Why Your Sugars Are Rising During Exercise & What To Do About It

Have you ever wondered why your glucose levels rise when you exercise? In this article I’m going to share a few reasons why that could be happening, what you can do about it, and how you can use this information to create your very own transformation. 

High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is one of the most obstructive factors in optimizing YOUR wellbeing, & building muscle with diabetes. If you want to know more about muscle gain or fat loss with diabetes, you’ve come to the right place!

As a type 1 diabetic for 3 decades myself, and a strength coach for 15 of those years, I think we as T1D’s can all agree that we’ve all had a taste of those frustrating and surprising glucose spikes after exercising at some point. Today, I’m talking from a type 1 fitness trainers perspective specific to those exercising with type 1 diabetes.  Other than the points I’ll be speaking about today, our medication, activity levels, muscle mass, training frequency, recovery, and other ailments are also contributors to why your sugars are spiking when exercising


Because insulin levels fail to rise for the increased production of glucose-raising hormones in someone with diabetes, high-intensity exercise has the potential to raise blood glucose levels because of the stress it puts on the body. 

It’s known that diabetics who engage in powerlifting, Crossfit, strong man, and bodybuilding as their chosen disciplines or hobbies, produce more glucose-raising hormones, which increases glucose production in the liver, making it difficult to get the glucose out of our bloodstream. Our body is designed to use glucose for energy, provide glucose when energy is needy is needed and store energy when needed. As diabetics, we often have to manually take care of and adjust a lot of these factors. 

So here’s what you can do:

If hyperglycemia develops, closely monitor your blood glucose and correct with the right amount of insulin needed. This is where understanding your own specific insulin correction factors come into play. If we don’t correct the high blood glucose levels it causes us to lose muscle mass, increases the chance of diabetic complications and affects our decreased daily energy levels & performance.


Mountain climbing, tennis, basketball, boxing, and jiu-jitsu are examples of very difficult aerobic exercises that incorporate occasional bouts of anaerobic activity.

Elevations in glucose-raising hormones, including the activities ive just mentioned, cause blood glucose levels to rise. Without the proper dose of insulin, we as diabetics aren’t able to keep glucose levels in range.

So here’s what you can do:

It’s all about testing the activities you enjoy and making notes of what each activity does to your diabetes specifically. From here, you would look to see the ranges the activity pushes your levels too. Once you notice a trend (which generally takes an average of 3 events or tests),  then you can start to anticipate outcomes before they happen instead of reacting to them when they happen.


Stress, be it physical, emotional or mental, has the tendency to raise blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. 

Let me give you a small example of the outcome stress can have on us and our sugar levels. We all know that sleep is the time when we recover from the day we’ve had. If we don’t get enough sleep, our body doesn’t recover. 

As a type 1 diabetic, you’ll immediately notice that on days you get less than 5 hours of sleep, you’ll need up to 20% more insulin the next day to maintain stable levels. This is a small example of how the lack of recovery can have negative impacts on us. 

The best way to find out if and how stress is affecting you and your diabetes, it helps to make a note of your current stress levels in relation to your glucose levels. This can be done by using a scoring system as simple as 1-10.  When you’re feeling stressed, use this scoring system to measure and note HOW stressed you are. 1 being very mild and 10 being a panic attack. 

When enough data is presented you’ll be able to visibly see which level of stress your sugars start to rise at and if or when mental, physical and emotional stress is taking its toll on your diabetes. 

You’ll get a good indication of how sensitive you are to stress if you keep linking high-stress scores with blood glucose levels that are higher than they should be, and can start to focus on stress recovery instead of more and more medication. This is all assuming your background insulin is dosed correctly and your bolus insulin for the food you eat.

It is very common for diabetic bodybuilders, powerlifters, and competitive athletes to be concerned about this. Competition stress can raise blood glucose levels to the point that performance and appearance (in bodybuilding) are harmed. As a diabetic who used to compete for a living in fitness competitions, I can say first-hand how stress and even excitement affects our sugars.

Battling hyperglycemia is a daily task when we exercise under high-stress situations. 

Here’s what you can do:

 It’s crucial to consider how you react to stress. Because most of the tension you face is caused by self-inflicted daily habits or lack of habits, so learning to process stress rather than react to stress is a useful skill to have.

Exercise is stress, being in danger is stress, losing something or someone you care about is stress, lack of sleep leads to stress etc. 

Whether you’re being chased by a shark or perhaps you thought you lost your wedding ring, stress all has the same outcome on us as diabetics and needs to be managed proactively 

On any given day, if you put too much stress on yourself and dont make a point to match it with recovery, you put yourself at a high risk of injury ( mental injury, physical injury or emotional injury) as well as illness and something we all know very well – diabetic burnout. 

Stress isn’t something I try and avoid as it’s a part of life. As far as exercise goes – it’s the point, so personally, my golden rule is to work hard and recover harder. 


Food and drink carbohydrate has the highest impact on blood glucose levels of all the macronutrients. All carbs are broken down into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream and used as fuel or stored for later use *Fibre is a carb but is largely excluded from this as its ability to be absorbed are less than usual for a carb. 

Glucose is a vital source of energy for the body and the brain. To become a diabetic and to think that it means to never need carbs or glucose again is wildly incorrect. 

Diabetes is restoring a delicate balance that was once automatic. To favour any side is to break that delicate balance. 

The very definition of diabetes is the inability to process carbs. Lower carbohydrate intake is frequently recommended as a way to improve control – but restricting something only gives the illusion of control. 

While this dietary approach may be a valid way to improve blood glucose management in sedentary people, those who exercise on a daily basis will require more carbohydrate to sustain their training volume. 

Hyperglycemia is more likely with a higher carbohydrate diet, especially if insulin is reduced.

Here’s what you can do:

 Learn how to be diabetic and dose correctly. A diabetic that doesn’t know how to do the job their pancreas once had is where all the danger comes into play. 

Carbs eaten by a diabetic who understands this, mean glucose levels remain stable. A diabetic who doesn’t understand this will be riding those rollercoasters every time carbs are eaten (or even thought about), and thus turning to zero carb diets as the “fix”. 

This quick-fix approach treats the symptom but not the cause. 

Diabetes is a language we didn’t ask to learn, I get it, but not trying to be fluent means we can never move from a surviving mentality and reality towards a thriving mentality and reality. 


Simply put, this is when there isn’t enough insulin in your bloodstream to allow glucose to transfer into the tissues that need it… As a result, your blood glucose levels stay high, putting you at risk for DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), which intensifies high glucose levels. This happens if you forget to take your insulin, are highly stressed, it can happen when you have a glucose dump from your liver or eat too much glucose (carbs) without the correct dose of insulin. 

Here’s what you can do:

Get really good at becoming a master where your medication is concerned. Hyperinsulinemia is overcome by the guidance of your health professional together with the correct dose of your specific diabetic medications. 


For a diabetic – when insulin is not present, the glucose levels rise! A non-diabetics body (or pancreas) will secrete insulin all day long, almost every few minutes. This goes to reason, if your primary source of insulin has been disconnected it means only one thing: High sugar levels in the bloodstream. 

Here’s what you can do:

 Always check your pump tube, your infusion set for kinks and be mindful of activities that could cause your pump it to disconnect.


If you’re a typical T1D, it’s not uncommon to keep the same needle on the pen and to change it once in a blue moon. For the record, needles should ideally be changed for every injection. Sometimes they come out of the box blocked or, they become blunt and blocked after use and if you have a blocked needle or a malfunctioning insulin pen you won’t be able to give yourself your insulin. 

Here’s what you can do:

Test your pen before use by pressing the plunger and looking for a drop or by squirting out a unit or 2. 

Always carry spare needles in your diabetic go-bag. Before I started using a pump – I used MDI (multiple daily injections) for 24 years. trust me, it’s not good when you need insulin and you can’t give it.  


Insulin is a protein dissolved in water. Like any other protein, it can spoil. Keeping it cold helps to keep it from spoiling. When temperatures go to high or too low this can cause bacteria to grow in it and will break down the protein. The insulin won’t poison you or make you sick. It just won’t work very well – if at all. 

Here’s what you can do:

Keep your insulin in a cool dry place. The standard recommendation from all the insulin manufacturers is that a vial of insulin you are using can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days. Room temperature is defined as between 59 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15-26 degrees Celcius). 

