Five “Meals” a day.

Early on in my diabetes journey I discovered a rather pleasant ‘side’ effect of my disease. I did a better job of managing my diabetes if I ate more frequently during the day. My fantasy finally comes true, I get to eat more often! Yesssssssss. However, this came with a very strong qualifier, although I ate more frequently, I have to be careful of the amount of calories I take in during the day.  (pssshhhhhhh, the sound of the air out of my balloon)

One of my greatest joys in life is eating. I love food, I set my day between meals and love to think about what I am going to eat each day. I am also one who does not like to substitute sweet things for substitute sugar sweet things that taste like a plastic toy. I love the flavors food has to offer. What I didn’t like was the spikes in blood sugars that happened when I would indulge in the things I love.

As the frequency increased I had to find ways to manage my calories. I was less concerned about what calories, even though this is important, but the amounts. I discovered by a series of victories and failures that I should eat around 2300 calories a day to maintain my weight. If I want to lose weight, as I am now doing, I have cut my calorie intake to around 2100 calories a day, being careful to include a lot of carbs and protein in each meal. This amount of calories keeps me from gnawing on my arm between feedings….erm I mean meals, and I lose about a half a pound a week.

I began to experiment with how many calories per ‘meal’ I was to eat to not be overly hungry and not create a deficit in which I was gorging myself at the end of the day…which is not always a bad thing in my mind. I found between 450-490 calories for breakfast worked well until about 10am, then I will have a 200 calorie snack which carries me to noon. My lunch is about 440-480 calories. By mid afternoon, around 2:30 or 3:00 I have another 200 calorie snack. By dinner I have consumed 1290-1340 calories, which leaves about 660-710 calories for dinner. I am aware there is a lot of talk about lunch or breakfast being your biggest meal, but for me I will go without eating the longest at dinner time so it makes sense for me to do a calorie load up. I adjust my calories depending upon what I am doing at that particular time of day. Everything is flexible. I also make it a goal to put in at least 10,000 steps a day. I am fortunate to have a Starbucks about a mile from my house. Coffee is a great motivator for me to walk.  Walking those two miles gets me half of my daily steps and I have rewarded myself for the walk! For me it is crucial to keep a stream of calories coming in so I do not feel overly hungry. When I am overly hungry I always make bad choices with the foods I eat.

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