How Do I Keep My Blood Glucose Down and My Weight Steady?
I have lost enough weight but continue to keep losing. What can I eat that won't make my blood glucose go higher but will help me maintain my weight? Joanne Flesher, Baltimore, Maryland
Madelyn L. Wheeler, MS, RD, CDE, FADA, CD, responds: Congratulations on your weight-loss accomplishments! Your first step should be to have a meeting with your dietitian and other members of your diabetes team to adjust your meal plan, and perhaps your diabetes medications, while keeping up your level of physical activity.
Maintaining your weight after losing pounds will generally involve two steps: modestly increasing your caloric intake, and establishing which foods you can choose from in adding those calories. This will depend on what diabetes and other medications you take, how many calories you consume daily, your meal pattern, your exercise plan, and more.
In general, if you are losing about 1 pound every two weeks, and if you are consistent in following your meal plan, recommended calorie intake, and physical activity, then adding 250 calories per day to your meal plan should stabilize your weight.
These calories could come from fish and poultry, lean meats, lower-fat cheeses, nuts, nonstarchy vegetables, and certain carbohydrates, such as whole-grain and high-fiber starches. Do not add the calories in the form of sweets, desserts, caloric beverages, added sugars, or foods that are high in saturated fats. And instead of eating all the additional calories at one meal, divide them evenly among the meals and snacks you currently have throughout the day. You might want to refer to the American Diabetes Association's Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes, which can help you choose food serving sizes and calorie values that are equivalent to the number of calories you're trying to add.
Finally, be sure to keep watching food portion sizes and to continue your exercise program.