Exercise and diabetes can be a bit confusing at first – I know! 

As a lifelong diabetic and ex competitive athlete, I can say first-hand how difficult it can be. Being well informed is the first hurdle, and the second is to be able to apply the information so you can successfully enjoy the transformation. 

That’s what I do for T1D’s all over the globe. Diabetic Athletic helps you live, look, feel and perform better.  If you made it this far through the video, Im sure you’re going to make the most of the information and are clearly serious about progressing. Feel free to contact me anytime, and in the meantime, you can visit diabeticathletic.com and enjoy the exercise & diabetes web class where I’ll make sense of almost everything you need to succeed when exercising with diabetes.  

If you want to start your very own 30-Day muscle-building journey that I’ve made especially for type 1 diabetics, this is the link for you www.30daygainz.com, and if you’d like a FREE TRIAL for access to some amazing home workouts, training plans, insulin to carb calculators and so much more… just click HERE and go the to the FREE trial (free means free – as in 100% free forever!)


Written by:

Nicholas Caracandas, founder and head coach of Diabetic Athletic Lifestyle Accelerator




So What is Energy Balance?

Energy is another word for “calories.”

Your energy balance is the balance of calories consumed through eating and drinking compared to calories burned through physical activity. What you eat and drink is ENERGY IN. What you burn through physical activity is ENERGY OUT.

You burn a certain number of calories just by breathing air and digesting food. You also burn a certain number of calories through your daily routine. For example, children burn calories just being students—walking to their lockers, carrying books, etc. and adults burn calories walking to the bus stop, going shopping, and at work etc.

An important part of maintaining energy balance is the amount of ENERGY OUT (physical activity) that you do.

It should be obvious that people who are more physically active burn more calories than those who are not as physically active.

Here are 3 different scenarios for 3 very common outcomes or goals:

  1. The same amount of ENERGY IN (calories consumed) and ENERGY OUT  (calories burned) over time = weight staying the same.
  1. More calories IN(consumed) than OUT (exercise) over time = weight gain.
  1. More calories OUT(exercise) than IN (eaten) over time = weight loss.

Your ENERGY IN and OUT doesn’t have to balance every day. It’s having a balance over time that will help you stay at a healthy weight for the long term. Balancing your total calories PER WEEK ( 7x daily totals), is a far better approach because it allows some days to deviate from the perfect plan.

Personally, I calculate the calories for clients to balance out over a period of 7 days rather than day-to-day. This allows for adherence and absolute freedom and room for any indulgences and joys (Because life is worth it).

Balancing your calories in versus calories out on a daily basis is a good idea as time is an expensive commodity and to find out that you have just been winging it over a period of 3 months without tracking your day to day calories will inevitably slow down potential results. We can only manage what we measure.

Something to keep in mind when tracking calories is that we need to reduce the calories and NOT the food. This is where so many go wrong. Calories go down but food intake needs to remain high. This allows you to be limiting calories while being able to eat and be merry (like all people should).

PRo TIP: Calories fro fibre are not counted towards calorie totals. This means that although broccoli has a carb content ( which display as calories), these carbs are mostly from fibre which means they are almost non-existent.

Energy Balance in Real Life

Think of it as balancing your “lifestyle budget.” For example, if you know you and your family will be going to a party and may eat more high-calorie foods than normal, then you may wish to eat fewer calories on the day or for a few days before so that it balances out.

Or, you can increase your physical activity level for the few days before or after the party, so that you can burn off the extra energy.

In an ideal scenario, you would do bot. Decrease in your intake and increase your activity.

The same applies to your kids. If they’ll be going to a birthday party and eating cake and ice cream—or other foods high in fat and added sugar—help them balance their calories the day before and/or after by providing ways for them to be more physically active.

Here’s another way of looking at energy balance in real life.

Eating just 150 calories more a day than you burn can lead to an extra 5 pounds or 2.5kg over 4 – 6 months. That’s a gain of 10 pounds or 4.5kg a year.

150 calories equate to 1 bite of a chocolate bar, 3 apples, a pinch of almonds or 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil!

If you don’t want this weight gain to happen, or you want to lose the extra weight, you can either reduce your ENERGY IN or increase your ENERGY OUT. Doing both is the best way to achieve and maintain healthy body weight.

Next step is your protein intake and training stimulus.

For more info visit www.diabeticathletic.com and use my calorie calculator made specifically for type 1 diabetics inside my FREE TRIAL.

You can also chat to me directly HERE

Yours in Strength and Diabetes,

Nicholas Caracandas

The Reality Of Nutrition

Written by:

Nicholas Caracandas, founder and head coach of Diabetic Athletic Lifestyle Accelerator



Principles All have to do with your goals. If you’re needing to add muscle mass – Your main principles after sorting out your nutrition will all have to do with Stimulus (as in training stimulus). You can’t do park runs or yoga as your training stimulus and expect to build significant muscle mass or muscle tone.

Your principles for fat loss are what we call thermodynamics. Calories In Vs Out.

If you have ever been overweight, or know of anybody that is overweight it is because of this principle. Regardless of their opinions, purely because this isn’t a matter of opinion, and rather one of undeniable scientific, proven facts.

More calories coming in than going out. Not too many carbs, or fats, because you’re not vegan or because you missed a Zumba class….You ate too much and your body didn’t require the amount of energy you ate for that day, week, and month.

On a timeline: between you and the mentioned principals are things called methods (pictured below).


Let’s break down some popular diets, after all the marketing talk has been stripped away:

The Ketogenic diet –  is a method, intermittent fasting is a method. Low carb high fats is a method. Atkins is also just a method.

Every diet you choose is and always will be a METHOD to achieve a result through a common principle … a principle called “The law of thermodynamics”. 

Now we can use the word “method” to explaining the following it should be easier to understand…

Regardless of the method you choose, one principle will ALWAYS be present:  If you wish to lose body fat, YOU MUST CONSUME LESS ENERGY THAN YOU EXPEND!

Not less food consumption – less ENERGY consumption.

Let that sink in for a second. It doesn’t matter if you choose intermittent fasting or the cake and cookie diet… You have to put calories on the top of the priority list. Your chosen method will always be 2nd to what we call the principles.

You burn a certain number of calories a day. Just by living. You cannot exceed that amount if you want to lose weight.

The bottom line is, if you want to lose body fat, YOU MUST CONSUME LESS ENERGY (CALORIES) THAN YOU EXPEND (BURN). This can be done by eating less, moving more or in an ideal situation, you will do both.

It’s helpful to understand that the reason humans can store body fat in the first place is so that we have a readily-available source of fuel in the event of famine, being stranded on an island or world war 3.

We are designed to survive and to store energy. Females are designed to store more energy than their male counterparts, primarily because females are responsible for the human race. It takes 50 000 calories to carry and give birth. Your body knows this, it’s wired in your genetic code.

If your plan is set up for you to lose half a kilo or 1 pound of fat every 7 days and you have been “good” Monday to Friday maintaining your calorie deficit (fewer calories eaten than calories burned), and you go out on a weekend and overeat by 1500 calories if that overindulgence is larger than your weekly deficit ( ie the past 5 days of effort ), even by 150 calories you have sabotaged your entire 7 days efforts, and will not lose any weight for that week.

**See image above

ANY method or “diet” that makes it easier for you to stick to the calorie allowances is a “good” choice for you.

We are all different — some people find that intermittent fasting really helps them to maintain a caloric deficit long-term,

WHY? , because they don’t like eating breakfast. Or they just don’t have time in the morning. Who Ultimately, your choice is yours. There’s no point making you choose a method that doesn’t suit your lifestyle, yet people do this because “Susan the lady down the road” swears by it.

I am not here to tell you that any methods are better than others, because they’re not. The one you can stick to is the best method for you.  As long as you understand the principles and how they differ and apply to the methods and you can stick to your chosen method.

Some people need strict rules, such as extreme fitness competitors and others do better with more flexible approaches (such as Flexible Dieting or “If It Fits Your Macros”).

Let me just say this: Have you ever seen a fitness model or physique model get readt for a show without paying attention to their daily energy (calorie) intake?

Let me answer that for you… It’s a strong “hell no”.

The point is you can GAIN body fat on any or all of these methods (or diets) if you eat too many calories relative to your specific needs.

Even if a food is dubbed as “healthy”, generally speaking, these very foods are caloric bombs that will cause your total daily caloric intake to be over and above what is required for fat loss.

