This is the first Ask Me Anything here on TheFitBlog and I am really excited about it! I get so many great questions all the time that I want to share with all of you, and I think this is the best way to do it. If the feedback on this first post is good, I will try to make it a monthly thing.
You guys had so many questions this time that I couldn’t fit all of them into one post. I will answer all the questions that I didn’t include in this post tomorrow (see post 2 here).
Let’s get started!
How would you do a meal bolus if you were going to walk on a treadmill after dinner at a brisk pace? About 3.5 miles.
Walking always makes my blood sugar drop like crazy, so I usually reduce my mealtime insulin quite drastically. For me, any walk longer than 40 min. requires a bolus reduction in the 50-75% range. If my walk is only 20-30 min or less, I won’t make any adjustments up front but keep a close watch on my sugars while I walk.
You will have to find out the right reduction for you through trial and error. I suggest starting with a lower reduction (~25%) and see how that works (aka testing before, during, and after to see how your levels are). If that’s not enough, reduce your bolus a little more the next time.
Any great exercises for the butt that don’t require squats? They seem to bother my knees.
A great exercise for the glutes that shouldn’t hurt your knees is the inappropriately named “Butt Blaster” machine. You can see a video of the exercise here.
Another great exercise is cable kickbacks. I do these a lot to finish a leg workout and really hit my glutes. You can see how in the last part of the video for my Killer Leg Workout.
Finally, hip thrusts are always a good option and easier to do with limited equipment.
What do you do at bedtime if your blood sugar is a little lower than you are comfortable with for bedtime and you have to take your nighttime insulin? I hate having to eat that late.
I always take my nighttime basal regardless of my blood sugar levels. However, I will reduce it slightly if my activities and food for the day warrant it. I don’t mind eating a little in the evening, but I agree that “feeding your insulin” benefits nothing. My go-to evening snack if my sugars are borderline too low for bed is a rice cake (~7 g of carbs). That’s usually enough for me.
If the worst should happen and you do go low at night, I have also written a post about how to treat low blood sugar at night.
Do you figure out your own formulas for glucose to food, or do you rely on your doctor?
I’m 100% self-managed, meaning I figure all my ratios out myself. I found that the method to finding my carb ratios (plural since they might differ throughout the day) is threefold:
- Carb counting
- Blood sugar testing before a meal and 90 min after
Carb ratios (+ correction ratios) can change, so I go through the three steps on a regular basis. For example, when finding my breakfast carb ratio I’ll eat the same thing 2-3 days in a row and be very careful when measuring out my carbs (a kitchen scale is an essential tool for everyone with diabetes).
I’ll measure my sugars before and again 90-120 min after my meal. If my sugars are back down to the level they were before breakfast, I’ve taken the right amount of insulin. If not, then I have to adjust.
To give you an example of how much carb ratios can change, my morning carb ratio right after my June vacation was 5.6 (meaning I needed 1 unit insulin per 5.6 g carbs). Now that I’m back to my daily routine of eating healthier and consistently working out it’s 10 (so 1 unit now covers 10 g of carbs).
What is best, exercise in the morning or in the afternoon/ evening?
Your glycogen reserves are already mostly empty in the morning, making it an ideal time for fat burning. However, since you don’t have as much energy in the body as later in the day, lifting heavy weights can be difficult and the risk of injury higher. That’s why I always recommend cardio in the morning (fasted if possible) and resistance training in the afternoon/evening.
If you work out before you eat breakfast, you also have less active insulin in your body, making it easier to manage your blood sugar during cardio.
All that being said, the most important thing is to work out when you feel like you have the time and energy. The time of day is less important than if you have a great workout or not.
I would love more ideas for low glycemic foods, as my son was recently diagnosed with Type 1, in order to reduce the amount of insulin and help stabilize blood sugars. I have started reading your blog and it is so helpful. Thank you!
Thank you 😀 . The best place to start is with my post about My Favorite Healthy Carbohydrates. That will give you some good background info on low-glycemic carbs and suggestions for recipes. After that, take a look at the recipe index. All of the recipe here on TheFitBlog are diabetes friendly, so there should be enough to choose from.
Is it better to eat 3 bigger meals a day or 5 little ones?
It depends (don’t you just love that answer?). Personally, I find that it’s easier to keep my blood sugars stable when eating smaller meals. I find it’s simply easier to dose for smaller portions of carbs than big ones. However, if you find that you aren’t satisfied eating smaller meals, you might want to consider 3 larger meals instead. Regardless, I suggest you focus on low glycemic carbs and lean protein in all meals plus some good healthy fats in a few meals as well (to calculate how many calories you need, read this post and then check out this post to learn more about macronutrients ).
As long as you make sure to eat some protein and carbs around your workouts, there is no number of meals that’s better than another, so do what feels best for you
Where do you find the place to put you CGM so it doesn’t get in the way? I work out every day and wear a pump. Having two sites to manage is not easy.
I hear ya! I don’t have a whole lot of available real-estate either, and when doing proper site rotation, it can be tricky to find good spots. I don’t currently wear my CGM but when I do, I usually place it on my upper thigh and use my abdominals for insulin injections. I have never used a pump, so I haven’t had to manage two sites at once.
I follow you on Facebook. Why do I never see any posts from you?
Because Facebook is like that. On average, Facebook will only show our posts to less than 10% of the people who have liked TheFitBlog.
If you want to always see posts from TheFitBlog, turn on “see first” for our posts. That will make them always appear in your newsfeed (we only post 1-2 times per day so you won’t be spammed with posts)
That was all the questions I had time to answer for this first Ask Me Anything (you can read the second part here).
Please let me know what you think about this post format and if it’s something you would like to see every month. I would love to do it but only if you guys find it interesting and useful.