Attaining a 6.0% A1C by Consuming 40 Grams of Carbs Per Meal

My 6-Month Experiment

“6.0”. I didn’t suppose I heard him accurately. I requested my endocrinologist to repeat himself. “I stated 6.0 %. Your A1C is 6.0 %.” My mouth gaped in astonishment. Virtually non-diabetic. The bottom A1C I’ve ever had in my ten plus years of kind 1 diabetes.

How Did I Do It?

Over the previous ten years since my prognosis with kind 1 diabetes, I might contemplate myself profitable at diabetes administration. Which means a number of blood sugar checks per day, remembering to bolus at mealtimes, and an total concept of what sorts of meals have been getting into my physique. My A1C hovered between 6.8-7.4 % — which my docs thought was simply superb. I had a robust need to decrease my A1C, however nothing prior to now appeared to work.

A couple of yr in the past, I started medical college and have become impressed to take higher care of my diabetes. I started doing a whole lot of studying on the topic and began to toy with the thought of reducing my carb consumption. There had not been many (if any) conclusive research on the results of low-carb diets in kind 1 diabetics, but I had a hunch that one thing like that might be my long-desired answer. I made a decision to carry out a six-month-long medical trial testing the results of a low-carb weight-reduction plan on a specific kind 1 diabetic — me.

The Guidelines

I acknowledged that diabetes is a lifelong situation and that any new weight-reduction plan I might undertake must be sustainable over an extended time frame. Many widespread diets solely enable minuscule parts of day by day carbs, and I knew that will not be sustainable for me. I didn’t need my weight-reduction plan to be insufferable and rebound. I, due to this fact, determined in the beginning that my weight-reduction plan was not to drop some pounds, and was not to begin consuming more healthy. I allowed myself to eat cookies, cake, and so on. (though I did naturally find yourself consuming extra greens as a way to persist with the foundations of the weight-reduction plan).

The weight-reduction plan consists of only one golden rule, plus 2 frequent sense guidelines.

The Golden Rule:

The Frequent Sense Guidelines:

  • Don’t eat any meals that make my blood sugar go wonky (some examples for me are pizza, bagels, and deep-fried meals)
  • At all times attempt to bolus not less than quarter-hour earlier than consuming

As a part of The Golden Rule, every “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 discover myself hungry. What are my snack choices at this level? Effectively, since I already reached my 40g most and it’s inside three hours of my meal, I have to wait yet one more hour (i.e., three hours from my lunch), at which level 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 discover myself hungry. What are my choices at this level? I can eat as much as 10g of carbs as a result of my lunch was 10g shy of the 40g restrict.

I additionally toyed with the thought of imposing a day by day most on carb consumption, however I later nixed it. As talked about, I wished this weight-reduction plan to be extremely sustainable long run, and I felt {that a} day by day carb most may impede that objective. Additionally, diabetes diets that impose day by day carb maximums are considerably controversial within the medical discipline. Some medical professionals imagine that such diets may even be dangerous to individuals with diabetes, and I wished to remain away from that controversy.

Why Did I Suppose It Would possibly Work?

Most individuals who begin low-carb diets try to drop some pounds. Though I did lose just a few kilos since I began this weight-reduction plan, this was in no way my intention on this endeavor (though in truth, it was good to lastly match into my marriage ceremony go well with once more). The rationale I started doing that is twofold:

Motive #1: The Submit-Prandial Spike

Following a meal, there’s inevitably a spike in blood glucose. The dimensions of the spike is proportionate to many issues (the kinds of carbs eaten, the timing of insulin injection, and so on.). Nevertheless, my private expertise has proven that for me, the spike is most straight associated to the variety of carbs I eat. Due to this fact, fewer carbs = smaller spike. (Equally, giving not less than 3 hours between meals permits time for the spike to come back down).

Motive #2: The Guessing Speculation

Guess how a lot a single banana would value you at your native grocery retailer. Go forward, guess a worth. You’ll have guessed 15 cents. 25 cents? 50 cents? One greenback? $1.50? The precise worth is a couple of quarter. You’ll have guessed 1 / 4 (you could have even purchased a banana earlier than and this, due to this fact, was not a guess). Or you could have been off by a bit. You’ll have even been off by rather a lot. Nevertheless, most definitely your guess was not off by greater than a greenback. Now guess the worth of a 500-seat Boeing 747. Go forward, consider a quantity. A fast Google search priced it at $357 Million. Was your guess off by a pair million? The purpose right here is evident: When coping with bigger values, our estimates are inclined to have bigger ranges of error.

By holding the carbs low, we’re giving ourselves a greater likelihood of accurately estimating our carb consumption.


My most important objective was to realize higher management of my blood sugar and considerably decrease my A1C. But, for the reason that begin of my weight-reduction plan, I’ve reaped quite a few advantages and gained excess of I may have anticipated. My A1C has dropped a full one %, a stark discount to a level I had not anticipated. My day-to-day blood sugar has turn into rather more predictable, and people horrible whacky-blood-sugar days that each one individuals with diabetes expertise have turn into a lot much less frequent. Moreover, my common day by day insulin utilization dropped from 50.2 items a day to 40.8 items — virtually a 20 % lower! As a pleasant fringe profit, I misplaced just a few kilos and actually really feel higher total.

One factor that folks typically ask is that if my decrease A1C got here on the expense of extra frequent hypoglycemic episodes. After I began this weight-reduction plan, I did certainly see a slight enhance in hypos together with my tighter glucose management (nonetheless, I can not quantify this with an actual quantity as a result of I don’t have information of my hypo occurrences previous to beginning this weight-reduction plan). As soon as I started noticing that my lows have been turning into extra frequent, I made a acutely aware effort to control my steady glucose monitor (CGM) and be extra aggressive in stopping them. Following that adjustment, I imagine I’ve been having simply as few hypos as I did earlier than I began this weight-reduction plan.

I wish to level out that my 40g most per meal is a very arbitrary quantity. It’s an quantity that’s possible for me and can be fewer carbs than I used to be usually consuming per meal. In case you are studying this and pondering that you could possibly by no means handle on such a meal plan, I might counsel developing with your individual maximum-carb-per-meal formulation and giving it a strive. Each particular person with diabetes is totally different, and this plan might not be the answer for everybody trying to achieve higher management of their blood sugar. Nevertheless, this weight-reduction plan has had big benefits for me, and I imagine that there are elements of it from which each and every diabetic can achieve.

This text is just not meant to be an alternative to skilled medical recommendation. At all times search the steering of your physician or different certified well being skilled with any questions you could have concerning your well being or a medical situation.

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