A handful of cashews or a bottle of red wine = 450 -550 calories. As far as calories go…. And fat -loss goes… these two choices are the same when your energy balance is concerned. Your body won’t discriminate.

Your body has a storage capacity. Like a cup of coffee. This is termed as your basal metabolic rate or (BMR). Your cup is not the same size as the person next to you.

Every time you drink from your cup its like movement. The cup empties and you can put more coffee in it. The more you drink per day the more coffee you can put in the cup. The amount you drink per day is equivalent to the amount times you get up off your ass and move.

Every time you put something in your mouth you are filling up the cup of coffee. If you don’t move enough you cup overflows. If you’re trying to lose fat – This creates a mess I call calorie surplus. The mug overflows and we have a classic case of overconsumption and under usage. Which is a fancy way of saying “ you get fatter”.

The magic diets, pills, lean in 15 books are the same promises as little coffee fairies that come and drink your coffee for you. It’s not possible. You have to do the movement or you get fat.

If you want to pour more coffee (CALORIES), in your mug (BODY), than it can handle, you have to drink (MOVE) more!


The BEST dietary approach is the method of your choice that you can do without fail. ADHERENCE is the key component.

Exercise accelerates results from obeying the principles.

There are no magic tricks – there is no miracle supplement, superfood, meal-timing secret, or any other way to cheat the system.

You need to eat less energy than your body needs, and you need to do it long enough to lose the body fat you want to lose.

Doing this is uncomfortable, and there’s no way around that fact.

It’s hard to do, and that’s evident by the large segment of the population that struggle with this problem and never achieve their goals.

Once you can accept this fact, coupled with the understanding that it doesn’t matter about the diets name or how well it has been packaged and marketed – the diet will always need to obey calories and how much you eat versus how active you are.

Diabetes can be difficult – I can obviously relate (type 1 for 3 decades). With the right kind of help, guidance and support this can all change in as little as 1 week.

Let’s look at it this way: Accounting is something I found very hard to do at school. Yes, I’ve got the basics down (I actually did accounting through to my matric year). I can balance my ledgers, however, when it comes to the fine-tuning, my monthly and yearly taxes and my VAT, I hire people to take care of it for me. Why?… Well because they are better at it than me, I’m busy and I have peace of mind it’s in capable hands.

If you’re like me and prefer to have peace of mind knowing you’re on a plan that has your best interests at heart, my FREE TRIAL is a great place to start. You’ll get access to some amazing training plans and workouts, nutrition plans, calorie calculators and my fat-loss mini series for diabetics.

If you need help with something a bit more bespoke and customised with your nutrition and online personal training and you’re looking to achieve the fat loss and diabetic goals you’re looking for then simply speak to me and let’s discuss your goals.

You can message me anytime here or comment below if you have any questions or need some advice. I am always just a message away!

Yours in Diabetic Confidence,

Nicholas Caracandas

The Key To Lifelong Fat Loss

Written by:

Nicholas Caracandas, founder and head coach of Diabetic Athletic Lifestyle Accelerator


The key to lifelong fat loss lies with you and your ability to grasp the basics. This article is going to explain the single most important fact when it comes to diets.

Once you understand the difference between diets and methods you’ll be armed and ready to go ahead and make the best choices regarding the right diet or method for you. Just by including this lesson into your arsenal of tools with diabetes, you’ll be able to achieve fat loss and take it one step further than most people living with diabetes ever do.

People are so often misled by diets said to work better than others when in actual fact it’s all just marketing hype and gimmicks. At the end of the day, you get mislead and pay the price.

I’ve already explained the importance of choosing a diet that you can stick too and il be saying it many times over in this fat-loss video series. The reason for this is because I’ve lost count as to how many old clients of mine have moved countries, used cheaper trainers, gone on silly meal plan and diets and forgotten this very lesson only to come back where they started asking for help again.

If you want to stop starting over and over again – stay tuned, take note and finish all 8 videos in this series, and I can guarantee you a better chance at success. If you’d like something a little extra, click the link in the description and sign up to my FREE trial. You’ll get calorie calculators, protein calculators, insulin to carb ratio calculators, meal plans, guides and strategies as well as loads of training plans to use and enjoy, and all for free.

Now.. We’ve spoken about adherence and making sustainable choices.  This is honestly something so simple and so powerful in its ability to produce the desired effect. We stick with what we enjoy, and finding a nutritional strategy you enjoy, is more than half the battle.

I want to make sure you realise the importance of your choices as well as the fact that googling a diet is not going to get you the results you want regardless of how well packaged,  marketing & sold these diets are. Remember, most diets will work short term. That’s the truth. But at what cost.

Most of them will cause you to give up things you enjoy and as a buy product you will inevitably stop doing that diet. You get promised fast results I get that, but read between the lines – what you dont get told is that you’re giving up your lifestyle and are just another quick buck.

5% fat loss isn’t ever worth sacrificing 80% lifestyle and so, I want to simplify and help you understand what a diet actually is.

I want you to put your self at the beginning of a timeline. Just draw a line on a page put yourself on the left, and place something called “principles or methods” in the middle, and then your goals at the other end.

In order for you to get to your goal, you will need to apply certain principles. Depending on your goals the principles are going to be different. For muscle growth, it’s going to come down to stimulus. As in training stimulus. For fat loss it’s going to be Thermodynamics. Which is the law of In Versus out.

Yes that’s right, Calorie deficit you’ve heard it before and this course is going to teach you why to apply it, and how to apply it .

If you take any diet you have ever heard of, ever seen, even a diet you read about on an Instagram story or perhaps have a friend who told you about some magical new diet he or she has tried… Once broken down to its bones you’ll learn that each and every diet will obey the law of thermodynamics. Every single one!!

The rule that states calories coming in or eaten, must be less than the calories being burned via daily activity if you are to lose weight.

Any diet that has ever worked for anyone, long term and short term has done so by having them be in a caloric deficit.

In order for you to get to your goal, you will need to apply a method. If we list some diets and put them between you and your ultimate goal, they will get listed in a category called “METHODS”

For example:

Keto or ketogenic diets – Are just a method that obeys one principle – calorie deficit.

Keto is low carb, in fact, NO carb. On average your daily consumption is probably sitting at 40-60% carbs. Start keto, cut out 40% of your intake, and all of a sudden you’ve got a deficit.

Its sold as a new miracle diet however  It obtains fat loss through the principle of fewer calories being consumed versus calories you burn via daily activity.

The keto diet is marketed as a carb-free diet. You’ve deleted a food group .. ALL CARBS. It’s not a magic diet!  You’ve stopped eating a food that you most probably overeat on a daily basis.. Stop carbs and boom.. A calorie deficit is achieved… but for how long?

More about this in video 6.

Herbalife – Another popular way to get you to delete food from your life and achieve magic fat loss. Except it’s not magic. It’s a smart way to sell you a product or diet that creates a calorie deficit in order to lose weight – Although I dont like it, it obtains the same result through the same means – the principle remember.  Less food in = fat loss via a caloric deficit.

The main problem is that you’re consuming Shakes instead of food and that’s not sustainable. Therefore your fat loss (if any), cannot and will not be sustained.

Once the method ends, ao do the results.

Intermittent fasting – Different method –  People sing “hey i do Intermittent fasting, Im skipping breakfast and losing weight”. “This is the best diet in the world “…. You guessed it …Thermodynamics, Principle..

This method has you missing a portion of your day and without telling you its making you follow the one principle of fat loss… Calorie deficit.

By missing a portion of your day (let’s be blunt youre deleting a portion of your day and making sure you dont eat in that time frame ), which means you will get through the day having eaten less food.

Weight watchers, paleo diet, slimming world, detox’s, juice diets, LCHF.. You name it … they are all just methods that obey one simple principle. Even the vegan diets.. think about it… all of a sudden you can’t eat anything other than vegetables. You’ll eat more food, because the volume of vegetables is greater than the caloric amounts, and so you eat more food while consuming fewer calories. It’s not magic, it’s not that vegan diets are the key… it’s the fact you started maintaining that calorie deficit using a method.

Once you can understand this you will be able to choose a method that appeals to you in order to lose weight. A method to get you to your goal.

Since they are all in line with the same principle all you need to do is choose a method you will never have to stop doing. That is the key.

