Blood sugar is finally getting the attention it deserves. When your blood sugar is too high, your body has to work much harder, resulting in a variety of physical issues. The one we dislike the most is additional fat storage, but it also takes a toll on our internal organs, including our brain and nervous system.
Regulating your blood sugar is a sure-fire way to better health as it supports in healing all chronic health conditions, inflammation, and even better emotional health.
We put together the top 10 blood sugar-regulating “hacks” to incorporate into your everyday life. They’re easy, cheap, and effective!
Seeing Changes – Fast
You’ll start to see and feel these changes very quickly, sometimes as fast as a single day. Try using all of these techniques consistently for two weeks and report back on how you feel. Are you seeing a physical difference in your belly? Are your bowel movements more regular? Are you able to eat without feeling full immediately?
If you don’t see dramatic improvement after two weeks, looking into the state of your nervous system is a must. If you’re doing regulation exercises consistently and managing your stress, it might be time to discuss gut testing and dietary changes, like an elimination diet.
NOTE: If you find anything uncomfortable, pause and look for a gut health-focused nutrition practitioner ASAP who will help you make adjustments. If you know you have chronic high blood sugar levels, such as type 1 or 2 diabetes, or are on medications, please consult your health practitioner before embarking on dietary changes that change blood sugar levels.
10 Changes for Better Blood Sugar
1. Drink apple cider vinegar before a meal
- Dilute 2 tsp (up to 2 tbsp) of apple cider vinegar in water.
- Drink before your meal. Ideally, through a straw to avoid enamel erosion.
Use caution if you are on medication–apple cider vinegar can interfere with some drugs.
2. Eat in the right order
- Eat vegetables first
- Protein second
- Starchy carbs third
- Fruit/sugars last
3. Start your meal with a veggie appetizer
Start every meal with a salad or a vegetable with lots of fiber. It could be a celery stick, a few leaves of lettuce, etc. This primes the stomach for slower glucose release.
Keep it simple; the fewer the ingredients, the better.
4. After you eat, move
Moving for 10-30 minutes after you move can take the glycemic load off your body by 22%!
5. Flatten your breakfast curve
Start your day with a savory meal, full of fiber and protein. Follow the rules above.
6. Try to not snack
Unless you’ve got glucose handling issues, try not snacking during the day to give your stomach a break. Snacks are often just a habit if you’re eating proper ratios and quantities of foods at regular mealtimes. If you find yourself snacky, ask yourself these questions first:
- Am I thirsty? Our body often gets thirsty and hunger confused. Drink a glass of water, and if after a few minutes you are still hungry, then try a snack from tip 7.
- Am I agitated, sad, or feeling some other emotion? Take a look at the Feelings Wheel and see if you’re feeling one of these emotions and instead pour yourself a cup of tea and journal for 10 minutes.
- Did I eat enough fiber, protein, and fat in my last meal? Fiber, protein, and fat take a while to break down and help to keep us satiated for a long time. Starchy and sugary foods are converted to sugar quickly and spike our glucose with a sharp crash directly after. This crash queues the ghrelin hormone, which tells us we’re hungry again. If you’re hungry after two hours of eating, you can all but guarantee there wasn’t enough fiber, protein, or healthy fats.
7. Snack savory
If you do snack, eat foods that fuel you; this means pairing protein with fats and carbohydrates so you’re satiated. Enjoy savory snacks like:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Pork rinds, crispy chicken skins
- Greek yogurt with nut butter
Should you want something sweet, pair the sweet with something savory:
- Apple with nut butter
- Bell pepper with guacamole or hummus.
- Apples and cheese
- Nuts with chocolate
8. Dress your carbs
This is the same concept as above but applied to all starchy and sugary foods. Here you’ll combine starches and sugars with fat, protein, and/or fiber to eat at the same time. Some examples include:
- Bagel with lox
- Brownie with clotted cream
- Cookies with nuts
- Apple pie with cream
- Add a smear of avocado, nut butter, or cheese to toast and rice cakes.
- Eat almonds before a croissant
9. Apply an “eating window”
Give your mitochondria a break by only eating within an 8-12 hour window per day. Choose to eat only in a 12-hour window, e.g. 7am to 7pm, or even try an 8-hour window, e.g. 8am-5pm. Work around your schedule, being mindful of leaving 2 hours before bedtime as your last meal.
This allows your body to move into rest and digest which not only aids in better digestion, but improved sleep, better immune functioning, and inflammation handling.
10. Check in on your Primary Foods
When something’s off in our eating habits, it’s usually because there’s something off in our emotional life. We call this Primary foods and Secondary foods:
- Primary foods are the foods that fill the soul.
- Secondary foods are foods that we eat to nourish our body.
You can download your own Wheel of Life chart here to do an assessment on what needs some attention in your life.
If you’ve tried all of these tips diligently for two weeks straight and haven’t seen any change, it’s time for some health coaching to dig deeper.