Mom Stuff Pregnancy

Managing Gestational Diabetes through Diet

April 30, 2019

It was rough being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. Once I came to terms with that, I wanted to try my best to manage it through diet. So today I wanted to share a few tips that helped me manage my numbers through the last trimester.

To be honest, I think this could help too if you’re on insulin.

Keeping a Food Diary

I found keeping a diary extremely helpful. Once I found a meal that works for me, I tried to stick with it for the remainder of my pregnancy. I found that pretty easy for all meals with the exception of dinner. By keeping track of everything I ate, and the quantity of carbs – I was able to look back at past records to see what triggers high sugar readings.

TimeMeal TimeFood DiarySugar ReadingsExercise Activity
Morning snack
Afternoon snack
Late snack

I also kept note of physical activities too. That way if I went for a 30 minute walk and my numbers just make it within range – I know that it would’ve probably been out of range if I didn’t walk after the meal.

Tip: Highlight any meals with high readings. This way you can eliminate it from your diet or reduce the quantity.

What I had to cut:

  • Eating out
  • White rice, bread, pasta
  • White potatoes
  • Desserts/Sweets

I found that I could not keep my sugar readings within target when I had any of the items listed above. I think there are some people who were able to still eat those things, but I had to remove it all together. You can also do a search on low/medium GI index foods.

It was a rough trimester… I tried to keep sane by writing a wish list of all the food I want to eat after I delivered the baby.

Walking after meals

I found this one very important for lunch and especially dinner. I had to walk for at least 30 minutes everyday after dinner to keep my numbers within range. Use your food diary, take a look at how much you ate and how much activity you think you need to get your numbers in range.

If I ate something questionable, I’ll try my best to walk a little longer.

Timing your readings

You’ll want to measure according to the schedule you’re on. For me, they wanted my sugar readings 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, dinner. To keep the numbers as accurate as possible, I would set a 2 hour countdown alarm to test.

If you can, I would recommend occassionally testing your sugars after your snacks as well. Just to get a better idea on what’s going on.

Managing hunger in-between readings

Sometimes you’ll get hungry before your next reading. If this happens, go for something without carbs just to hold yourself over.

Final thoughts

I think with a lot of discipline it is possible to manage your numbers through diet alone. But if you can’t, that’s okay too. For some women, it might not be possible even if they try everything – if that is the case, I still recommend tracking your diet and activity to help keep your numbers in range.

Overall I find that we tend to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves, if trying to manage your numbers through diet is too much torment – it’s okay to go on insulin. It’s there to help us.

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