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Moderators: chrissy1988, sun123

Hi everyone,

My father is a sedentary type 2 diabetic, 44years old, 6' tall, and about 215lbs. He has been trying to diet with me, but keeps sabotaging himself with horrible calorie restriction during the day and huge binges at night. By 6PM, he'll have had only 300calories and when he gets home from work (I work @ the same place), he is STARVING and eats whatever he can find.

He has become pessimistic about his weight loss efforts, telling me that he just doesn't have the willpower. I've been trying to get him to work out with me, but after working 8 or 9 hour days, he finds that he's just too exhausted. My first thought was to have him start eating small 100-200cal snacks every 2 hours, starting with breakfast at 7:30AM. I thought that this would give him more energy and keep him from night-time binging. He seemed allright with the idea short of one thing..

He has no idea what he can eat for a snack at work. He says that fruits are too sugary, breads have too many carbs, and nuts have too much fat. Are there ANY diabetics out there who have good snack ideas? I love my dad a lot and I really want to help him overcome this restrict and binge problem before I leave for college again in August. Thank you for any responses :)

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Your dad really needs to take some advice from qualified professionals such as his doctor or diabetic team.  They are best able to give him specific pointers on suitable foods and eating patterns and also monitor his progress.  Type 2 Diabetes can be significantly improved or even eliminated with weight-control, exercise and the right diet.  He's only 44.... spring chicken!

 'Little and often' is usually recommended as a way to keep blood-sugars stable and the best combination of foods will be something with fibre and protein... an oatcake with peanut butter for example.  He doesn't have to avoid fruit, just eat it in conjunction with other things rather than as a standalone snack.  He needs 'carbs' tell him... but he should choose the high-fibre, unprocessed, 'wholefood' kind as these won't spike his blood-sugar levels.   

If he starves himself all day that's putting him at risk of going into a hypo.  And if he doesn't eat enough in total then he really won't have any energy for living/exercising.  A good breakfast is essential.  Other snack ideas.... a high-fibre, low-sugar muesli/cereal bar, wholegrain crispbreads or toast with something on top, a low-fat yoghurt, nuts and raisins (small amounts), a banana. 

But do put pressure on him to get in touch with the professionals.
I am not diabetic but insulin resistanct so I avoid all sugary foods and eat controlled amounts of natural sugars like fruits and whole grains.  Very true that he should get direction from a physician familiar with his circumstance.

Remind him that there are tons of folks managing their diabetes without punishing themselves with such low and risky calorie restriction plus how its getting him on bad cycle of starving days, binging nights. 

As far as snacks, with his physicians approval I find SF snacks like puddings (many flavors), fudgesicles and popsicles help my sweet tooth.  String cheese and whole grain crackers (triscuits are great and come in flavors) are wonderful too.  Nuts in moderation due to their calories are a nice treat and give him the fats that make him healthier.  The occasional piece of fruit with another item like low fat cheese, crackers or as part of a meal helps with blood sugar reactions. 

Thank you both for your responses...

Another large obstacle is that he's very resistant to go to the doctor. In the past, his reasoning has been "The doctor said to lose weight. If I go back without having lost it, I'm just wasting his time." Trust me, I've tried my hardest to break him out of that thought process, but he won't budge. He started at around 235, so he has had some success (back in Jan-March), but he's just completely fallen off of the wagon. He had himself good enough that he'd only have to take insulin once every 10 days... now its a couple of times a week =(

I really want to find some foods he can't argue with. Everything I suggested this morning was met with "Too much sugar" or "Too many carbs" or "Too much fat". It's horribly frustrating =/

I mentioned peanut butter with celery or something - but he said too much sugar and fat in the PB and celery was bad by itself. 

Keep the ideas coming, anyone who has them.

Found off an old post.....

Sugar free Jello

Sugar free Fat free Jello Pudding make with skim milk

Sugar free popsicles

Sugar free hard candies

Fresh fruit and veggies


#1 1/4 cup cashews.

#2 5 small crackers with penut butter

#3 1 cup full fiber cereal low sugar-Kashi/Kix

#4 This morrocon salad called madbucha-Take tomatoes slice them as well as peppers put hem in pan and just wait for them to cook add 1 tbsp olive oil and perfect middle eastern health snack trust me this whole morrocon food stuff is going out of all holes for me considering my family is morrocon but hye its healthy.

