Diabetes Blog Week: May 16: Diabetes Life Hack

Our Friday #DBlogWeek topic is one I find really fun – Diabetes Life Hacks.  Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes, everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel ofProbably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.) 

As a non-insulin injecting type 2 diabetic, I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of tricks to share since my diabetes management is not all that complicated. Whatever few tricks I have, I hope some of you find them useful.

Exercise plays a major role in my diabetes management. Those who have read some of my posts will know that exercise plays a major role not just in my diabetes management but in my life and sanity in general. By running and keeping myself fit, I keep a lid on diabetes. Even then, I need motivation to peel myself off the couch. My tricks in this regard can be found in this post about motivating myself to run.

In addition, I have found the following to be valuable in dealing with diabetes:

1.         I wear skinny jeans and fitted clothes. I find this to be very effective in resisting high carb foods which are almost always also high in calories. It’s also effective in keeping me moving.

2.        I treat myself to 75% chocolate, usually after dinner. Knowing that I can have a treat that doesn’t raise my BG makes it easier to resist high carb foods.

3.        I share dessert with someone, usually my husband. I can have a treat while being kind to my BG and without overeating. Plus, sharing the fun does not halve it, but doubles it. 

4.        I get smart at all-you-can-eat occasions and parties. Buffet plateI use small plates. I look at all the dishes first, then decide which ones I cannot live without. I do not stack food on my plate so that if I want to eat more, then I have to go back to the buffet table. I eat slowly and talk to my dining companion.

5.        I use chopsticks. Regardless of my late grandfather’s claims that he ate faster with chopsticks than with a spoon and a fork, chopsticks slow me down, which gives my brain time to hear my stomach shouting “I’m full, I’m full.”

6.        I have hot soup before eating anything else. Hot soups quickly satisfy my grumbling stomach so I don’t have to stuff myself.

7.        I move for 10 minutes. When I do not feel like exercising, I get myself to walk or dance for 10 minutes. Only 10 minutes, nothing more. If I’m really tired, then I stop after 10 minutes. But most of the time, 10 minutes is all it takes to get my body moving and the next thing I know an hour has gone by.   

8.        I keep myself busy. To rehash an old proverb, idle time is diabetes’ playground. The more time I have on my hand, the more time I have to think of diabetes complications, wallow in self-pity, get rid of boredom by eating (of course I’ll still be bored, except with higher BG) and contemplate all sorts of conspiracy theories against diabetics –  all in all not very good use of my time. I’m better off keeping my mind off diabetes by doing something productive.

9.        I use the alarm in my watch and phone. I sometimes forget to take metformin or to do a post-meal BG test, especially when I’m preoccupied with something. But the beep beep beep of my watch and phone alarm systems remind me of what I need to do. 

10.      I use VESPA. It’s a sports supplement which has done wonders for my long runs. I give credit to VESPA for enabling me to complete my most recent half-marathon without cramping. It is also kind to my BG because it’s not high carb.

What else? Right now, I can’t think of anything more to add to the list. I can’t believe I even had 10 tips to share. I’m sure the list will expand as I read the tips from other diabetic bloggers.


7 thoughts on “Diabetes Blog Week: May 16: Diabetes Life Hack

  1. Karen

    I love these tips and am definitely going to start borrowing some of them!! The skinny jeans, the soup, the sharing a dessert, the move for 10 minutes – I’m Type 1 but these are all so relevant and useful to me. Thank you for adding some more great hacks to my diabetes life!!

    1. runningwithoutsugar Post author

      Hi. Although my grandfather encouraged me to use chopsticks since I was a child, it’s only much later that I figured out how using chopsticks not only slows me down but helps me appreciate what I’m eating (maybe because I don’t finish my meal in minutes).


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