Anyone can relate with this topic, and blood sugar control does not pertain to only those with diabetes. Stable blood sugar is something we should all aim for when striving to eat a healthy diet and living a mindful lifestyle. Stable blood sugar offers optimal digestion, sleep, energy, mental clarity and more.
One of the consistent findings I see with clients who are non-diabetic and show signs of blood sugar swings, includes the need to have something/chocolate about 30 minutes after a meal. Note this can be other things like low serotonin, etc, but can also be insulin resistance. And with this I suggest tactics on modifying lifestyle to best manage blood sugar including:
- Each meal needs to ideally include no less than 25 grams of protein, and it’s most important to meet this goal at breakfast.
- Eat 3 square meals a day, and around the same time of day. This is metabolically helpful and can aid in weight management. When we eat somewhat consistently we can best gauge how much food we need.
- Stress management. Wow, I can 150% agree it’s easy to get wound up or double-booked in our fast-paced society, but no one is going to press pause. We need to make a cautious effort to not only smell the roses, but take a mental break involving deep breathing and meditation. I am a big fan of the HeadSpace podcast.
- Stimulants. Are you borrowing time from tomorrow with that cup of joe? I am not saying we need to go caffeine free, we just need to be able to function without it. And indeed, in some folks, caffeine can cause a cortisol response, which makes us more insulin resistant, which can aid in weight gain. NO thank you.
- Going further on the idea of eating 3 meals a day – you want to have a meal that lasts at least 4 hours. Ideally snacks are not necessary. And when we snack we are asking our bodies to produce/stack insulin (or if we have diabetes, such as myself, I bolus more insulin), which can cause a dip in our blood sugar levels. This one snack therefore turns into 2 snacks. Not ideal.
- Supplements – I can write a book on this but review the benefits of taking ALA, Chromium, Cinnamon, a probiotic, quality fish oil and fiber to optimize blood sugar management. Personally I take Cod Liver Oil, ALA, a probiotic and B vitamins. I have a smoothie (Raw Protein Powder) protein powder that has chromium in it, I use an insane amount of cinnamon in my cooking and my fiber intake is easily around 30-40 grams a day.
- Sleep. When you sacrifice sleep, you are asking for a surge of cortisol, which again causing insulin resistance, and an afternoon and evening of carb cravings. Make a rule to get no less than 7 hours, and aim for 9.
- Hydration. We wake up mildly dehydrated and this not only slows our metabolism, it is also a disadvantage to blood sugar control. Start your day with water, and keep the momentum going by having water with you at most times.
- Eat whole, real, low glycemic food. I have a book coming out in 2015 that can offer more insight on my point here. I suggest my book, because this topic can be covered at length.
What actions help you most with blood sugar control? Can you relate to any of the ideas mentioned above? We would love to hear from you.
Cheers to good health!