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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Losing Weight the Easy Way

August 16th, 2010 · 67 Comments

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With all the attention this week being given to the FDA’s review concerning heart problems connected with Avandia, one of the major diabetes drugs, you may have missed the bad news for what could have been the first new prescription drug for obesity in more than a decade. Another FDA advisory panel voted against Qnexa, which Vivus Inc. developed.

In year-long clinical trials people who took the highest dose of Qnexa averaged a 10.6 percent weight loss. Those taking a placebo lost 1.7 percent of their body weight.

Unfortunately for Vivus and for people who want to lose weight, the side effects of Qnexa outweighed its benefits in the minds of most of the FDA’s panel members. These weren’t niggling concerns. They include the possibility that people taking Qnexa would be depressed and think suicidal thoughts, have their memory and concentration impaired, be at greater risk of kidneys stones, and could suffer from heart problems.

If the FDA still approves Qnexa in spite of the panel’s recommendation against it, this could be the easy way for the great majority of people with diabetes to lose the 10 percent of our weight that our doctors have told us that we need to do. Almost everyone who has type 2 diabetes is overweight. Our government’s statistics show that 85 percent of all American adults with diabetes are overweight.

If an effective weight loss drug is no longer an option for us, we could be left with our own resources. Still, I know that drugs we already have to control our blood glucose can also help some of us with type 2 diabetes to lose weight. I lost a lot of weight by taking Byetta, and friends of mine are achieving weight loss success with Victoza.

But since all drugs carry with them the risk of side effects, which is the FDA’s biggest concern, many of us would like to be taking as few drugs as possible. We can’t do it with with willpower alone, as Gina Kolata emphasizes in her book Rethinking Thin.

In 2007 I decided to do without drugs entirely and yet I lost even more weight. The strategy that I adopted was the only proven way, a very low-carb diet, very much like the one that Dr. Richard K. Bernstein has himself followed for years and has taught successfully to thousands of his patients with diabetes. By following the recommendations in his
book,
Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, I was able to bring my weight down from 170, when I started low-carbing in December 2007 to 151 last October.

But this year has been murder for my weight. In all my traveling since February I lost control. While I had no problem staying on a very low-carb diet, I ate too much fat and protein when eating out and wasn’t able to reliably check my weight on a daily basis so that I could immediate take corrective action. Consequently, my weight crept up as
high as 169 a few months ago.

Only by carefully watching what I eat and weighing myself every morning have I been able to start bringing it back down to where I am more healthy, feel better, and my clothes fit. Today my weight is down to 162, but I still have a way to go to reach my ultimate weight goal of 155.

I know that I’ll do it. I also know that we still don’t have any easy way to lose weight and to keep it off.

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

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67 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gerry // Aug 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    David For decades, weight loss eluded me. I would lose 40 lbs and gain 100, why bother? If I lose a pound and gain 4 more, it is impossible to every see a normal weight again. And the cravings were driving me crazy. When I was told I was prediabetic, I said this same thing to my doctor and asked her what can I do. I have lost hundreds of pounds to no avail, if I could have lost weight I would have done it already. I asked her to give me one piece of advice I could follow and stick to it for the rest of my life and here it is:

    DO NOT EAT ANYTHING WHITE, ESPECIALLY IF IT HAS BEEN PROCESSED BY MAN.

    I tried that and lost 10 lbs the first week and have kept it off. Now I wonder what rule #2 is??!!!
    Hugs, Gerry

  • 2 Mary // Aug 23, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Hi Gerry,

    Portion control is #2!

  • 3 Mary // Aug 23, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Hi Gerry,

    Portion control is #2!

    There are a couple of ways to go at this. The easiest is the eye trick. We have slowly become used to larger and larger portions and that is part of the problem.

    For a little while, weigh and measure everything till your eye becomes used to a normal portion.
    There are some guidelines you can use also.

    For example, a 3 oz to 4 oz serving of Meat should be no larger than a deck of cards, or the center of the palm of your hand (no fingers included, please). And the standard average size portion for a cooked veg is 1/2 cup. (size of a average ice cream scoop)

    The standard dinner plate in this country is now 12 1/2″. It used to be much smaller! Use a smaller plate (7″ is a luncheon or salad plate) only fill the circular bottom of the plate and remember it should never “climb up” the edges of the plate. Then you can use the Plate Method to control your portions.

    The Plate Method of portion control is to divide the plate into 1/4ths in your mind. One 1/4th of the plate is meat (or protein) 1/4th is starch (if you wish starch) and the last 1/2 of the plate is vegetables. I alter this a little for my personal diet because I don’t eat starch (or seldom eat starch) so I have the starch 1/4th of the plate as an extra vegetable.

    When your Doctor said nothing white he/she was not referring to meat I think. Chicken and fish is preferred to beef. Though even it should not be processed meat. ( I must admit I do occasionally have a fat free hot dog.) The old weight watchers diet used to insist on 5 fish meals a week. The reason this works is there is more Iodine in the fish than in Beef, etc. and that revs your thyroid and helps on weight loss. It is also a lower fat option usually. (No frying please)

    It is a lot easier to use the plate method, etc to make a permanent change than it is to diet because we tend to think of diets as temporary and portion control with the plate method is permanent. (as long as you use it that is, so make it your norm)

    I hope this helps you with step #2 here are a couple of links you might want to see but remember you don’t have to buy a special plate, just use the mental divider in your head and also a 7″ plate not a 12 ” or 13″ one.

    If you look at your granny’s dishes, her dinner plate was probably about the size of our luncheon or salad plate (7″). Frankly out plates over the years have actually turned into platters rather than plates so it is no wonder we have an obesity problem. And on top of that “granny” would never have loaded her plate to the edges as it would have been considered very bad manners! But look at not only the size of our modern plates, but the manner in which we “load” them.
    (FYI: Average Restaurant plate is now 13″)

    http://life.familyeducation.com/nutrition-and-diet/weight/46766.html

    The above link has a picture of the Plate Method.

    Let me know how you are doing and I will do the same! I am increasing my exercise also. This is one of the keys to weight loss and is very important in reducing Insulin Resistance too!

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 4 Mary // Aug 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Another link about the Plate Method of losing weight.
    But remember you don’t have to buy a plate, just learn to mentally divide your SMALL plate into portions.

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/06/25/portion-dishes.html

  • 5 Gerry // Aug 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Mary I used to use that method, lost 45 lbs and kept it off for 10 years. However my life took several negative turns and I lost complete control over this method. Only we didn’t call it the plate method, we counted carbs. I remember doing this when I was a child.

    My mother once served me a plate with spaghetti and salad on it and I told her I couldn’t eat it because it did not have 3 things on it, only 2. Now I look back and see I had the answer all those decades ago and never knew it. My mother laughed and told me to eat it, period! In those days we did not know about portion control, etc. Well mom and I both ended up with diabetes, little did we know.

    Mom had diabetes back in the day when they would literally starve diabetics, her portions were that of a small child. She managed to keep her diabetes under control for 26 years before she died of cancer. Thank God that nowadays we can eat better and get satisfaction from our food and the taste of it.

    Thank you Mary for rereminding me of this method. Isn’t it funny, if we simply look back at our basic upbringing, we can pretty much find the answers we are looking for. Like that book, “I learned everything I know in kindergarden”. I am going to start using this method, it will mean some lifestyle changes but I think I am up to it.

    When I read in the Bible what the Fruit of the Holy Spirit is, the last thing mentioned was temperance. I knew the Holy Spirit had a job on His hands getting me there, but it looks like He is getting a helping hand from Mary.

    Even though I live with my daughter, I am pretty much alone during the day, so it is going to seem strange serving myself on a plate but fortunately I have a beautiful set of formal dishes, Royal Albert, that sit there looking pretty, so think I will start using them for me and maybe my daughter also, when she gets home from work!

    Hugs, Gerry

  • 6 Mary // Aug 23, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Hi Gerry,

    Wonderful about having the dishes!

    You know I went to a thrift store and bought a beautiful Antique Cut Crystal Goblet to drink my Sugar Free Diet cranberry juice from (it only cost a dollar too!) I found it much more satisfying to drink a sugar free cool aid from that beautiful goblet than anything I could have had in a can or bottle! It made me feel special and I think that appearance of food (i.e. pretty dishes, etc) make food more satisfying too. Just be sure your plate is no bigger than 9″. wink wink

    Your never alone Gerry, as long as you have a bible and a computer… you have tons of friends and you can always write a note or two, if you get lonely. (mctopsy3@aol.com)

    Hugs,
    Mary

  • 7 Gerry // Aug 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    David and Mary
    I do agree with Mary about serving food out of appealing dishes rather than as is. David, what do you do when you eat alone? Eating alone alot is something that has to be turned into an art for diabetics, our lot is bad enough. I just finished reading your article on the Satiety Index, very interesting. If we combine it with the plate method for portion control, we might find out our blood sugar will heal, not just be under control. Gerry

  • 8 David Mendosa // Aug 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Dear Gerry,

    I very much agree with Mary. I have very nice and reasonably small dishes and glasses that I enjoy using.