#5 Hummus with pita ohh yummy yum yum

Those were from a post from 2006  :)    Hope there is something he will eat there.     And please remind him that not all fat is bad fat.   You can get reduced fat peanut butter  or the natural one.  And the jello... you can't tell it's sugar free!   And if his Doctor would approve it.... you can still bake treats!  Just use splenda if that is something he and the Dr. were okay with.  

Thanks, guys - I've been working really hard on looking up foods and things he likes to try and find a decent plan for him for a single day that I can ask him to TRY. I think there are a lot of variations that could be done, but this is it so far... I need to give him about another 100cal, but he has given me the restrictions of: Only 75g of carbs per day, and the snack foods before dinner have to be able to be eaten quickly at work and stored in a cubicle.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. 

*EDIT - the formatting on that chart was horrible... I'll try to find a better way to post it.*

*EDIT2 - typed in chart* 

7:30AM Breakfast
2 slices turkey meat (60cal, 2g carb, 2g fat, 0g sugar, 0g fiber, 5g protein)
1 slice carbsmart bread (60cal, 8g carb, 2g fat, 2g sugar, 2g fiber, 4g protein)
9:30AM Snack
2 cups diced low-fat cheddar/colby chz (456cal, 5g carb, 18.4g fat, 1.4g sugar, 0g fiber, 64.2g protein)
11:30AM Lunch
1 Smartones Meal Sals. Steak (200cal, 12g carb, 8g fat, 2g sugar, 3g fiber, 20g protein)
3:30PM Snack
4oz. Starkist Light Chunk Tuna (120cal, 0g carb, 1g fat, 0g sugar, 0g fiber, 26g protein)
1 slice carbsmart bread (60cal, 8g carb, 2g fat, 2g sugar, 2g fiber, 4g protein)
6:30PM Dinner
2 Chicken Breast (300cal, 0g carb, 7g fat, 0g sugar, 0g fiber, 46g protein)
7:00PM Desert
1 Large Peach (61cal, 15g carb, .4g fat, 13.2g sugar, 2.4g fiber, 1.4g protein)
9:00PM Snack
2 slices turkey meat (60cal, 2g carb, 2g fat, 0g sugar, 0g fiber, 5g protein)
1 slice carbsmart bread (60cal, 8g carb, 2g fat, 2g sugar, 2g fiber, 4g protein)

TOTAL: 1516cal, 76.2g carbs, 45.1g fat, 27.9g sugar, 19.3g fiber, 186g protein

Assuming that there are 4cal for every gram of carbs and protein and 9cal for every gram of fat, I have calculated the end of day percentages around:

Carbs: 20.11%
Fat: 26.77%
Protein: 49.08%
Other: 4.04%

I dont see a vegetable in there - if he isnt keen on them, I would still see if you can get at least a serving in. 

Two cups is a lot of cheese for at once plus without vegs, he could be looking at constipation issues from that much.  If you stick with the two cups, perhaps split so 1cup with the peach as a snack and another cup later by itself.  .

Does he like beans?  Very filling option.

My suggestion would be to scrap this meal plan entirely and start over.  I'm sorry, but it is hard for me to imagine a worse meal plan for a diabetic other than one that consists entirely of candies and cakes.  This is completely unbalanced, with very little nutritional value.  2 cups of cheese?  2 chicken breasts?  My god!  I suggest you try a meal plan that is based around vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains, with limited, reasonable amounts of meat, fish, and dairy.

Fuzzys - While I'd hardly call cheese and chicken candies and cakes, you're right. But he's telling me he won't eat anything more than 75 carbs! That's not a lot of fruits or vegetables or beans or bread!

I put the cheese in there to give him some calories, because the only things I can find with any calories are either meats or things high in carbs. I tried to come up with a few more plans that included fruits and vegetables. I'm no, nutritionist, I'll be the first to admit that... but these are really hard demands to satisfy >_<

I've considered trying to work in some hard boiled eggs or something in lieu of the cheese, but then I can't get the 44 year old man anywhere near even 1400 calories. I just feel lost trying to do any of this, but he's adamant about not seeing a nutritionist, and I don't want him to keep starving himself :( I'm not trying to make things worse...

