Getting Family Support

A big question I get concerns other family members. “How will I get them to eat 130 carbs a day?” Well, my answer is that you might now want to have them eat that much. Let’s look at this problem together and come up with a strategy. We have two goals.

  1. We’d like our families to support our efforts to fight our Type 2 Diabetes.
  2. We’d like our family members, as much as they are able to do so, to avoid getting Type 2 Diabetes.

There is a national epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes sweeping the nation. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people in our nation may soon have Type 2 Diabetes! Much of this is due to a terrible diet. We hold three to five major holidays a year that focus on giving kids candy. We believe being good neighbors means giving kids cookies. And, we often plan to end every meal with something sweet. There are approximately 40 carbs in a slice of apple pie. If you add that to mashed potatoes, a roll, salad dressing, a sweet drink and some carbs from the sauce, you could easily have your entire 130 carbs there. This is why we as a nation are obese and why Type 2 Diabetes is an epidemic.

Add to that, kids like sugar, see their friends eating sugar, and wonder why their strange parent(s) won’t give them normal food like everyone else. I’ve also met married couples where the one without Type 2 Diabetes says “I’m sorry you have this condition but I don’t and I’m not eating like that.”

It’s not as simple as saying “everyone needs to eat what I eat and how I eat it!” There is more and more research that suggests that some people tolerate carbs better than others. If this is so, it may be that people who are Pre-Diabetic or Type 2 Diabetic are less able to process carbs than members of their family who do not have that problem. I live with a family full of athletes. It is nothing for a member of my family to run 4 or 5 miles a day. Runner’s World recommends that a long distance runner eat 3-5 carbs a day for every lb of weight. If a runner weighs 150 lbs, he’ll need to consume as many as 750 carbs to keep glycogen in his muscles for running.

In other words, his meals shouldn’t look like mine! I shouldn’t be giving him or anyone else a guilt trip because they eat more than I do. It’s not as simple as everyone eat 130 carbs a day. You should visit your doctor and work out a plan. My recommendation of 130 carbs a day is for Type 2 Diabetics or Pre-Diabetics who want to aggressively fight Type 2 Diabetes. My target weight is 180 lbs. I intend to continue my daily 40 minute workouts of interval training for the foreseeable future. For that lifestyle, 130 carbs (or 135 in my case), is sufficient to lose weight, stay energetic, and control Type 2 Diabetes. I can’t say this loud enough: Talk to your doctor! While the general target for Crimson Riders is 130 carbs a day and 40 minutes of exercise 4-5 times a week, I actually eat 135 carbs a day. In other words, I tailored my lifestyle to me!

So, I have two key things you can do to help you achieve your goals and help your family. The first, is don’t feed your family garbage. Cookies, sponge cake, candy, and junk like that is not loving. Those are empty carbs that burn too quickly to give them any benefit. Feed your family good foods from the 31 Super Foods list, including carbs! High fiber carbohydrates with low sugar amounts like oatmeal and quinoa can fuel your family without spiking their blood sugars. Second, understand that they may eat more than you if they have an active lifestyle that demands more carbs. Just because your kid eats three slices of the almond crust pizza (which is delicious and we’ll post that recipe soon) doesn’t mean you have to eat three.

One final word about this. Some Crimson Riders don’t have Type 2 Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes. They love people who are in that boat! If you are married to or live with someone affected by Diabetes, lovingly and gently encourage them to fight the disease by eating the Recommended Daily Allowance of Carbohydrates (130) for an average person who works out for the minimum amount of 20-40 minutes four times a week. Don’t eat garbage in front of your fellow Crimson Riders. It means so much when your partner lives well and encourages you to do the same.

How are you supporting the people you love in terms of developing a healthy lifestyle? No complaining! Tell us what you’re doing that’s working!

Jim Lenze


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