    David

  • 9 Mary // Aug 29, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Hi David and other Folks,

    Hey Gerry, you still out there hun? how are you doing? I said I would check in with you. I am doing better but still am a work in progress if you know what I mean.

    I did ride my bike this morning and I am eating on smaller plates. I changed to a 9″ plate though because I read some research that said if you use a plate that is too small (i.e. 7″) it will not fool your brain. The article recommended a 9″ plate, which is actually a much better size but you still need to keep it inside the bottom circle of the plate and not climbing the edges. (that is where I got the 7″ size in my head.. the bottom of the plate is about 7″). I have gone to an extreme low carb diet. No more than 20 carbs a day in healthy high fiber starches, such as whole wheat bread. This almost immediately removed my appetite but I was afraid if I go without eating I would have a low blood sugar attack. In fact I already had 2 of them. No hunger, just began sweating and thought uh oh, tested and sure enough it was too low. So I will have to eat by the clock, which I thought I was doing anyway but with no appetite I forgot to eat at my normal times.

    I normally eat a small snack with my am meds at about 6 am, then a 9 am breakfast. 12:00 is lunch and then a 3:00 snack. We eat dinner at 6pm and I take my pm meds with dinner. Then I usually have a snack at 9pm before sleeping. (hee hee hee, just like a baby eating every 3 hours!)

    Funny how low carb removes the appetite. David do they know why that is?

    I got on the scale the other day and showed a .20 loss. LOL.. went from 190 to 189.8 so I figure it is too early to show any real loss. My body can gain or lose in water more than that in a day. I am going to try to weigh only on Monday mornings. Now, enough about me for now. What are you eating? How is it working? Are you getting exercise? What’s new?

    Lets see if we can support each other enough to knock off some pounds and improve our Diabetes!

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 10 Gerry // Aug 29, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Hi Mary
    Well I am using the smaller plate however, I have made a discovery, usually we girls do not eat on plates. When my daughter is busy, she usually comes in with food from a restaurant and they send it by way of fancy plastic plates with covers. The plates are usually very large, so I got out my little plates and will give it a try. One of the good things about those plates is the fact that they are divided, so I am beginning to use the mental image of the PLATE METHOD and looking at the divided plate to see if everything is in its place in proper proportions. That helps. It is a learning curve for me, a slow one at that.

    I almost have my studio converted to paint with oils. It is about 90% ready. This gives me a daily goal besides dwelling on food.

    My daughter did a nice thing for me the other day. I have a hard time walking, due to the statins that the doctor gave me, so going down the 3 steps in front of my house, when I am alone, has always been troublesome to me. So the other day, my daughter had a guy come in and install a railing on my weak side, that I can now hold onto. I always carry my phone with me, just in case I get in trouble. This one little thing, the rail is only 20″ long, will open the entire world for me because I have a rollator in my car and one in my house, so I do not need a ramp. Also, now I can get out to get some sunshine, which is vitally important to diabetics, they are traditionally very low in vitamin D.

    So I am working on both plate control and walking. I now have the 2 rollators, and the plates and the realization of restaurant portions, so I feel better armed. I think if I cut the restaurant portions in 1/2 and put those on a nice plate, it will help.

    Another thing, I read Davids article on the list of foods for glycemic numbers, and his article on SATIETY LEVELS from various foods. Since the plate method allows for a small amount of starch (my body can handle 20 grams per meal), I want to make those portions count. So I tried this method the other day, I ordered a baked potatoe and served a small portion of it (since it is white food, I have to be very careful) with the rest of my low carb meal. That small amount of potatoe helped my satiety satisfaction last for 6 hours.

    Now I know I cannot go that long without a small amount of food, but I wanted to see how long it would keep me not hungry. Next I tried beans, and got the same results. So I am not advocating we all jump on the carb wagon, but I think a little bit of carbs with each meal, in my case 20 per meal, would go a long ways in keeping the hunger pains away. Sometimes I would get so hungry, and the pain was so bad, that I would almost pass out, even in as short of time as within one hour of eating. The potatoe stopped all that. I also notice, that with eating only 20 carbs per meal, my stomach gets empty very quickly, with the potatoe and/or beans it did not.

    So this is all new knowledge to me, that I am working to add into my life style. I also try to teach my adult children as I go along. My ex-husband, my childrens father, and I both are diabetics. One daughter cares for him and the other cares for me. So we are constantly sharing new info.

    Thank you Mary for writing, I appreciate you and your company. I move slowly but I do move and because it is slowly, the changes stay with me as I learn them. That is a good thing, because I am changing a lifetime of bad habits and bad knowledge. Also, when my mother was alive and a diabetic, I did not want to learn anything about the disease because I was in denial. Now when my children do this, I tell them that if they do not want to learn this stuff for their own safety, at least learn it for mine and their father’s safety, just in case, as we get old, we forget. So they both do that. The one applies the information to her own life, but the other does not and is putting on weight. I worry about her. I see myself 20 years ago, in her.

    Well guess I better sign off, my studio is waiting for me! LOL Hugs, Gerry

  • 11 Mary // Aug 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Gerry,

    Yes, I used to eat a small amount of carbs with each meal and that is not unhealthy, if your body will allow it. But I just can’t lose weight with that much carb each day and I try to hold my “starchy or sweet” carb to one meal a day and 15 to 30 carbs (usually end up with about 20) Also it keeps me hungry when I eat very much carb.

    I do find the less carbs I eat a day the less hungry I am. It is a known fact that an extremely low carb diet (like David suggests) will remove your appetite and you will have NO hunger at all, after a few days. I do know that the worse carb choice I could make is white potatoes or white rice!

    If I eat a white potato, I might as well have had a chocolate brownie, they are that bad on me. So if I feel the need for a starch I make it dried beans or something that is high in fiber. And if I really want a potato I will have a small (3 oz, size of a new potato) sweet potato wedge. Or the Yukon Gold potatoes don’t seem to run my blood sugar up as badly as the white ones do. I don’t know if you have ever tried these but they are wonderful potatoes (3 oz) as they are yellow inside and look like someone drenched them in butter! If you are eating out and really, really want a potato.. try asking the waiter for a small baker when you place your order and request the butter and any fixings on the side, then when it comes, cut the baker in 1/2 and remove 1/2 from your plate at once. If you cut it long wise it will look like an open baked potato and that is a tricky way to reduce the size and have it still look large. Same thing works for meat you know. We never have a steak served as a lump of meat, but we always slice it as if it were roast beef. A small portion looks like a plate full of meat that way. The thinner a thing is on the plate the larger the portion looks.

    Dried beans (pintos, navy, garbanzo, kidney beans… etc. ) are a very good choice because they are high in fiber and cause the carbs to enter the blood slower. Of course, we old folks are used to eating a bowl of beans and we have to relearn our portions and servings. 1/2 cup is the correct portion of beans for a carb serving, but that is 1/2 cup of drained beans and says nothing about the liquid so I add extra liquid to my portion because a person can add all the water they want when they cook their beans, so I just make my beans extra”juicy” when I cook them. (Tricky, tricky) 15 carbs is a serving of carb, if I remember right, so if you eat a cup of beans you have had 30 carbs but if you have 1/2 cup drained and 1/2 cup of liquid that is still only around 1 serving of carb! Again, it all comes back to portion control! The high fiber food also stays with you longer so you won’t get hungry as fast.

    Please remove the food from the foam plates and put it on your pretty china! It will make you feel so much more special eating off pretty stuff. Then eat it slow and enjoy it as an artist would enjoy a painting. Look at the food, smell it and enjoy it! A lot easier to do on a pretty dish I think.

    I made BBQ today (out of extra lean ground turkey breast) it sounds disgusting, but it is actually quite tasty. I made a giant patty an baked it on a baking sheet with dehydrated onions and garlic then I painted it with liquid smoke. I chopped it into a bowl with homemade BBQ sauce and am letting it “soak” in the refrigerator till dinner. I will use it as my carb for the day because of the sauce (tomato ketchup based, a no no, but like your potato it is an “occasional” treat.) I also made a big old batch of homemade coleslaw (Homemade dressing made with lowfat olive oil mayo and truvia (sweetner) and lemon juice, etc.) All this was because hubby requested BBQ sandwiches for dinner. Mine will be without the bread though.. still tastes just as good eaten with a fork and not too bad on the old diet and Blood sugar! Naturally I can’t eat BBQ without some jalapenos. Thank heaven they are not restricted.

    I am trying to make every meal an adventure so I will enjoy it more and the hope is I will be happier eating a healthy diet than I ever was gobbling down a fast food meal.

    Tomorrow we go seafood with a seafood scampi. Every day a new adventure LOL.

    I am considering making seafood a daily choice as I know for a fact it will make me feel better and also it will help with weight loss. It might end up being canned tuna (because seafood is not cheap) but still the goodness will be there, and I will vary it with shrimp occasionally or imitation crab meat (love that stuff, but have to count it as my daily carbs because it has potato starch in it)

    Anyway, tell me how your day goes tomorrow! I will get on the scale and make an official weigh- in in the morning and will report it to you. Lord, I hope it is no MORE than 190.

