Your diabetes management and money management may have more in common than you think!
Are your money habits and food habits similar?
Today I am reviewing my budget for Christmas spending. Just like Thanksgiving dinner it’s too easy to go overboard when everything in front of you looks so tempting! And I am really good at justifying extra eating or extra spending if I want to.
Ever had this conversation in your head or with others? “It’s just one day. I can indulge this one day right? Or . . . It’s been a stressful year. I deserve to treat myself and buy this and it’s such a great deal, how can we pass it up?”
Do we really think the opportunity for great food or a great deal will never come around again?
I am as guilty as you, but thankfully I have gotten wiser over the years. And I have realized that managing your carb portion is a lot like managing money.
What do diabetes management and money management have in common?
Spending & saving habits are very similar. If you are budgeting well you have a certain amount of money to spend each month. Likewise you can budget yourself a certain amount of carbs to have each day.
Results of bad habits
The consequence of spending too much is you end up broke, maybe unable to pay necessary bills, or worse you end up in debt. That tends to affect other parts of our life like our relationships or even our health. Similarly, when we eat too much the result can be higher blood sugars, weight gain and ultimately serious health problems that affect other parts of our life.
Results of good habits
On the other hand, if you stay on budget with your money you end up with financial success, less stress in your life, and money to pay your bills. spending & saving habits are very similar. If you are budgeting well you have a certain amount of money to spend each month. Likewise you can budget yourself a certain amount of carbs to have each day.
Staying on track with carb portions means better blood sugars, weight control and less chance of the many health problems that uncontrolled diabetes can bring.
Expert advice will get you on the right track
I am not a financial planning expert but my go to reference is Dave Ramsey’s advice. I CAN however give you expert advice on how to set up a successful food plan for preventing or reversing type 2 diabetes. You need a plan for financial success just like you need a plan for diabetes management success. Here are a few approaches to get you started.
3 Approaches to successful carb budgeting
- Carb budgeting by counting carb servings or grams and setting a daily budget for yourself. For women that might be 150-200 grams and for men 180-225 grams carbohydrate per day.
- Using a plate portioning method by keeping a quarter of your plate as starch, filling half your plate with non-starchy veggies and keeping the remaining quarter of your plate protein/meat.
- Keeping certain starch foods to limits such as 1 bread, 1 cup potatoes/rice/pasta/cereal/casserole/stew etc.
You can start with any of these or other options. There are so many approaches to setting up a plan that works for you but the important thing is to start with some sort of plan and tweak it as you go.
Bottom line if you want to have success with diabetes management: Have a PLAN and work the plan! It will be a work in progress but will get easier over time.
The one way your carb food plan is NOT like managing money.
Unlike saving up your money for later you can’t save up your carbs for binging later. Your body doesn’t know you are saving up for a big meal later. If you go all day without eating it may reserve energy and lower metabolism to keep you from starving. Plus that tends to backfire because you get so hungry you eat way too much. Your body has to respond and process each meal individually. Each time we eat our body has to have the right amount of insulin ready right away. In other words, skipping breakfast and lunch and eating a big dinner and then snacking all evening is NOT going to help blood sugars or weight.
So here is a reverse diabetes challenge for you: This week try one of the 3 carb budgeting methods and see how it works for you.