When Should You Bolus? Every Body Is Different!

5. Right before eating.

“When I’m at home, I stick myself before eating, which can be anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on whether or not I forgot to put everything on the table (it’s amazing how many times I forget to get eating utensils, or have to go to the kitchen for salt and pepper, or get something to drink). If I’m in a restaurant, I aim for just before the food comes out—not after ordering, but when I see the waiter come out with the food.” —Reddit user goodlit

4. Depends on the numbers.

“I went from 0-5 minutes pre-bolus for breakfast to a varying amount based on my pre-breakfast number. If I am <100, I wait maybe 5-10 minutes then eat. If 100-150 or so, I wait 15-25 minutes. If 150 or more, I may wait as much as 45-60 minutes. I use my Dexcom to watch until my number starts to fall in the last case. It's worth talking to your Endo about this." —Reddit user redondo21

home-baked pide

3. Carbs make all the difference.

“I now avoid the spike by not consuming crap carbs, which are really pretty much all easy carbs. Once I stopped eating those, the spikes disappeared.” —Reddit user Pablo_Hassan

2. No system is perfect.

“I try to take my bolus about 10-15 minutes before eating if I remember. Typically however, it ends up being less time than that because I forget to do it that early, or even before at all. Of course this does have its drawbacks. Yesterday I bolused for a drink at Starbucks as I was arriving, only to find out the drink I wanted was no longer available. I felt forced to get another drink, as by that point I was going to need to get something (soon) to cover my recent bolus either way.” —Reddit user notstevenseagal

Hot cafe latte with art on top on wood table

1. Every body is different.

“I usually take mine halfway through a meal and it seems to eliminate spikes FOR ME. Every body is different, so you have to experiment and see what works for you.” —Reddit user 1337beetus


When learning to bolus and pre-bolus for your meals, try to document everything you eat as well as how much and when you bolus. Don’t make too many changes too rapidly; you want to be able to accurately isolate the variable (or variables) that make the difference between a steady blood glucose reading and a spiky one. Consult your doctor about any strange behavior in your blood glucose levels and make sure he or she knows about any changes you intend to make in your bolus routine. And hang in there! You’ve got this!

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