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 12 Gerry // Aug 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Mary Yeah, here is the rub. My legs. Lots of pain. Now I am off statin and on niacin+baby aspirin. However, aspirin bothers the gout. So it is a tightrope act I perform everyday. Back to the legs, can’t stand but just a few seconds. The weather is warm now (111 degrees), so a lot of the pain is gone, for now. But if you can’t stand, it is very hard to cook.

    I have my rollator but to make a turn with it you have to stand up and move it because it is more of a walker than a sit and roll chair. My desk chair will go where I want it to, however, it is too low to the ground in the kitchen. (I am 5′2″ short legs). I have tried using it that way in the studio but one day it rolled out from under me and I fell with a hard thud. Sore for weeks. So that is not such a good idea.

    I love to cook, used to make all my bread and bakery goods, grow my own garden and do all of my own canning, and I was skinny as rail at that time. Now due to this meds problem, I can barely move without wheels, and walking is an exercise in pain. The doc and I do not want me to NOT walk, walking is preferable to using one of those scooters but I have to confess, there are some days I would love to just give in and let one of those wheel me around, so that I could get things done more quickly.

    But all the pity pot aside, I am improving. The day my husband died was my 60th birthday, and I was so tired I was ready to tell him to move over and let me in his coffin also. To live took a strong act of my will and a determination to find out what ails me physically. I knew that I would have to grieve the death of my husband but I refused to give up health also. So I began the long road to healing.

    So I am a work in progress. My grieving part is over, with an intermitent bout of depression, but that is more diabetes than grief. It is also part of the diabetic disease. It happens when I feel like things are not moving forward quickly enough to suit me. I used to have perfect control of my life and now I have to depend on others and it is frustrating to say the least.

    I often wonder if this is a new classroom that God has transferred me to. Learning how to appreciate others, how to be a less controlling person, how to be appreciative of everything and not take anything for granted, actually see the beauty He created (as an artist that is very high priority to me), and realizing that a lot of things I thought I could not live without, have gone byby forever and I honestly do not miss them. If I had my way, I would cement over all the lawns and simply enjoy the outdoors.

    I used to hate the warm summer heat, now I welcome it, it means at least 6 months of a surcease from severe pain. However, my daughter still wants to turn the a/c down low when she is home. So sometimes while it is triple digits outdoors, I am wearing a sweatsuit indoors. LOL

    How do you handle one pot meals? Such as chili with beans (I live in the southwest, this is an essential dish), or stew, a casserole, etc? I got the Kaiser counting diet the other day, so that I could learn what size real portions are.

    You know, the whole thing about portion control reminds me of that scripture in the Bible that tells us we are really happy to escape punishment by our parents for the moment, but that it does catch up to you and then it is twice as bad. That is how I think of portion control. I remember when the restaurants were upsizing the food portions. I was happy about that, but now I must use self control and put them back where they belong. That is hard to do.

    Well I have ruminated long enough and really do have to sign off. Weigh in every Monday, oh Mary, you are a slave driver!!! I haven’t done that for a long time. Since I finagle with the scale, I usually let the doctor weigh me. So far I lost the 14 lbs and have remained steady at 275 for the last 4 1/2 years. For me that is fireworks time because I used to put weight on daily.

    Write when you can. Hugs, Gerry

  • 13 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Hi Gerry,

    I find some of the things you have said to be alarming! A couple of questions for ya hun…

    Do you take Metformin????

    I do take it and it is a wonderful Diabetes drug which sometimes help to lose weight too BUT it has Gout as a side affect and question 2 is

    Do you take B12 supplements?

    Metformin, Vitamin B12 deficiency, and neuropathy

    Metformin has been shown to decrease the absorption of B12 and all Metformin users should probably take a fairly large B12 dose daily. Research has shown that the B12 depletion for Metformin users causes increases in Neuropathy. This can cause terrible leg and foot pains with a funny numbness that hurts. Very hard to describe this but I had it before I was diagnosed with Diabetes and with diet and keeping my A1C low I was able to get rid of it . (probably grew new nerve routes) Question #3

    Do you take Magnesium supplements?

    Magnesium supplements help Diabetes (almost all Diabetics are low in Magnesium) and also it is one of the supplements that help Gout!

    For some reason I can only put one web link in here (probably set up that way on purpose) so you might have to search for the other links.

    One more question, do you take Glypizide or Glybiride? (probably spelling it wrong) these are both often Rx for Diabetes and have known and admitted side affects of weight gain (makes it tough lose anything and you have to diet to stay even, if you know what I mean)

    I am NOT a doctor but I am a Diabetic and I am telling you that as a Diabetic you should be on a few supplements.

    You should be taking a good multi-vitamin mineral supplement, an extra vitamin D, Magnesium and if on Metformin you should be taking B12 supplements.

    There is a liquid B complex you can get at the drug store (over the counter) not too expensive and you put the drops under your tongue and hold them for 30 seconds or so. They go directly into your bloodstream and bypass the stomach so they act a bit like getting a shot of B complex. The one I use comes from Wal-mart and is brand named “Spring Valley” B-Complex Sublingual Liquid. Costs about $7 but lasts about 2 months.

    Now about eating out, my mother is also Diabetic and she never ever cooks. She eats at the Seniors Center ($2 a day) and the food they serve is terrible for a diabetic! Chicken fried steak, greasy this and fried that, etc. and way too many starches and sugars. Now, having said that I want you to know that she lost 40 pounds and was able to get entirely off Meds (except for the Byetta) and this is how she did it.

    Her doctor told her NOT to diet but to simply eat no more than 1/2 of whatever was on her plate. Now Mom is 80 years old and she has had double knee replacements so she doesn’t do lots of walking and exercise and she lost that 40 pounds eating what I call garbage food. It took her 2 years to lose the 40 pounds but if she had had better quality food I think she would have knocked it off in 1/2 that time. (please note she was on Byetta which removes appetite)

    What I call diet food or healthy food is “better quality food” and fast food etc. is “garbage food” to me. Words do make a difference. So if you can eat better quality food that is great if not that doesn’t mean it is hopeless it will just be slower is all.

    Now about exercise. Not being able to walk is not a good excuse at all. There are people who are paralyzed from the waist down who still get their exercise. There is a TV show on PBS that is called “Sit and be Fit” you might search that and see if you can get it in your area. (comes on in the wee hours of the morning here) It is also on Video and DVD. It is designed for folks that can’t exercise standing or walking and also it is designed for older folks. There is also a table top bicycle thingy that you can put on the floor to ride like a bike (only the pedals part of the bike) but it is also designed to go on a table top and be used with your arms which is probably a better exercise for you. (I got mine at Wal-Mart for about $20) They know that using the muscles on your arms actually will help all the muscles in your body, not just the arms. Also the more you exercise the better your Blood Sugar will be and also it helps with weight loss. Getting exercise will help you get off some meds too because exercise reduces the insulin resistance in a type II and you won’t need as much med if you get more exercise. (if you are taking Glypizide or Glybiride (-10 sp) exercise can help you to get off them… remember they can cause weight gain)

    Keep moving all day long! Movement is exercise even if you are rolling around in a desk chair. FYI, you mentioned that you no longer feel in control, exercise will put you BACK in control! It makes it up to you again and it also is a weapon in fighting depression. Now, about depending on others.

    “No man is an Island” and we all have to depend on others. The amount of that changes sometimes but it is not a new thing just the amount of dependence is new. As a child you depended on your parents and as a spouse you depended on your hubby (as he did on you…double harness ya know) , now it is time you have to depend on your kids (just like they depended on you as children) This is not new you just never noticed it before is all. Don’t let it bother you so much because upset and stress is one of the things that is really hard on us.

    Stress makes the Blood sugar rise, it makes the Blood pressure rise, it does all kinds of bad things to our body. I quit watching the News and only watch comedies on TV now, no horror or suspense or murder mysteries or cop shows for me. Guess what? My Blood pressure went down and I am on 1/2 meds for it now and my BG also lowered too! All because I changed what I watched on TV and made a point to keep relaxed as much as possible. Now THAT is being in control.

