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I’ve realized again and again that well being and wellness is more and more customized! I largely credit score my transformation to addressing trauma… and determining the customized weight loss plan/way of life method that labored for me after years of experimenting.
The most recent in my quest for customized well being is carrying a steady glucose monitor.
As a inhabitants, we eat over 10x extra sugar per day than we did 100 years in the past, so glucose is turning into a much bigger and larger deal.
We All Need to Determine It Out…
Many within the well being world have found out programs and approaches which have labored for them, and whereas I feel we are able to be taught from all of those, we’re every accountable for discovering what works greatest for us individually.
We’re every our main healthcare supplier, and long run well being comes from experimentation and personalization. That’s why I’m such an enormous fan of knowledge!
Why a Steady Glucose Monitor (CGM)?
By experimentation and food sensitivity testing, I’ve an excellent grasp of what meals my physique prefers and what I have to eat to really feel my greatest. After I get sufficient protein, keep away from eggs (my one remaining sensitivity), and don’t eat after darkish, I are likely to really feel higher.
I knew my fasting glucose ranges from utilizing an at-home finger stick meter and infrequently additionally examined my post-meal glucose, however was excited to get extra detailed knowledge.
A steady glucose monitor attaches to the again of the arm with a small filament going into the arm (no ache!). A person wears the monitor for 2 weeks with out eradicating it and has a steady window into blood glucose throughout this time. The monitor and app I used (extra on this beneath) additionally allows you to enter meals consumption, exercises, and different notes to see traits and be taught from the information.
Why Does Glucose Matter?
We all know that what we eat instantly impacts blood glucose ranges, however the response to particular meals can range from individual to individual. Stress, sleep, sickness, train, and different components may also make an enormous distinction.
As a lot as 88% of the U.S. inhabitants has a minimum of one marker of metabolic dysfunction, in accordance with latest analysis. Metabolic dysfunction is related to or underlies nearly all continual ailments, so this can be a large deal!
We all know some broad generalities on the subject of blood glucose:
- Nobody wants massive quantities of refined sugars and carbs, and over time, these appear to impair common insulin and glucose ranges.
- Not getting sufficient sleep impacts blood glucose in most individuals.
- Stress and sickness can change the glucose response.
Past these primary glucose “information,” there’s lots of personalization concerned.
As an example, many individuals profit from consuming some amount of carbs, however the quantity and sort can range drastically from individual to individual. As I’ve reached a wholesome weight and am understanding extra, I have to eat some carbs to really feel my greatest.
The continual glucose monitor helped me pinpoint the carbs that appeared to work greatest for my physique and gasoline restoration greatest.
Discovering My Glucose Equation
Drastically simplified, right here’s how glucose works…
Carbohydrates break down into the easy sugar glucose within the bloodstream. When glucose enters our blood, the pancreas releases insulin, which indicators cells to soak up glucose. If we’d like power, our mitochondria use it to type ATP (mobile power).
If we eat extra glucose than we’d like, the physique shops the additional within the muscle tissues and liver as glycogen or can convert it to triglycerides and retailer it in fats cells.
However right here’s what occurs:
When the physique has to deal with an excessive amount of glucose over time, it overproduces insulin and turns into insulin resistant over time. Glucose then has a tougher time moving into cells, so blood glucose stays larger. When insulin is excessive, the physique doesn’t use saved fats as power. Extra glucose within the blood may also result in irritation and oxidative stress.
Briefly, glucose isn’t dangerous. It’s gasoline. However an excessive amount of is usually a unhealthy factor, and massive spikes may be damaging and result in oxidative stress.
Since glucose response varies by individual, carrying a monitor helped me pinpoint my glucose equation.
What Are Good Glucose Patterns?
Glucose response is one space the place “regular” doesn’t essentially imply optimum. Customary measures think about fasting glucose beneath 100 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl two hours after consuming to be a wholesome vary and something above that pre-diabetic or diabetic.
According to Dr. Casey Means, optimum metabolic health contains:
- Fasting glucose between 72-85 mg/dl (mine averages 74)
- Submit-meal spikes that don’t exceed 110 mg/dl
- Common glucose of 100 mg/dl every day
- A minimal rise in glucose after consuming
- Fast return to baseline after consuming
How I Examined With a Steady Glucose Monitor
I used the continual glucose monitor from Ranges Well being (you can get one here).
I used to be so excited to see the information and wished to make use of the monitor as an opportunity to check all kinds of meals. The primary week, I consumed meals I’d usually eat and, as anticipated, had comparatively steady glucose ranges.
The subsequent week, I made a decision to experiment so much and consumed much more carbs than I normally would from numerous sources to observe my response. Confession: one meal included an entire bag of Siete chips, and my physique handles a pint of natural ice cream fairly effectively *ahem*…
I additionally used the monitor as an opportunity to observe my glucose ranges reply to a 5-day water fast and was considerably stunned how low my ranges acquired in a single day.