Sun - thanks... I appreciate some kind of constructive feedback...

I fit in a 1/2cup of broccoli and 1/2cup of carrots with the chicken

I looked up lima beans, which I know he loves, but a 1/2 cup of those means an extra 18 carbs, and I'd have to foresake both the broccoli and carrots to get them in, or toss out the peach. Gah, this is so frustrating...

Why the carb obsession though?  It sounds like his restrictions make it impossible to eat a healthy diet.  Maybe you could sub out some of the bread for veggies instead.

I understand part of his carb fixation, but it isn't entirely accurate.  There are diabetic educaters at most hospitals.  Call them and they can either help you are refer you to good, free resources.  He does need some high fiber carbs in his diet.  He needs to start his day with some thing like whole grain cereal or high fiber english muffin.  It's ok to have "natural sugars" like peanut butter and some fruits in his diet and every one needs "healthy" fats, ie: olive oil, peanut butter.  Try berries they have a lower glycemic index, like rasberries, strawberries.  Also I add cottage cheese and low fat, sugar free yogurt to my diet and usually add 1/4 cup of fiber one cereal to my yogurt.  There are also some low sugar protien bars out there. 

But the diabetic educators should be the first thing so he really understands what is going on.


The first 2weeks of SB are a highly carb restricted and THIS list of the SB thread here I created has food options may help provide you with some options.  Granted, beans are included despite their carbs but in limited amounts because they help stabilze blood sugar. 

Im definitely not suggesting the list as a longterm diet plan but simply options.  Bean calories add up fast as do nuts and dairy, all healthy when looking at the alternative of low cal lean meats and vegs. 

I dont agree that carbs are required for breakfast - I personally found that it sets off my hunger from an empty stomach and I hold off until lunch but this obviously varies by person.  Hopefully he will become more receptive to healthy carbs - those which have a lighter affect on blood sugar levels.

Ooh, that list really helped! Thank you, sun! I've gone through and created 3 different meal plans and possible substitutions for some of his choices. They include mixed berries (thanks for that idea, Leslie!), eggs, and small servings of vegetables.

Fuzzys - Well, it probably would have helped if I had explained this earlier, but I'll go ahead and do it now... Here's the thing, as a diabetic trying to lose weight, he should be taking insulin so that he can eat healthy fruits and vegetables and good grains and break them all down, right? Well, my dad's perspective says "I would rather just not be a diabetic" which... he can only achieve by losing weight. But to him, his diabetes seems to be defined by the fact that he has to take the insulin at all. So his #1 priority is to not have to take insulin, which can only happen if he's putting very little or no carbs/sugars in his body. I know that's screwy, and I've tried to tell him that... but I think that that's where he's picking up the carb obsession. It just makes it difficult and rather unhealthy for him to lose weight like that >_< it's certainly not how I chose to conduct my diet... perhaps that's why it seems so screwy next to mainstream dieting. I just don't know how to break that mindset.

Thank you all so much for the responses - I really do appreciate that you took the time to help out - I'll see what I can do about calling around to some local health clinics and learning about more options. As he loses weight, I'll certainly try to ween him onto more fruits, healthy grains, and vegetables. :)

You sound like your making the best of a tough situation and I just remind you that you can only hope to possibly influence - please dont put too much pressure on yourself through this.  Ultimately it is you dad's decisions and your concern is highly understandable but try to take comfort in any influence you may have without burdening yourself with any guilt in what he rejects.  Good luck!

I wish you and your dad all the luck in the world. My husband is a T2 diabetic and he's had some rough times just trying to deal with the situation. I'm just a little curious about a statement you made regarding the amount of carbohydrates your dad is limited to. Did you mean 75g of carbs PER MEAL instead of PER DAY? My hubby and I have been to class after class and working with his diabetic team and they want him to take in 60-70g carbs PER MEAL and his snacks are set for 15 - 30g per snack.  He eats fruits but always has some protein with it, like a string cheese or peanut butter.  He eats 3 squares a day and 2 snacks.  I know its difficult to handle being diabetic and I applaud you for your commitment to your dad's health. Well done!

