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Category Archives for "Reverse Prediabetes"

Tips and strategies to help you reverse prediabetes without giving up life’s pleasures. Control your blood sugar, lose weight, and avoid the onset of Type 2 Diabetes and all the life-threatening complications that come with it.

Is calorie counting for prediabetics?

Whether you have been worried about diabetes for a long time because it runs in your family, or have just been diagnosed with prediabetes, you might be asking yourself a lot of question about nutrition. One of them most likely revolves around the idea of counting calories and macros.

I am glad you are thinking seriously about this and I will tell you what I think is the best way to handle your food.

Child counting candy on the floor, to illustrate calorie counting

Before we talk calories and macros, let's talk about your every day life...

Is it important for you to have a good work/life balance? Or a nice harmony between “me-time” and the demands of others? My guess is, YES, it is vital to you! And yet, to achieve that, you probably don’t record every minute of your time and what it is dedicated to? Or do you?

Having a healthy work/life balance does not mean counting and writing down the time spent playing a board game with our kids, or sending an email to our boss. By the same token, having a nice balanced food intake should not require counting every calorie and nutrient.

At least not on a permanent basis.

A balanced diet is like a balanced life

If you had to time everything you did and make sure all the moments of your day are equally distributed among different areas of your life, it would get extremely complicated and exhausting. Actually, your existence would quickly turn into a living hell! You would see it as a chore, and most likely become resentful.

Cairn representing balance

Instead, you probably have a pretty good idea of what balance means to you. How many hours you approximately spend at work, what you usually do on weekends, how long you generally sleep, etc. You have a “frame” and you evolve within that frame year after year, incorporating new jobs, new people, new places…

Healthy without “knowing” it

If we want to establish healthy eating habits, we have to look at food the same way we look at life. Unless we have a specific condition that requires it, we don’t need to monitor calories and nutrients closely. Instead, it’s important to step back and look at the bigger picture.

Rather than studying macros and calories in every part of our meals, let’s focus on what makes us feel better, what brings us the most energy, and very important too, what brings us the most enjoyment and happiness. I am not talking instant gratification here, sugar rush, quick fix. I am talking profound and lasting satisfaction.

As in “I feel good in my body” and “my body allows me to do the things that matter to me”.

A strong frame for more freedom

To make sure we establish a healthy and balanced food intake that is not going to be jeopardized every time we go out with friends or are stressed out at work, we have to have a structure. Just like we have one for our balanced life. A structure that guarantees a healthy lifestyle, but also gives us enough freedom to enjoy our food and life without questioning every choice we make.

Once we have a frame for our eating habits, we can forget about calories and macros. We can start focusing our energy on everything else in life. Isn’t that what we all want? 

When you are creating your model for healthy food intake, that’s when counting macros and calories, TEMPORARILY, can come in very handy. It’s not required, but for certain people, it is helpful. Counting for a week is usually all it takes. Most people get all the information they need by counting just for a few days. It creates awareness and helps you see the gaps in your knowledge or mindfulness. Counting calories for weeks and weeks on most often doesn’t make much sense. UNLESS you enjoy the control and focus it gives you over your food, and that’s totally fine too! Whatever works for you! 

Sugar Balance Challenge Image with healthy meal on a table

Everyone's model will be different. We don't like the same foods. We don't have the same level of activity. And our needs are different. If diabetes is a concern of yours, you probably react to sugar and carbs differently than your neighbor. Although in the US, 1 out of 3 adults has prediabetes, and 90% don't know it. So chances are that one of your neighbors actually has the same issue!

When I work with clients, building this healthy frame is our first step toward a new lifestyle. If you want to know more about such a frame, follow this blog, I will definitely write more about this topic. But if you are eager to start building a strong structure for yourself right now in order to help prevent diabetes, reach out to me and I will give you a few tips on how to get started. You can request a Complimentary Consultation with me. If I believe I can help you, we schedule a meeting.

In the meantime...

Start with this!

The very first thing I recommend is to fill your plate with REAL FOOD, coming mostly from plants. And make sure there is always plenty of non-starchy vegetables and a lean protein such as eggs, fish, poultry. If you do that, you won’t have to worry much about nutrition facts and food labels. Unless, again, you have a medical condition that requires it. It seems quite simple, and it actually is! Real food – as in unprocessed or very slightly processed - has what we need to fuel our body.  So let’s start eating it!

If you want continuous support with your health goals, join my Facebook Group. You will have access to weekly tips, challenges, strategies, and lots of FREE resources to support you in your health quest.

Disclaimer

None of my articles, services, or products are intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. The information provided in my services, programs, and classes is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.

Is pizza a balanced meal?

If you are worried about diabetes and have trouble keeping your blood sugar stable, your doctor most likely told you that you should eat balanced meals. Yet, it is so hard sometimes! No time, no energy for cooking, not the right ingredients in the fridge, no motivation sometimes, or even a lack of knowledge. 

Yeah, right, what is a balanced meal in the first place? 

Slice of pizza for dinner

Let's take a look at this and I will show you that anyone (and especially YOU, because your are determined!) can eat balanced meals most of the time, even when it seems out of reach, without spending hours in the kitchen and pulling your hair out. 