After 4 weeks of carrying a steady glucose monitor, these are a few of the issues I’ve realized…
What I Discovered from My Continous Glucose Monitor
Sporting a monitor confirmed some issues I anticipated, like that refined sugar or processed carbs trigger a fairly fast glucose spike. However I discovered some thrilling issues I wouldn’t have in any other case identified. As an example, I can eat two candy potatoes with nearly no glucose spike, however one small white potato or a handful of grapes will spike my glucose!
These are a few of my essential takeaways and the way they’ve led to way of life modifications:
Not All Carbs Are Equal
Satirically, my glucose experiment has led to me consuming MORE carbs than I used to be earlier than. I’m cautious to get enough protein, which frequently results in satiety, so I don’t sometimes eat many carbs.
The monitor helped me understand that I wanted extra carbs, particularly on exercise days, to maintain power ranges up. I used to be capable of experiment with quite a lot of carbs and located that my physique did effectively with:
- Candy potatoes
- Cassava (together with cassava chips and baked items)
- Most winter squashes
- Lemons and limes
- Natural potato chips in avocado oil
However didn’t deal with these as effectively:
- White potatoes
- Meals with white flour (sprouted flour and sourdough have been tremendous, although)
- Most dried fruits
Like I stated, particular person response varies. I’ve talked to individuals who noticed spikes from candy potatoes however not rice and berries however not grapes. Knowledge helps!
My Takeaway: I kept a log and now have about ten moderate-carb meals that I can eat with out a large glucose spike. These are my go-to meals after I have to replenish after exercises.
Protein Offers a Lot Extra Leeway
I’m already cautious to eat sufficient protein as a result of this helped me lose weight, and I do know I really feel higher after I do. It was attention-grabbing to observe the impact of protein consumption on blood glucose.
Consuming carbs earlier than protein appeared to result in larger spikes than consuming the identical meals, however consuming the protein first. Consuming a minimum of 30 grams of protein per meal stored glucose in a more healthy vary on common.
I additionally discovered that consuming sufficient protein early within the day helped hold glucose in an excellent vary all through the day and the following morning. As Ranges explains:
In a single examine, consumption of 23 grams of protein and 17 grams of fats 25-30 minutes earlier than carbohydrate ingestion considerably decreased post-meal glucose elevation in nondiabetic people and people with insulin resistance.
My Takeaway: This strengthened that I want a minimum of 30 grams of protein per meal and a minimum of 100 grams per day. I now get extra protein early within the day on the first meal I eat and eat protein with any carbs.
Sleep Issues As A lot As Meals
We all know that even only a few nights of impaired sleep may cause an in any other case wholesome individual to have diabetic or pre-diabetic glucose ranges. (Yikes for early motherhood).
Limiting sleep to Four hours per evening for simply 5 days has considerably decreased glycemic management and metabolic health. In a single examine, this quantity of sleep deprivation led to the next glucose response to particular meals and a 40% decrease price of glucose clearance from the blood throughout a glucose tolerance take a look at.
I noticed this play out on my steady glucose monitor too! On days I acquired 8+ hours of sleep, my glucose would rise much less from the identical meals than it did on days after I acquired much less sleep. On days after much less sleep, I wouldn’t reply as effectively even to meals that I’d beforehand dealt with effectively.
My Takeaway: Attending to mattress earlier than 10 pm and getting longer, better sleep made a measurable distinction in glucose response. In different phrases: extra sleep = extra carbs with out the glucose spike!
Time-Restricted Consuming Helps a Lot (Cease Consuming After Darkish)
Time-restricted eating (TRE) and intermittent fasting (IF) are each strategies of consuming in a shorter window. I used to be already a fan of this method primarily based alone experimentation and on the work of researchers like Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
As anticipated, these had an impression on blood glucose. Research present that the impact may be fast and fairly drastic:
One examine in obese, non-diabetic people confirmed that even partaking in time restricted feeding for simply Four days can decrease fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and imply glucose ranges considerably.
and from Ranges well being:
Intermittent fasting means proscribing meals consumption for longer durations, normally for 24 hours or extra. A latest small case report in three people with kind 2 diabetes confirmed intermittent fasting might meaningfully reverse diabetes in as little as seven months. These individuals did24-hour fasts, 3-Four occasions per week.
My Takeaway: I do effectively with TRE, however my glucose ranges are even higher if I eat earlier within the day and cease consuming earlier within the night. I eat in an 8-hour window and now eat my greatest meals earlier within the day. Usually, I don’t eat energy after darkish, however I drink black espresso and natural teas outdoors of this window.
