Management Tips

Here are some tips to help you manage the way you eat:

• Make changes gradually. Don't try to do everything at once. It may take longer to accomplish your goals, but the changes you make will be permanent.

• Set realistic, short-term goals. If weight loss is your goal, try to lose two pounds in two weeks, not 20 pounds in one. Walk two blocks at first, not two miles. Success will come more easily, and you'll feel good about yourself!

• Reward yourself. When you achieve a short-term goal, treat yourself to a movie, buy a new shirt, read a good book, or visit a friend.

• Measure foods. Be careful about serving sizes, and learn to estimate the amount of food you are served when dining out. Measuring all the food you eat for a week or so will help you do this. Measure liquids with a measuring Cup. Some solid foods (tuna cottage cheese, canned fruits) can be measured with a measuring Cup, too. Use measuring spoons for smaller amounts of foods like oil, salad dressing, or peanut butter. You can use a scale to measure almost anything --especially meat, poultry, and fish.

• Measure all foods after cooking. Some foods you buy uncooked will weigh less after you cook it. This is true of most meats. Starches often swell in cooking, so a small amount of uncooked starch can become a much larger amount of cooked food. The following table illustrates these changes:

Uncooked

Cooked

STARCH FOODS

Oatmeal

3 level tbsp.

1/2 Cup

Cream of Wheat

2 level tbsp.

1/2 Cup

Grits

3 level tbsp.

1/2 Cup

Rice

3 level tbsp.

1/3 Cup

Spagnetti

1/4 Cup

1/2 Cup

Noodles

1/3 Cup

1/2 Cup

Macaroni

1/4 Cup

1/2 Cup

Dried beans

3 tbsp.

1/3 Cup

Dried peas

3 tbsp.

1/3 Cup

Lentils

2 tbsp.

Small drumstick Half breast

3 oz. 1 oz. 3oz.

• Read food labels. Remember dietetic does not mean diabetic! "Dietetic" on a food label means that something has been changed or replaced. There may be less salt, less fat, or less sugar, but dietetic food is not necessarily sugar-free or calorie-free. Some dietetic foods may be useful. You can eat dietetic foods that contain up to 20 calories per serving three times a day as free foods.

• Know your sweeteners. There are two types of sweeteners on the marker: those that contain calories and those that do not. Sweeteners with calories, such as fructose, sorbitol, and mannitol, can cause cramping and diarrhea when used in large amounts. And these sweeteners have calories, which do add up. Sweeteners without calories include saccharin and aspartame (Equal,® Nutrasweet®) and may be used in moderation.

More Helpful Hints

Dietetic candy may satisfy your craving for sweets, but eat no more than 3 hard candies (usually 3 calories a piece) in a day. "Diet" chocolates contain many more calories in fat, Sorbitol, and milk solids. It is best to avoid these.

Here are a few more rules for keeping your insulin dependent diabetes in control:

• If a meal is unavoidably delayed, you may need to prevent an insulin reaction with fast-acting sugar (see Chapter 9). You may also have to eat a small snack, such as

• If you are planning a late-evening dinner, eat your usual bedtime snack at your regular dinner hour. Then enjoy your late dinner. Do not have another bedtime snack.

• If you eat extra food, you'll need to adjust your activity level or insulin to accommodate the added blood glucose.

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