You may think that balancing your blood sugar levels is a task reserved only for people with diabetes. While it is true that people with diabetes must closely monitor their blood sugar levels, the truth is that EVERYONE should pay attention to their blood sugar levels. The bad news is that 1 in 3 Americans have pre-diabetes and may not even know it! The good news is that we can do something about this epidemic! Though the statistics are pretty grim when it comes to complications related to high blood sugar, there are so many things we can do reverse this slippery health slope! We can transform our lives with some simple dietary changes and a trusted health coach, like me!
But first, do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
- Low energy and fatigue throughout the day
- Mood swings
- Increased hunger and cravings
- Sudden drops in blood sugar leaving you shaky and tired
- Frequent urination, thirst and hunger
- Belly fat and weight gain
- Increased cholesterol and blood pressure
If you have been experiencing these symptoms on a regular basis, it's time to take control of your health and jump in the drivers seat. I can help you transform your health with making better simple food and lifestyle choices. No medications required! Isn't that amazing! Our Foundations to LiveWell program teaches clients who to use whole foods to better balance their blood sugar whether they have diabetes or not! Unbalanced blood sugar leads to struggles with losing weight so it's key to learn some helpful principles to get started taking better care of your body!
Eat Low Glycemic Foods
Foods with a low glycemic index (GI) are digested slowly and release glucose into the bloodstream gradually over time instead of all at once. As such, they are beneficial for maintaining steady blood sugar levels throughout the day rather than having drastic highs and lows in between meals.
Low GI foods include whole grains like oats and barley, non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, nuts and seeds, and high-fiber fruits like apples and pears. Additionally, try replacing sugary snacks with protein-rich snacks like Greek yogurt with berries or celery sticks with peanut butter, as these will provide sustained energy throughout the day without sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Make sure to get adequate protein in your diet to help stabilize the blood sugar. Protein is the foundation for every cell in the body and assists in slowing down the insulin and blood sugar spikes that lead to your symptoms AND lead to weight gain.
Get Enough Sleep
Research has shown that adequate sleep is essential for managing diabetes since it improves your body's ability to process glucose naturally. Poor sleep quality is associated with higher fasting morning glucose concentrations which can cause fluctuations in blood sugar during the day if left unchecked. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and stick to a consistent sleep schedule to maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Regular exercise can help regulate and balance your blood sugar levels. It allows your body to use glucose more effectively by increasing the sensitivity of your cells to insulin. Additionally, aerobic exercise can decrease the amount of glucose entering your bloodstream after meals. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
Eat at Regular Intervals
If you're skipping meals or eating erratically throughout the day, chances are you need to give your body more time to properly process nutrients from food and regulate its natural balance of sugars in the bloodstream. While snacking can lead to an increase in calories and contribute to a blood sugar roller coaster (read my blog: Is Snacking Slowing My Weight Loss), it is important that we eat regularly and don't skip meals. Intermittent fasting is a big hot topic right now but you may want to start smaller if you experience symptoms of unstable blood sugar before you start fasting regularly. Eating 3-4 solid meals a day packed with protein, fat and fiber will help stabilize your blood sugar and give your body the energy it needs!
Wellness starts with adequately managing our bodies' natural balance, including blood-sugar levels. Following these tips can help everyone maintain healthy glucose levels to feel energized throughout the day without spikes or energy drops due to imbalances caused by an insufficient diet or lifestyle habits.
Katie Redding is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner on a mission to help people take control and advocate for their own health and live life well. After over 12 years in nursing, Katie opened her own wellness clinic to help people take control of their health. She focuses on using her nursing knowledge, functional training and lab testing to be your personal health detective and discover the root of illness and healing opportunities to rebalance your hormones naturally! The body has an amazing capacity to heal when you know how to support it! Katie lives in Maryland with her husband of 23 years and her three teenagers. When Katie isn't helping people take charge of their health, she can be found on the ballroom dance floor or the golf course!