Snacking uncontrollably

Hi there!
So, lately I’ve been getting high blood sugars usually less than 250 but still very high from snacking. As in, snacking without insulin just eating without any sort of insulin whatsoever. I just feel so out of control. I think I mostly do it because I feel that it is unfair to eat it later and save it while my family is just eating freely and blissfully. Here’s an analogy: You work night and day to get to see a sunrise and you’re finally able to see the sunrise in real life. You are so excited. But no, someone covers your eyes but videotapes it so you can’t see the sunrise. But, it’s okay, you can just watch it later on a crappy device. Is it just me, or does it not feel as satisfactory to just eat it later when you want something at that moment?
I wish I could be more in the moment without having to plan a meal. It infuriates me so deeply. I just need a way to stop myself from eating anything and everything I see. Then I get mad at myself for being high, but I know why and I could have prevented it.
Does anyone have this same problem or have suggestions on how I can stop snacking without insulin? I feel my “strategies” aren’t strong enough.
Thanks for your help!

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I don’t understand why you would eat something fully aware it would raise your BG without bolusing any insulin. There’s nothing wrong with snacking but you have to cover whatever you eat with insulin.

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Hi @ElizitaT1D Eliza, welcome back. Being upset about other people eating whatever and whenever has never been productive for me.

You can eat whatever you want, and you can eat any time you want, if you learn how to use insulin. Instead of envy, you can have knowledge, I mean, if you want to. Just a thought. I don’t know if it helps or not.

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Hi Eliza @ElizitaT1D, you can do it [snack & parry], but you just need yo remember the trick of balancing food, activity and insulin, And feel free to be a bit bold about it and not be afraid of shooting-up in front of those with whom you are snacking.

Before putting yourself in a party /snacking situation, be aware of your BG, have insulin with you and have a pretty good idea of how BOTH carbs and insulin affect you. For a long buffet type snacking, I suggest that you shoot-up in increments and avoid “stacking insulin”.

Have a grand Holiday party season!!!

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Keep in mind that those of us who take insulin are not the only ones who watch what we eat. Some people are vegetarian or vegan, and in a way may may have more challenges than we do especially eating out; some are losing those last ## pounds before their wedding; and some are simply very committed to healthful living overall. With that in mind, if you are simply not going to take insulin to cover snacks, there are “free foods” with no carbs, as well as ones that are very low - but they won’t help if you’re already high. Vegetables, and some fruits, meat, fish and nuts are usually good choices although you may need to watch the fats - talk with your dietitian about options. When it comes to sweets, I used to get a regular size candy bar, but have found 1 or 2 of the little minis satisfy my sweet tooth just as well, and I enjoy a small slice of cake or pie more than a large one (unless I’m at the Cheesecake Factory, where all bets are off🙄).
It’s not fair that we have diabetes, but since we do we may as well make the best of it. There are medical conditions that require hospitalization or clinics for treatment and management. Much of ours depends on our personal choices and our cars is mostly self managed. In doing so many of us are living lives we enjoy with family, friends, careers or jobs (hopefully ones we like), hobbies, etc. It takes some extra work but over time things come more naturally.
So again, talk with it nutritionist about choices, and if you feel the need see a counselor to help you focus.

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As a Type one it make you feel better to eat without insulin, and I know that you find that weird but…

I know how you feel ViviAnn. Out of curiosity, are you on a pump or multiple daily injections? I’m on MDI and I HATE taking injections between meals and have run into similar situations. I also hate taking injections for really small amounts of insulin, like 2 units or less. I told my nutritionist that sometimes if my blood sugar’s a smidge high before bed I’ll have a snack just so that I can put more insulin in the syringe. She thought I was crazy. I know it doesn’t really make sense, but it makes me feel better about having to take an extra shot if I can actually see the insulin in there. Honestly, I think if you’re snacking and keeping your blood sugar below 250 you’re still doing an ok job of managing your diabetes. There’s room for improvement, obviously, but it’s not like you’re running in the 400’s and your quality of life (mental and emotional health) matters too. If that means an extra snack at a party once in a blue moon, what’s the harm?

That said, it might be worth talking with your family and friends about how it makes you feel when they snack or eat sweets around you. My grandmother loves to serve “appetizers” before meals, which for me means sitting around watching everyone else graze for about an hour before I get to eat anything. So I’ve been working on encouraging her to put out low carb appetizers so I can have a few without doing a lot of damage. This year on Thanksgiving she put out carrots and hummus, seafood salad on cucumber slices, meatballs in marinara sauce, and cheese with crackers. For comparison she used to put out pigs in blankets, sweet and sour meatballs, and baked brie with cinnamon, sugar, and pears.

So that’s my advice. Be honest with your friends and family, be mindful of what you’re eating instead of just when or how much, and treat yourself with compassion. It’s ok to “mess up” once in a while. Just keep doing your best and know that’s all anyone can expect from us.

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It would help to understand why you aren’t at least giving insulin for your snacks. Your description so far just sounds like you are upset about the need to prebolus.

If prebolus is the problem, then add an hour or two of basal equivalent to the bolus to help prevent the spike. If you have a pump, then shut off your basal for the same 1 to 2 hours to prevent a low later. If on MDI, count it as a free snack later.

If giving insulin in front of people bothers you, consider looking into Loop. With an Apple watch, you can bolus quickly and discreetly. Any pump would be faster than MDI, but loop with the watch is top notch for being invisible.

Let us know what your hang up is and maybe we can give some suggestions.

@ElizitaT1D,
I get where you’re coming from. I’m not sure why some people have this thing about not bolusing for snacks, but, I used to have it. I will tell you that what helped me were a couple of things. One is having an insulin pump. While I whine and moan a lot about my pump and it is a very challenging thing, IT STILL helps me with being able to quickly pick it up and bolus appropriately. I’m much more prone to do that when the pump is right within reach. It’s not like I have to go get my supplies, it’s so available. ALSO, the pump with it’s CGM keeps up with how much more insulin I need, based on my current BG, amount that is already on board, etc. If you don’t have a pump, you might try a CGM or smart Meter that also does that. Before my pump and CGMs, I used an Accu check Expert, which also calculates how much insulin you need based on BG and carbs. It helps some.

For me, what it took for me to really get my motivation jump started was to read about what is possible for me. It is possible for me to stay within target and I WILL do whatever it takes. My body works against me at times and I have to work really hard, but, that’s just what I have to do. I find that having a pump or CGM with a number staring me in the face helps hold me accountable. I’m not going to just eat and watch the number rise without bolusing.

I hope that you can find things that will motivate you. I try to focus on the positive things and not the scary stuff about poor control.

Sites like this help a lot too. I continue to learn so much.

I admittedly am a grazer and the only way I can get away with it is to bolus.

Don’t you just love the term “grazer”? The first time my doctor used it with me I thought to myself “What, does he think I’m a cow?” But I guess it sounds more official than “snacker.”
I may have grazed less when I took shots - they didn’t have pens back then (!) so I had to pull out a bottle of insulin and a syringe. it’s so much quicker and easier to cover snacks with a pump bolus.

I had much of the same problem, but a year ago my Dr. put me Ozempic. It is a once a week injection, but they have found that it curbs appetite and in 1 year I have lost 54 pounds. It really has been a life saver as I LOVED eating late at night, I still do, but my appetite is 25% of what it used to be.

It is very strange that you complain about unable to eat whenever and whatever you want? I eat all I want whenever I want and I take insulin with it. But honestly, I just mean a banana ( 1 unit insulin for it) or or a chocolate bar or chips (40 g) ( 2 units insulin for each). I don’t understand people. I am sorry.