Through a post, a connection was made with Lauren Schmitt, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer specializing in individual and corporate wellness, eating disorders, and weight management. Lauren has much experience with diabetics wishing to get in shape and improve their lives. Here is some motivation and words of advice she provided when asked the questions indicated.
1) What is your experience with type II diabetics? As a registered dietitian, I work with individuals who have type 2 diabetes on a regular basis. I help them learn what types of foods have a positive and negative impact on their body. I teach them lifestyle habits that will promote well controlled blood sugars.
2) I am a type II myself. I find that when I exercise my blood sugar often crashes, and thus, consequently I must consume calories to bring it back up. What can happen is that for people like me I can consume more calories than I burn. Losing weight is a real battle. What would you say or do to help us not get discouraged, but stay focused and motivated? This is a struggle for many people with type 2 diabetes. If an individual can plan their work-out after a snack and before the next meal, this helps deter excess calorie consumption. We all have to eat meals and snacks on a regular basis so if you time it properly, the food consumed post work out will be food that would have been consumed at the next meal anyway. For example, have a snack around 5 pm and then check your blood sugars to ensure they are in a safe range for exercise. Then, proceed with your work out if blood sugars are appropriate. Immediately following the work out, eat dinner. This way, you get the benefit from the work out and you do not eat back everything burned off in a 4th meal.
3) As a nutritionist, what foods and liquids would you recommend for us to take during and after exercise that would bring up blood sugar enough to acheive a positive gain of burned calories vs. calorie consumption? The type of liquid will vary depending on an individuals’ blood sugar response to exercise. Some individuals can drink G2, a Gatorade product, that has only 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces combined with electrolytes. But, for other diabetics, this may not be enough carbohydrate to prevent blood sugars from dipping too low. They may need a drink that has 50-80 calories per 8 ounces. The best way to find out what you need is trial and error. Go for a higher load of carbohydrate on the first work out to see how blood sugars respond. If blood sugars are above the norm, switch to a lower carbohydrate choice the next time. Once again, monitor your blood sugars several times throughout the work out to make sure you are safe. Some people do find that they are absolutely fine drinking just water during a work out because their level of exercise is not high enough to elicit a drop in blood sugars into a dangerous zone. If you choose not to drink a beverage with calories, try a piece of fruit or a handful of crackers and see how this impacts your blood sugars.
Lauren currently owns her own business, Healthy Eating and Training, Inc., where she counsels individuals and gives them the tools to lead a balanced, healthy life through nutritious eating and physical activity. In addition to seeing clients in the private practice, Lauren has developed nutrition programs for major corporations including: Sony Pictures Entertainment and Dreamworks Animation. She has ongoing projects with the WB and recently completed a project for the Creative Artists Agency. Dreamworks Animation. She has ongoing projects with the WB and recently completed a project for the Creative Artists Agency.
For more information, go to her website or visit her on Facebook