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I’ve realized time and again that well being and wellness is more and more personalised! I largely credit score my transformation to addressing trauma… and determining the personalised weight loss plan/life-style method that labored for me after years of experimenting.
The most recent in my quest for personalised well being is carrying a steady glucose monitor.
As a inhabitants, we devour over 10x extra sugar per day than we did 100 years in the past, so glucose is changing into an even bigger and larger deal.
We All Must Determine It Out…
Many within the well being world have found out techniques and approaches which have labored for them, and whereas I feel we will study 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 a giant fan of knowledge!
Why a Steady Glucose Monitor (CGM)?
By means of experimentation and food sensitivity testing, I’ve an excellent grasp of what meals my physique prefers and what I must eat to really feel my greatest. Once 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 sometimes 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 developments and study from the info.
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 elements may make a giant distinction.
As a lot as 88% of the U.S. inhabitants has a minimum of one marker of metabolic dysfunction, in line with latest analysis. Metabolic dysfunction is linked to or underlies virtually all persistent ailments, so this can be a huge deal!
We all know some broad generalities in terms 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 “info,” there’s numerous 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 figuring out extra, I must devour 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 alerts cells to soak up glucose. If we’d like vitality, our mitochondria use it to kind ATP (mobile vitality).
If we devour extra glucose than we’d like, the physique shops the additional within the muscle mass 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 stepping into cells, so blood glucose stays increased. When insulin is excessive, the physique doesn’t use saved fats as vitality. Extra glucose within the blood may result in irritation and oxidative stress.
In brief, glucose isn’t dangerous. It’s gasoline. However an excessive amount of generally is a dangerous factor, and massive spikes might 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 contemplate 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)
- Publish-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 info and needed 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 secure glucose ranges.
The subsequent week, I made a decision to experiment quite a bit and consumed much more carbs than I often would from varied 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 nicely *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 Realized from My Continous Glucose Monitor
Carrying a monitor confirmed some issues I anticipated, like that refined sugar or processed carbs trigger a reasonably 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 virtually 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 life-style adjustments:
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 regularly 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 vitality ranges up. I used to be capable of experiment with quite a lot of carbs and located that my physique did nicely 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 nicely:
- White potatoes
- Meals with white flour (sprouted flour and sourdough have been fantastic, although)
- Most dried fruits
Like I mentioned, particular person response varies. I’ve talked to individuals who noticed spikes from candy potatoes however not rice and berries however not grapes. Information helps!
My Takeaway: I kept a log and now have about ten moderate-carb meals that I can devour with out a huge glucose spike. These are my go-to meals after I must replenish after exercises.
Protein Provides a Lot Extra Leeway
I’m already cautious to devour 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 increased 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 maintain glucose in an excellent vary all through the day and the subsequent morning. As Ranges explains:
In a single research, consumption of 23 grams of protein and 17 grams of fats 25-Half-hour earlier than carbohydrate ingestion considerably decreased post-meal glucose elevation in nondiabetic people and people with insulin resistance.
My Takeaway: This strengthened that I would like 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 devour 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 could cause an in any other case wholesome individual to have diabetic or pre-diabetic glucose ranges. (Yikes for early motherhood).
Limiting sleep to 4 hours per evening for simply 5 days has considerably decreased glycemic management and metabolic health. In a single research, this quantity of sleep deprivation led to the next glucose response to particular meals and a 40% decrease charge 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 nicely even to meals that I’d beforehand dealt with nicely.
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 based mostly alone experimentation and on the work of researchers like Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
As anticipated, these had an affect on blood glucose. Research present that the impact might be speedy and fairly drastic:
One research in obese, non-diabetic people confirmed that even partaking in time restricted feeding for simply 4 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 intervals, often for twenty-four hours or extra. A latest small case report in three people with kind 2 diabetes confirmed intermittent fasting may meaningfully reverse diabetes in as little as seven months. These contributors did24-hour fasts, 3-4 instances per week.
My Takeaway: I do nicely 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 largest meals earlier within the day. Sometimes, I don’t devour energy after darkish, however I drink black espresso and natural teas outdoors of this window.
When and The best way to Hydrate
Everyone knows we now have to remain hydrated. We’ve seen the images of how simply two weeks of correct hydration can affect the pores and skin and make somebody look a lot youthful. Water is essential, however I realized that timing is crucial!
Particularly, I discovered that:
- Ingesting 3-4 liters of water a day helped with sleep and holding 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 constructive glucose response, and I did higher specializing in hydrating between meals (that is additionally good for abdomen acid)
My Takeaways: I’m extra acutely aware of hydrating now. Sometimes, 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 crucial for a lot of elements of well being, together with glucose management and metabolic health. It was enjoyable to observe this play out in real-time on the monitor! Identical to with meals, train response might be considerably personalised, however analysis has persistently proven a trigger and impact relationship.
- One study found that just one session of train considerably elevated insulin sensitivity the subsequent day.
- Many research have persistently proven that common train improves glycemic management and reduces fasting glucose over time.
- Even quick bursts of high-intensity coaching improved glucose in diabetics and non-diabetics.
It did shock me to see comparatively huge 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 useful.
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 mass 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, because of this each sauna and train decrease blood glucose over the long run, however why there generally is a quick spike that may solely be noticeable when frequently 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 useful, 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 needed 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 secure 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 based mostly on my glucose and the way I felt.
I don’t suppose fasting is useful or useful for everybody, however it has been a great tool for me, and this supplied some additional knowledge that may assist with future fasts.
My Takeaway: I do nice with every day TRE and with fasts as much as 3-4 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 personalised a part of diet, however I appear to do higher when limiting saturated fats consumption. I already knew this from a genetic standpoint, due to 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 nearly 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 complete 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 essentially the most profit from including cinnamon within the morning (often 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 increased carb meals to assist my physique deal with it. You 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 possibility to see this knowledge in real-time. Since weight loss plan is so individualized, I feel this generally is a precious device, particularly for these making an attempt to work through blood sugar issues or those that have weight loss plan dialed in and need to enhance issues much more.
In fact 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 suggest that you simply work with a physician (as I do) to seek out the appropriate method for you!
Assets Talked about:
Have you ever ever monitored your glucose? What did you study?