Choosing a method like the ketogenic diet (no carbs ever again), may benefit a diabetic from a sugar level perspective, but ask yourself this … can you sustain having no carbohydrates ever again?

No carbs are going to cause insulin resistance in any case, and as a type 1 diabetic, keto is not a good long term idea. Just ask your specialist before trolling the comments.

I am not here to say which method is better than the next. What I want you to learn is that different methods will work for different people. All methods work short term, and your own specific method will work for you long term as long as you obey that 1 principle of fat loss.

The bottom line here is:

Never start a diet that will one day come to an end.

If you’d like instant access to my FREE TRIAL of the Diabetic Athletic Lifestyle Accelerator Program, you can make use of the diabetic friendly training plans, nutrition plans, workouts, calorie calculators and insulin on boards calculators all designed to help you dominate your diabetes… simply click HERE now and enjoy!

Yours in Strength,

Nicholas Caracandas




Reversing Pre-Diabetes & Obesity

Written by:

Nicholas Caracandas, founder and head coach of Diabetic Athletic Lifestyle Accelerator


About 1,900 years ago, one of the most celebrated Greek physicians, described diabetes as “a melting down of the flesh and limbs into the urine“.



Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by raised levels of glucose in the blood. It occurs when the body can’t produce enough insulin or simply can’t use the insulin it produces effectively. Insulin, which is a hormone manufactured in the pancreas which is an organ, assists with the transport of glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells for use as energy.

There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes results from the pancreas failing to produce enough insulin. This type of diabetes is not really caused by poor lifestyle choices.   

Type 2 Diabetes is a condition of defective insulin signalling. This can often be a byproduct of poor lifestyle choices.   

Gestational Diabetes is a condition where women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose ..or  (blood sugar) levels during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.

There are other types of diabetes like type 3(Alzheimer’s), lady 1.5 and diabetes that is caused by pancreatic disease, and a few more. 

 Obesity, Pre diabetics and type 1 diabetics are who I work with the most. 

When insulin isn’t produced or acts ineffectively, glucose remains circulating in the blood, leading to a condition known as hyperglycemia. Long-term hyperglycemia can result in the dysfunction and failure of various organs and systems, including the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.

Treatment for diabetes aims to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible to reduce the risk of developing complications. Treatments vary depending on the type of diabetes and Lifestyle modification in conjunction with medications like insulin are often needed – and is the very reason I came up with the Diabetic Athletic triangle of control. The focus should be on Training and nutrition together with medication. 


To reverse prediabetes, you’ll first need to realise and come to peace with the fact that it needs to be done. It is a matter of a life and death.

If you’re dealing with obesity or pre-diabetes it is no less dangerous than any other life-threatening disease and Knowing your opponent is half the battle.

Obesity can be reversed, so can pre-diabetes. And only you can make the change so once you realise you need to save your own life, so you can be the best possible version of of yourself for those you love most, at least you have the tools right here to do so.

Also, take it from me – diabetes isn’t fun and games. I don’t mind it at all if I’m being honest, but I dedicate more time to my well being and I consider myself very lucky to have built a life that allowed me to study nd work in the strength, health and wellness profession.

As a general rule of thumb losing 10kg or 22lbs, is the start you need to reverse obesity and pre diabetes. It’s less about the 10kg oe 22lbs, and more about the lifestyle and habits that will be learned for that weight to be lost.

You see, losing this weight is no easy task and adopting good habits and achieving this goal, you’ll learn about what is needed to carry on losing fat % and regaining a positive, winning mindset, and a body that starts working for you, again.

These habits that are built while trying to ensure weight loss, fat loss and lean muscle gain, along with the proper knowledge and education about how to lose the weight and keep it off forever are what will inevitably set you up for greater fat loss and a healthier, happier, longer and more confident life. A life without diabetes, obesity and all the ailments that that are so closely linked to obesity.  

It’s important to highlight that the best diet in the world will always be the one you can stick to. If you adopt any kind of methods that cause you to lose weight or gain muscle, you must realise that as soon as you stop doing the very diet and process or method that helped you achieve the results, you’ll lose those results.

There aren’t many guarantees in life – but this is one of them.

So for you to successfully lose weight, gain muscle, reverse your obesity or pre diabetic state, you’ll need to learn what actually matters, what causes fat loss and how you can apply these teachings in a way that doesnt restrict your quality of life. The more restrictive a diet is the less chance of adherence you’ll have to that chosen diet.

Simply put: You need a diet and strategy that will never need to come to an end. If it has an end date then you can bet all your progress will stop when the program stops.

The next few videos are going to break down what really matters when trying to lose fat mass and gain lean muscle tone. I’m going to show and tell you all the important measures for you to apply and I am going to debunk the marketing hypes and false information most of you have likely already heard and been told (or perhaps even tried) in the past.

In video #2 of this 8 part mini series, I am going to be talking about the key to lifelong fat loss. I am going to teach you the difference and similarity between diets and methods and how you can choose and apply the ones that will work for you.

Before we do that I want you to write down any diets or detox’s you may have tried in the past.

Once you’ve listed them, have a good hard look.. think and ask yourself if it worked? If the answer was yes.. How long did the results last.

The point of this exercise is to highlight the fact that every single diet works… until it doesnt.

The point I’m trying to make is you are going to be taught how to adopt methods that will not only work for you but rather …. Ones that will work forever!

Stay tuned for the next blog in this 8 part video series where I’ll be breaking down all types of diets, methods and strategies you can use as a type 1 diabetic wanting to achieve the best lifestyle possible with the most impact, freedom and control.

If you’d like instant access to my FREE TRIAL of the Diabetic Athletic Lifestyle Accelerator Program, you can make use of the diabetic friendly training plans, nutrition plans, workouts, calorie calculators and insulin on boards calculators all designed to help you dominate your diabetes… simply click HERE now and enjoy!

Yours in Strength,

Nicholas Caracandas





No question about it, burning fat is a 24/7 endeavour. To keep the fires hot, and to keep insulin on board, you want to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Not only that, but you must choose the right foods in the right amounts to keep your metabolism revved up. For example, protein uses more energy (calories) to be digested versus its carb and fats counterpart.

These are 12 fundamentals laws that are all you need to shed that unwanted blubber from your midsection and elsewhere. Most of them are nutrition-driven, but training comes into play as well.

If you are planning to lean out after a mass or strength gain phase or perhaps your focus is to get lean and now is the time… These 12 laws of fat-burning will help get you there.

Slash (Calories) and Burn

Do this: Most guys who are fairly active and exercise regularly burn about 16-18 calories per pound of bodyweight or more per day. On that basis, a 200-pounder would consume 3200-3,600 calories daily. To start dropping body fat, reduce your calories to between 12-16 calories per pound of body weight per day on workout days, or 2,800-3,200 calories daily. On non-workout days, drop to about 10-12 calories per pound per day (2000-2,400 calories for the guy who’s 200lbs).

The easiest way to cut calories? Eliminate excess dietary fat—meaning no butter, oils, or salad dressings (low-fat or fat-free dressings are OK); remove the skin from chicken; substitute egg whites for most of your whole eggs; avoid whole-milk dairy products; and ditch marbled red meats such as rib-eye for lean cuts such as flank. Keep some healthy fats in your diet, such as salmon, mixed nuts, peanut butter, and avocados.

Be selective of Carbohydrates

Though calorie control is a must, hormonal control is nearly as important. Coupled with calories, hormones govern fat-burning. Suppress fat-storing hormones and you can expect a significant amount of body fat to melt away. The ideal way to control these hormones is to keep your carbohydrate intake in check, since carbs kick up insulin, a hormone that inhibits fat breakdown and drives fat storage. Eat fewer carbs and insulin levels tend to moderate, leading to fat loss. As diabetics, we need to embrace carbs as a friend. A close friend! As with any friendship, we cannot and should not take friends for granted… and you guessed it – enjoy quality times with your carbs – just don’t neglect, abuse, or take your carbs for granted!

Of course, not all carbohydrates are equal. In short, fast-digesting carbs tend to create a large insulin burst, leading to more potential fat gain as the insulin requirements are larger and potential for overconsumption are higher.

