Eating To Your Meter – A Fundamental Practice
July 15, 2022 / Education & Advocacy / Nutrition / Beginner / Child / Pregnant women / Type 1 / Type 2

Eating To Your Meter – A Fundamental Practice

9 min read

Whether you are newly diagnosed or beginning to get back on track with managing your diabetes, paying attention to your blood glucose is critical to diabetes control, particularly with regard to your nutrition choices. Enter the concept of Eat To Your Meter. Below we explain how this is done and why it is important.

Eating to your meter is one of the best strategies you can use to successfully manage your blood glucose level. It is the primary tool you have available to you at all times that does not require a prescription or order from your provider, nor does it require insurance coverage or permission. Most retail pharmacies carry their own brand of meter that can be purchased very inexpensively.

The concept of Eating to the Meter entails doing the following:
  • Checking your blood sugar level first thing after waking up, within 15-20 minutes
  • Checking your blood sugar level right before you eat
  • Checking again 2 hours after eating
  • Repeat this for each meal
  • Check again close to bedtime
Why all this checking? Because this will enable you to directly see how your blood glucose (referred to in this book as “BG”) level fluctuates throughout the course of the day as a reaction to your inputs on the 3Ms of health: Mindset, Movement, and Meals. You may now be asking “Well how does my blood sugar number measure those 3Ms? That seems impossible.” The goal with checking your number so frequently is to understand how the food you eat, amount of water consumed, timing of meals and medications, stress level, and amount of physical activity directly affects your ability to have a stable blood glucose level throughout the day and night. Because all of those things directly affect your number.
Specifically with regard to the Meals component of managing diabetes, this eating to the meter strategy will help you determine what foods are on your personal “safe” list, your “I can have this sometimes” list, or your “I should only eat this like once a year” list. In my decades of working with folks who have diabetes, one thing I have learned for sure: if you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen. So taking that knowledge and applying it to your own specific diabetes journey means the following:
  • a food you were told is healthy for you is actually not good for your specific body
  • a food you were told to never eat does not bother you at all and you really enjoy it
  • an ingredient in a processed food your body decided it does not like
  • your hydration status can change within hours and less hydration = higher BG
  • if you aren’t feeling well, your BG could be high or low due to not eating enough
After doing this Eat to the Meter practice for a few weeks, you will really be able to see how your specific pattern works. You will see when you have days where everything goes smoothly, and when you have days where some factors affected your food and beverage choices. Once again, if we don’t measure these things and write them down in a meaningful way, how can we possibly manage this condition well? Doctors and medications are wonderful advances, but really the task to truly manage our diabetes is up to us. Reach out to our team if you have further questions and we will be glad to help you.

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