The Slow and Steady Series: Part 2 SKIPPING BREAKFAST: THE PLAN
In Part 1 of this series, Sure Lady, I'll Hold Your Dog, I discuss why it is so difficult to deal with weight loss on top of good diabetes management. In this Part, I lay out the reasoning behind my plan to skip breakfast.
THE GENESIS OF AN IDEA
Two summers ago, something weird happened in my diabetes care. Nothing like it had ever happened before. For around two months, my blood sugars flat lined.
At first it was just a series of constant lows. Sometimes lows that would hover right around 65 for five or six hours at a time. Even though I would correct with plenty of carbs, it just wouldn’t come up.
I quickly realized that I had to turn down my basal rates so I wouldn’t forever be low, and so I wouldn’t lose my hypoglycemic awareness.
Once my basals were settled into the new normal, I would just get low after I ate. My bolus numbers also had to change.
I had no idea what was causing it, but I was loving every moment of my second honeymoon.
It got so good that I began to test it. I ate a Rice Krispie treat with no insulin and lo a behold, a high.
Nope. Not cured.
But I was still having great numbers without doing anything differently.
Once September started, so did the more “normal” wacky blood sugars and I chalked all up to a fluke.
Until last Spring when I hit another week of marvelous blood sugars. They were short lived until, once again, summer came rolling around.
A PATTERN EMERGES
I began to notice a pattern. On mornings when I could sleep in and lie around in bed, I wasn’t eating until after 9:30. Those mornings I could eat and not have that dreaded morning super high.
If I had to eat earlier than that, I would go high.
Same food, same bolus, but very different results.
My whole diabetic life I have been trying to master that morning high with very little success. I would try to change the foods, change my carb ratio, but no matter what I tried I would always hit a solid 200 and it would stick there for a while.
In twenty years, I never even considered just skipping breakfast.
I mean, that’s just plain crazy.
But after looking at the data, I knew I had to give it a try.
Before I go trying every new idea, I like to do some research and really consider every angle of the theory. And every aspect of it made so much sense to me.
On a good morning, I wake up around 100. Now, that’s not every night. Maybe only four or five mornings a week. But on those mornings, I always get so bummed to see that streak broken. Eight solid hours of perfect blood sugars will get destroyed the second I eat.
But when I eat at 9:30, that flat line keeps going for another three hours. That’s another 1/8 of my life with normal blood sugars. That alone was enough to convince me, but the evidence kept building.
At 9:30 I avoid the morning spike. So there’s another huge chunk of high time gone.
I am a huge breakfast fan. I love every sugary aspect of it. Breakfast, more than any other meal, is a bread-saturated affair. Most of my other meals are more veggie-based. So eliminating what, for me, is one of the lower quality meals was going to pay off.
TIME, ENERGY, MONEY
If I skipped breakfast, that meant I had to plan, shop, prepare and clean up after one less meal. It saved me about fifteen minutes in my morning routine. It lowered my grocery bill. And I had to think about things LESS not more.
If I am going to develop a new habit, I love for it to be something that makes my life easier. And this one definitely fit that bill.
At my last check up, I hesitantly shared with my doctor what I was doing. I wasn’t sure what his thoughts would be on this new plan. He has heard all of my wacky adventure ideas so he is used to me doing things a little differently.
“Great!” he said. “I tell all of my patients to try that and they look at me like I’m crazy. Almost all of them come back with, ‘But, Doc, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
If only they knew where that comes from a marketing slogan put out my General Foods to sell more Grape Nuts. They blasted it out on radios and in pamphlets in the grocery store. Soon everyone was thinking it. And after a while, it became general knowledge.
But the science didn’t and still doesn’t back it. And more scientific studies are being conducted lately to confirm this.
I decided I’d better take my doctors word for my nutrition above a cereal company trying to force its product down my throat.
After getting my docs approval, I knew I was on the right track. Now I just needed to wait for the results to come in. Stay tuned for Part 3 of The Slow and Steady Series