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S.M.A.R.T. Weight Loss With Type 2 Diabetes

Losing weight is complicated enough without adding diabetes to the picture. Make it easy on yourself to know exactly what to do each day by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym to remind you how to set a goal that maps out exactly what you need to do. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Here's an example of how to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal. If your carb intake swings wildly from meal to meal -- like 2 grams at one and over 70 grams at the next -- you could be getting hungry. Hunger can make you eat more and slow weight loss.

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To help manage your diabetes, you need to spread carbs out more evenly throughout the day. For example, a S.M.A.R.T. goal is “I will eat a breakfast containing 45 grams of carbohydrates every day for the next 2 weeks.”

Specific. Targeted to breakfast.

Measurable. 45 grams, every day.

Attainable. Breakfasts with about 45 grams of carbs are very doable. Here are a few options.

  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal (32 grams), 1/2 medium banana (13 grams), a hard-boiled egg, black coffee
  • 2 scrambled eggs, 1 small whole-wheat pita (15 grams), 1 orange (18 grams), 1 cup 1% milk (14 grams)
  • 3 rye crispbreads (24 grams) with 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese (5 grams) and a cup of blackberries (15 grams)

Relevant. Spreading carbs out is relevant because it helps you curb hunger so you don’t overeat. To hit 45 grams, you have to plan to eat protein and fat in addition to carbs at a meal. A piece of toast with an egg, for instance, will keep you feeling full longer than two slices of toast with jam. When you’re more satisfied, you’re likely to eat less overall.

Time-bound. This will be your focus for 2 weeks. At the end of that time, you can decide if you want to do it again or set a different goal.

Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals helps keep bigger projects, like losing weight or managing blood sugar, from being overwhelming. Your steps for success are clearly spelled out and there won’t be any question about whether you met the goal. The biggest payoff comes from turning short-term goals into long-lasting healthy habits.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on November 14, 2013

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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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