fbpx

How To Balance Blood Sugar

Oh, the words “blood sugar.”

Does it conjure up visions of restrictive eating, diabetes medications, or insulin injections?

Blood sugar is the measure of the amount of sugar in your blood. You need the right balance of sugar in your blood to fuel your brain and muscles.

The thing is, it can fluctuate. A lot.

This fluctuation is the natural balance between things that increase it; and things that decrease it. When you eat food with sugars or starches (“carbs”), then your digestive system absorbs sugar into your blood. When carbs are ingested and broken down into simple sugars, your body keeps blood sugar levels stable by secreting insulin. Insulin allows excess sugar to get it out of your bloodstream and into your muscle cells and other tissues for energy.


Why keep my blood sugar stable?

Your body wants your blood sugar to be at an optimal level. It should be high enough, so you’re not light-headed, fatigued, and irritable. It should be low enough that your body isn’t scrambling to remove excess from the blood. Most of the clients I see are on a rollercoaster of blood sugar highs and lows (hence the picture), and this can cause fatigue, sleepiness, irritability, sensitivity to stressors, poor quality sleep, poor concentration, weight gain and more.

When blood sugar is too low, this is referred to as “hypoglycemia.”

When blood sugar is too high, it is referred to as hyperglycemia.  Prolonged periods of elevated blood sugar levels (chronic hyperglycemia) can lead to “insulin resistance.”

Insulin resistance is when your cells are just so bored with the excess insulin that they start ignoring (resisting) it, and that keeps your blood sugar levels too high.

Insulin resistance and chronic hyperglycemia can eventually lead to diabetes.

So let’s look at how you can optimise your food and lifestyle to keep your blood sugar stable.


Food for stable blood sugar

The simplest thing to do to balance your blood sugar is to reduce the number of refined sugars and starches you eat.  To do this, you can start by dumping sweet drinks and having smaller portions of dessert.

Eating more fibre is helpful too. Fibre helps to slow down the amount of sugar absorbed from your meal; it reduces the “spike” in your blood sugar level.  Fibre is found in plant-based foods (as long as they are eaten in their natural state, processing foods removes fibre). Eating nuts, seeds, and whole fruits and veggies (not juiced) is a great way to increase your fibre intake.

FUN FACT: Cinnamon has been shown to help cells increase insulin sensitivity. Not to mention it’s a delicious spice that can be used in place of sugar. (HINT: It’s in the recipe below)

Fat and protein do not increase your blood sugar (unless you have huge amounts of protein) and this means they are create foods to fill up on, without triggering that insulin response.


Lifestyle for stable blood sugar

Exercise also helps to improve your insulin sensitivity; this means that your cells don’t ignore insulin’s call to get excess sugar out of the blood.  Not to mention, when you exercise, your muscles are using up that sugar they absorbed from your blood. But you already knew that exercise is healthy, didn’t you?

Would you believe that stress affects your blood sugar levels? Yup! Stress hormones increase your blood sugar levels. If you think about the “fight or flight” stress response, what fuel do your brain and muscles need to “fight” or “flee”? Sugar! When you are stressed signals are sent to release stored forms of sugar back into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar levels.  So, try to reduce the stress you’re under and manage it more effectively. Simple tips are meditation, deep breathing, or gentle movement.

Sleep goes hand-in-hand with stress. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, you tend to release stress hormones, have a higher appetite, and even get sugar cravings. Sleep is a crucial, often overlooked, factor when it comes to keeping your blood sugar stable. Make sleep more of a priority – it will do your blood sugar (and the rest of your physical and mental health) good.


Conclusion

Your body is on a constant 24-hour quest to keep your blood sugar stable. The body has mechanisms in place to do this, but those mechanisms can get tired (resistant).  Long-term blood sugar issues can spell trouble.

There are many nutrition and lifestyle approaches you can take to help keep your blood sugar stable. Minimising excessive carbs, and eating more fibre, protein and fat, exercising, reducing stress, and improving sleep are all key to having stable blood sugar (and overall good health).

Check out this blood sugar balancing Cinnamon Apples recipe.

You Might Like Our Free Meal Plan...

More Articles Like This...