When and The way to Hydrate
Everyone knows we now have to remain hydrated. We’ve seen the photographs of how simply two weeks of correct hydration can impression the pores and skin and make somebody look a lot youthful. Water is vital, however I realized that timing is important!
Particularly, I discovered that:
- Ingesting 3-Four liters of water a day helped with sleep and protecting glucose in a tighter vary
- My physique likes drinking lemon water to hydrate within the morning and ready a minimum of 30-60 minutes to eat after
- Ingesting at meals led to a much less optimistic glucose response, and I did higher specializing in hydrating between meals (that is additionally good for abdomen acid)
My Takeaways: I’m extra aware of hydrating now. Usually, I drink a quart of lemon water every morning after I get up, one other quart between every meal, and extra if I exercise or sauna.
Sauna and Train Influence Glucose
We already know that train is important for a lot of facets of well being, together with glucose management and metabolic health. It was enjoyable to observe this play out in real-time on the monitor! Similar to with meals, train response might be considerably customized, however analysis has persistently proven a trigger and impact relationship.
- One study found that just one session of train considerably elevated insulin sensitivity the following day.
- Many research have persistently proven that common train improves glycemic management and reduces fasting glucose over time.
- Even brief bursts of high-intensity coaching improved glucose in diabetics and non-diabetics.
It did shock me to see comparatively large glucose spikes from high-intensity train and sauna use. In researching this, I discovered that not solely is that this response regular, it’s additionally helpful.
Right here’s why:
Excessive-intensity train and sauna (as an train mimetic) require gasoline (glycogen), which comes from glucose within the blood after which from shops in muscle tissues and liver.
After we do these actions, the physique mobilizes these shops to gasoline us, which ends up in a brief rise. Over the 24 hours after these actions, the physique replenishes these shops by sucking sugar out of the bloodstream and resulting in decrease and steadier blood glucose general.
From my understanding, this is the reason each sauna and train decrease blood glucose over the long run, however why there is usually a brief spike that might solely be noticeable when regularly monitoring like this. It’s additionally why even after I eat a LOT of carbs publish intense exercise; my blood sugar doesn’t rise a lot.
My Takeaway: I already knew train and sauna have been helpful, however now have extra knowledge to see their profit over time. I additionally discover that I’ve a greater response from high-intensity sprints and lifting weights than prolonged cardio, however profit from strolling after meals.
Fasting Candy Spot
My physique appears to love time restricted consuming in an eight(ish) hour window most days, however I additionally wished to experiment with an extended quick to see what my glucose did.
I did one five-day quick whereas carrying the monitor, and my glucose was fairly steady for the primary three days. After that, it began getting fairly low at evening. My ketones also rose at that time, so I ended the quick proper earlier than the complete five-day mark primarily based on my glucose and the way I felt.
I don’t assume fasting is helpful or useful for everybody, but it surely has been a great tool for me, and this supplied some further knowledge that may assist with future fasts.
My Takeaway: I do nice with day by day TRE and with fasts as much as 3-Four days however my physique doesn’t appear to love longer ones proper now.
I Do Higher with Decrease Saturated Fats Consumption
That is one other very customized a part of vitamin, however I appear to do higher when limiting saturated fats consumption. I already knew this from a genetic standpoint, because of my Nutrition Genome test, however the steady glucose monitor indicated the identical factor.
Research have proven that consuming an excessive amount of saturated fats can decrease insulin sensitivity, although the quantity appears to range by individual. I observed that my glucose ranges weren’t pretty much as good after meals with excessive saturated fats content material and, like I discussed above, have been nice with protein and monounsaturated fat.
My Takeaway: I do greatest after I restrict my saturated fats consumption to 15-20% or much less of my whole fats consumption.
Dietary supplements Can Assist
Many dietary supplements declare to assist keep optimum blood glucose ranges. However do they? I used the continual glucose monitor to check my response to a number of of them.
Particularly, I examined Ceylon cinnamon, berberine, and Kion Lean. I noticed probably the most profit from including cinnamon within the morning (normally in my espresso), taking berberine with meals, and taking Kion Lean at lunch (although this one appeared most cumulative).
My Takeaways: I now take BerbElite with larger carb meals to assist my physique deal with it. Yow will discover hyperlinks to this and the opposite merchandise I discussed beneath.
Steady Glucose Screens: Backside Line
Steady monitoring was an interesting experiment, and I’m so glad I acquired the prospect to see this knowledge in real-time. Since weight loss plan is so individualized, I feel this is usually a helpful instrument, particularly for these making an attempt to work through blood sugar issues or those that have weight loss plan dialed in and wish to enhance issues much more.
After all that is simply what labored for me, however I’m sharing within the hopes it provides you a way of possession in your individual well being journey. I all the time advocate that you just work with a physician (as I do) to search out the suitable method for you!
Assets Talked about:
Have you ever ever monitored your glucose? What did you be taught?