Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Hunger Games, starring Wynn Anne

I only WISH my neck looked like that!
Everyone and her uncle can tell you that there is a strong correlation between type 2 diabetes and obesity. I'm not even going to google it.

What the uninitiated may not consider is that diabetes (or prediabetes) may actually contribute to the weight gain, rather than the other way around (i.e., weight gain causing diabetes). The book I'm reading right now puts it this way:

Some people find that they get ravenously hungry when their blood sugar is fluctuating rapidly. You may have had poor blood sugar control for years before you were diagnosed with diabetes. This means that after every meal, your blood sugar went abnormally high. Then it came down again. This may have triggered intense hunger, which would make you eat again. Then the roller coaster would repeat. No wonder you put on a little weight. ~ Gretchen Becker, in "The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes"
Without using this as an exoneration for the role my own lifestyle has played in this disease, I do wish more people understood this connection.

For me, it seems to be true. Yesterday, for example, I really badly overindulged at breakfast: I ate a slice of pecan pie. One slice of pecan pie has 80 gm of carbohydrates. I'm mentioning carbs rather than calories because, with type 2 diabetes, it's all about the carbs; calories from proteins and fats don't cause the same diabetic uproar.

To put that 80 gm in perspective, a medium potato has about 35 gm of carbs. A serving of Tiramisu has 44 gm.

I knew it was ill advised. But I did it anyway.

Well. Let me tell you I was hungry for the rest of the day. I grabbed a small package of cashews as a snack. I got cabbage rolls for lunch and ate just one. An hour later, I was as hungry as if I had not eaten, so I ate the other. Then I went out and bought POTATO CHIPS (which I haven't done since I got my wake-up call) AND cheese curds. (And I totally deserved the "tsk-tsk" I got from my friend when she saw what I planned to eat.)

Actually, I planned to eat only some of the curds and some of the chips. We both know that didn't happen.

It was unreal.

Today, I had a bagel with ham, lettuce and tomato for breakfast. I ate it very slowly.

Two hours later, my blood sugar was only 9.6 mmol/L, and there was no wild hunger.

I deferred lunch (with no snacks) and had a tomato-based soup (no cream, very few starchy vegetables). Again, no wild munchies. I even went to a cocktail reception after work and nibbled lightly without feeling like I had to EAT ALL THE APPETIZERS.

This is a huge revelation to me. I have dieted many, many times in the past following a variety of weight-loss programs. And sometimes it has seemed easy. Other times it has been a continual struggle marinated in feelings of self-deprivation.

Isn't it fascinating?


  1. And it's not just an "appetite" hunger that gets triggered after high carb food...within 60 to 90 minutes I can end up getting the shakes, wobbly legs, and feeling like I am about to pass out. (I tested once during that kind of episode and my blood sugar level was 3.6). It especially matters what I eat for breakfast, not as much during the rest of the day. An egg in the morning works best for me. (Bad start for me this morning: a croissant, and a small chocolate Easter egg! Lol! Just asking for trouble!) I ate them both just because they were right in front of me. I really just can't bring stuff like that into my home!

    1. I'm like you: If I see it, I eat it. Best to just leave it at the store. The one thing that helps me is that I sometimes will have just a wee bit of a treat and then give the rest away.

      But breakfast is so important!


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