What Eating Looks Like with Gestational Diabetes

I know the topic on the blog here has been centered around my GD diagnosis the last week or so, and that's mainly because that's what's consuming a lot of my days right now--trying to get into a slightly different routine with eating.
I had a couple of people ask me to post about what a GD diet entails, etc and since I was searching high and low for information when I got my diagnosis, I thought I'd do a post on it. If you're not interested, feel free to X out now--I understand.

The first thing you need to know about a GD diet is that it's going to be customized for you based on your weight and what nutrients you need in order to stay healthy for you and baby. So my plan is likely going to be different than your plan.
The GD diet is all about carb counting, and how many carb counts you can get for each meal and snack throughout the day. Each carb count=15 g of carbs (give or take). My meal plan looks like this:
I was told that if I have a lighter carb lunch or dinner, I can have a higher carb snack in the afternoons and evenings.
One of the things I didn't realize at my class was that I HAVE to eat this many carbs a day. It's not a "you can have up to this many" thing. 12 carb choices is the lowest plan they give. If I don't have this many carbs in a day, my body starts breaking down fat which produces ketones in my urine, and ketones are bad for baby, signaling that both of us aren't getting enough nutrients. So I'm definitely walking a tightrope in this thing. Too much--sugars go high and baby gets extra insulin. Too low--I get ketones and baby is lacking nutrients (See why I've been stressed?!?!)

A lot of my normal dinners (which then become lunches the next day) already fall within the 3 carb choices, or 41-50g of carbs. For instance, the Mexican quinoa I make falls in that because of the beans, corn, and the quinoa (and the serving sizes).
I can also have a burrito bowl from Chipotle with chicken, rice, beans, the tomato salsa, cheese, sour cream and lettuce--but I can only have HALF at a time (which is fine because that's how much I normally eat for a meal anyway). No chips, though, which is a bummer.

If I have my broccoli cheddar soup, I have to eat it with two slices of toast to get at least 2 carb counts in, since this meal doesn't have enough carbs in it to count as a carb count (and then I can have a full Klondike bar for my evening snack! woohoo!)

I was surprised that 1/2 C of quinoa is 1 carb choice because everything you hear about quinoa is that it's good for you, full of protein, etc. But I still have to limit that. I was also surprised to find out the corn and peas are the more "carby" vegetables, along with potatoes which I already knew were carb busters.

A snack for me now that has 1 carb count is a small apple and a tablespoon or two of peanut butter. The apple holds most of the carbs. Another good sweet treat are the Outshine Fruit bars which are 1 carb count. 1 Cup of blueberries, strawberries or raspberries is 1 count, also.

I can snack on things that have no carbs whenever I want, so if I'm hungry, I can have some veggies, or some cheese, or a tablespoon of peanut butter. But for the most part, I'm not really hungry between snacks and meals since I'm eating so frequently throughout the day.

I have to test when I first wake up before I've had anything to eat (fasting), and then 2 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't have to test after snacks, thankfully.

Pricking my finger with the little pricker thingy I have isn't bad. Does it feel good? Well, no...but it's seriously not bad and totally manageable. Hell, after IVF this is a walk in the park! Testing as a whole takes me about 15 seconds to get the testing strip out, in the machine, prick my finger and then get it on the testing strip, and writing down my number.

The Hard Stuff
The hardest part for me is eating out. I will follow the guidelines they set and try to order within those parameters, but the tricky thing about eating out is that you don't know how something was made, all of the ingredients, the size of things, etc. Without nutrition labels, it's a guessing game (one in which my numbers are usually higher).

The good news is I've been able to control this without medication so far (and hopefully that continues). I also have very good fasting numbers which is usually more difficult for people. I just can't grab that handful of potato chips like I want, or a couple of things of chocolate because I'm craving it. It has to be factored into my snacking (chocolate) or not at all (potato chips). 

I'm not sure if that answers all of the questions that were out there, but hopefully it at least helps to explain the process, especially to someone who has been newly diagnosed and hasn't taken the class yet.


  1. I loved getting to know more about how you are adjusting your diet plans to fit with the GD. Eating out definitely makes it harder, but seems like for the time being you have it pretty much under control. Just think that it will all be worth it in the end and you can do this mama!!

  2. Ugh-- sorry you have to go through this, but you are proving already how great of a mommy you are!! You are doing a great job of keeping tabs on all of this!! And eating out is always tough-- there are always hidden ingredients and portion sizes are way bigger than they should be! Maybe look for some restaurants that have nutrition info on their website and pick out your meal ahead of time? I used to do that when I was plain old calorie counting!! All this to say-- proud of you girl! And you're in the home stretch!!! XOXOX, R

  3. Gosh I hate you have to deal with this but the end is in sight and she will be totally worth it! You're such a good mommy already <3

  4. Sorry that you have to go thru this but it will be so worth it in the end. You are doing a great job. You are an awesome Mom already! Stay strong.

  5. Love you friend! Hang in there. And sorry for being a bad friend and not commenting. But I'm here and getting so excited for you.

  6. So sorry this is happening. But it is good that you have help managing it with medication a customized plan. Hang in there and just remember that you will have so much joy when she is born you will forget all about this.

  7. So awesome that you are SO on top of this and really sticking to it, I imagine it is tough. Amazing how much easier things can become when it is for our babies, though! And at least you can still squeeze in that Klodike Bar! :-)

  8. I think it's great that you are being proactive and doing all that you can to make sure you and baby girl are healthy.

  9. Stopping by from Tuesday Talk! XOXO I'm so glad you were able to control this without medication. I bet that after this, your healthy habits will stick. I'm sure it's really difficult, though. Thanks for linking up for Tuesday Talk!

  10. Gosh what a spike in the road but you're doing the right thing to keep you and the baby healthy plus the portion and carb/sugar control should have you looking like a hot Mama all through pregnancy so you don't have to worry too much about losing the baby weight. I know it's still such a pain to have to test several times a day but baby girl is worth ALL of it.

  11. This is a great update on what you are doing and experiencing. I have my fingers crossed that it is smooth sailing from here on out and until baby is born.

  12. You've got this, girl! I'm thinking all of the happy thoughts for you!

  13. You're a rockstar!! Pregnancy is such a strange things - so different for everyone and SO many things to consider. You're already such a great mama taking care of your baby. You're in the home stretch!!

  14. I'm so sorry, but I'm glad you've been able to control with medication. Thinking of you! xx, I'm Fixin' To


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