    About One Pot Meals. Sweetie I live in Texas and we do eat lots of those. The answer again is portion control. 1 cup of “juicy” beans instead of a big bowl. Add canned tomatoes and beans to your chili or stew to improve the fiber and also lower the fat and starch percentage. Anytime you add good veg you increase the fiber and lower the calories and fat to those One Pot Meals. Stew with lots of low calorie veg if you cook, if you don’t cook you can still “doctor” the food by adding low calorie veg (such as canned tomatoes or canned green beans, both are low calorie and bulk up a meal increasing fiber and decreasing the percentage of fat in a meal) I know your arms are still working well enough to type so get that can opener going (wink wink)

    I am going to be eating a bit of canned tuna and canned Salmon as a weight loss strategy this week. I keep canned tuna and/or Salmon (jack mackerel) in the refrigerator and eat them cold with a bit of dressing or low fat mayo drizzled on top (try thinning low fat Mayo with fat free Italian dressing). What a wonderful lunch with a cold (canned) green bean salad or a lettuce and tomato salad. Or maybe some sardines or kipper snacks ( a smoked fish in a can, very tasty with a bit of fat free sour cream and capers sprinkled on top of a bed of shredded lettuce… a great cold lunch) A nice 1/2 cup of cottage cheese is a wonderful cold lunch with some veg on the side. Sometimes we have what we call a Cold Salad Supper (we are in Texas where hot and summer are synonymous) All of these are good meals and involve NO COOKING. Unless you count opening a can as cooking… wink wink

    So my Monday morning weigh-in was 189.20 (I don’t count it as a real loss unless it is more than a pound because I do tend flucuate with water weight) Next Monday I will know if I lost or not. (or next month..LOL.. depending on when that “more than a pound comes off”) and today I will ride my Bike for 5 minutes. (doesn’t sound like much but I will build up)

    I look forward to hearing your answers hun. I know this was a long “note” but I had lots to answer from your “note” .

    I hope David doesn’t get irritated at us taking up so much room on his blog! Thank you David! And maybe we will help someone else too. Lots of folks with the same problems we have. Maybe they will also have some suggestions or answers too!

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 14 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:16 am

    somehow the link did not enter as a link. I will try it again.

    Metformin, Vitamin B12 deficiency, and neuropathy

  • 15 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:16 am

    http://www.diabetesdaily.com/forum/complications/38259-metformin-vitamin-b12-deficiency-neuropathy

  • 16 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:20 am

    http://www.modernmedicine.com/modernmedicine/Modern+Medicine+Now/Metformin-May-Worsen-Peripheral-Neuropathy/ArticleNewsFeed/Article/detail/652308?contextCategoryId=40137

  • 17 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:43 am

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=Magnesium+and+the+Nervous+System&FORM=O1HV

  • 18 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:43 am

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=Gout%2c+Diabetes+and+Magnesium&FORM=O1HV2

  • 19 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:46 am

    glance at these links on Magnesium Gerry. It is like a miracle mineral that is used in almost all parts of the body and Diabetics are low in it just like we tend to be low in Vitamin D

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=Magnesium+and+Weight+Loss&FORM=O1HV12

  • 20 David Mendosa // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Dear Mary,

    I am not at all irritated! In fact, your contributions here are just what we need. Thank you.

    David

  • 21 Gerry // Aug 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Mary I do not take any diabetic drugs because the doctor feels that with my other medical problems, we start running into cross purposes and that my body produces enough insulin for me not to get worse, IF, I watch my diet and exercises. I have Kaiser here in Bakersfield and it is a very progressive medical company. Each diabetic is assigned as many specialists as it takes to get the job done. Right now I will be seeing a Podiatrist this month to be fitted with good quality shoes to help alleviate some of the pain and to keep my feet warm.

    I do take a “balanced B complex 50″ every day, did not know about the sublingual at Walgreens, will look it up. I need the B complex that includes inositol and choline, feel better when I have that. Never knew diabetics need magnesium, but that makes sense. I also take 1,000 mg of vitamin D everyday because I was so deficient in it. To get me started they gave me 50,000 mg per day for 2 weeks. My blood tests still show a deficiency.

    I know that the sun will provide me all I need, however, I take a med (absolutely have to have it) that makes me photosensitive, so can only go outdoors here in Bakersfield for a few minutes in the cool of the afternoon/evening or early morning. I do that now that I have had the hand rail installed on my 3 stair porch and can get outdoors.

    Mary, you are correct, portion control is my next step. Kathy and I both have been working on it, but we see it is going to be a steep row to hoe for us, due to so many decades of bad habits.

    Exercise, my mind totally rebells at the thought. I KNOW it is good for me, I KNOW that when you really get into it, it is fun. The mind is willing but the spirit is weak in this department. I used to be a dancer and have even tried to return to my first love of dancing, but it is like I do not even care. I blame it on my lungs and a lack of fighting spirit. If you can’t breathe, etc and yet I KNOW that the less I can breathe the more I need to exercise. I also know that if I put too much on my plate, I will end up with no progress in any department. That is why I am working on Portion control as the #2 rule.

    It is not a lack of fighting spirit, it is a matter of being spread too thin, like a country with a small army. Talk about networking, trying to keep up with gout, lungs, heart, kidneys, and diabetes is a lot. So one step at a time.

    I hope this does not sound like a pity pot party, it isn’t, just trying not to pick up so much I can’t carry any of it. As each problem is solved, that progress will help me to take the next step, once the good habits have been established.

    Yes, thank you David for the use of your blog. If at anytime, you feel we are being too pushy with it, we can always go to our private email address. You are very much appreciated David.

    Hugs, Gerry

  • 22 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Dear Gerry,

    I think it is wonderful you can manage without Diabetes drugs! It is my ultimate goal to get off all my Rx, but I know that will take diet, exercise and weight loss!

    Do you ever do “soaks” for your Gout? Epson Salts baths or soaks are very good for you because they also will increase your Magnesium. (Epson Salts are a form of Magnesium. Magnesium Sulfate I think) Just a suggestion.

    Such an old remedy and now they are discovering it does more than just relieve aches and pains! After reading all those links on Magesium I am increasing mine to 3x a day.

    I have been experiencing a little “numbness” in my hand the last few weeks and I know that my A1C should not be high because my BG is in control. But now I know it could be caused by the B12 not working well (I do take Metformin) so I am increasing that too.

    See sometimes when we try to help someone else, it helps us! LOL

    I am not terribly happy exercising either, but maybe if you got one of those “arm” bicycles and used it in front of the TV it wouldn’t be as boring.

    I am riding my bike in front of my TV and the time goes so much faster that way. Today I meant to ride 5 minutes after lunch and when I looked up I had already been riding 10 minutes! (It was an interesting program on TV) So anything that get’s us moving I guess.

    I know you can not eat seafood because I researched a bit on Gout, but surely there are other canned foods you can handle. Tell me your strategy (other than portions I mean, cause I know about that one)

    One thing I am doing is increasing my water consumption. They say if you drink 2 glasses of water 5 or 10 minutes before a meal it will cut your food consumption in 1/2 automatically. And water is so good for so many ailments!

    Between the extra water and the plate method, eating seafood everyday, decreasing my carbs AND increasing my exercise, I do expect to show some weight loss this coming week! We will see next Monday!

    It is just like running a race.. do I hear cheers in the background? Go Gerry Go! Go Mary Go! Go David Go! Gerry hun, we CAN win this race.

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 23 Gerry // Aug 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Mary My method? Good question, I had never given much thought to. In the Bible it says that the steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord. So I began there.

    Next step, Ish 54:17 No weapon formed against me will prosper. This is a core statement of myself. I have lots of faith in Christ. The Bible tells us that, “by His stripes we ARE healed.” So for me it is a matter of informing the enemy that I am healed.

    Next step. Now what have I been doing wrong, not just the meds, exercise and diet but what have I been doing wrong in my spiritual walk that I laid myself open to this attack by the enemy. I nursed my dying husband for 10 years while working 40 hours per week and commuting a round trip of 30 miles per day. Ergo, too much stress. Not to mention, neglecting myself because I had forgotten that I am not the Power, Christ is.

    Solution: Put things back into their proper perspective. Christ first along with walking by God’s Word. Obeying the doctor to the best of my ability. Learning as much as I can. Working at withdrawning from drugs.

    After the doctor told me not to eat white foods, and I didn’t and lost 10 lbs and kept it off, I figured that my insulin maker was still working, however faulty it is, it is still working. Much like an older model car. So if you take real good care of it, it will serve you well until your death.

    I had so many things the matter with me, that I did not know where to start. So I started at the doctor and she said we need to tackle the diabetes first, while working on all these other things. My team of doctors keep finding things wrong with me, but they are only border line stuff, if I do what they say, I can heal.

    However, to put things in their proper perspective, it still takes putting Christ first in my life and then the doctors instructions. It takes a “walk of faith”, which is not the easiest way to go, but much more permanent in the end.

    I have had many miraculous healings, i.e. my thyroid for one, and am in the process of many more. I know this sounds like I am a hypocondriac, but the doctors have verified that I am not and that I truly do have all these things the matter with me.

    Conclusion: If I had walked more by faith while my husband was alive and let Christ handle more of the problems and me less of them, I would not have been in this trouble now. But He is faithful and is slowly seeing me healed by His power. At the end, I will come out of these problems fully healed and delivered from this monster. I know that.

    So you asked, that is my reasoning. It is not for everyone because “walking by faith” is not for the faint hearted. It is so natural to want to be “doing something”, when sometimes the only doing something you should be doing is sticking your nose in the Bible and let Christ do the rest.

    If I have offended anyone that reads this, please forgive me. This is how I operate and I am not trying to force feed anyone my beliefs.

