Home Diabetes Care Achieving a 6.0% A1C by Eating 40 Grams of Carbs Per Meal

Achieving a 6.0% A1C by Eating 40 Grams of Carbs Per Meal

Achieving a 6.0% A1C by Eating 40 Grams of Carbs Per Meal

My 6-Month Experiment

“6.0”. I didn’t think I heard him accurately. I asked my endocrinologist to repeat himself. “I said 6.0 percent. Your A1C is 6.0 percent.” My mouth gaped in astonishment. Practically non-diabetic. The bottom A1C I actually have ever had in my ten plus years of type 1 diabetes.

How Did I Do It?

Over the past ten years since my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes, I’d consider myself a “good diabetic”. Meaning multiple blood sugar checks per day, remembering to bolus at mealtimes, and an overall idea of what sorts of foods were entering my body. My A1C hovered between 6.8-7.4 percent — which my doctors thought was just effective. I had a robust desire to lower my A1C, but nothing prior to now appeared to work.

A few yr ago, I started medical school and have become inspired to take higher control of my diabetes. I started doing a whole lot of reading on the topic and began to toy with the thought of lowering my carb intake. There had not been many (if any) conclusive studies on the consequences of low-carb diets in type 1 diabetics, yet I had a hunch that something like that might be my long-desired solution. I made a decision to perform a six-month-long clinical trial testing the consequences of a low-carb weight loss program on a specific type 1 diabetic — me.

The Rules

I recognized that diabetes is a lifelong condition and that any recent weight loss program I’d undertake would need to be sustainable over a protracted time period. Many popular diets only allow minuscule portions of day by day carbs, and I knew that may not be sustainable for me. I didn’t want my weight loss program to be unbearable and rebound. I, subsequently, decided initially that my weight loss program was not to drop extra pounds, and was not to begin eating healthier. I allowed myself to eat cookies, cake, etc. (although I did naturally find yourself eating more vegetables with the intention to follow the foundations of the weight loss program).

The weight loss program consists of only one golden rule, plus 2 common sense rules.

The Golden Rule:

The Common Sense Rules:

  • Don’t eat any foods that make my blood sugar go wonky (some examples for me are pizza, bagels, and deep-fried foods)
  • At all times attempt to bolus a minimum of quarter-hour before eating

As a part of The Golden Rule, each “sitting” is separated into three-hour chunks. For instance, let’s say I eat lunch at some point consisting of a hamburger (meat is zero carbs, the bun is 25g) and an apple (15g). Two hours later, I find myself hungry. What are my snack options at this point? Well, since I already reached my 40g maximum and it’s inside three hours of my meal, I need to wait yet another hour (i.e., three hours from my lunch), at which point the clock resets. I can then eat a snack of as much as 40g of carbohydrates. Nevertheless, let’s assume my lunch consists of only a tuna sandwich (2 slices of bread=30g). Two hours later, I find myself hungry. What are my options at this point? I can eat as much as 10g of carbs because my lunch was 10g shy of the 40g limit.

I also toyed with the thought of imposing a day by day maximum on carb intake, but I later nixed it. As mentioned, I wanted this weight loss program to be highly sustainable long run, and I felt that a day by day carb maximum might impede that goal. Also, diabetes diets that impose day by day carb maximums are somewhat controversial within the medical field. Some medical professionals imagine that such diets could even be harmful to individuals with diabetes, and I desired to stay clear of that controversy.

Why Did I Think It Might Work?

Most individuals who start low-carb diets are attempting to drop extra pounds. Although I did lose a couple of kilos since I began this weight loss program, this was under no circumstances my intention on this endeavor (although truthfully, it was nice to finally fit into my wedding suit again). The explanation I started doing that is twofold:

Reason #1: The Post-Prandial Spike

Following a meal, there may be inevitably a spike in blood glucose. The dimensions of the spike is proportionate to many things (the varieties of carbs eaten, the timing of insulin injection, etc.). Nevertheless, my personal experience has shown that for me, the spike is most directly related to the variety of carbs I eat. Subsequently, fewer carbs = smaller spike. (Similarly, giving a minimum of 3 hours between meals allows time for the spike to return down).

Reason #2: The Guessing Hypothesis

Guess how much a single banana would cost you at your local food market. Go ahead, guess a price. You might have guessed 15 cents. 25 cents? 50 cents? One dollar? $1.50? The actual price is a couple of quarter. You might have guessed 1 / 4 (you might have even bought a banana before and this, subsequently, was not a guess). Or you might have been off by a bit. You might have even been off by lots. Nevertheless, probably your guess was not off by greater than a dollar. Now guess the worth of a 500-seat Boeing 747. Go ahead, consider a number. A fast Google search priced it at $357 Million. Was your guess off by a pair million? The purpose here is evident: When coping with larger values, our estimates are likely to have larger ranges of error.

By keeping the carbs low, we’re giving ourselves a greater probability of accurately estimating our carb intake.


My important goal was to attain higher control of my blood sugar and somewhat lower my A1C. Yet, because the start of my weight loss program, I’ve reaped quite a few advantages and gained way over I could have expected. My A1C has dropped a full one percent, a stark reduction to a level I had not anticipated. My day-to-day blood sugar has develop into way more predictable, and people horrible whacky-blood-sugar days that each one individuals with diabetes experience have develop into much less common. Moreover, my average day by day insulin usage dropped from 50.2 units a day to 40.8 units — almost a 20 percent decrease! As a pleasant fringe profit, I lost a couple of kilos and really feel higher overall.

One thing that folks often ask is that if my lower A1C got here on the expense of more frequent hypoglycemic episodes. After I began this weight loss program, I did indeed see a slight increase in hypos together with my tighter glucose control (nevertheless, I cannot quantify this with an actual number because I don’t have records of my hypo occurrences prior to starting this weight loss program). Once I started noticing that my lows were becoming more frequent, I made a conscious effort to keep watch over my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and be more aggressive in stopping them. Following that adjustment, I imagine I actually have been having just as few hypos as I did before I began this weight loss program.

I need to indicate that my 40g maximum per meal is a very arbitrary amount. It’s an amount that is possible for me and can be fewer carbs than I used to be normally eating per meal. Should you are reading this and considering that you may never manage on such a meal plan, I’d suggest coming up together with your own maximum-carb-per-meal formula and giving it a try. One and all with diabetes is different, and this plan is probably not the answer for everybody seeking to gain higher control of their blood sugar. Nevertheless, this weight loss program has had huge benefits for me, and I imagine that there are points of it from which each diabetic can gain.

This text just isn’t intended to be an alternative choice to skilled medical advice. At all times seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health skilled with any questions you might have regarding your health or a medical condition.


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