Here’s a 1200 calorie diabetic diet to follow if you have some degree of insulin resistance, are a type 2 diabetic, or suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
This diet will help you reverse insulin resistance relatively quickly, normalise your blood sugar levels, and help boost your testosterone level.
Here are some important points to keep in mind when following a 1200 calorie diabetic diet:
- It is not sustainable for most people
It is important to note that a diabetic diet isn’t something that is considered to be a long-term, sustainable approach to nutrition for most people.
This is simply because following a nutritional plan that excludes so many foods, particularly those containing carbohydrates, is very difficult to do for a long period of time.
- Must be followed until your blood sugar levels are stable
Even though a 1200 calorie diabetic diet may be difficult to follow, if overcoming diabetes is important to you, then you must follow it as closely as possible until you’re able to maintain relatively stable blood sugar levels.
After that, you will be able to re-introduce more carbohydrate-based foods into your diet and will still be able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels if you incorporate various other principles (i.e. regular exercise and supplements) into your lifestyle.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly
The easiest way to determine whether or not you have diabetes and therefore need to follow 1200 calorie diabetic diet is by having a blood test.
If your results indicate that your fasting blood glucose level is 6.0 mmol/L (108 mg/dl) or higher, then you have some degree of insulin resistance and should follow a 1200 calorie diabetic diet until you achieve a level consistently less than 6.0 mmol/L.
- Use as many strategies as possible in conjunction with the 1200 calorie diabetic diet
By following the 1200 calorie diabetic diet outlined here, in addition to the exercise and supplementation strategies covered elsewhere on this site, then you will be able to quickly and easily reverse diabetes and normalise your blood sugar level again.
- Take responsibility for your health
It is imperative that you take personal responsibility for your health.
Do not rely on doctors or other health professionals to tell you what to do. You must become educated about what needs to be done in order to optimise your body’s functioning and ensure you maintain good health for your entire life.
- Have a full blood test at least once a year
Once or twice a year you should have a full blood test done. This means checking all your levels of hormones, blood lipids and of course, blood sugar levels.
If there are any slight variations in the results that indicate that you’re heading in a certain direction then you must take steps immediately! Do not wait until you’re in the ‘clinical’ range.
Oftentimes, people will have their blood work done and the results show that they have a mildly elevated fasting blood sugar level. Let’s say it’s 6.5 mmol/L. Many doctors will tell them that it is fine, slightly elevated, but nothing to worry about. It’s not in the critical range yet (above 7.0 mmol/L), which indicates a diabetic condition.
Then they might say, ‘We will wait and see what happens’, instead of saying, ‘you must take action right now!’
A 1200 calorie diabetic diet is the first step you must take if you notice any elevation in your fasting blood sugar level.
It will help to increase your insulin sensitivity, lower your fasting blood sugar level, help to keep your blood sugar level stable throughout the day, and most importantly, reduce the negative consequence of having high blood sugar.
Most people generally find that a 1200 calorie diabetic diet improves their blood lipid profiles as well.
How to structure a 1200 calorie diabetic diet:
There are several points to keep in mind when it comes to successfully structuring a diabetic diet.
- Keep your daily intake of carbohydrates low
- Ensure the carbohydrates you do have come from low and medium-density sources only and have a low glycemic load
- Ensure you have plenty of high quality fats and oils
- Keep your meal sizes small
- Ensure all of your meals are ‘complete’ meals
- Include foods and herbs that help to reverse type 2 diabetes
- Add glucose disposal agents to your diet
We will address each of these points individually and see how they are beneficial in formulating the ideal diet to help you overcome diabetes.
Keep your daily intake of carbohydrates low
Since carbohydrates convert into glucose in the blood stream and glucose in the blood stream has the greatest impact on insulin release from the pancreas, it is absolutely imperative that your carbohydrate intake is kept low.
If more insulin does get produced it will result in even more insulin resistance and this seems to be the major problem with conventional diets for people with diabetes; they are simply too high in carbohydrates!
So often when people consult with a dietician they are recommended to follow the standard low-fat, high carbohydrate approach! Of course, their condition becomes worse by doing so!
Then, when they follow a low carbohydrate diet, just for a limited period of time, their condition reverses very quickly depending on its severity.
Of course, a low carbohydrate diet doesn’t mean your carbohydrate intake goes to zero, it simply means that you reduce it to approximately 50 grams of total carbs per day.
This equates to about 10 grams of carbs per meal if you’re having 5 meals/ snacks a day or slightly less than 20 grams of carbs per meal if you’re having 3 meals a day.
Of course, a person with a large frame or a physically demanding job may certainly need more carbs than that, but it is essential that the carbohydrate intake is kept relatively low.
An absolute maximum amount of carbohydrates per day should be around 100 grams. However, less is best to help overcome diabetes fast.
50-100 grams of total carbohydrates per day is certainly enough to provide you with the energy you need to function well, to keep your blood sugar level stable, and most importantly, keep insulin low.
Ensure the carbohydrates you do have come from low and medium-density sources only and have a low glycemic load.
Ensure you have plenty of high quality fats and oils
The fats and oils we consume make up the membranes of all body cells.
Since insulin receptors are located on cell membranes and insulin signalling is affected by the quality of fats in the membrane, it simply makes sense that a 1200 calorie diabetic diet contains a substantial amount of high quality fats and oils, particularly natural sources of the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats come from olive oil, avocadoes and nuts. High-quality polyunsaturated fats, particularly omega-3s, come from fish, fish oil, flax seeds, and flax seed oil.
By including these high-quality oils in your diet on a regular basis, the function of the insulin receptors will improve thereby reducing the insulin resistance in the body, stabilising blood sugar levels and assisting weight loss efforts.
Keep your meal sizes small
It is absolutely essential that a 1200 calorie diabetic diet contains small meals.
This is simply because larger meals will induce a greater insulin response from the pancreas because more nutrients from the meal need to be stored in the body.
A greater insulin response will lead to becoming more insulin resistant. Therefore, small meals are the only option.
Ensure all of your meals are ‘complete’ meals
Having ‘complete’ meals is a standard weight-loss recommendation. However, it becomes even more important when preparing a 1200 calorie diabetic diet.
A complete meal will help to slow down the absorption rate of any carbohydrates in the meal. This will therefore keep your blood sugar level stable and insulin low.
Obviously, by keeping insulin low, you can help to reverse type 2 diabetes and therefore, help boost your testosterone level as well.
All you need to do is ensure that all of your meals and snacks contain a portion of all 3 macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein, and fat.
Include foods and herbs that help to reverse type 2 diabetes
There are many foods, spices, and herbs that you should include in your 1200 calorie diabetic diet to improve your body’s ability to dispose of glucose effectively and therefore reverse insulin resistance.
Some of these foods have been included in the diet that follows.
Not only can some of these foods, spices, and herbs help to reverse insulin resistance, but many of them have been shown to improve blood lipid profiles as well as offer a range of additional health benefits. The health benefits come from the high levels of phytonutrients (nutrients from plants) they contain.
It is strongly recommended to include as many of them in your diet as you possibly can.
Add glucose disposal agents to your 1200 calorie diabetic diet
Glucose disposal agents (GDAs) assist your body in disposing of glucose from the blood stream more effectively.
A good example of a powerful GDA is cinnamon. You can simply add it to your tea or coffee to obtain the benefits it offers or better still take it as a supplement with your main meals.
Here’s a sample 1200 calorie diabetic diet:
This 1200 calorie diabetic diet only provides one option per meal and is very strict.