Stabilize Your Blood Sugar
By Unite Fitness Retreat Nutritionist, Brooke Bouwhuis
When blood sugar levels are too high or too low you know trouble is right around the corner. Even if you are not struggling with diabetes, keeping your blood sugar in check is critical for good health and is especially important when it comes to weight loss.
Let’s talk from a non-diabetic point of view first. Blood sugar can still swing high and low but not to the extreme levels someone with diabetes would experience.
When blood sugar is too low – like worked right through lunch, now it’s 2:30 and if it’s in my path, I’m going to eat ALL of it – naturally our body tells us to eat so we can normalize blood sugar.
At Unite Fitness Retreat, we encourage you to eat 3 smaller meals and 2 snacks per day. This helps keep your blood sugar steady which keeps your hunger under control. Eating before you are ravenous and stopping before you are overstuffed. Balanced blood sugar means our appetites are under control which will take less willpower to make awesome choices.
From a diabetic point of view, did you know that when your blood sugar is too high, exercise can bring it down? Exercise and insulin bring blood sugar down to normal levels. Moving helps burn calories to keep your weight down, builds muscles and leaves you with a bonus of more energy.
If you use insulin and are exercising, test your blood sugar often(before, during and after). Be very cautious about exercising right before you go to sleep, it may cause your blood sugar to go too low during the night.
Keep in mind if you are diabetic, always carry a snack with you in case your blood sugar drops.
Movement is a big deal and is a healthy tool to use to keep blood sugar in check. However, if what is on the plate, in the cup or the bowl is sabotaging your efforts it’s time to take a step back and look at what is happening.
Keep your intake of heavily processed, high in sugar snacks and treats to a minimum– Yes, white flour AND sugar. Think of white fluffy powders (sugar and refined white flour), sweets, treats and junk are to be eaten for recreational purposes only (like a birthday party). Keep them to a minimum and your body will benefit by leaps and bounds.
When you minimize the presence of heavily processed treats, sweets and snacks it saves piles of calories going into the tank too. Many times, eliminating these foods is an excellent start to creating a deficit for weight loss.
At the end of the day, what does eating to stabilize blood sugar look like?
Breakfast– protein shake with spinach and a bit of avocado or scrambled eggs with diced veggies
Lunch– zoodles with turkey meatballs and fresh marinara or romaine leaves filled with taco seasoned meat and piles of peppers and onions
Dinner– salmon over a bed of greens and squash dressed with lemon and freshly cracked pepper or chicken enchilada soup made with bone broth and packed with peppers, onions and tomato topped with lime and cilantro
Snacks– Nuts/nut butter and a piece of fruit; Veggies and hummus; Cottage cheese; Eggs; Cheese sticks; Greek Yogurt with granola; RxBars
Eating small meals and snacks is like putting another log on the fire as you strive to lose weight. Eating a mix of smart carbs– fruits (especially berries!), veggies (think greens, mushrooms, onions, zucchini and Brussel sprouts), whole grains, lentils and legumes; protein to keep you full longer and to repair and build muscle; and fats to keep you full and satisfied. Guess what? When we are satisfied with the food we eat, we eat less; our blood sugar stabilizes and that my friends is good math.