Never Eat Carbs by Themselves

When attempting to lose body fat, insulin control is crucial. The total amount of insulin we give ourselves as diabetics isn’t only related to how many carbohydrates you eat but how fast those carbs are digested. Refined carbs digest quickly, raising insulin levels faster and substantially, which is why you should avoid them. But if you do happen to eat, say, a bowl of cold cereal (typically a fast-digesting carb), you can still take measures to ensure those carbs digest more slowly. This will cause less insulin to be released and therefore have less of an impact on your ability to burn fat.

Do this: One way to slow digestion is to eat carbs with protein and small amounts of fat. Never eat carbs alone. Accompany that bowl of cereal, for example, with scrambled egg whites or cottage cheese. Alternatively, you could eat plenty of vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and green salads, with your meals. These foods actually slow the breakdown and digestion rate of all carbohydrates.


Never Eat Carbs Before Bed (Limit to 15g)

At night the body naturally produces a fat-liberating hormone called growth hormone within the initial 90 minutes of sleep.

GH not only increases fat-burning but is required to build mass and strengthen the immune system. Yet carbs put a damper on GH release, so it’s ideal to go to bed under one of two scenarios: on an empty stomach, or, even better, having consumed only protein, no carbs. This allows blood glucose—the high-tech name for digested carbs circulating in the blood—to remain low, which facilitates the rise in nocturnal GH production.

Do this: Don’t eat anything about three hours before bed. A better option is to eat only protein meals the final four hours before bed, with one protein meal immediately before bedtime that includes only protein, such as a casein shake, low-fat cottage cheese, or chicken breast. You can, however, eat a small serving of vegetables here if you wish.

**For those that have a bedtime snack with their long-acting insulin at night – keep what has been working for you and make sure you speak to your doctor before changing this in your routine.

Use Nitric Oxide at Night

Nitric oxide is the compound that opens everything up, and, not surprisingly, it’s one of the best fat-burning products on the market. NO supports “the pump” when taken before training, enhancing blood flow to muscles by allowing more blood to make its way to tissues, including muscles, which can help maximize hypertrophy and boost metabolism. This arginine-based supplement is also effective when taken before bed, when it can exert a profound surge in GH levels and support fat-burning.

Do this: Within 30-60 minutes of bedtime every night, take a 5-10g dose of a nitric oxide supplement that doesn’t contain caffeine on an empty stomach.

**People with diabetes have impaired nitric oxide production, which can lead to harmful health effects. L-arginine has been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes, but more research is needed before it can be medically recommended.


Eat More Meals Per Day

Sure, calories and hormones can determine whether your body deposits food into muscle or as body fat, but meal frequency, or how many times you eat each day, affects your overall metabolism. Every time you eat, the body’s calorie-burning engine, also known as metabolism, slightly increases. This is especially true for meals that contain protein (thermic effect of food). So if you eat six times a day, you’ll experience six metabolic surges a day, rather than just four if you eat only four times a day. And, of course, eating seven or eight times per day would be even better than six. This is one way to lean out without having to drastically reduce calories. Frequent feedings tend to increase the chance that what you eat will make its way into muscle tissue rather than being packed away as body fat.

Do this: Eat 6-8 small meals per day, spaced 2-3 hours apart. Don’t go longer than three hours without eating— going too long between meals will create delays between insulin doses and make it more likely that you’ll overeat at your next meal. Speaking of overeating, just because you’re consuming more meals doesn’t mean you should take in more total calories. Determine your ideal daily caloric intake for fat-burning (see Rule 1) and divide that more or less evenly between your 6-8 meals.


Prioritize the Post-training Meal

After you train, it’s difficult to gain body fat. Why? Depleted, broken-down muscles soak up both protein and carbohydrates for growth and recovery. If you eat too little at this time, you may actually set yourself back by impeding recovery; supporting recovery and growth actually increases metabolism while impeding it slows metabolism. In terms of spurring recovery and growth, just about the most counterproductive thing you can do after a hard workout is starve yourself.

Do this: Consume 30-40g of protein powder such as whey powder and casein along with 60-80g of fast-digesting carbs (a large baked potato, 1-4 slices of white bread, or a large sports drink such as Energade) as soon as possible within an hour after training.

NOTE: Your ability to carb count and administer the correct amount of insulin for the carbs eaten post-training is very important to get right.


Avoid Fast Carbs Pre-Workout

When you hit the gym, the body releases a fat-liberating messenger called epinephrine, which attaches itself to fat cells and allows fat to be burned as fuel. And, you guessed it, carbohydrates come into play here. Refined carbs consumed before training suppress the exercise- and supplement-induced rise in epinephrine compared to eating the same amount of slower-digesting carbs. Refined carbs also boost insulin levels (or create a higher demand for us to need more insulin), further hampering fat-burning during the workout. Bottom line, avoid refined carbs altogether before training.

Do this: Fifteen to 30 minutes (or less) before training, consume 20g of protein powder in a whey shake or other protein powder source and 30-40g of carbohydrates to help you train hard all the way through your workout. Stick with slow-digesting carbs here, such as oat bran, oatmeal, rye or whole-wheat bread, fruit, or sweet potatoes. On non-workout days, eat that meal as a snack and drop your post-workout feeding.


Empty Your Glycogen Stores Once Every Two Weeks

Glycogen is the unused and stored form of carbohydrates in muscles. When glycogen stores begin to peak from eating plenty of carbs, the body upgrades its fat-storing ability. Conversely, as glycogen stores are depleted, fat-burning increases. One way to kick-start the fat-burning process is to go extremely low-carb on two consecutive days every couple of weeks. This ensures that you tap into your glycogen stores for fuel, which signals the body to burn more fat.

Do this: Limit your total carbs on two consecutive days every two weeks or so to less than 80g per day. This will require you to know how many grams of carbohydrates are in the foods you eat and have the discipline to be very strict on your intake. Your diligence will be rewarded with a noticeable difference in body fat. After two days, you can return to a more normal, though not excessive, carb intake.


Train Until You’re Beat, Not Dead

It’s the age-old question: How many sets do you need, and how much time should you spend in the gym each day? The answer varies from person to person, but when burning fat is the primary goal, a good rule of thumb is to train until you’re pretty beat up, but not to the point at which you’re flattened and thoroughly exhausted. That type of silly training may satisfy your headspace and ego, but it does a number on your anabolic outcome.

Serious fat loss requires you to retain muscle mass, the body’s primary metabolic driver. If you go overboard in the gym, testosterone and growth hormone go into free fall, and your metabolism follows suit. Excess running, ridiculously high intensity and excess cardio cause a high-stress response and muscle wastage!

Do this: Go ahead, train as intensely as you like—just don’t go longer than 60 minutes in any one workout. Do as many sets and reps as you can during this time, using shorter rest periods (60 seconds max), but when your 45-60 minutes end, finish up and go drink your protein/carb shake.



Of all the laws and advice you could ever take let this be the one rule you never forget. The average of your choices is what the final picture will start to look like. Try implementing some of these rules and get good at being consistent with your efforts. Over time you will see that the person who sticks to a solid plan will always do better than somebody on the “best” plans with sub bar adherence.



As well-meaning as you are about your weight-loss goals, there may be certain habits that hold you back — including ones related to sleep and mental health — you might not have considered. So without further ado, let’s address 12 things that might be standing in your way of shedding those last few pounds and how to refocus on what matters.

The research about whether or not breakfast is a must goes back and forth. However,  it can be noted that clients who are stalled in their efforts are eating too light a breakfast. In particular, people often don’t eat adequate protein at breakfast, which means they’re missing a key opportunity to replace the protein that was broken down overnight. If you continue to skip protein at breakfast, it might lead to a sluggish metabolism over time.
What’s more, eating one piece of fruit or processed fare like packaged muffins won’t keep you full until lunch, which has a ripple effect on how well you function. When my clients eat a more satisfying breakfast, they’re more energetic, less distracted by hunger, less irritable and more productive. Aim for 20–30 grams of protein by including options like cottage cheese or hard-boiled eggs. 

Weight loss isn’t just about diet and exercise, and you’ve likely heard about how sleep is essential for a healthy weight. Skimping on zzz’s skews your hunger hormones, and you may find you reach for a sugary snack as a pick-me-up more often. Of course, committing to doing the things sleep experts preach (like stopping the pre-bed social media scroll) is important, but you probably also haven’t considered how your magnesium levels play a role in shut-eye. Most people do not consume an adequate amount of the mineral, and this can interfere with proper sleep. Consider adding more magnesium-rich foods like almonds, tofu and leafy greens to your diet.