    Hugs, Gerry

  • 24 Mary // Aug 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Dear Gerry,

    I never asked about your “method” hun, only what was your strategy. Apparently that offended you. I am sorry if I offended you.

    I am working on improving my “temple” and God does help those who help themselves too which is why I am trying to learn what will help to heal my body. Gerry did you know we are each made in the image of God? We are each a trinity, like He is. Body, Spirit, Soul or if you prefer… Physical Body, Thinking Mind and Emotional Soul.

    I do read my bible by the way and I taught myself first century Greek so I could read it in the original, I think maybe that tells you how important I think it is. But I am not going to preach to you about Faith because either you have it or you don’t. I will ask you one question, do you ever see His face when you look at other folks? Because I believe Christ often works through others. There is nothing wrong with trying to improve a sick body anymore than it is wrong to improve a sick Spirit.

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 25 Gerry // Aug 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Mary No, you did not offend me. My method is my strategy also. They go hand in glove. Yes, I do know that we are made after the image of God.

    I admire you being able to learn Greek, wished I could but my memory is not dependable these days. I can learn something today and it is gone by tomorrow. I can relearn it and then lose it again. It is most frustrating.

    I have always wanted to know what the Bible says in its original form. However, you can get extremely close to it by reading the Darby translation of the Bible. It is said that it is the most accurate translation of the original words.
    So that is how I do it. No sense in letting a perfectly good job of translating go to waste LOL

    I also have an ace in the hole, a doctor teacher friend in Australia that is Greek and speaks the language!!! If I get stuck, I ask him or refer to my Strongs Concordance.

    Good for you though, that was some undertaking.

    Hugs, Gerry

  • 26 Mary // Aug 31, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Hi David and folks!

    Well I just couldn’t stay off that scale even though I said it would not weigh until next Monday. 188.6 this morning that is down -6 from yesterday but I still won’t count it because I have seen this before. If it goes below 187 I will assume it to be a loss… Maybe on Monday.

    So I did eat my seafood scampi last night and it really was good. I also had cold asparagus on the side and ate a normal servings of each. I also had a can of smoked oysters yesterday so that means I hit the seafood twice yesterday. (I rinsed the smoked oysters off because of the high oil content and they still tasted good)

    I have increased my Magnesium and also my vitamin D. I will be taking the Magnesium with every meal (that will make it more “time released” by dividing it up into 3x) and the vitamin D I will take with morning and evening meals. The Magnesium is supposed to help keep the BG low and steady and so promote weight loss. We will see.

    I always have the Placebo affect in mind anytime I try something new, but if it shows on the scale and is measurable, oh well who cares if is is placebo affect if it works… LOL

    You know those bitter melon pills really do help with the BG like people say, but they are not a miracle. They only help a little. I started taking those Milk Thistle capsules last week (1 with evening meal) and I did notice my morning BG is better. (125 which is at least 30 points less than normal for me as I suffer with Dawn P) I believe it is the Milk Thistle. That was the only change I made and I find it hard to believe it is my subconscious experiencing the Placebo affect while I sleep…LOL That stuff must actually help some folks.

    I think when something helps one person, that does not mean the same supplement will help someone else. Maybe I was deficient in something that it helped and the next person maybe isn’t deficient in it. BUT if someone tells me it helped them, I will usually try it and see if it helps me. So here are my morning stats:

    Height 5′2″
    Actual starting (last week) weight 190
    yesterday 189.2 today 188.6 -0.6 total -1.4

    David how are you doing? I know you are using a treadmill at that computer, is it working out ok? How much do you think it will help with weight loss? Also one more question, what IS a normal for a morning BG? I have had Dawn Phenomenon so long I am jumping up and down over that 125. Is that getting close to a normal morning (fasting) BG for a diabetic?

  • 27 Mary // Aug 31, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Thought this was an interesting article and I know it really does work because I have used it before to improve weight loss when dieting. It really does help and it is just about free too!

    Simple, drink 2 glasses of water 5 to 10 minutes before you eat each meal. This 12 week study showed that the water drinkers lost an average of 5 pounds more than those not drinking the added water before meals.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/029597_water_weight_loss.html

    This morning’s breakfast was Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) I made a pot of them yesterday and as always, I froze 2/3rds and the other 1/3 went in the fridge for this week but there was exactly 1/2 cup of beans left and some juice that wouldn’t fit into my container… soooo Chickpeas for breakfast LOL No one says a person has to eat cereal for Breakfast and chickpeas are really good for Diabetes so I had Chickpeas and a pickled egg for Breakfast! (no, I am not pregnant) But it was a tasty change.

    We do love pickled eggs in this house and last month eggs were on sale for $0.88 for 18 count. I pickled 12 dozen eggs! If you have never done this it is sooooo simple.

    When you finish with a jar of pickles, save the pickle juice and any large pickle jar and lid. Pickle jar lids are designed to hold acidic foods and should always be used if possible rather than other lids (for refrigerator pickles I mean).

    When you have a large pickle jar full of leftover pickle juice, hard cook and peel some eggs (I steam mine in an egg cooker). Drop them into the jar with 1/2 the juice. Refrigerate for 3 days and then check them. When the pickle solution has gotten more watery than vinegar tasting, dump the solution and cover with the 2nd 1/2 of the solution. They will be ready to eat in another 3 or 4 days. I like them better the longer they stay in because they get more pickley.

    You have to keep them in the refrigerator but they will last up to a year! My husband calls them Mary’s pickled Easter Eggs because I color some with pickled beet juice and some I leave to soak up the yellow (from turmeric) of the pickling juice. (If you add a little blue food coloring you get a bright turquoise color).

    These are tasty on a chef salad, great in tuna salad and we like to just eat them as is sometimes. The red ones (beet juice) are particularly good in ham salad. Anyway, just thought I would pass that along as it is almost no work to make them and they have a lot of pluses for a Diabetic. (vinegar, 0 carbs, turmeric, relatively low calorie and also very satisfying.)

    Hope you have a good and healthy day today!

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 28 David Mendosa // Aug 31, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Dear Mary,

    In your message two above you asked how I am doing. I do have a new desk that I can stand at to work on my computer, and I am using it now, as I usually do. I actually like it even more than I thought that I would. And it is much more simple and less expensive than I thought that it would be. It is simply a board 24″ x 43″ on wall brackets. It is therefore adjustable, and in fact I have moved it down a couple of times since my handyman built it for me.

    I decided that I had to keep my sit-down desk, because I need to vary standing and sitting. When I get tired from one I just switch to the other. Since I have that desk as well, I don’t have room for the treadmill. But I can always use one that we have at the apartment complex where I live.

    You also ask about my weight. That’s working too, but I contribute my recent weight loss to drinking at least two 8-ounce glasses of water before each meal (as I have recently written).

    Best regards,

    David

  • 29 David Mendosa // Aug 31, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Dear Mary,

    Oh, you also asked what is a normal fasting BG level. It is up to 100.

    David

  • 30 Mary // Aug 31, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Hi David,

    You said “…I contribute my recent weight loss to drinking at least two 8-ounce glasses of water before each meal (as I have recently written).”

    I don’t know how I missed your water article and I can’t seem to find it.. Could you link me or direct me to it please? I really would like to read it. ( I wonder what else I have missed…)

    Hugs,
    Mary

  • 31 David Mendosa // Aug 31, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Dear Mary,

    It’s not on my website yet! That article is at http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/118787/water-weight

    Best regards,

    David

  • 32 Mary // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Hi David,

    Good article on water. I have used this exact method in the past as it is an old (over 30 years ago) Weight Watchers trick. It does work but do not be surprised or disappointed if you don’t show as dramatic a loss the second week. The first week was flushing excess water from your system and usually shows a nice loss.

    When we did this 30 plus years ago, we figured we averaged about an extra 1/2 pounds a week. (some more, some less) That doesn’t sound like much but it is an extra 26 pounds a year. (envision 4 sticks of butter removed from the belly and 1/2 pounds sounds like a lot more!)

    The other part of this trick was that it be ice water (theory being the body would have to expend calories to warm it back up) Now, I can’t imagine the temperature of the water making much difference but a calorie is a calorie!

    Two months later we were off this trick an onto the next trick. We were bouncing and dancing all day on the theory that the more we moved the more calories are expended so we just bounced up and down on our feet if we were washing dishes or whatever. Just keep moving was the subject of that trick. It also helps.

    Even to this day I only drink water with meals and plenty of it too. I drink at least 32 oz per meal of water. (2-1/2 liter bottles, minimum.) The good tricks stick, if you use them long enough to make them habit, and that was one that stuck to me. (Unfortunately it somehow moved to drinking my water during the meal.)

    Slowing my eating down did not stick and I know I eat entirely too fast. This week I am going to be certain I drink 2 of the 8oz glasses of water BEFORE my meal then the rest with it. I am also going to watch the clock at meals and work on putting my fork down between bites to slow my eating down. This is not as easy as it sounds, try it and see for yourself. Put the fork down between every bite and tell me if it was easy to do that!