What is a balanced meal?

A balanced meal is a meal that provides you with all the necessary groups of macro-nutrients (carbs, protein, fat) in the right proportion. It is also a meal that provides fiber, vitamins, and all the micro-nutrients needed for your body to thrive.

Not everyone needs the exact same amount of carbs, protein, or fat. It depends on your body's needs, possible preexisting conditions, your level of physical activity, your wellness goals, etc. But for the majority of us, a balanced meal would always include plenty of fiber, a good amount of protein, some carbs, and a little bit of fat. 

Let's not talk about the "perfectly healthy meal" here. I will write another article to talk about that later.

In this article, we are talking about the minimum you can do if you want your meals to be somewhat balanced even when it seems impossible.

healthy snack: yogurt and berries

Balanced meals are too much work!

Maybe you are like some of my dear clients, who eat pizza or fast food 3 times a week for dinner, and most often than not, grab a cookie or a donut at snack time. If that’s the case, eating balanced meals every day might seem out of reach for you. Just like it used to seem out of reach for my clients.

Well, not so fast! Let me show you how easy it can actually be. Eating healthy for the long term is not about dismissing everything you have been doing so far. It’s about tweaking and making small improvements to your current habits.

We will just take 2 examples and then you will know how to adjust to your own needs.

Make your pizza night nutritionally balanced

Unhealthy pizza turned into healthy dinner (lettuce, pizza, orange)

 

Make your snack more balanced

Unhealthy snack (cookie and soda) turned into healthier snack (pear, milk, and cookie)

You get the idea, right? Always keep those principles in mind:

  • add fiber (greens/fruit) to whatever you are having for dinner or for snack;
  • add protein if there is none in your food already;
  • only eat 1 or 2 servings of the “unhealthy” food.

It’s important that you don’t always focus on eliminating what you like or what is convenient. Because you will be miserable and you will end up quitting. Instead, think about proportions: make sure that unhealthy food is only a small part of what you are eating. See how you feel after making that change!

If you want more ideas or if you need help establishing a healthier lifestyle, let me know. I am here to support you! Contact me or request a FREE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE KICK-OFF SESSION so that we can chat and see where you could start. The first step is often a very hard one to take. Go for it!

Disclaimer

None of my articles, services, or products are intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. The information provided in my services, programs, and classes is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.

I am prediabetic, should I eat nuts?

Your Doctor told you your are Prediabetic and now you have no clue what to eat and not to eat. You have heard that nuts are healthy, and your health care provider wants you to eat healthy. So, nuts might be a good thing, right? Well, except your Doctor also told you to eat less fat and nuts are full of fat! So what should you do? 

Chubby Squirrel eating nuts in a snowfield

No worries. It's not as complicated as it might seem. Eating healthy doesn't have to drive you nuts (ha, ha, ha!). It will all make sense if you keep reading.

Everywhere you read, nuts are treated like the solution to all your health problems. They definitely come up quite often in articles about controlling blood sugar and avoiding type 2 diabetes. It’s true. Nuts are really good for most people's health, plus, they are delicious. Full disclosure, I LOVE nuts!!!

Yet...

Nuts are viscous little treats

You wonder Why? There are many reasons, but here are the main ones.

  • Nuts are fat. Mostly good fat, but still, a lot of fat! When it comes to fat, you have to know that on average, 1 oz of nuts covers about 20% of the average person's daily needs. So if you are planning on grabbing nuts for snack from now on, keep in mind that with only about 5 handfuls, you would get your daily dose of fat. I am not saying "don't eat nuts for snacks". We all agree on that, right? But you have to be careful: if you introduce nuts into your daily routine, you have to cut back on fat in other places. Otherwise you will gain weight. It's that easy. You probably know by now that weight loss is one of the first steps to help you reverse prediabetes.
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  • Nuts add a lot of calories to your diet. Let's say you need about 2,000 calories per day, which is the average for women who are not trying to lose weight (men usually need a bit more, around 2,400). It only take about 3 cups of nuts every day to cover your caloric needs! OK, I know, you are not planning on eating 3 cups of nuts every day. Yet, if you are not paying attention, you might end up swallowing 1 cup of nuts without second thoughts. I can totally eat 2 cups of pecans or almonds while watching a movie! If you don’t get rid of other sources of calories at the same time, you will gain weight. Again!
  • Nuts are way too easy to snack on… and on, and on, and on! If you had to peel, cut, and cook nuts, the 2 previous points wouldn't be an issue. But nuts are so easy to nibble on that we often gobble up a huge lot of them without being aware of it. Yes, true, nuts are much healthier than chips or candies so they are a better option for snacking. No question, that's 100% true! The problem is that since nuts are so healthy, we don't have second thoughts or the slightest guilt about devouring them. So we have a tendency to track them less and indulge more. Danger!
Walnuts in their shell in  a bowl and on a table, to help reverse prediabetes

Now please, don't get me wrong! I am not telling you to stay away from nuts if you are trying to lower your blood sugar. Far from it! I eat lots of nuts myself, my favorite ones being almonds, pecans, and pistachios. I am with everybody else in saying that nuts are good for us, unless of course allergies are an issue. But nuts are so good for us that they can be tricky to manage. So be really mindful, to make sure you get all the benefits of nuts without the dangers.

