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Diabetes Tips

3 Steps to Lowering your Next A1C

30 April 2021

I remember when I first joined the diabetes Instagram world, it felt like a Catch 22. I was so thankful to have a community I felt welcomed by and connected to. But at the same time I also felt so overwhelmed by having the experiences of hundreds of others right in front of me.


Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot from other accounts. I was able to see what others were doing and apply it to my own management. I tried it all - the different pre-bolusing techniques and the different diets, but nothing really felt like it was sticking or working.


After a year of reading the books and applying every tool I could find, I was still stuck in the rollercoaster and my A1C wouldn't budge.

Then two things happened..

1. I shifted to viewing my diabetes management from a holistic lens.

2. I broke my overall goal into THREE main priorities and simply focused on those for three whole months.

What happened after? My A1C came down. The pieces fit together. I felt more confidence and freedom in my management.

Once I broke it down, it all came down to these three main priorities - Which is now what we teach inside of our signature program, Keeping it 100.


1. Assessing my baselines:

Over the next three months, I took the time to track + assess the three main baselines that played a role in my daily life and management routine.

  • My Management Baselines: Basal rates, insulin to carb ratios and correction factors. Once I could lean on these, I was able to trust my body and insulin so much more.
  • My Behavioral Baselines: It took me a long time to realize that my daily habits didn't have to be consumed by diabetes - but they could support my blood sugars.
  • My Emotional Baselines: I never realized how much my emotions of frustration and overwhelm were playing a role in my bolusing decisions until I took the time to acknowledge them.

2. I put intention and strategy into my testing behaviors and data utilization:

Random actions lead to random results. I was able to feel more intentional in my actions once I asked myself..

  • Realistically, how often am I checking my blood sugar?
  • How often am I using the data? Regularly - or just with my endo?
  • Which data am I using? What is it telling me about my management?
  • How am I identifying my trends? (Understanding trend vs occurence was huge for me here.

3. I perfected my carb counting skills and reversed auto-pilot behaviors

Over the years with diabetes, I learned that I was guesstimating on my carb counts way too often. I started viewing carb counting like a muscle. The more I exercised it, the more it grew. Some ways I did that (and still do) were..

  • Using different apps like MyFitnessPal for one week to see how accurate my guesses were.
  • Utilizing a food scale to get more realistic portion sizes.
  • Looking up meals ahead of time on restaurant menus so I didn't have to rush my bolusing decision in the moment.

Since going through this cycle, I've been able to keep my A1C between a 5.7-6.2 over the past two years. 


Learn more about how I continue the cycle and add strategy to increasing my time in range and conquering high variability areas by watching our free webinar, here.

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Lissie Poyner

Meet Lissie, an Integrative Diabetes Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer and creator of the Needles and Spoons Health & Wellness Coaching Experiences. Lissie helps overwhelmed Type One Diabetics gain more predictability in their blood sugars so they can finally take their plans off hold and welcome new life experiences. Lissie's signature 360 degree approach to coaching creates a proactive space in taking you from confused to confident in your blood sugar management.