Snacks & how they affect BS

Hi, I’m Landen,
I recently started carb counting and qualified for a CGM (Dexcom G6, super helpful), 12:1. Endocrinologists have been telling me that their goal for me is they want to get me off snacks and eat bigger meals, one problem, as a 15 year old I’m what my parents call a bottomless pit when it comes to food. In all fairness, before I was diagnosed with T1D I lost 20ish pounds, so I’m trying to gain that weight back. I was extremely underweight, before I was at some of the lowest weight I could be without being at all unhealthy, I’m not starved or anything just how my metabolism worked. So when my parents saw me losing weight of course they were incredibly worried. ANYWAYS, I’m still always hungry, I’m eating bigger and bigger meals but I get hungry again within an hour or two (we try to keep meals 4 hours spaced apart, roughly) my blood sugar is doing pretty good! But I don’t want to risk spiking it or getting a low- I’ve managed to avoid one up to now - over a snack. Pure sugar spikes my blood sugar a LOT, but I haven’t tested how insulin in between meals affected it,

Just wanted to share a bit, thanks for reading!

@REESEScups07 I eat when I want to eat. If I have breakfast and it is my usual eggs and toast (20 gram carb) and I’m hungry again at 8:30 I’ll eat.

You do not “have to” wait 4 hours between meals. Every time I eat carbs I cover for those carbs at the time I eat them. Now here’s what typically happens: 11:30 lunch started out good I was at 125 ate 40 grams carbs and bolus for them. By 12:30 my bs was 190 at 1:30 I was 170 ish. Now if I wanted to eat at 1:30 let’s say protein plus 12 grams carbs I would bolus for the carbs only (not for my current 170 because I have insulin on board already covering those carbs) it’s tricky because it looks like I’m high, but I’m not the lunch insulin is still in there and working. So the additional carbs may cause me to go back to 180 or more, but then I’ll start to drop again. My blood sugar will be above 125 until about 5:30pm (4 hours after the 1:30 PM bolus).

Do yourself a favor, buy and read the book “Think like a pancreas “. It has everything you need to figure it out. Eat when you are hungry. Snacks are fine. The first year you have to play catch up after diagnosis because without insulin, your body consumes your own muscles in order to survive. Staying full is a matter of protein and good fats too, I strongly recommend a nutritionist do a meal plan and a CDE do a insulin plan if you can get the help. Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

Hi Landen @REESEScups07, that suggestion from your endo to eat heavier meals sounds strange to me, and in some ways may make your TIR [Time-In-diabetes care specialist.Range] less than ideal and influence a higher Standard Deviation. Of course I’m not a professional diabetes care specialist. The advice I’ve received from top-notch diabetologists, during my almost seven decades living with diabetes is to eat smaller meals and supplement with snacks.
while living in the "Diabetes Teaching Unit at the Joslin Diabetes Center - a facility exclusive to diabetes care and research since 1898 [yes, 125 years and 25 years before insulin injections] snacks were always served to patients.

Personally, every day I eat three balanced, nutritional meals and often three snacks. My snacks may be eaten with or without insulin depending on activity in which I may be involved. My total carb count is about 230 - 250 per day, and I’ve given up trying to add more pounds.

Hi @REESEScups07 . You didn’t mention how long you have had diabetes but I get the feeling it is a relatively new diagnosis - if I am mistaken please accept my apologies.
I wonder if your endo meant they wanted you to stick with 3 meals a day as they are working to fine-tune your insulin regimen? Although we can certainly cover those snack carbs with a bolus, they may want to eliminate those extra factors for the time being - once you have a good plan in place you can add them back in.
We have much more freedom than we used to with eating, given the current understanding of carb counting, carb ratios, and CGMs that let us see in almost real time just what is happening; so ultimately you should be able to work in snacks and cover them appropriately.
Since your appetite kicks in frequently even shortly after a meal, a nutritionist should be able to help you find foods that will “stick with you.”
All the best!


hi y’all.
I wouldn’t worry about gaining the weight back. After being on insulin for a week post diagnosis I was gaining almost .5 lbs a day because that insulin was doing it’s job. I was also ravenous and eating 100 + carbs a meal (not a great choice- my BG did not appreciate that). I’d worry more about figuring out the carb counting-insulin-balanced diet stuff first.
When you’re hungry, try eating free foods (aka zero carb foods) like pickles, veggies like carrots or cucumber or mini bell peppers, salad meats (supermarkets like winco have huge deli counters with all sorts of meats to choose from), cheese sticks, etc. dietitians are great to talk to about meals, snacks, etc. they’re experts in food and can help you come up with some creative ideas.
You can also use your Dexcom to figure out what food affects your BG and how it affects it. For example, how many carbs can you eat without covering with insulin before you notice a 20-30 mg/dL or more rise in your BG? For me that’s around 7 carbs, so like a handful of peanuts. When I was diagnosed the CDE told my parents I could have 10 carbs between each meal without having to take insulin for it.
I’ve also found that one of my biggest high blood sugar symptoms is I get very hangry. I only figured that out once I got my dex and I noticed that I was usually super hungry an hour or two after a meal, when my BG was at its highest (anywhere between 130-200) That hunger disappears as soon as my BG drops back into range (70-120). That’s helped me realize that sometimes when I feel hungry, I don’t actually need food. I just need to time my insulin and carb consumption a little better or maybe I miscounted my carbs and need to take some extra insulin. Could be totally different for you, idk. It can take a while to notice these patterns.

When I was diagnosed my endo had me eating 3-4 hours apart. I had breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 12, snack (almost like another meal, really) at 3 when I got home from school, and dinner at 6 or 7. For the first few weeks it was hard, I was hungry a lot, but now (3 years post diagnosis) my body is trained to really only be hungry during those times. Like I’ll start to get super hungry all of a sudden and I’ll look at the clock and see “oh it’s a quarter to 12. I guess it’s lunch time”. I still stick to that schedule most days and I’m usually not very hungry between meals. I do remember being hungry all of the time when I was diagnosed.
Partly why my endo had me eating on a pretty rigid schedule because it took them over a month to get my insulin doses right. My mom was sending in records of my BGs every 3 days and making insulin dose adjustments with the nurses and they didn’t want my 10 am cookie feasting to make my BG all wonky and mess up their adjustments. After we got my doses all squared up, I was allowed to eat between meals more often, although I was told (and I can definitely see on my CGM graph) that heavy snacking between meals isn’t that great for my blood sugar.

Please correct me if I’m wrong about anything. This is what has worked for me but it might not work for you :slight_smile:
Good luck!