Tired of people bragging about their perfect A1C levels when they have their lab tests? Let me share their secret by telling you about 7 choices made by diabetics with A1C levels under 7.
BUT, there are a few things you can work on that will make a big impact on your blood sugar levels and be reflected in your A1C results.
Here are the 7 Choices Made By Diabetics With A1C Levels Under 7.
1. They count their carbohydrates.
Your doctor probably told you to take an X amount of insulin every time you eat. However, he/she never taught you the importance of counting the carbohydrates you consume.
➡ Rapid-acting insulin (Humalog, Novolog) is supposed to be taken based on the number of carbohydrates you’re going to consume.
For example, a common insulin to carb-ratio for a Type 1 diabetic is 1:15.
➡ This means they need 1 unit of insulin for every 15 grams of carbohydrates they eat.
Type 2 diabetics are usually more insulin resistant, so a common ratio might be 1:5.
➡ This means they need 1 unit of insulin for every 5 grams of carbohydrate.
2. They check their blood sugar more than 4 times a day.
Most Doctors will recommend checking your blood sugar 4 times a day…maybe because that’s all that the insurance companies want to pay for or maybe because they don’t think you’re capable of doing it more often.
The reality is that your blood sugar is changing constantly. And if you only check your blood sugar before you eat and/or before you go to bed, you won’t know if and when it’s high, or if there’s a pattern to when your blood sugar levels rise during the day.
- The moment you wake up
- Before every meal
- 1-2 hours after every meal
- Before bed
- Around any exercise
3. They look at the numbers and make changes
If you’re checking your blood sugar every morning, and you’re seeing a 200 mg/dL on your meter, that means you’re probably spending nearly 8 hours every day with high blood sugars. That will never lead to an A1C below 7.0.
➡ If you want to get your A1C in the 6’s range, then you’re going to study that 200 mg/dL by checking your blood sugar during the night and looking at what you’re eating before bed, your insulin doses, etc.
That’s how you figure out why your blood sugar is so high in the morning and what you need to do throughout this day and tonight to get closer to 100 mg/dL.
➡ Look at your numbers and take action.
If your numbers are constantly higher than the range of the A1C you’re aiming for, there’s no mystery: you need more insulin.
4. They eat real, whole food, primarily
Whether you choose to go low-carb (and please learn more by clicking this link about Diabetes and low-carb diets) or Vegan or Paleo isn’t going to make-or-break your A1C.
What does matter is that your food choices consist of mostly whole, real food.
➡ That means that during 80-90 % of your day your food choices are real food–not processed stuff in packages.
If you’re still telling yourself that it’s okay to hit up McDonald’s every morning for breakfast because you just “don’t have time” to make something healthy, then don’t be surprised if your blood sugars aren’t exactly cooperating either.
Ditch the excuses and start exploring real, whole food!
Stopping at McDonald’s actually takes way more time than spreading peanut or almond butter on an apple, making a protein shake with low-fat milk or unsweetened almond milk or even just eating a handful of nuts on your way out the door.
Read about breakfasts here:
5. They exercise several times a week.
There’s no arguing: exercise helps reduce blood sugar levels at the moment, but it also helps reduce blood levels overall.
➡ The more you exercise, the less work your body has to do (even the day after you exercise) to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.
The easiest exercise for the greatest impact? Walking!
➡ Walking is an excellent way to burn fat, and it’s easy on your joints and muscles.
➡ It doesn’t increase your appetite like running does.
➡ You can walk before taking any fast-acting insulin to prevent major drops in your blood sugar. Get moving or get walking.
If walking doesn’t appeal to you, find a type of exercise you like and embrace it because it’s going to help your diabetes goals exponentially.
Consider Yoga: Click the link at the bottom of the page on why and how to get started.
6. The most important of the 7 Choices Made By Diabetics With A1C Levels Under 7 is that they believe they can.
➡ When you tell yourself that you “suck” at managing diabetes, you will. What you tell yourself is what you’re going to believe.
➡ In ANY area of your life where change is needed, you will keep yourself stuck in that place for as long as you keep telling yourself that is who you are.
➡ People who make the 7 choices of diabetics with A1C levels under 7 often encourage themselves instead of discouraging themselves.
➡ If you’re stuck in the habit of putting yourself down, spend a week writing down every negative thought you have around your diabetes management and take a look at them.
Those are the thoughts you’re carrying with you all day long.
➡ Then, make a list of the characteristics of the person you want to be when it comes to your diabetes management, and the kinds of thoughts that person would have bubbling in their head all day long.
7. They never stop learning.
You have 2 options when it comes down to living your life with Diabetes:
- Constantly seek out new information about your diabetes and health in general
- Or decide that you just want to do keep doing exactly what you’re doing.
Those that choose the second option will continue getting the results they’ve been getting.
The only thing you need to do is to seek out the knowledge from well-respected, licensed and experienced professionals, and stay away from the “get better quick, lose weight fast, “miracle cure” websites and infographics.
The first group includes the types of persons who see a high blood sugar after their run and relentlessly tries to figure out why it’s happening and what they can do to prevent it from happening again.
- They see a problem.
- They study it.
- They look for answers and solutions.
The secret to learning is to “take what is useful and leave the rest.
If you read about an approach to nutrition that doesn’t really “sound” like a good fit for you, just take the parts you like and keep on studying nutrition until you develop an approach the feels right for you.
The point is: Never stop learning, and give yourself the opportunity to constantly evolve!