**** Happy #dblogcheck day!! And a big thank you to Hannah and Chris for helping motivate us (okay, okay, ME) to stop slacking on leaving blog comments. ****
When I was younger, and the Exchange Diet ruled diabetes management, my mom carefully weighed and measured everything I ate. A small food scale was a permanent and much used fixture in our kitchen, as was the multi-colored set of plastic measuring cups. To this day I still grimace at memories of meals composed of “2 meats, 3 breads, 1 fat, 1 fruit, 2 vegetables” with no regard to how hungry I was or what I was in the mood to eat that day. Portions were precisely measured and I ate them whether I wanted to or not.
Thankfully, those days are long gone and instead I count my carbs and dose my insulin for (almost) what ever I’m in the mood to eat. (I say almost, because I do still try not to overindulge in carbs or else my blood sugar will pay the price.) When counting my carbs I’ve definitely become more of an “estimator” rather than a “measurer”, simply eyeballing my portion sizes. It works well for me, maybe because I’m a good eye-baller but more likely because there are so many other factors at play making carb counting somewhat of a gamble anyway. (Am I going to exercise soon? Have I exercised recently? Am I full of hormones this week? How stressed out am I? Any of these can assure that even the most accurate carb count ends up a miss.)
But lately, I’ve hopped into my time machine and have begun making regular use of the food scale and measuring cups again. Why would I subject myself to that? Calorie tracking. (YUCK) I’m working on reversing the steady forward creep my weight has been taking over the past few (or more than a few) years. I don’t want to do any fad diets and I’m not looking to eliminate anything from my menu - after living years of “diabetics can’t have sugar” I refuse to deny myself anything. So the solution is careful calorie tracking, allowing myself to eat foods I want but only in portions that keep me within a calorie range for the day. And while guesstimating carbs works really well for me, guesstimating calories doesn’t work at all. I find I tend to overestimate portions sizes and underestimate calories. So the hands of time have rolled back and I’m making regular use of measuring cups and food scales again. It kind of sucks, but it is working. I’ve lost almost 7 pounds so far (and I really hope the “blog jinx” won’t kick in now and I’ll gain it all back this week!!).
Are you a measurer or a guesstimator when it comes to food? What works best for you and why?