Happy Wednesday Everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful week!
Today's "Wellness Wednesday Topic" is: Blood Sugar Management. We will be discussing tips for managing blood sugar levels in a healthy way, and a Wellness Wednesday challenge will be provided to hopefully support you with healthy lifestyle changes.
Tips for Managing Blood Sugar Levels:
Eat at regular times, and don't skip meals: When we restrict ourselves, our blood sugar levels can drop very low, and when we overeat they tend to spike. Therefore, eating at regular times can help with better managing your blood sugar levels. For some individuals, eating three well balanced meals and 2-3 healthy snacks around the same time each day can help. However, we all are different, so it's important to determine the best eating routine for your body and lifestyle. Consider journaling or tracking your meals to decipher the best fit for you.
Get regular exercise: Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles use blood sugar for movement, which in return can lead to reduced blood sugar levels...This doesn't mean you have to go out and run everyday. If you are currently not exercising, consider starting small and doing a 10 minute walk each day. Then gradually work your way up 30 minutes per day. You can even break these up, and do three 10 minute walks per day. Small changes can lead to big results when its comes to managing blood sugar.
Manage your carbs: You can still eat carbs while managing your blood sugar. Consider cutting back on your portion sizes, and choosing more complex carbs such as: quinoa, oats, brown rice, couscous, barley, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, sweet potato, vegetables, fruit, beans, etc. Complex carbs provide more nutritional value while decreasing your blood sugar.
Use the Plate Method: This helps you to have more balanced meals and supports with portion control, which in return will help with managing your blood sugar levels. Consider making half your plate non-starchy vegetables, one fourth lean protein, and one fourth complex carbs. Below is an example of what a plate should look like when using this method. You can also buy portioned plates online to help you with developing this habit if needed.
Drink more water: Choose water instead of juice and soda, and limit your alcohol intake. Water prevents dehydration, and aids with flushing out excess sugar in the body.
Eat more fiber: Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. Therefore, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains are some nutritious foods that are high in fiber.
Practice portion control: When we overeat, it tends to make our blood sugar levels spike. Therefore, portion control can support with more balanced blood sugar levels. Some ways to practice portion control include: measure out your servings, use the plate method, don't let yourself get too hungry, drink a glass of water before eating, eat slower, look at the labels to determine servings, use a smaller plate, practice mindful eating, portion out your snacks, etc.
Add protein and healthy fats: Adding protein or healthy fats helps to minimize blood sugar spikes after a meal. For example: If you are having a sandwich, consider opting for whole wheat bread, add a lean protein such as turkey, and a healthy fat such as avocado. If you are having an apple for a snack, consider pairing it with 1 TBSP of nut butter.
Track for awareness: Track or journal your food, exercise, and blood sugar levels. This will help you to decide what is going well and what you could do differently. It's also a great form of accountability.
Have fruit for a sweet treat: Have a sweet tooth?...Consider having some fruit. This tastes sweet, however it's high in fiber and nutrients. Therefore, it will support with managing your blood sugar levels.
Choose more whole foods: Aka EAT REAL FOOD! Our bodies can metabolize these better than processed foods. Aim to eat more lean protein, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, and whole grains. If you are buying packaged foods, consider reading the labels. If you see ingredients you don't understand, or if it's high in saturated or trans fat, sodium, and calories, it's safe to say it's probably processed. Consider having more of these superfoods:
Dark leafy vegetables
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids
Greek yogurt (lower in fat and sugar)
Reach out for support: Talk to your doctor, meet with a registered dietician, start doing health coaching to support with behavior changes, etc.
Manage your stress: When we experience stress, hormones are released that can increase our blood sugar. Therefore, managing stress can be very helpful with stabilizing blood sugar. Here are some ways to manage stress: deep breathing, meditation, prayer, go on a walk outside, exercise, journaling, reading, painting or coloring, relaxing, spending quality time with loved ones, reaching out for support, get better quality of sleep, etc.
Take it one step at a time: So many things can effect our blood sugar levels including: diet, exercise, stress, sleep, and even genetics. Therefore, it can be overwhelming if you are trying to tackle all of these at once. Consider setting small realistic goals. Once you feel comfortable and confident with these, you can then add to them. Remember, small changes make BIG results!
Wellness Wednesday Challenge:
Consider reviewing these tips and selecting one area you want to focus on. Once you identify your main focus, then set a small realistic goal and steps to action to support you with making this behavior change.
Main Focus: Plate Method
Small Realistic Goal: I will try out the Plate Method for dinner tonight.
Steps to Action: I will go to the grocery after work today and get salmon, quinoa, broccoli, and salad to prepare tonight, and I will use the Plate Method to make my plate.
Accountability: I will tell my significant other about my goal, and journal what I ate and how it made me feel.
Thank you for stopping by! Have a healthy and happy rest of your week!