There are many common symptoms that people generally will suffer with on a daily basis, those of which can be caused from having unstable blood sugar levels. These symptoms however can be avoided by making some simple changes to your daily routine, one of the most important being your eating habits.
Controlled blood sugar will help to improve energy, combat cravings –lowering the urge to want to binge eat, and help to balance hormones.
Balancing blood sugar is very crucial for optimal health and also avoiding many chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases.
In relation to fat loss and weight loss unbalanced blood sugar levels is a huge factor that can be the cause for weight gain, so getting it right is essential.
What does blood sugar mean?
Blood sugar is the amount of sugar( glucose) in your blood- this comes from the food we eat and when digested is broken down into sugar that then enters the bloodstream. The hormone insulin is then released – its job is to then remove the sugar from your blood into your cells- in which it is then converted into energy.
Eating to regulate blood sugar. As explained the food that we eat is broken down into glucose, and when we consume too much there becomes a build up in the bloodstream. Unbalanced blood sugar levels can be caused by having too much glucose at a given time, leading to higher blood sugar levels that are difficult for the body to breakdown, in-which case the excess glucose is then stored as fat. If this happens too often our cells stop listening to the hormone insulin- this then causes insulin resistance- an early warning sign of diabetes.
As well as weight gain other common symptoms of unbalanced blood sugar are mood swings (moody/irritable), cravings, poor concentration – any of this sound familiar?
Nutritional tips on how you can balance your blood sugar:
- DON’T skip breakfast– including the first meal of the day will not only boost metabolism and kick start the fat burning process it will also prevent crashes in blood sugar levels; these crashes as explained create cravings and will cause the tendency to reach for the wrong choices or turn to sugar to give us a quick energy boost. Make sure breakfast includes protein and a good fats source – this will help with satiating and these nutrients will help to keep blood sugars stable.
- INCLUDE Protein in each meal- As mentioned in tip 1 already. Protein is the most satiating nutrient (helping you to feel fuller for longer) this is because it releases energy slowly signalling the brain that you are full. Including protein is especially important when eating carbohydrates as it will also slow down its release of energy from the carbs.
- AVOID processed foods and refined sugars/carbohydrates- These are the main culprits for spiking insulin-They will give you a surge of energy quickly that is also just as quick at coming crashing back down, meaning imbalanced blood sugars resulting in fatigue and low energy levels. Keep to single ingredient foods, if it is in a jar and has a shelve life of a 100 years it means there is additives and preservatives that are also no good for us.
- EAT foods that have a low glycemic index– they have a slower release of energy into the bloodstream- examples of these are vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
- EAT more often- including 4-5 smaller regular meals instead of 2-3 large meals can really go a long way in ensuring we stabilise blood sugar levels, improve regulation of our hormones and help to prevent crashing and dips in our energy levels throughout the day. This is all essential for overall health and fitness but also will improve our body’s efficiency at utilising and burning stored body fat as energy. If it is difficult to eat this often, instead try to include protein- rich snacks in-between meals.
- AVOID artificial sweeteners, sodas and sugary drinks full stop. Yes these artificial sweeteners although have no glucose will create the same effect as sugar on your blood sugar levels. Sugary sodas also contain artificial sweetener and preservatives that spike blood sugar and can cause an imbalance in hormones.
- Cut down on Stimulants (caffeine, alcohol and nicotine)- stimulants also cause blood sugar to rise due to spiking the adrenal hormone cortisol- like the effects from sugar blood glucose levels will surge, in which leads to a crash in blood sugar levels. This will then create the craving urge and need to reach for simple quick release sugars. More information on stimulants and the effects on the body can be read in one of our previous blog posts.
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