7 months, and 60lbs into this adventure, I thought I'd share a few of the things I've discovered about eating healthier (note that this is not a diet, and these are not diet tips- no diets in my house, just smarter food management).
#1. 3 Meals A Day- No skipping breakfast. No skipping lunch because you're going to a party tonight. No skipping supper because you're working late. Eat 3 meals a day- every single day. If possible, eat at the same times every day, that helps keep the sugar highs and lows to a minimum.
#2. Moderate Portions- you don't have to measure and write everything down unless you want to (and if you do, you'll be amazed at the amount you eat. Trust me), but pay attention to package serving sizes- they're always smaller than you think. An ounce of nuts doesn't look like much, but truly, it is enough. If you're eating in a restaurant, don't feel like you must clean up your plate. Most restaurant servings are more than enough for two people.
#3. No second helpings. Period. Ever. Of anything.
#4. Eat Snacks- yep, snack, midway between breakfast and lunch, midway between lunch and supper, and a couple of hours after supper. For me, that's 10:00am, 3:00pm, and 8:00pm. Eating small meals throughout the day makes it much easier to eat less at any given meal, and it keeps your blood sugar levels even, and you'll feel so much better (well, I do, anyway). Any of the 100 calorie pre-packaged snacks will do for any, or all of the snacks. I have probably tried all of them, and many are very good, but I don't bother with them very often these days, unless I'm on the road. I've settled into a routine with my snacking: an apple in the morning (about 100 calories, 20gr carb), 1 oz of mixed nuts in the afternoon (170 calories, 4gr carb), and 28 gr chocolate chips in the evening (140 calories, 17 gr carb- it's amazing how long they last when you eat them one at a time). In fact, chocolate is a great snack because there are fewer calories and carbs in chocolate than any other candy, and, well, it's chocolate. Try to stick to the darker chocolates- there are lots of different varieties out there. I am particularly fond of Lindt Chocolate Mint.
#5. If it's not breakfast, lunch, supper, or one of the designated snack times- don't eat. Anything. No tasting, no nibbling. If you institute a snacking regimen, it's never too long until the next time you can eat, no matter how hungry you are (or think you are, which is usually the real problem).
Since we live in Diabetesville now, we have to be aware of the carb count of everything, and meals/snacks have to be balanced with each other (and on time), but these 5 tips are a good launching point for a healthier way of eating whether you're learning how to live with a disease, or just wanting to change how you look at food.