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Gaming with Diabetes II—Keeping Control At Cons

Low-Carb gaming at cons may sound like an oxymoron to many, but I’ve successfully eaten low-carb at four-day gaming conventions for years, and often come back from these without gaining any weight at all. I use many of the tricks described in “Gaming With Diabetes: A Guide to Low-Carb Snacking” (Freelance Traveller, Jan./Feb. 2019), but I wanted to add a few of my own:

Hard boiled eggs are great low carb, low cost snack, and they don’t need refrigeration for a four-day con. I bring home-mixed spices so that each egg can taste different. The spices are all 50% salt, but the other 50% can be any combination of paprika, dry mustered, pepper, dill, etc. If you’re afraid they will smell, then make “tea eggs”, which are really hard boiled eggs, peeled and marinated in soy sauce for about 10 hours; you can add tea leaves and/or other spices to the marinade if you want. (These do need to be refrigerated, and they look really scary too, which is good for cons.)

I also make “home mixed” nut assortments for gaming snacks. I use a mix of peanuts, pistachios, and cashews, but you should make whatever you like. (Peanuts will make any nut mix cheaper…)

For drinks, I often bring those little “single serving” packets of diet drink mix, and add them to the water that most cons provide.

But my favorite drink (I use just over a gallon a con) is iced coffee. It has more caffeine than most soda, but you are running to the bathroom less. You can cut it with heavy whipping cream (if low carb) or lowfat milk (if low calorie), and your favorite sugar substitute. It’s much easier on my stomach than soda, as well.

For me, the key insight for not gaining weight at conventions was simple: eat at a convention as often as you would eat on a normal weekend. For me, on a normal weekend day, I eat two meals and a snack, so that is what I eat at a convention as well. (If I stay up past about 11pm, which is common at conventions, but uncommon at home, then I have a second snack.) But the key idea is simple: eat at a con, as often as you would eat at home. Don’t eat at a convention game the way you would eat at a home game. Why? Because most of us game once a week or even less often. So pigging out during a game is bad, but it is a limited bad. I generally play in 6 or 7 games during a 4 day convention, so even if I only half pig out in one game, it is still a big problem after I’ve done it 6 or 7 times in just a few days.