When I had to upgrade my from my Disetronic H-Tron Plus to the new Accu-Chek Spirit years ago, the representative went over several options I had for carb counting. Reason being was because since the Disetronic had no way of calculating carbs, I honestly just knew to eat a certain amount of carbs and to bolus a set amount. It was a strange way, but it worked for me back then. When I upgraded, it came with a Palm Treo cell phone that had their own bolus calculator and logbook integrated into the phone (or you could choose a PDA if you wanted). Anyway, to make a long story short, she suggested the CalorieKing website. I was hooked from then on. All I had ever known was the book, but to have a website with search? Yep. Totally up my alley.

Fast forward until today. Pumps have come a long way since then. Most all of them have some sort of calculator in their system making it much easier to calculate your dose based on various amounts of carbohydrates. Granted, I still stick to having a steady amount of carbs per meal, but I can vary those if I want, but I just have to be mindful of the total amount of carbs no matter what, and CalorieKing remains my go-to source for carbohydrate amounts in foods I’m not familiar with. Since it was available, I’ve had the CalorieKing app on my phone – no matter which phone I use. It’s a staple in my diabetes care. And now, with all the fitness apps out there too, such as MyFitnessPal (which I LOVE), CalorieKing has one of their own as well. It’s called ControlMyWeight (obviously they like their words to run together… like a hashtag… minus the hashtag). In this app, you can set up a set amount of calories you’d like to track for a day, and it also lets you track water intake and minutes of exercise. But, what I love most about the app is you can set it to show the total amount of carbs per meal.

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This way, you can just search for all of the foods you plan to eat, and it keeps a running total. Granted, as far as a weightloss app, it’s pretty fair but expensive in my opinion at $4.99, but I still think MyFitnessPal beats it (because it’s awesome and free). And if MFP integrates an option to total the carb count per meal, I’d absolutely have no reason to look anywhere else. But as far as just finding out how many carbs would be in your total meal for something you may not be used to eating, the Control My Weight app does a good job at keeping a running total for you. And, if you choose to let it be your calorie counting app and you keep a dedicated log in it, you can tap the circle that has the lines in it in the upper right hand corner, and it will give you a summary for that day, with Calories and Carbs at the top. So, if you have a goal per day that you aim towards, you can see how you’re fitting in there.

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Why do I see all of that as important? Because when it comes to taking insulin, it’s good to maintain a good basal to bolus ratio. So, for me, a 60/40 ratio is ideal. Since *my* daily total basal is 20.7u, then my boluses should typically average 13.8u per day, or about 150g of carb. (Your diabetes may vary**). This is also why when I go on a lower carb diet, I typically have to lower my basal rate, otherwise the ratio is thrown off and I go low a lot more often and and up making up the excess with glucose tablets.

To some, this may not be a big deal. If you have the Tandem t:slim or Asante Snap pumps that also have a carb calculator built in, you may not need something like this and could rely on just the standard (and free) CalorieKing app, but if you don’t, this may be an app you might want to check out and see if you like it for yourself.

5 Thoughts on “My New Fav. App : CalorieKing, ControlMyWeight

  1. What drives me crazy is that the iphone/ipad/android apps for MFP all appear differently and have different features. The ipad app makes it very easy to view how many carbs you’ve had each day, and to see how many are total in each meal. I can’t remember 100% but I don’t think the android app version does that, and I have never seen the iphone version of the app.

    • Sarah on March 31, 2014 at 1:45 pm said:

      Oh wow! Thank you, Kari! I didn’t know that! I just put it on my iPad and it does show the carb counts on there. Now, they just need to have like, a second page to scroll over to that shows the nutrition detail (and not a summary-like percentage that it has now) just like the bigger app has. Thank you for telling me!

  2. I’ve read lots about the basal/bolus ratio, but never really found an explanation of WHY it’s important to maintain such a ratio. Typically, my ratios have weighted toward the Bolus side to ther tune of about 65%/35%, and just this weekend I ran a few CareLink reports and saw my boluses now consistently exceed 70% (granted, they included quite a few corrections).

    Are my basal ratios off? Do I simply eat too much? I’m not sure. But I read how you say it’s important to maintain a ratio and I’m curious as to why. Any thoughts on the topic?

    • Sarah on March 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm said:

      Just from what I can gather, most people require a 40% basal to 60% basal just for their daily basal glucose output by their liver, metabolism and their insulin sensitivity. A complement to that is that your boluses would also equal 60% to 40%. If you were to increase your bolus amounts over time, you may end up with highs due to just increased eating leading to weight gain, which lowers your sensitivity to insulin, so therefore you would have to also increase your basal amount. In the opposite effect, if you were to, over time, lower the amount of food you’re consuming, thereby reducing the amount of overall bolus, you will drop low due to the amount of weight loss achieved by that and increased insulin sensitivity. I wouldn’t think a few days would make a difference, but it would over several weeks. It’s just one of those things where they have a definitive correlation between the two as the body strives for balance.

      From what it sounds like, you may need to do some basal testing ( I do too, don’t worry). Not that I want to tell you what to do or anything, but if you’re doing a lot of corrections, you may need an increased basal rate, which would put your ratio back in balance for what works for you. As you know, I’m not a doctor, so you have to do what you think is right.

  3. I use Sanofi’s GoMeals app. It uses the Calorie King database, but also allows me to log BGs and exercise. It also has a web based site and all of my info is stored in the cloud so i can access from either. If only it had a Bolus Wizard

Tell me what you think!

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