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VeeJay 03-05-2016 13:08

Eat-to-your-meter testing method
This is the testing method that is called "Eat-to-your-meter". It is the fast-track method for customizing your diet to achieve good control over blood sugar levels. It is also a good way for finding out if a certain food is "good for you" or not.

The following is mostly from a post by Shanny in

Establish your target range for blood sugar levels. Common upper limit is 140mg/dl = 7.8mmol/l. Commit to keeping your blood sugar under this level at all times. As you gain better control, you may want to lower this limit by several points.

Test right before eating. Log the reading along with what you ate and the total grams of carbohydrates in that meal/snack.

1 hour pp (post prandial):
Test again one hour after your first bite, and log the reading along with what and how much you ate. This is assumed to be about the highest peak - the spike - from the meal.

2 hour pp:
Test a third time two hours after your first bite. This is hoped to show your blood sugar dropping back to roughly what it was before the meal. If it is, you're showing a good second phase insulin response. If it is not, you should continue testing until you find your blood sugar beginning to drop.

Analyzing these readings along with the foods you've eaten enables you to see which foods have the worst effect on your blood sugar, so you can avoid consuming them in the future.

It's fair to give each meal a second chance, in case there could be an outside influence on the elevated reading, but after two or three experiments, it is wise to avoid or sharply restrict the foods which drastically spike your blood sugar.

After several weeks of extensive testing this way, you'll have compiled a personalized list of foods you can eat safely, for the most part. Not saying things don't change, and foods which were safe at one time could become troublesome later, but in the general scheme of things, eating to your meter is an excellent way to hold diabetes in check.

This can also be used to test individual foods such as fruits and things you suspect are going to spike you, but you'd like to know if perhaps you can eat small amounts.

VeeJay 03-05-2016 13:09

Testing on a budget

If strips are at a premium for you, then choose one meal on one day to do the 3 tests. Rotate testing around a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner - one or more meals per week as you have strips for. Once you determine what your personal carb level is that doesn't spike your BG above your target, then you can fix your meals to be at or below that carb content.

VeeJay 03-05-2016 13:11

My experience in using "Eat-to-your-meter"
I started using this testing method as soon as I learned about it on this forum. I was able to get my BG down very quickly after that.

When I first started testing more than just the fasting, I discovered right away that some foods were off-limits. Some of the worst offenders were products that were advertised as being low-carb and being "good for diabetics". Well, they didn't pass the "test" so they had to go.

I also discovered quickly just how many grams of carbs I could eat at one time, which for me is 8-10g carbs. Not much. I have tweaked my diet considerably since those early days. While I don't test every day anymore, I do still spot-check meals and especially those that contain new foods. If I'm unsure about a certain food, I'll eat only that and test around that food to see what it does to me.

VeeJay 03-05-2016 13:12

What has been your experience with using Eat-to-your-meter testing method?

Daytona 03-05-2016 13:19

I hope it's okay to add onto some of these "tutorial" threads?

I've found that I have to be very careful when I test and discover that a food that I expected to be bad, actually didn't raise my BG too much. I still make insulin, and when I'm doing well, I can get away with lots of stupid things: ice cream, sweet potato fries are some of my foods that tricked my meter. But if I add stuff like that in 1x a week and keep testing, everything starts to degrade (not just that single meal). Eventually if I keep it up, my insulin response isn't enough and I start seeing on my meter totally different numbers for that same food.

If you are insulin dependent, you may not run into this, but if you still have a somewhat working pancreas, I strongly recommend to always test meals that "don't add up". Since you can't see how much insulin you are making, there is a bit of a gap in the information we have to base our decisions upon.

VeeJay 03-05-2016 13:23


Originally Posted by Daytona (Post 1088954)
I hope it's okay to add onto some of these "tutorial" threads?

Most certainly. It is my hope that this thread can be a good resource for us all as we learn how others use this testing method successfully.

Hearts Jounrey 04-19-2016 22:32

I followed a rule that always made sense to me and its fundamental. Set parameters for daily insulin intake and adapt carbs to insulin. If I take 4 units Humalog in morning, I will only consume max 20g or less of carbs for those 4 units. At noon, another 4 units of Humalog and max of 20 g carbs and same in early evening. I wont take in more carbs and correct/chase with more insulin. I also figure in my lantus which I take once at 7:30am of 25 units that covers me thru later that night & next morning (11:00pm to 6:00am).

My insulin sensitivity or correction rate is 1 unit Humalog = 20-25 glucose reduction. My insulin to carb ratio (I:C) is 1 unit Humalog covers 7 carbs. One carb usually raises my blood sugar 4 points. I don't like to take eat more than 10g carbs at any one time because that's a 40+ point increase. My trade off is Ill do without many types of carb intense foods and keep carb portions very small to obtain optimal glucose control and focus on correct level of protein (too much protein will be converted into glucose) and fat intake. I want to feel good and energized and aim below 140 glucose levels and focus on ave levels between 60 and 120. Also want to minimize complications.

VeeJay 04-19-2016 22:38

Thank you for giving the perspective of a T1 on insulin. Reading what you do reminds me of Dr. Bernstein's "Law of Small Numbers".

glwilso8 04-20-2016 06:14


Originally Posted by VeeJay (Post 1088946)
What has been your experience with using Eat-to-your-meter testing method?

i have been doing the eat to my meter ballet to the extent that i know that staying under 30 carbs a day has become my base of operation. that, coupled with 16 to eighteen hours of daily fasting.

on my not so active weekends i miss about 6 hours of walking and as i did this evening, miss my 2030hr last bite deadline. at this point i exercise to my meter i.e. pre-bike 111 bg post-bike 74 bg.

i hope that this reflects in my wake-up level 'cause i was a bit celebratory due to a week avg of 90 bg and ate a couple extra squares of chocolate through out the day plus 3 glasses of some tasty wine :vs_no_no_no:. crossed my fingers and pushed the pedals.

gmlandis 05-14-2016 14:16

Thanks for posting this "Eat-to-your-meter testing method". When I get my monitor and testing supplies I'll be using this post as a guideline.

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