Low Carb + Type 1: The Reality

In theory, limiting carb intake with type 1 seems like a reasonable idea. Less carbs = less insulin = less cray blood sugars, right? Well, sometimes that might work. But the reality is that restriction leads to binging, and just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you are exempt from that. If you’re unfamiliar with the binge-restrict cycle, I love this explanation from Breanna O’Malley of The Wellful.

Unfortunately, I have this conversation frequently with clients. They feel frustrated that low carb diets aren’t “working” for them and feel completely out of control around food. The cycle below is a digital version of what a client drew on paper for me in session a few weeks ago.

Low carb for type 1

The easiest way to break this cycle is to start adding those foods we’re restricting back into our regular intake. If this sounds terrifying, I promise you’re not alone. Most clients look at me like I have two heads when I suggest this… what kind of dietitian tells someone with diabetes to eat carbs!? The answer: the kind of dietitian who wants to help you make peace with food and feel just a little less crazy trying to manage your blood sugar.