Weight Watchers, Atkins, Ideal Protein, Jenny Craig, Isotonix, Beach Body, Shakeology, Advocare… I bet you have heard of most of these, if not all of them, and could potentially even name a few more. All of these diet plans involve a start and an end, and create a sense of anger due to the burning desire for that bagel or cookie after dinner. There ends up being a mental feeling of giving up something instead of a voluntary commitment to a lifestyle change.
Rather than starting or stopping diet plans or sacrificing foods that you like, at GlucoseZone we work with your current habits and food choices, making small progressive changes to that. Generally speaking, people living with diabetes should be concerned with the carbohydrate content of the food they are eating, both for diabetic and general health purposes. In fact, everyone should be watching their carbohydrate consumption.
Old food pyramid guidelines recommended 5-6 servings of grains per day. Unfortunately, we now know that this recommendation has led to the overconsumption of carbohydrates and, consequently, a drastic increase in chronic disease in the American population. According to the CDC, over 80 million Americans are pre-diabetic, and over 20 million Americans have diabetes. These numbers suggest a major disconnect with what is recommended versus what our body’s physiology and metabolism tells us.
For a long time, fat has been identified as the bad guy, but more recently researchers have identified sugar as the culprit of much of our country’s obesity related illnesses. The myth “fat makes you fat” is false. Carbohydrates, aka sugars, are known to make you gain weight. When we eat carbohydrate our body secretes a hormone called insulin. Insulin’s role is to remove excess sugar from our blood. Insulin also has another role which is less commonly known, and that is to block the use of fat as an energy source. Our goal as a population is to minimize the amount of insulin spikes we create by making smarter food choices. Lower carbohydrate intake can work best for diabetes management as well as weight loss and health improvements, but ultimately the most success comes from making doable lifestyle changes that create lasting results. Some tips down below are ways to start taking steps towards a healthier, happier you!
- Plan and prepare meals ahead of time
- Restaurant eating-skip appetizers (or order a side salad) and ask for no bread to be served
- Stick to salads, grilled meats and vegetables, and side substitutions and/or double veggie sides
- Find other go to options for stressful times such as exercise and other hobbies
- Always carry healthy snack options with you for times that you might not have control over the food served or you are without food for a while
- Carbohydrate substitutions should be made in order to increase fiber and nutrients, as well as to decrease overall caloric intake
- Always have protein and/or fat with carbohydrates because those macronutrients help slow down the absorption of glucose in the blood ie. slow the blood sugar spike and the amount of insulin required.
About the Author:
Laura Joseph, Director of Digital Coaching, GlucoseZone
Laura holds a Masters and a Bachelors Degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut. She held her first job as a Weight Loss and Health Coach in West Hartford where she was successful at helping people understand their struggles with food through self-reflection, and thus help them feel better and lose weight. While working with people in an office setting, Laura also shared her love of fitness and athletics as a crossfit coach in Hamden. Laura then transitioned from comfort and familiarity of the east coast, to experience life on the west coast. For 8 months she interned at a start up company in San Francisco that was aimed at serving healthy food to corporate companies in the Bay area.