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Not sure where to start?

If you find it really hard to eat nuts in moderation, check out my article "7 Tips to use nuts when trying to reverse prediabetes". And as always, if you need a little extra help to get started on your PreDiabetes Reversal journey, apply for a FREE Healthy Lifestyle Kick-Off Session.  If you are really determined and I feel that I can help you, I’ll be happy to chat with you for 30 minutes and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!

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Disclaimer

None of my articles, services, or products are intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. The information provided in my services, programs, and classes is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.

What to do with nuts when trying to reverse prediabetes

If you are prediabetic or at risk for Type 2 diabetes, there is a good chance that your doctor recommended that you lose some weight or make sure you don't gain any extra pounds. On the other end, your doctor probably told you to eat more healthy fat from nuts, in order to help manage your blood sugar.

Yet, we all know that nuts are super rich in calories, so how the heck are we going to eat more nuts and lose weight at the same time?

Squirrel eating nuts on a tree

Let me tell you what you can do to avoid the extra calories and extra pounds, in the following 7 tips (and a BONUS!). These tips are easy to apply and straight-forward (as opposed to most information about prediabetes reversal!). They will help you navigate the nut aisle like a pro and keep your nuts in check! And by the way, if you are not sure yet whether you should eat nuts at all to help prevent diabetes, check out my article "I am prediabetic, should I eat nuts?"

Tip #1: Replace saturated fats with nuts

Do NOT eat nuts on top of saturated fat! Look at what you eat every day and see where fat is coming from. When you see saturated fat (mostly animal fat), think about replacing that food item or part of it with nuts.  If you need help identifying saturated fats in your life, contact me, I'll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Tip #2: Trade unhealthy food for nuts

Do not eat nuts to replace a cup of fruits! Nuts have fiber, good fat, and many other nutritional benefits. So you will want to eat them instead of unhealthy food. But don't start eating them instead of other super healthy foods. If you are used to eating fruits for snack, you can add a few nuts to that piece of fruit. Don't replace the piece of fruit with nuts! Adding nuts to a carb-rich snack will also help monitor your blood glucose, so that's a double win. Nuts can be a great way to make your snacks and meals more balanced.

Tip #3: Don’t have nuts in sight

Unless they are not very appealing to you, you don’t want to be tempted nonstop by a jar full of cashews or pine nuts. Store them away in your pantry. If you love them, you will remember to eat them anyway. But make sure you cannot just grab a handful every time you enter your kitchen, it would be a weight loss killer.

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Tip #4: Measure and stick to it

Decide on a serving size (about 15 almonds) and ALWAYS stick to that serving size. Measure and put your stash away before you start eating your nuts. If you want more, that’s fine, come back and get a second serving (and don't feel bad about it!). But don’t just dig your hand in a bag full of nuts. Measure, one serving, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Better yet, before each serving, drink a cup of water. This way you will also get the full benefit of all the fibers in your nuts and your stomach will end up being full much faster.

Tip #5: Choose whole, plain, not blanched nuts

They can be roasted or not, whatever you prefer, but unless that's all you like, avoid nuts that are covered in chocolate or in a sweet mix. Ideally, pick them in their shell, so that you eat them more slowly. This way you will eat one nut at a time rather than a handful at once. Remember, the more work it is to eat them, the less you will eat at once. It’s a simple trick but it works every time and it can make a huge difference calorie wise.

Tip #6: Nuts are not a "free add-on"!

If you don’t eat much fat or have no saturated fat you can eliminate from your diet (because don’t forget, we all some good fat!), then make sure that when you eat nuts, you are eating a bit less of all the other high-calorie foods in your life. For instance, eat less dairy, less meat, less bread, or maybe drink a less alcohol (beer, wine, liquor). You don’t need to substitute. Just eat or drink smaller portions so that the nuts don't come on top of everything else. Remember: the add-on item is not a free item :-).

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Tip #7: Nut butter counts... big time! 

If you eat peanut butter or almond butter, don’t forget to include that as part of your nut intake. It usually takes less than 2 TBSP of nut butter to get the same nutrients as with 1 oz of nuts. So don't just dismiss the butter, because that adds up as well.

Bonus Tips: don't skip this one!

Pick the nuts you really enjoy. Don't eat anything and everything. Only eat your favorite nuts. Try them all and eat the ones that give you the most pleasure. Nuts are high calorie and high fat, so they should also be high reward for you, otherwise, it's not worth it!

When it comes to food, prediabetes reversal is often a combination of eating healthy, losing weight, and controlling blood sugar. With nuts like with pretty much anything else, just being mindful of what you eat and when you eat it will help you keep things under control. And also being aware of the traps you might fall into. So prepare and follow the tips above and you will set yourself up for success. I know you can do it, but it you feel that you need a extra support establishing a healthy lifestyle, apply for a FREE Healthy Lifestyle Kick-Off Session. We could chat on the phone for 30 minutes and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!


PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

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