If you’re currently swimming in guilt over that brownie you just ate, it’s OK to relax about it. No one food can lead to weight gain!. Often, believing you “blew it” with your diet can cause you to rebound eat, scarfing more food than you’re hungry for (or even want) because you’ll restart your diet tomorrow and “be good.” Giving up this all-or-nothing mindset and focusing on an 80/20 strategy, where you incorporate indulgences 20% of the time, may lead to a more well-balanced, sustainable diet

Exercise can make you hungrier, so you might overcompensate by eating more when trying to lose weight. I want to encourage you to exercise for the sake of health — not simply to burn calories or negate your food intake. I tell clients to have fun movement experiences, which means doing something you truly enjoy or that’s new and exciting. It could be going for a walk, taking up swimming, learning to play golf or even starting weight training for the first time. 

We often boil weight loss down to a math problem, but your emotional well-being is another major factor. If someone is really unhappy in life, it can be hard to lose weight! 
If a diet is too rigid — maybe it’s causing you to avoid dining out with friends — it won’t be sustainable for weight loss or encourage mental health.
Rather, a big factor in both happiness and weight loss success is surrounding yourself with positive connections. Relationships that are supportive and feel good are the key to our success and happiness. When someone has this, it helps improve their quality of life, something that definitely correlates with overall health.

The calories-in versus calories-out equation might sound simple, but the body is smart and designed to withstand famine. That means it will compensate for restriction by driving up hunger levels. If you go on a regimented food plan that does not take into consideration your individual calorie needs or food likes or dislikes, it cannot last forever! If you’re tired all the time or struggling to break through a weight-loss plateau, it could be a signal you’re undereating. Speak with a professional who can help figure out the best plan to suit your needs. 

Making sure you’re eating in a slight caloric deficit is important for weight loss. While you don’t need to button up so much that you’re eating too little, you’re also going to want to reduce the excess fluff. To find what that might be, you should track your food, at least in the beginning. It can be easy to forget about what we ate previously and make it harder to pinpoint what’s preventing you from reaching your goals. Use these tips to make tracking your food a healthy habit. 

Without tracking your food while learning about calories, you may never know that a simple “drizzle” of olive oil on your perfectly healthy salad, has more calories in it compared to 3 bowls of coco pops or 2-4 slices of pizza! 

While what you’re eating matters, it’s not the only piece of the equation. Other factors can affect how our body utilizes, burns and stores calories or energy. Those include metabolism, age, genetics, stress and hormones, and can also play a role in being able to get past a certain point on the scale. Meaning: Just because you choose a certain number does not mean it’s a goal weight that may be attainable, comfortable or sustaining for you. While that may seem like a downer at the outset, it’s actually incredibly freeing. A realistic goal is achievable, makes you feel good and is one you can maintain for the long-haul.

Right now, it’s popular to talk about what you’re not eating: carbs, fruit, beans, starchy veggies, grains, dairy … the list goes on. That, too, falls under restriction. The body thrives on balance and requires it to function at its peak. When you take something away, you’re coming from a place of deprivation, which often isn’t a positive mindset. And, your body isn’t happy either: Deprivation can negatively affect metabolism or contribute to strong cravings, and possibly even binges later on. That stands in your way of losing weight. Research in the journal OF Obesity found people who consistently binged lost half as much weight as dieters who didn’t. Instead of cutting out entire food groups, try to practice an 80/20 moderation approach. 

For many of us, responding to stress means reaching for comfort foods while watching Netflix. While doing so is perfectly fine on occasion, it’s important to have healthy, non-food-related outlets for reducing stress. Stress can negatively affect metabolism and get in the way of reaching weight or fitness goals. Helpful ways to mitigate stress include taking a walk outdoors, reading a good book, calling a friend or going to do some exercise. Activity is the best therapy! 

Trendy diets always tell you there are big things in store and usually involve a long list of restrictions and can’t-eat foods. There’s one big thing they’re all missing: Fad diets typically fail to work on [building] a positive relationship with food. Red flags that you’re looking at a fad: The diet says it’s good for everyone, bills itself as a quick fix for quick weight loss, or presents a list of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. When you give yourself time to lose weight, that’s when you find long-term results.

One reason jumping on board a fad diet is so appealing is that it’s novel, which makes it exciting. But, as you grow accustomed to eating the foods allowed on the program, your interest wanes and you’ll likely give it up. No matter the weight-loss plan you’re on, keeping a degree of novelty helps drive a motivational let’s-do-this-attitude. Make a point to do things like try new recipes and foods, so practicing healthy habits every day is actually fun.

If you have noted any of these habits that need breaking, please reach out to me and let’s chat!

I want to help you!

We know two facts – 1) You’re worth it and being happier is quite literally everything, and 2) I am the man for the job and I want to help you!

If you want to have a look at what I do and try to find a program that will be the perfect fit for you and your goals – visit www.diabeticathletic.com for more.


Yours In Strength,

Nicholas Caracandas





I see a lot of information out there highlighting problems. It seems that popular findings these days are all just sales gimmicks masked as ‘solutions’.⁣

My content and my material is my attempt at trying to make sure that there is always some readily available and reliable solutions to fellow diabetics wanting to move forward towards a better time living with this condition. In fact, if I’m being more specific about my mission – I want to assist others to thrive with this condition. I personally believe that merely ‘Living’ with diabetes is the problem.⁣

As a type 1 diabetic for 24 years and a strength and conditioning coach for 13 years, I want to share 3 reasons why you may be struggling with your diabetes and what you can do about it.⁣

1. We don’t appreciate the importance of the “learning phase”. ⁣

Diabetes is a lot of things… simply put, diabetes is about human biology, exercise and nutrition.⁣

As diabetics, our medication is rendered useless without the fundamental understanding as to how our condition works with nutrition and exercise. Together these 3 factors create something I call the Diabetic Athletic triangle of control.⁣

This triangle of control is essential for any diabetic who wants to lead a life of thriving with diabetes mentally, physically and emotionally, instead of following the tough terrain of surviving with diabetes and all of its up’s, down’s and in-betweens.⁣

We are not to ‘blame’ for being a little bit behind the curve where this is concerned. We don’t ask for our diabetes and so it can’t be expected for us to know more about these topics when diagnosed compared to the average personal trainer and nutritionist.⁣

The thing is, we need to embrace the mindset that this is going to be a reality.⁣

It’s more of a journey than a destination, and with this being said we need to become skilled sailors on this journey sooner rather than later if we are going to live a life that allows us to thrive with this condition.⁣

The good news is that when you have the right kind of help, with guidance that relates to your own journey, and information that you can hear and easily understand, you will instantly start to make progress.⁣

So what do you do?⁣

As diabetics, we need solid answers that we can put into action and we need results that alleviate our concerns, struggles and stress and fast as possible.⁣

Going through your biology papers from school and learning about nutrition is not exactly an option here. Time is precious and so the information we choose to absorb should ONLY be the information we need at that given time and specific to us as diabetics wanting to achieve better control among the other goals, wants and needs we have.⁣

I see so many fellow diabetics who are taking all the information they can on Facebook groups and from other diabetics who are probably struggling themselves. We all love to share our stories and I appreciate that, however, when it comes to needing the best possible guidance to thrive with diabetes, we need to be super picky about 1) Who we take advice from and 2) if that advice is specific to us, and lastly 3) has that advice been tried, tested and successful for others (with proof) – not just successful for Susan who tried keto for 30 days and has seen a smudge of improvement.⁣

My tips for becoming the strongest and happiest diabetic you can be. ⁣
1) Learn about what diabetes is and what it isn’t.⁣
2) The role each macronutrient plays in our lives.⁣
3) How to keep glucose control while applying our understanding of the above.⁣
4) Collect as many tools as we can so we can use them when we need them.⁣
These are things like, our diets, different types of activity for different outcomes, carb counting, stress management and goal setting just to name a few.⁣
5) Learn about the difference between eating for diabetic health and eating for physical changes.⁣
6) Get a coach to help implement all of the above. Knowing about these tips serves the purpose of empowering you and arming you with know-how. This is needed for future growth and sustainability.⁣

Getting a coach to help us with the above is like having a driving instructor sit with you in your driver’s license test. Only this time they are there to make sure you don’t fail. This is for immediate growth and protection form future failure.⁣