Work Smarter For Weight Loss

Inflammation, hormone imbalance and blood sugar imbalance are all driving your weight gain or preventing weight loss.

Eating less and exercising more will not correct those imbalances no matter how hard you work.

If you want to be successful (and that means to lose weight AND keeping it off long-term) then you’ve got to work SMARTER. Kick-start your success by joining me for my free 5 day challenge to curb carb cravings, starting January 5th 2019.

By joining me for this gentle detox (no pills, shakes or juicing) you’ll no longer be a slave to your cravings and that makes weight loss so much easier…

Join Us For Our Free 5 Day Detox...

FB banner 5DC

More Articles Like This...

How To Avoid Piling On The Pounds At Christmas

Christmas.

The number 1 thing I look forward to at Christmas is spending time with my loved ones.

Spending time playing games and eating.

The work and club Christmas meals, Christmas dinner, advent calendars, selection boxes, mince pies, Christmas pudding, brandy butter, spiced cookies, baileys, mulled wine, bucks fizz and on and on the feast goes!

It’s relentless!

It’s a time when your months of hard work can be undone in just a few days. But it doesn’t have to be this way! You can still enjoy your favourite Christmas treats if you’re savvy!


Tip #1: Avoid Grazing

One of the big problems at Christmas is the grazing. Every time something sweet, carb-based (mince pies, biscuits, crackers, peanuts) or a sweetened drink passes your lips, your blood sugar will significantly increase and you’ll go into fat storage mode. At Christmas, we graze AND we have our main meals. You’ll be in fat storage mode A LOT!

You can still eat your normal meals but try to keep the nibbles and drinks to immediately after your main meals. This gives your body more time between meals to allow your blood sugar to come back down.


Tip #2: Fasting

Something I get lots of my clients doing is fasting because it flips the switch from fat storage to fat burning. This can take many forms and the most popular option is to skip or delay breakfast. By doing this you have a long overnight fast, which allows your blood sugar and insulin to decrease.

To feel good whilst fasting:

  1. Drink plenty of water (you lose more when you fast)
  2. Break your fast with a protein-rich meal. This could be eggs, protein pancakes or a fry-up (skip the fried bread) for example.

Tip #3: This or that

Another client tip that’s useful at Christmas is to either have carbs with your main or have a dessert, not both (or if you want to be really strict then don’t have either!).

So if you particularly look forward to desserts, skip the carbs (potato, pasta, rice, bread) with the main meal.

If you’re a big drinker then I’d include this in the equation. If you want to drink more than a couple without undoing your hard work then it’s worth considering skipping the carbs and dessert.


Summary

Allow yourself to indulge on the big day; one high-calorie day can actually boost metabolism!

If you have numerous social events that involve eating off-plan during the Christmas period then follow the above tips to avoid undoing all your hard work.

After Christmas, to help you get back on the wagon, use my FREE ‘5 Day Detox to Curb Carb Cravings’ to get you back on track and super focused.  Sign up below!

Join Us For Our Free 5 Day Detox...

More Articles Like This...

The eat less move more concept is a very small part of a very big picture. It’s the part of weight management that has the least impact, especially when you have your hormones to contend with, and I’m not just talking about oestrogen here.

I have women contacting me every day, who tell me “I’m virtually starving myself, why am I not losing weight?!” It’s because they haven’t addressed the underlying cause of weight gain; hormone imbalance.

Join Us For Our Free 5 Day Detox...

FB banner 5DC

More Articles Like This...

The Weight Loss Mindset

Those who lose weight and keep it off have a very different mindset to ‘dieters’. The successful think about forever not just the coming weeks or months. The successful think about what they’re trying to gain, not how much weight they have to lose!

Join Us For Our Free 5 Day Detox...

More Articles Like This...

Five Weight-Loss Friendly Snacks You Will Love

Anyone that has worked with me or has been to one of my talks will know that I typically recommend skipping the snacks. There are a few good reasons for this:

  1. Eating too frequently can prevent blood sugar and insulin levels from staying in the healthy range, leading to increased fat storage.
  2. Eating too frequently switches off a super important process in the small intestine called the ‘migrating motor complex’. This clears bacteria preventing overgrowth.

However, sometimes a snack is necessary if for example, you’re having a particularly active day.

Read More

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons