Written by: Karen Sammer, NBC-HWC
Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is important for your health and energy levels. Avoiding spikes and dips can also help reduce food cravings that lead to overeating and may ultimately lead to diabetes if unchecked.
Here are 10 daily habits to watch out for that can cause blood sugar spikes and increase cravings leading to weight gain:
1. Skipping Breakfast
Skipping breakfast causes your body to go into starvation mode, leading to low blood sugar and intense cravings later in the day. Make time for a balanced breakfast with protein, healthy fats, and fiber to start the day off right.
2. Not Enough Protein at Meals
Make sure to include a good source of protein in every meal. Protein provides steady energy to keep blood sugar stable. Low protein, high carb meals can cause spikes and crashes.
3. Drinking Sugary Coffee Drinks
Fancy coffee shop drinks are often packed with sugar and empty calories. Opt for plain coffee or tea, or create healthy homemade versions with low/no sugar options.
4. Eating Refined Carbs and Sweets
Refined flour products like white bread and white pasta as well as packaged snacks and sweets cause rapid rises in blood sugar. Focus on whole, unprocessed carbs instead.
5. Skipping Meals
Going too long without eating leads to drops in blood sugar, causing you to overeat when you finally do eat. Plan meals and snacks to fuel your body consistently. If you practice intermittent fasting, make sure the food you eat during your eating window is nutritionally dense.
6. Not Enough Fiber
Fiber helps control blood sugar spikes by slowing digestion. Most Americans consume fewer than 10 grams of fiber daily. You should aim for 35+ grams of fiber daily from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
7. Sedentary Lifestyle
Physical activity helps stabilize blood sugar. Be sure to incorporate movement like walking, strength training and stretching throughout your day. Find creative ways to move while doing your daily activities. Get a standing desk to avoid sitting all day. Use stairs instead of elevators or escalators.
8. Poor Sleep Habits
Lack of sleep can throw off important hormones that regulate appetite and blood sugar. You can become insulin resistant and your body won’t recognize the hunger and satiety hormones. Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule every day, including weekends, and wind down before bed.
9. Excess Stress
Chronic stress causes cortisol levels to spike, which can lead to unstable blood sugar levels and development of belly fat. Include stress management like meditation, yoga, or taking breaks into your daily life.
Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining normal blood sugar. Dehydration can cause spikes. Drink water throughout the day. Aim for half of your body weight (in lbs) in ounces of water per day.
Be mindful of these daily habits that can inadvertently spike your blood sugar levels and increase cravings. Focus on whole, fiber-rich foods, managing stress, staying active, and getting enough sleep and water. Your blood sugar levels and waistline will thank you!
Karen Sammer is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also a Certified Nutritional Consultant and is certified in Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell.
In 2010, after dealing with breast cancer and the effects of chemo and radiation, she decided to take control of her health. In the process of making significant lifestyle changes and losing 135 pounds, she found her passion in coaching people about health and nutrition.
In 2017, she experienced another major health event when she had a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) followed by a heart attack, which made her double down on her self care.
In 2018, Karen attended the Science and Leadership Symposium at the Mayo Clinic to become a WomenHeart Champion Community Educator.
As a WomenHeart Champion, Karen has been trained to share her heart story along with important messages to empower women to take charge of their own heart health.
She works with people who are pre-diabetic and overweight to overcome their cravings, lose weight and avoid a lifetime of diabetes meds.
If you are pre-diabetic, overweight and are controlled by cravings, I would like to offer you a free consultation. We will talk about your unique challenges and action steps to help you to overcome your cravings, lose weight and avoid a lifetime of diabetes medication.
Book your free consultation at https://www.YourPowerYourHealth.com/book
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