2. You’re not accepting the new normal and that all doors that close are also made to be opened.⁣

I spend a lot of time every day talking about diabetes, fitness and nutrition. Before any kind of progress can be sustained, we have to first accept our identity as a diabetic.⁣

Most of us after diagnosis go through a phase of denial which often manifests in many ways. We spend time being upset, frustrated, overwhelmed, feeling like we’re making progress and then we’re not, angry, and at times we just completely ignore our needs as a diabetic.⁣

We spend time trying to fit in with the same social circles that don’t care about how well our diabetes is damaged.⁣

This is a common phase we all go through, so if you’re feeling upset with the fact that you don’t feel ‘normal’ anymore, I can tell you we all go down that road but who are we comparing ourselves to? What’s the litmus for normal? Is it our friends who eat crap all day and party every weekend? Or perhaps it’s just working all the time and not giving a hoot about our health and taking time to make time for our physical well-being and emotional readiness…⁣

Personally, I will go out on a limb and say that as a life long diabetic and as a fitness professional – normal is shit! The average Joe doesn’t care about any of this and so normal is a poor bar to aim for.⁣

The thing is being normal should never be the goal. This is the foundation of being able to accept a new normal and your identity as a diabetic.⁣

Normal blood pressure readings are 130/80. Go to the doctor and get this reading and he/she will most likely tell you ‘good job’. That’s the new normal in 2020.⁣
We want a reading of 120/80 and so regardless of the term ‘normal’, we don’t want it… we want what’s best for us and that often requires us to be ‘extra’ and above par – which isn’t normal for many, but we are diabetic and that’s our identity.⁣

Our identity as a diabetic is quite possibly our saving grace as far as being the best possible versions of ourselves that we could be. I always say that when we pray for strength we don’t just become strong. When we pray for strength, we get put in front of tough tasks that make us strong.⁣

As a diabetic, we NEED to live well. Living well and treating diabetes requires medication, activity/exercise and good nutrition and as difficult as this may be to grasp at first, this is your new normal.⁣

Here are some tips to think about and use when training your mindset as a diabetic: ⁣

1) Your condition requires you to be active, healthy, and in charge…This is a blessing more than anything else. In fact I’ll go as far as to say it was just what you needed without knowing it.⁣
2) We become more respectful of our health and we no longer take it for granted.⁣
3) We learn what ownership is all about. Taking daily ownership for our actions is a skill that most people never obtain.⁣
4) We learn that we are a part of a much bigger picture. Diabetes can be a very lonely condition until we realise there are millions of us living the same struggle and that makes us family. Our worst days are the best days for others and visa versa. This means we are more connected than we are alone.⁣
5) We learn what it’s like to live for something rather than with something.⁣
6) A personal favourite skill my diabetes has taught me is acceptance. Without my diabetes, I don’t think I would have ever learned how to truly accept myself for who I am.⁣

3. You undervalue the instant impact a proper program can add to your life with diabetes. ⁣

A lot of the time we as individuals have questions that we know the answers too. Finding an answer and a prescription to something is the easiest thing in the world to do these days. We have most of the answers we need in our pockets, on our mobile and on google. Where the disconnect between the plethora of information and our ability to use it is concerned, is all to do with the fact that the information we find is generic in its delivery and is at most times full of the info we don’t need. This causes our focus to be widespread and inefficient.⁣

There is information and then there is applicable information that has been put together for us, our current situation, our abilities, our limitations and our diabetes.⁣

Through the ages, something that has and will never change is the fact that a prescription without action is useless. It’s quite literally the same as getting your insulin script from your doctor and 1) Never taking it to the chemist to collect your insulin or 2) Not knowing how to use your insulin.⁣

A prescription is what most programs provide and is the first and last step people get to.⁣

Diabetes is a condition that requires the best nutritional habits, activity schedules and ability to action the right steps at the right time.⁣

Life is a HUGE factor here too! As much as we would like to just train all day, eat good food and monitor our sugars, we have life and its daily curve balls hitting us from all directions.⁣

We are moms, dads, employees, boss’, owners, brothers, sisters you name it, and we can’t wear every hat that exists. Having somebody help you with your diabetes, exercise and nutrition is a calculated move to ensure you have constant peace of mind (which is priceless) and will cause every facet of your life to change for the greater good.⁣

As diabetics, we all try and wear the hat of our own trainer, motivator, moderator, nutritional advisor, goal-setting coach, and the person we turn to for the real talk and tough love we need at times. So where do we find time to wear the hat of the man of the house, the woman of the house, carer, boss, mom, dad etc.⁣

We put everything above our diabetes and use the excuse ‘my kids are important’ and ‘I’m too busy’.⁣
What about the fact that your kids need you at 100%. They don’t need a mom or dad that is going blind or needing dialysis at 50-60 years old.⁣

If you didn’t have time for your diabetes before, what makes you think you’re going to have time (or money) when it all starts falling apart?⁣

We all have cars and toilets… Yet, we use mechanics and plumbers.⁣

Shall we ‘fix’ that too? Definitely not.⁣

Perhaps not because we can’t, but rather because getting somebody else to do it (somebody qualified), means we can rest easy knowing that 1) The job will be done right the first time around, and 2) We have more time for other important facets of our lives that need our attention.⁣

We all use the excuse “I don’t have time”, so why would you want to add being a personal trainer and nutritional coach to the list of your daily to do’s? It makes very little sense.⁣

The value of being given the information we need to know while also being told what not to pay attention to is what saves us time, money and the mental burden of not reaching our goals.⁣

We undervalue a training and nutrition program because of its initial cost, while never thinking about the true cost of diabetes and how much more expensive bad control can end up costing us emotionally, mentally and our pockets.⁣

Here are some tips and things to think about: ⁣

1) Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and is often called the ‘second insulin’.

This means that an exercise program will most likely cause you to need  FAR LESS insulin. Insulin costs money, so not only are you able to have less dependence on your medication, but you’re saving money each month too.⁣

2) An exercise program causes more stability in your glucose readings. This automatically leads to more stability with your daily thoughts and emotions. This affects EVERYTHING you do!⁣

3) Nothing is going to look better on your than the look of “I FEEL BETTER THAN EVER”.⁣

4) Confidence and the effects of feeling empowered and in control will instantly have an effect on how much impact you have in your own life and in the life of others.⁣

5) As diabetics, we all have the burden and anxiety about diabetic complications and their possibility. This is just our reality. Those of us that spend less than 70% of our time in range per day, week, month, are at the highest risk of complications. Complications that are all avoidable if we take action.⁣

There are many more reasons why we struggle as diabetics. None of us start our journey from the same place and we all have different struggles, goals and needs. One thing that will never change is what diabetes is and how to best manage this condition.⁣

We need to find ways to live our lives while feeling in absolute control and confidence and even though things never go as planned, we always want to be able to manage the daily deviations that life and diabetes loves to throw our way.⁣

The needs of a diabetic are all the same and how we achieve them is where a tailored approach is often needed.⁣

We all need to be happy, healthy, and confident with good diabetic control.⁣

Our needs as a diabetic and as a functioning human being all have to do with our mental, emotional and physical well-being. This is all taken care of with a good support system and training and nutritional plan to get us there.⁣

To conclude, I would just like to say that there are an endless amount of struggles that we face as diabetics.⁣

As somebody that has lived with diabetes for almost as long as I have been alive, and as somebody who has spent every single day for the past 13 years helping others with fitness, health, diabetes and fat loss – I can say that these 3 reasons mentioned in this article are the top 3 causes of most of the struggles face.⁣

If you would like to see more about what I do, or perhaps take a look and download some of my amazing FREE content made specifically for fellow diabetics wanting to empower themselves with better diabetic knowledge and know-how, you can visit Diabetic Athletic and make yourself at home!⁣

Yours in strength,⁣
Nicholas Caracandas



1. Choose healthier carbohydrates

All carbs affect blood glucose levels so it’s important to know which foods contain carbohydrates. Choose the healthier foods that contain carbs and be aware of your portion sizes.

Here are some healthy sources of carbohydrate:

  • whole grains like brown rice, buckwheat and whole oats
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • pulses such as chickpeas, beans and lentils
  • dairy like unsweetened yoghurt and milk.

At the same time, it’s also important to cut down on foods low in fibre such as white bread, white rice and highly-processed cereals. You can check food labels when you’re looking for foods high in fibre if you’re unsure.

