I recently wrote for Diabetes Daily that Dr. Bernstein's plan can be customized to fit your needs. It's not a one-size-fits-all program, and there are many variations within the plan's framework that you can use to find what will work for you long term.
Photos of my daily meals have been posted on both the diaVerge Facebook page, here in the food gallery, and within the post What I Eat- A Typical Day. Until now though, I've never published the exact metrics of my daily food consumption, or a week's average.
Food tracking is not something I typically do every day, and I haven't tracked my food intake regularly for the past 9 months. The results were surprising:
* Please note, I am a 39 year old female, 5'-10" (1.77m) tall, 156 lbs (71 kilos) and moderately active. My calorie goal is calculated at 1744/day, although I don't really count calories.
According to Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution book (page 180-181), I should be targeting 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight (for moderately active people). Athletes and kids require more protein per kilo of body weight, and those who are sedentary require less.
Using my weight of 71 kilos x 1.2 grams of protein, the recommended minimum is 85.2 grams of protein per day. My average protein intake of 81.3 grams per day is slightly lower than the minimum recommended.
This week-long Diet tracking was very telling, and something I recommend for everyone starting a low carb way of eating.
Just because you are eating low carb foods does not mean that you're staying within the "macros" (macronutrients of fat, carbs and protein) that you want to or should be in.
For example, before starting to log this weeks-worth of food, I would have guessed that my numbers were much more consistent, both in calories and macros. I knew that I ate approximately 40 grams carbs per week, so that wasn't a surprise. You can see in What I Eat- A Typical Day, I add 2 daily snacks (I usually reach for almonds or walnuts) which equals approximately 10 grams additional carbs per day, leading to 40 total.
The day with the highest carb intake (Saturday the 31st), was in part due to eating about 3 oz/80 grams of whole milk yogurt (an additional 8 grams of carbs) and a small serving of pumpkin curry for dinner, alongside my normal veggies and protein.
(No, I did not eat ANY Halloween candy! I promise!!)
This week-long 'test' has been an interesting journey in honesty and accurate tracking. I questioned every day whether I really needed to measure my food, or whether I could estimate as I normally do. Of course, I measured and the results are in black, white and gray above. In a world of distorted-social-media-reality, the diaVerge mission is complete honesty, and straightforward information and advice.
What's the takeaway?
While not being obsessive about staying within Dr. Bernstein's recommended 6-12-12 carb ratio intake (6 grams carbohydrates for breakfast, 12 grams for lunch and 12 grams for dinner), I will watch my snacks to ensure that I'm not frequently going past 40 grams/day. I'll focus on replacing some nuts/seeds with bone broth, cheese, or cucumbers/celery & low-carb dip.
Do I think it's a problem to go up to 50 grams per day?
Not at all. It's still considered very low carb, and for a few days during my hormone cycle, I feel better eating 45-50g carbs per day, but I don't want to be there every day of the month.
35-40 grams of carbohydrates per day seems to be where my body and my blood glucose levels are happiest.
We all have to find what works best for our bodies, our lifestyle and our sanity!