    I am going to do my best to make my actual eating time extend to 20 minutes. That is the time it takes the stomach to know you have had your first bite and begin to say it is full. This time lag between eating and the stomach acknowledging we have eaten is why sometimes, if we eat too fast, we go from a not full feeling to that uncomfortable feeling of “wow am I stuffed!” with no time in between.

    So those are my goals for the rest of this week.

    1.)Drink 2 of my glasses of water before each meal
    2.) Keep moving (even if is tapping my food while typing at the PC)
    3.) Slow my eating down by putting my fork down between EVERY bite.

    Once again you have inspired me David. Thank you!

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 33 Mary // Sep 1, 2010 at 5:41 am

    oops

    I said “even if is tapping my food while typing at the PC” talk about a Freudian Slip! I meant tapping my FOOT

  • 34 Jim P. // Sep 2, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Starting out at 387lbs I started the Ideal Protien diet. I’m on my fourth week and have lost over 20lbs so far.

    I’ve been taking Metformin and Amaryl for my diabetes. Before the diet started my glucose level stayed around 325 before starting Amaryl and around 160 after starting Amaryl. After starting the diet my glucose dropped to around 60 in the mornings.

    I stopped taking the medication to see what would happen and my glucose crept up to 130. So i’ve added the amaryl back on and now get morning levels of around 90. I think that’s great.

    The diet is designed to give your pancreas a break and normalize insulin and glucose levels.

    Hopefully I’ll reach my weight loss goal of 210lbs by my next birthday in May (if all indications hold firm) and my insulin issues will be much improved.

    Keeping my fingers crossed

    Jim

  • 35 Mary // Sep 3, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Good Morning Sunshine!

    Hi David and other folks,

    I finally have a good weight loss that I can count as something other than water. I went from low carb (20 carbs of starch or sugars a day) to no carb (0 carbs of starch or sugars a day) I only ate protein and low carb veg yesterday and my morning FBG was 113. Better than I have ever had as I suffer with Dawn Phenomenon and usually have 160 or more fasting BG.

    I will continue with the “zero” carb diet and see what happens. My weigh-in should actually come on Monday but I will notate it today and we will see on Monday what it actually is.

    Height 5′2″
    Actual starting (last week) weight 190
    20 carbs a day: total loss

    08/29 189.2 -0.8
    08/30 188.6 -0.6 -1.4
    09/02 188.8 +.02 -.1.2

    Zero carbs total loss

    09/3 186.8 -2.0 -3.2

  • 36 mary // Sep 4, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Good Morning David and folks,

    My morning FBG (fasting blood sugar) was 99 this morning.

    I am continuing my No carbs but low carb veg diet (and naturally I am counting calories too!)

    I am also logging every bite I take in a food journal.

    I have managed to keep my eating slow (taking the full 20 minutes to eat) and putting my fork down between every bite.

    I am drinking a 20 oz bottle of water before each meal starts.

    The only thing I think I am low on is exercise. I will ride my stationary bike today!

    David are you still drinking your water before meals and how is standing at the PC working out for you? I am interested in what you are doing so update us once and awhile.

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 37 David Mendosa // Sep 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Dear Mary,

    Yes! I continue to follow both of those strategies! They really work!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 38 Mary // Sep 5, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Good Morning Sunshine!

    Hi David and other folks,

    David, I have a question for you please.

    I decided to not throw my water bottles in the recycle bin for a day and see how much I was actually drinking.

    I tried to drink my normal amount, no more and no less. I did this because I seem to be staying thirsty all the time! At the end of the day I had 10 1/2 liter bottles lined up. That is 1 gallon + 1 Quart (or close to it) Now, I know they say drink lots of water, but isn’t that an excessive amount?

    I am type 2, 5′ 2″ overweight – 185 today, 59 year old female who also has PCOS. I am taking 1 Lisnopril (20mg) and 2 (500 mg) Metformin a day. My BP is usually below 120/75. (more often it is 100/70)

    I have been drinking water like this for awhile, but began to be concerned because I always seem thirsty.

    Also I was up sick all night last night and only had a few hours sleep. Painful gas and Diarrhea. I had increased my Magnesium a bit too much I think, then had spinach for dinner too! I will cut back to the recommended amount today and only at the evening meal. My FBG was up to 125 I think due to being sick and not sleeping much.

    FYI to Eveyone: My BG dropped like a rock once I started the near carb free diet (only protein and low GI veg, and a small amount of fat) and my DP (Dawn Phenomenon) seems to have resolved due to the low carbs. I am also staying on 1200 calories or less a day for a little while till I knock of a few pounds.

    I will be watching for you answer.

    Respectfully,

    Mary

    PS:
    My Diet numbers
    Height 5′2″

    Actual starting (last week) weight 190
    20 carbs a day: total loss

    08/29 189.2 -0.8
    08/30 188.6 -0.6 -1.4
    09/02 188.8 +.02 -1.2

    Near Zero carbs total loss

    09/3 186.8 -2.0 -3.2
    09/05 185.0 – 1.8 -4.2

    That’s a lot for 1 week, for me it is a miracle! Notice the real weight began to fall off AFTER I went near carb.

    This is basically Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Diet (only I was afraid not to also count calories which he does not have you do. ) You can read a bit of it for free online. I sure recommend everyone try it for a couple of days and see what happens!

  • 39 Mary // Sep 5, 2010 at 5:44 am

    oops I meant to say near carb free

  • 40 Mary // Sep 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    ok I am running a fever (100.5) so I must have a little infection.

    I had food poisoning about 30 years ago but this is not nearly as bad as that. I am proceeding on the theory that I have some mild form of food poisoning (probably from yesterday’s seafood, which was sardines) . If that is the case it is probably as well I drank so much water yesterday.

    I ate chicken noodle soup for lunch (only ate 1/2 the noodles, which made it 9 carbs)

    This puts me off the diet but I really couldn’t think of any other liquid food that is not either milk based or sugar based. If anyone has a suggestion I would appreciate any input. I also made a carmative tea to help handle the gas. (strong green tea, a lot of ginger and some cinnamon, mixed with sugar free apple drink powder and sugar free raspberry powder then filtered water to make 1/2 gallon). I am drinking this hot like coffee and staying under the covers with microwaved rice bags to keep heat on the back and front of the abdomen.

    This has removed most of the discomfort and allowed some of the trapped gas to expel. At least I know now why my BG was higher.

  • 41 Gerry // Sep 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Mary I congratulate you on your hard work. With regard to your thirst. I too went through that and then discovered 2 reasons for it.

    1. The water protects your kidneys and thins out the rest of the bodily fluids so that it is easier for the body to throw off toxins that cause diabetes. It is like eating a spoonful of sugar without anything or putting it in 4 gallons of water. The water will dilute it down enough that your body can handle it, plus by adding the water, you are buying your body time to process the sugar out of the water.

    2. I have found that by over drinking water it causes even more problems. For me it causes what I call “water sickness”. I feel like I am going to vomit, my stomach hurts and I am miserable. However, if you add something to the water, it curbs the water sickness, so add tea, pour-in’s, lemon, etc to change the composition of the water and that will give your body time to use the water and not become water logged.

    The rest of the problem of drinking too much water has to do with your water soluable (misspelled) B vitamins. We diabetics are already low on all the B vitamins without washing what little we have, out the door with too much water. So I take a “balanced B 50 vitamin complex”, that has to include inositol and choline or it isn’t worth the powder to blow it up.

    Part of what you experience is the fact that your body is reacting to the quick loss of the B vitamins, another part is the rapid detoxing of your body because you are drinking a lot of water and doing the no carb diet. I would suggest you take things more slowly and give your body a chance to catch up to your activities. Unless you are a child, your body is older than a child’s and so has lost some of it’s ability to respond quickly to change. That is why we are advised to not lose weight quickly and become adjusted to the new behavior modification, the body needs time to adjust and so does the mind.

    Hope this has helped you. Gerry

  • 42 Gerry // Sep 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Mary I have discovered that with the onset of diabetes, I also got a lot of gas. I have discovered that 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per day gets rid of the gas and the GOUT problems. I mix the baking soda with a small amount of water and chuck it down and then drink enough water to wash the taste out of my mouth. This will not only get rid of the gas but it may also get rid of a lot of the aches and pains found throughout your body.

    We eat a high acid diet and it is my theory that those acids behave a lot like gout acid does, it gets in your muscles and forms slivers of crystals that cause aches and pains. The baking soda neutralizes the acid throughout your body, not just in your stomach or gut and you feel a measure of relief for a few days, sometimes for weeks. It is important for us to keep all of our “filters” open and clean. This means not only kidneys and blood, but also your gut and muscles and skin. If we are doing our job correctly we are “squeeky clean” inside and out! :+) Gerry

  • 43 Mary // Sep 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    thanks Gerry, however I am running a fever so this is an infection. I am feeling a little better right now and I think this is a mild form of food poisoning. If I am not better in 2 days I will take it to the doctor.

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 44 David Mendosa // Sep 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Dear Mary,

    I hesitate to say whether that is too much or not, mainly because too much water is dangerous too. But it’s only a little above what a lot of people drink.