2. Eat less salt

Eating lots of salt can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart diseases and stroke. And when you have diabetes, you’re already more at risk of all of these conditions.

Try to limit yourself to a maximum of 6g (one teaspoonful) of salt a day. Lots of pre-packaged foods already contain salt so remember to check food labels and choose those with less salt. Cooking from scratch will help you keep an eye on how much salt you’re eating. You can also get creative and swap out salt for different types of herbs and spices to add that extra flavour.

3. Eat less red and processed meat

If you’re cutting down on carbs, you might start to have bigger portions of meat to fill you up. But it’s not a good idea to do this with red and processed meat, like ham, bacon, sausages, beef and lamb. These all have links with heart problems and cancers.

Processed meats are FULL of sugar (most times), so this can simply be avoided.

Try swapping red and processed meat for these:

  • pulses such as beans and lentils
  • eggs
  • fish
  • poultry like chicken and turkey
  • unsalted nuts

Beans, peas and lentils are also very high in fibre and don’t affect your blood glucose levels too much – making them a great swap for processed and red meat and keeping you feeling full. Most of us know that fish is good for us, but oily fish like salmon and mackerel are even better. These are rich in something called omega-3 oil, which helps protect your heart. Try and aim to eat two portions of oily fish a week.

4. Eat more fruit and veg

We know eating fruit and veg is good for you. It’s always a good thing aim to eat more at meal times and have them as snacks if you’re hungry. This can help you get the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs every day to help keep you healthy.

You might be wondering about fruit and if you should avoid it because it’s sugary? The answer is no. Whole fruit is good for everyone and if you have diabetes, it’s no different. Fruits do contain sugar, but it’s natural sugar. This is different from the added sugar (also known as free sugars) that are in things like chocolate, biscuits and cakes.

Products like fruit juices also count as added sugar, so go for whole fruit instead. This can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned (in juice, not in syrup). And it’s best to eat it throughout the day instead of one bigger portion in one go.

On this point it’s important to remember that “good’ sugars still affect our levels and if said sugars are causing us to go out of range, they aren’t good anymore. Be sure to manage the carbs you take in. 

5. Choose healthier fats

We all need fat in our diet because it gives us energy. But different types of fat affect our health in different ways.

Healthier fats are in foods like unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish, olive oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil. Some saturated fats can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, increasing your risk of heart problems. These are mainly found in animal products and prepared food like:

  • red and processed meat
  • ghee
  • butter
  • lard
  • biscuits, cakes, pies and pastries.

It’s still a good idea to cut down on using oils in general, so try to grill, steam or bake foods instead. Fats need to be monitored closely if you are trying to restrict calories and lose weight (fat mass). The smallest portion of fats can often be a calorie bomb causing us to over-consume. 

6. Cut down on added sugar

We know cutting out sugar can be really hard at the beginning, so small practical swaps are a good starting point when you’re trying to cut down on excess sugar. Swapping sugary drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar can be a good start.

 Here is a tip inside a tip: “Never drink your calories”

You can always try low or zero-calorie sweeteners (also known as artificial sweeteners) to help you cut back. Cutting out these added sugars can help you control your blood glucose levels and help keep your weight down. If your diabetes treatment means you get hypos, and you use sugary drinks to treat them, this is still important for your diabetes management and you shouldn’t cut this out. However, if you are having regular hypos it is really important to discuss this with your diabetes team. Low sugar events present an immediate risk to us as diabetics but also long term complications. 

7. Be smart with snacks

If you want a snack, choose yoghurts, unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables and proteins, instead of crisps, chips, biscuits and chocolates. But watch your portions still – it’ll help you keep an eye on your weight

8. Drink alcohol sensibly

Alcohol is high in calories, so if you do drink and you’re trying to lose weight, think about cutting back. Try to keep to a maximum of 14 units a week. But spread it out to avoid binge drinking, and go several days a week without alcohol. 

As I mentioned in point #6- Drinking your calories is a bad idea!

If you take insulin or other diabetes medications, it’s also not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach. This is because alcohol can make hypos more likely to happen.

8. Don’t bother with so-called diabetic food

To say food is a “diabetic food” is now against the law. This is because there isn’t any evidence that these foods offer you a special benefit over eating healthy. They can also often contain just as much fat and calories as similar products, and can still affect your blood glucose level. These foods can also sometimes have a laxative effect.

The ONLY thing a diabetic cannot and should not consume is poison. The rest all has to do with the diabetic in question and their ability to manage their sugar levels with diabetic tools and skills such as carb counting and exercise. 

10. Get your minerals and vitamins from foods

There’s no evidence that mineral and vitamin supplements help you manage your diabetes. So, unless you’ve been told to take something by your healthcare team, like folic acid for pregnancy, you don’t need to take supplements.

It’s better to get your essential nutrients by eating a mixture of different foods. This is because some supplements can affect your medications or make some diabetes complications worse, like kidney disease. Taking more medication to fix a struggle is not the answer. Regrettably its the latest ‘go-to’. Managing your diabetes with extra medication is one of the worst moves you can make. 

Don’t forget to keep moving

Being more physically active goes hand in hand with eating healthier. It can help you manage your diabetes and also reduce your risk of heart problems. This is because it increases the amount of glucose used by your muscles and helps the body use insulin more efficiently.

Try to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week. This is any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and feel warmer.  More simply put – call it movement rather than exercise, it helps!

You should still be able to talk and only be slightly out of breath. And you don’t have to do all 150 minutes in one go. Break it down into bite-size chunks of 10 minutes throughout the week or 30 minutes 5 times a week. Remember that whatever you decide to do, diabetes is the art and the skill of balance. Balance leads to consistency, and ultimately the ability to maintain what you’re so busy building and trying to achieve.

Don’t forget to have a look at the Diabetic D.I.Y toolkit HERE. This is a great FREE set of guides that will teach you how to master 5 diabetic skills that are guaranteed to help you live a better life with diabetes and exercise while staying in range.

If you’re a diabetic wanting a training and nutrition plan to follow the Diabetic D.I.Y Action Plan is definitely the program to consider. Have a look HERE for more info.






This is a good metaphor for any type of Diabetes as its effects are not always visible. ⁣

My grandmother would always say to me “you never know what happens behind closed doors” ⁣

Nobody can truly know just what a diabetic goes through on a daily basis. Every simple decision and choice is now a matter of calculation, planning and question. ⁣

The bigger side to diabetes is the stress and overwhelm that is often at the forefront of our diabetic struggles. ⁣

Diabetes doesn’t only affect us as diabetics, but also those around us – friends, family and even work colleagues. ⁣

Before I was a diagnosed diabetic, I was the son of a diabetic mother for 5 years. I’ve seen first hand what it’s like to watch someone I love struggle with a condition they don’t understand, and I have lived with that same condition for more than 2/3 of my life on this earth. ⁣

Diabetes doesn’t have to be a struggle. It’s all about how we combat the stress and the overwhelm that is so closely linked to diabetes and it’s complications. These aren’t always physical and visible. ⁣

Overwhelm almost always causes us to take less action. Stress is a compounding effect that gets worse if no action is taken. ⁣

Having no support, tools, resources and knowledge with our diabetes can create a very large snowball effect – in the wrong direction. ⁣

This is why I created Diabetic Athletic. As a son to a diabetic, a grandson to a diabetic and a diabetic myself, my entire life has been about struggle, overwhelm, diabetes, fitness and most of all overcoming the challenges life has put in my path. ⁣

Diabetes is so much easier when it’s understood. ⁣
Our support system is everything! ⁣

The methods in our arsenal and the tools we keep in our diabetic toolbox are what serve as a saving grace and keep us thriving with diabetes, rather than just surviving with diabetes. ⁣

Diabetic Athletic is an exercise and nutrition plan for diabetics. The support, my platforms and my expertise as a fitness professional and life-long Diabetic, are the tape that keeps it all together.

My service and my programs are for diabetics wanting an answer to fat loss, answers to the struggles we face daily, and answers when we need them.

I’m living the very same struggle every day, and the only difference between you and I is that I’ve dedicated my life as a diabetic strength and conditioning coach on a mission to help my fellow diabetic succeed in life with better diabetic impact, freedom and control.

If you can relate to anything I’ve said in this post and are needing a kickstart to create a life with better diabetic control and confidence, then perhaps joining my free 3-week training and nutrition program with a private support group may be the action plan for you.