When we have raised blood sugar levels over a long period of time, health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, stroke and weight gain can all occur. Our blood sugar is raised when we consume glucose – the sugar that we get from eating carbohydrates as well as chronic stress. When we are stressed, our cortisol levels increase which has been shown to impact blood sugar levels!
We want to be maintaining stable blood sugars in order to avoid developing prediabetes, sugar cravings, weight gain, mood swings and many other health issues. We are able to achieve stable blood sugar levels by eating a balanced, whole-foods diet which contains enough healthy fats, fibre, protein and greens as well as exercising getting adequate sleep and reducing our stress levels.
By making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can reverse prediabetes, improve your overall health and take back control of your food cravings by balancing your blood sugar levels.
1. Eat a balanced diet – we want to make sure our plate consists of healthy fats, fibre protein and green vegetables. This will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and help regulate your appetite. Healthy fats include extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, coconut oil, grass-fed butter. Protein includes fish, beef, eggs and organic non GMO tofu. Fibre foods are things such as chia seeds, flax seeds, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, artichokes. Green vegetables include rocket, broccoli, spinach, cabbage.
2. Move your body – we know that exercise has many health benefits. But did you know that it also helps to stabilise our blood sugar levels too? We want to be moving our bodies for a minimum of 20 minutes each day to really reap the benefits. Find what type of exercise you enjoy and make it a habit to incorporate it into your routine each day! It could be yoga, walking, cycling, dancing – find what works best for you.
3. Reduce your stress – we can’t always control the stressors in our life but we can control the way we let these stressors affect us. Chronic stress has been shown to increase our blood sugar levels by raising our cortisol levels. Stress also leads to a vicious cycle of comfort eating, blood sugar rollercoasters, increase in alcohol consumption and feeling worse and worse. Exercise, yoga, meditation, journaling have all been shown to reduce stress levels which helps to stabilise our blood sugar levels.
4. Prioritise sleep- so many of us find sleep to be a nuisance and neglect it. Sleep is a critical part of the picture when it comes to our health, blood sugar levels and food cravings. A lack of sleep can increase hunger, cravings for sugar and elevate stress levels. We want to be aiming to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day to balance our circadian rhythm and help to balance out our blood sugar levels. Aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night to stabilise your appetite, hormones and reduce your stress levels!