    David

  • 45 Mary // Sep 6, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Dear David,

    Thank you, this makes me feel better. I will just drink what comes naturally then and not worry about it.

    My guts are still tender this morning. I still seem to have a little gas and I am still running a little fever of 99.5 (my normal temp is 97.6 subnormal is normal for me). Anyway, point is I am getting better and think I will not have to go to the Doctor.

    Respectfully,

    Mary

  • 46 Mary // Sep 6, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Good Morning Sunshine!

    Hi David and other folk,

    Today I had my first official Monday Morning Weigh-in. It is not an actual full week but I prefer Monday mornings, for physiological reasons, than any other day of the week for weigh-ins.

    I think, for me, it is easier to have a weekly weigh-in rather than a daily one because my weight fluctuates a lot from day to day. If I weigh one thing one day, stay on my diet and the next day I show a 2 pound gain I get discouraged and get that “why bother” attitude. This is why weighing once a week is better for me. (or at least counting it only once a week, as it is difficult not peeking at the scales during the week.)

    At this point I seem to be averaging a very large loss per day, but it is actually the first week of the near carb free diet and I know any diet the first week shows a lot of water loss.

    I don’t think this is likely to continue and I know I will have to be careful not to run my metabolism down. Soon I will up my calories to 1200 minimum rather than 1000 plus 200, if I want the extra 200. The reason I pick the 1200 calories a day as a minimum number, is that it is the lowest number of calories that will not run down your metabolism, or so I have always been told.

    I started on a little less calories because I felt the need for a fast jump start on the weight loss. Low calorie is pretty easy to do on only low GI veg and protein diet because you have zero hunger with this diet. I actually should say zero appetite as you do get hungry if you should be hungry!

    It is as if I was taking appetite suppressants, which in a way I guess I am because part of the nature of this diet is you have no appetite. It is the starches and sugars that send the appetite out like a roaring lion and I am not eating any starches or sugars so I am having no appetite problems!

    I checked my scales (which have a record function on them) and they say my starting weight was 190.8 on 07/06/10 not 190. But I will note that my actual weight was also 189 only 5 days ago, so in almost 2 months of regular diabetic dieting I had lost about 1 pound! In 5 days on the near carb free diet I have lost 5 pounds.

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 47 Mary // Sep 6, 2010 at 3:19 am

    oops I forgot to include my weigh-in!

    Starting Weight 190.8 total loss
    09/06 184.8 -6 pounds

  • 48 Mary // Sep 9, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Good Morning Sunshine!

    Hi David and other folks,

    I went to the Doctor’s yesterday and peed in a cup for him and got my blood drawn too for my standard series of blood tests (every month or if I have no insurance he will let me go every 3 months) Anyway, I was correct that it was a UTI and he Rxed me Bactrim (a sulfa + antibotic drug) This Bactrim usually knocks it out pretty fast.

    I have been eating the very low carb diet as Dr. Bernstein recommends and, even being sick, I feel better than I have in a long time! Someone at the doctor’s office actually asked me where I got “all that energy”. I also wanted to test my meter so I did a finger stick literally a second after the nurse drew my blood for lab work. My FBG was 97 and that was with an infection!

    This VLCD (very low carb diet) is working wonders for me! A large portion of this book can be read online for free:

    http://diabetes-book.com/

    I highly recommend it to anyone reading this who is Diabetic. Not only am I losing weight where I couldn’t lose weight before, but I feel GRRRRREAT!

    Thank you David for introducing me to Dr. Bernstein’s book! I truly believe it is saving my life.

    Life is more than how many years, but also how much life is in those years. I feel as if I have more life in me now than I have had in years and tons of energy. My mind is clearer than it has been in a long time too, as is my memory.

    I will not be writing in here as much because I am now also using the Diabetes Forum to Journal. I do believe “Journaling” helps. But I will be checking in every week in here, just not daily anymore. Unless a subject pops up in my email that is. So if anyone responds to this entry I will get a message in my email and come “running”!

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 49 Mary // Sep 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Hi David and other folks!

    Just touching base today was weigh in day for me and I showed a 2 pound loss (hurray!) This was in the midst of a week of being sick!

    I still have the UTI and the Dr. changed me to Cipro today, I have to go back on Friday. so, I went on Wednesday and he drew blood and did a dip stick test for the UTI, he came back and said ” you have a UTI! ” well duh! Anyone who has had one of those just simply does not mistake them the next time they get one! So He wrote me a Rx for Bactrim and said come back on Friday for your Lab results. So I went back on Friday and told him I thought I was doing worse and the Bactrim was not helping and I asked to change to Cipro. He said ok, pee in this cup! so he did the dip stick again and said “let’s give it till Monday” and we don’t have your Lab results back yet so you need to come back on Monday. So today, still no lab results except a bad a1c test and I noticed the dates showed that blood sat around for 2 days before they tried to do any tests and then they were unable to test it except for the A1C! (6.9 a1c, if I can trust it) Anyway, I asked the Dr. where are the other tests? and he said they couldn’t do them. I said why? and he said I don’t know… I think I do, this happened once before. The Dr. let the blood sit around till it went bad, then gave it to the lab. He said come back on Friday and we would draw some more blood and resubmit it. I said as long as I don’t have to pay twice that will be ok. Of course, it is not really ok. That means another fasting day (which messes with me) and at least 2 more doctors visits! (one to draw the blood and one to get the results, IF they have them)

    Now on the good side, my BG has been much better now that I am following Dr. Bernstein’s Very Low Carb Diet. (WOE) I still have to buy the book! But now I know I will because, even if I lost no weight, I am feeling so much better and my BGs, though not normal, if I was not sick would be normal I think. They are staying in the 90s, and that with an infection. So anyone looking to get healthy or lose weight really ought to check Dr. Richard Bernstein’s diet.

  • 50 Gerry // Sep 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Mary I am glad to see you are hanging tough even though you are going through so much. I once belonged to a group that had a unique saying. It went like this, “you are going through a healing crisis”. A WHAT???

    Apparently when you start doing something good for your body, it first has to throw off the bad and that sometimes turns into a crisis of health. Mostly minor but sometimes major. Once the body gets through this, it is much better than before you started the good behavior. So if you don’t quit during the healing crisis, you end better than you were before it. So hang in there, oh woman of great courage!

    Hugs, Gerry

  • 51 Mary // Sep 16, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks I really am having a tough time with this UTI that is for sure!

    The antibiotics are not doing the job and I am now taking both Bactrim and Cipro. (maybe the bugs got used to the Bactrim because I was getting worse and worse on it) anyway, this is day 2 of the Cipro and I am starting to feel better.

    I sure needed the word of encouragement though cause it really does feel like a crisis.

    I go back to the doctor tomorrow and get blood drawn (he kept the other specimen until it was useless then told me the lab couldn’t do the tests!) When I was there last Wednesday I asked him to draw it and redo the tests they were not able to do but he wanted to wait till today when the UTI is finished to draw the blood. He will do a dip stick in the pee test tomorrow because he has an excuse for one thing and he gets a lot of money for that test from my insurance (hurray I have insurance this month!) and when he sees I still have the infection I do not know if he will draw the blood then or not. I do think I am almost well now though and I have not given up the vlc way of eating either. My BGs even with this infection have been staying around 100 or less. Yesterday I took it just before lunch and it was 82, so this very low carb diet is really working for my diabetes (and also weight loss.) This morning I was down to 181.6 which is another 1.2 since Monday.

    Hugs,

    Mary

  • 52 Mary // Sep 18, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Hi David and other folks,

    Well I had to go back to the doctor again to get the blood drawn again (that last test was allowed to sit around until the blood degraded) anyway, he wanted to check the UTI so after the pee test he said I was making progress but still have the infection and he would not draw my blood until the infection is gone. I have to go back in 1 week (next Friday) fasting again. That was like the 3rd time fasting for this one test and still don’t have the tests done! Next Friday will be 4 days and it sure messes me up on those fasting days!

    I got a scare this morning when I did my FBG. it said 201! then I realized I was looking at my meter upside down… LOL my FBG was 102 (and that is with an infection) so this Dr. Bernstein diabetic solution way of eating is really working well. 181.4 on the scale this morning which makes a total loss of 9.4 in less than 3 weeks. My “official weigh-in” is not until Monday. Anyway, I was just touching base with y’all and wonder how everyone is doing

    David are you still walking/standing in front of you desk? How is the water before eating working?

    Gerry how is your portion control “plate method” working?

    God Bless y’all,

    Mary

  • 53 Gerry // Sep 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Mary My portion control is no going for so well, but everyday I keep working at it. We have had a lot of illness in our home, all 3 adult children have been sick, so I have been the “glue”. 2 with serious dental problems (infections, etc) and the 3rd with kidney infection. So for me, eating is something I do in my spare time. However, when I do eat, I try to keep the portions low, but because of all the upset my BG has risen quite a bit.