Thanks Alley & Sun,

Well, like I said, he defines his diabetes by having to take insulin. So to him, no insulin = no diabetes. Since he can't break down sugars or carbs without insulin, his mission is basically to cut them out. (well, not out - just down severely to, yes, 75g per day) Which is sort of the wrong way to go about it. If he'd use the insulin, he could eat the things that he needs to lose weight, and when he loses weight, his body will function normally and will be able to break down foods correctly again. Then, he wouldn't need the insulin at all.

And if it doesn't work out, I'll certainly be disappointed... but I won't hold it against myself. He's my daddy, I love him, and I want to help him. I guess I'm taking it extra seriously and personally because its very much a genetic thing and I'm trying to avoid it myself. I guess I feel like if I can make it so that he doesn't have it anymore, I won't get it either (even though I know that's not the case). But my dad was who inspired me to start my diet/lifestyle change when he got diagnosed. On some level, I feel like I owe it to him to help him get out of the eating slump too.


What is he binging on at night? Maybe when he complains about the snack foods during the day you can compare. A little Celery and PB at snack is better than a binge at night.

In the end, all you can do is help him with the motivation and information. If you try to push then he will hide his eating from you, esp when you go to college. An honest relationship is more important than getting him to eat healthy when you are watching.

A lot of diabetics find that adding cinnamon helps to stabilize their blood sugars.  You can add it to coffee, to smoothies, Take a low carb tortilla and spread it with a thin layer of peanut butter (the natural kind or better than peanut butter, not the sugary junk) and sprinkle it with cinnamon and splenda or stevia.  Or use canned pumpkin instead of the peanut butter.

Hharris, what I am about to say may come across as a tad harsh but I feel it is the truth. We can list all the snacks that have the least impact on blood sugar, recommend your dad see a doctor and all the other helpful things we can think of, but if your father does not want to take control of his own health it won't matter.

As a type II diabetic I know all about wanting to pretend that I don't have the condition. Your father is going to have to make serious choices as to what he wants out of the remainder of his life. He will have to decide if he chooses to live with this condition or if he like many people with Type II will find the motivation to make the lifestyle choices that will lower his weight, control his blood sugar and finally free him.

I will offer the words my doctor offered to me. "Diabetes is progressive, if you do not take care of yourself you can only get worse, not better".

I am sorry that you are having to worry about this and I hope that your father realize how wonderful it is to have a child like you.


I am a Type 2 diabetic. Before I was successful in losing 100 pounds through diet and exercise, I took insulin 4 times per day, plus 2 oral diabetes meds. My eating habits were atrocious, and I yo-yo dieted and alternatively binged and starved.

Then I learned about nutrition. And diabetes. And eating healthy. I have been off insulin since March. And I now take just 1 oral diabetes medication. And I eat a healthy, balanced diet ... WITH healthy, complex carbs.

A sample 1500 calorie menu for me....

BREAKFAST: 315 CALORIES (39g fiber)

  • one cup fiber one cereal
  • one half cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • one Western Bagel Perfect 10 low carb/high fiber bagel
  • two tablespoons eggplant or roasted red pepper hummus


  • 100 calories' lean protein
  •  80 calorie high fiber bran muffin
  •  90 calories one half cup low fat cottage cheese
  •  30 calories one cup grape tomatoes
  •  72 calories one medium apple
  •  25 calories (cucumber or radishes)


  • 200-250 calories lean protein
  • 100-150  calories of a starch (never white pasta, white bread, white rice)
  • rest: veggies


  • I aim for 200 in protein, 100 in carbs (you can have 30 pistachios for 100 calories!)

As you can see, I actually eat 4 meals per day ... breakfast around 8, lunch around 12, dinner at 5, then my evening snack around 9pm. And I average 50+ grams of fiber per day ... which has a moderating impact on blood sugars. And by eating 4 times a day, I keep my body fueled throughout the day. I also take a diabetic multivitamin, cinnamon, and garlic.

Remember when counting carbs, you care about NET carbs... to determine net carbs subtract the fiber grams from the total carbs. You will find that high fiber cereals and bread products are very diabetic-friendly ... because of the fiber.

Contact me for more ideas.



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