking for hypertension and the 2 for cholesterol. I'm a tip toe from being in the healthy BMI range (for the first time in decades) My M.D says I no longer am considered to be a diabetic, have hypertension or cholesterol issues.

    I did not drastically change what I was eating just the amount (i.e I don't eat clean, I do eat junk food and I do eat out, I'm a chocoholic). I do weigh & measure everything and I pre plan/pre log my meals so I know where I stand before the day even starts.

    You definitely have to experiment to see what works for YOU and more importantly what YOU can adhere to.
  • CynthiaT60
    CynthiaT60 Posts: 1,282 Member
    My own experience: borderline diabetic (like a toe over the edge). I started exercising (the trainer at the gym made a cardio/strength plan for me) and found out it was fun to see whether I could stay within the limits Fitbit was giving me. Then I started using MFP and watching (1) total calories and (2) macros (carbs, protein, fat), according to the numbers MFP was giving me.
    Now (3 months later) my blood sugar is low normal.
  • JaceyMarieS
    JaceyMarieS Posts: 697 Member
    Low carb/high fat/moderate protein is what has worked for me...and it worked very quickly and (mostly) painlessly

    My A1c at diagnosis was 7.3 It has been below 5.7 at every test since then and is currently (as of 11/27/13) 5.1. I quit taking medications 6 months ago

    My lipid panel since LCHF is pretty dang good
    Your Total Cholesterol of 162 is DESIRABLE
    Your LDL of 93 is OPTIMAL
    Your HDL of 57 is NORMAL
    Your Triglyceride level of 62 is NORMAL
    Your Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 2.84 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5) IDEAL
    Your LDL/HDL ratio is: 1.632 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 2.0) IDEAL
    Your triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 1.088 - (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) IDEAL

    I use a glucometer to determine which foods are a good idea and which foods I should step back from. Basically, rather than following a set number of carbs per meal, you evaluate a particular meal using meter readings before eating and then at your peak. ( This is the bloodsugar101 site that under tight control diabetics know about - I also HIGHLY recommend reading the rest of this site!!) (Alan is a frequent poster on the ADA forums at and his blog is also very helpful and plain speaking)

    Technique for eating to your meter:

    Establish your target range for blood sugar levels.( Commit to keeping your blood sugar under this level.
    Test right before eating. Log the reading.
    Test again one hour after your first bite, and log the reading along with what and how much you ate. This is assumed to be about the highest peak - the spike - from the meal.
    Test a third time two hours after your first bite. This is hoped to show your blood sugar dropping back to roughly what it was before the meal. If it is, you're showing a good second phase insulin response. If it is not, you should continue testing until you find your blood sugar beginning to drop.

    Analyzing these readings along with the foods you've eaten enables you to see which foods have the worst effect on your blood sugar, so you can avoid consuming them in the future.

    It's fair to give each meal a second chance, in case there could be an outside influence on the elevated reading, but after two or three experiments, it is wise to avoid or sharply restrict the foods which drastically spike your blood sugar. After several weeks of extensive testing this way, you'll have compiled a personalized list of foods you can eat safely, for the most part. Not saying things don't change, and foods which were safe at one time could become troublesome later (and thankfully, the reverse as well), but for the most part, eating to your meter is an excellent way to control diabetes and keep side effects at bay.

    Good luck!
  • Lesia,

    Sorry it's been so long since I have looked at this board, but I like your response. Seems simple and very doable and something I absolutely am going to start out with! Thank you :)
  • Thank you to everyone who responded. I have been away from my computer all weekend and had no idea I would get so many responses. I will go through them in more detail and appreciate all of the advice!