    Good news, I go in to have my feed measured by Kaiser for a pair of diabetic shoes and orthotics. Doctor o.k.’ed it and wrote a prescription. Medicare and Kaiser picks up the tab and I only pay 20% of their price. They make the shoes right there. I am allergic to nylon and the tongue of most tennies are made of nylon. This makes my feet break out, and then I have to take Benedryl and I suspect none of this helps my leg problems at all. So new shoes, here I come. I need them before winter because I am allergic to the cold, this causes my feet and leg muscles to spaz if they get cold. And of course, it all begins with the feet.

    Kudos Mary! Regarding your weight loss. You deserve it, you have worked very hard, in spite of the turmoil with your health. I know what you mean about the upsettedness of fasting days. I hate it. My doctors have finally realized that they were having me fast several times every quarter, so now they synch their blood tests so that I only have to fast once per quarter. Thank God.

    Have to go now, but congrats on your weight loss, I am proud of you. Gerry

  • 54 David Mendosa // Sep 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Dear Mary,

    I am indeed walking as well as hiking almost every day. The chance to get out in nature to take pictures is what motivates me to get out. I want to give some motivation to other people too, so that’s why I write my photo essays on my other blog, “Fitness and Photography for Fun” at http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog

    As I write this message as well as most of my other writing nowadays I am standing at my stand-up desk. I am actually using that new desk a lot more than I thought that I would when I got it a few weeks ago. I did keep my old regular desk that I got more than 40 years ago. On Monday I will be getting it refinished, and being without it for a few days won’t be any problem because of my stand-up desk.

    The water before meals is also working well for me. I usually drink about a quart of water before lunch and dinner. Sometimes I make lemonaide with TrueLemon and stevia. Sometimes I just have sparkling water that I make with a home carbonation gadget that I got from SodaStream. And it’s working. I am now back down to 161 pounds toward my goal of 156 at which point I will have LOST 156 pounds — half of my body — from where I was when I started on Feb. 6, 2006.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 55 April // Oct 15, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I just stumbled onto this website today – I had
    Googled some keywords that brought me here – and what an astounding amount of up to date information. This is an incredible resource.

    I’m terrified of amputation, and was looking for that info as well. I just bought the recommended book at Amazon online. Thank you for that. I am actually losing a pound or so each month by doing nothing at all, but nevertheless, my upper arms look terrible, huge and flabby and my upper abdomen is distended. I am getting rounder and rounder even when losing a little. It seems to be a re-distribution of fat although my weight is stable.

    Weight loss was the topic of this thread so I thought I’d pop in. I have steroid induced diabetes treated as T2. I was given insulin right from the start because I was told Metformin was too hard on the liver. I was just on the edge of full blown diabetes with an A1C of around 6.o and felt I could have managed better without it. I think insulin packs the fat on or shifts it around.

    I can’t stay on a low carb diet as Dr. Bernstein advocates. I get nauseous and weak. I’m good for about a month then have to eat some carb. And I’m not a fan of dietary fat and too much protein will damage my kidneys which are already compromised from medication. So I’m eating a balanced diet as advised by my nutritionist – just a lot less of it. It’s also gluten free – maybe that’s why I’m losing a little.

    Up until about 1960 or so, people at less and weren’t at the gym and diabetes was not the epidemic it is today. Women did housework vigorously and made meals from scratch which is a lot of fat burning activity. And they stayed fairly slim. I think the problem is not how we’re eating now, but what we’re eating. The connection between bariatric surgery and curing diabetes is also interesting. Why can’t researchers find out why that is and pass it along.

    For the first time in my life my feet get a little cold at night. It is such a change. How do others deal with this – it means circulation is poor, doesn’t it? How do we get that back to normal?

    I’m ten years in and diabetes is the curse of my life – I can look forward to amputation, Alzheimer’s, or the most frightening of all – stroke.

    I tried the raw diet and felt wonderful initially – but again, it was unrealistic for me. So I’m back to portion control.

    My sleep/wake pattern has been reversed for about thirty years melatonin notwithstanding and I wonder if any one of you experience this. It’s called delayed sleep disorder. Nothing sorts it and I feel better when on that schedule anyway than walking around as a Zombie in the daytime. So I’ve always had evening jobs. And yes I’ve tried light therapy.

    I can see I’ve got a lot of reading to do on this site, as well as the recommended books, some of which I probably have.

    I forget to take my insulin a lot until after the meal and sometimes forget entirely, so I’m not doing myself any favours there either. However, my meter stays with me and I test often. My BG is much lower than it was.

    Someone mentioned frozen shoulder. My right shoulder is getting still and painful. I have osteoporosis and am having breaks now so can’t see a chiropractor. He wouldn’t treat me anyway with my spine in this shape.

    I can’t sleep without anxiety and sometimes panic thinking of what horrors lie ahead. It’s awful.

    Well, I’ve been babbling on too long and I just want to thank David for putting this amazing resource together. I’ve signed up for the reports as well.

  • 56 April // Oct 15, 2013 at 2:32 am

    One more thing – what’s the ‘easy’ way to lose weight as given in the thread title?

  • 57 David Mendosa // Oct 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Dear April,

    Good point! I sure wasn’t clear about that! I still do think, however, that a very low-carb diet is the easiest way. It certainly works for me and is certainly is the safest.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 58 David Mendosa // Oct 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Dear April,

    Glad I can help, April!

    One more thing: you mention that you can’t stay on a very low-carb diet. That is a pretty common problem at first. Perhaps this article of mine will help:

    http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=314

    Namaste,

    David

  • 59 April // Oct 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you for responding to me David; I don’t eat meat so I’m not sure how low carbing would work. My main source of protein is dairy, yoghurt and cottage cheese and also legumes. All these are forbidden on low carb diets, which are supposed to be excellent for Diabetes. I don’t mind fish all that much, but the waters are polluted so much I’m afraid to eat it. but the paleo might be ok. I did read your article which explains the awful feelings beginning low carbers get. Makes sense. Thank you again for this fabulous site

  • 60 David Mendosa // Oct 16, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Dear April,

    Who says you can’t eat dairy on a very low-carb diet! That’s the way I have managed my diabetes since 2007 and I eat a lot of dairy, particularly yogurt. Also cheese when my weight gets low enough. I eat very little meat, but I do eat a lot of fish. I even know some vegetarians who successfully follow a very low-carb diet.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 61 April // Oct 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Well, Dr Bernstein for one; Atkins also although he allows cream and butter which are almost pure fat.

    So..I’ve got osteoporosis… I was told to drink milk and eat dairy in far higher amounts than these allow. So, you’re saying adapt these and include my four servings of milk? That I could probably do.

  • 62 April // Oct 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Oh, and as far as I know, neither of these VLCDs allow legumes. Maybe I’m wrong about that though.

  • 63 April // Oct 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I looked up Atkins again (I never got past the induction phase) and see that later on he allows some dairy such as cottage cheese – so that’s good to know. TY for the info David. with legumes and dairy, I can manage that nicely.

  • 64 David Mendosa // Oct 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Dear April,

    Yes, Dr. Atkins was a great guide to the low-carb lifestyle, although his advice wasn’t tailored specifically to those of us who have diabetes. Nowadays, I find Dr. Richard K. Bernstein to speak more directly to us, particularly in his book Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 65 David Mendosa // Oct 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Dear April,

    Yes, you’re right. But consider the reason why we should avoid the carbs in legumes. It is of course to keep our blood glucose level as level as possible. So, then, now consider chana dal (see http://www.mendosa.com/chanadal.html ). All studies of it show that it has almost no effect on our blood glucose level. If it doesn’t change your level, which you can determine by checking it both before and 2 hours after you eat, doesn’t it seem logical that you can eat it?

  • 66 April // Oct 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    You know,

    I actually have some of that in my shelf – I bought it to make split pea soup and never used it again. It looks just like that, but the label is gone so I don’t know for sure, but I can always test it on myself. You are a veritable source of knowledge and advice and I’m so glad I found this website. I live near an Asian food store so will get more. This low carb diet is seeming more possible now. I also live near my neighbour’s grass fed cows, which I see munching from my kitchen window, and make my own yoghurt. There’s no comparison.

  • 67 David Mendosa // Oct 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Dear April,

    For me to talk about osteoporosis would be a stretch. But I do know that many doctors recommend higher levels of calcium for it, and therefore milk (and other dairy products that also are high in calcium). But I have a suspicion that this is not the whole story. You might want to look into the relative amounts of calcium and of magnesium in your diet. Some people who I think are more up to date in their knowledge of the research think that magnesium, and especially this ratio to calcium, is more important.

    Anyway, neither cream nor butter have ANY carbs, so they are great choices for a very low-carb diet. Actually, instead of butter, I use ghee (clarified butter), because I like the taste (some people don’t!) and it has a much higher smoke point than butter. Also avoids going rancid for a much longer time. On the other hand, milk has quite a few carbs. Yogurt actually has fewer carbs than on the nutrition labels, as I have written in one or two of my articles. Cottage cheese does have more than a small amount of carbs, but almost all hard cheese are carb-free.

    Namaste,

    David