…. one handful of protein at a time!
Having worked with over a thousand clients in my one to one clinic in the past decade, there’s one thing I know that can make a dramatic difference to most people’s health and wellbeing, really quickly.
The blood sugar rollercoaster is one of the most common dietary issues I see. It can:
- Deplete you of energy
- Make it more difficult to manage stress
- Cause mood swings
- Contribute to hormonal problems
- Cause digestive discomfort
- Make you hold weight around the tummy
- Affect your brain power
So many people have blood sugar imbalances, not just those who have diabetes or are at risk of developing it.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the simplest yet most effective advice I give my groups and one to one clients… so that you can start putting it into practice today. This advice focuses around a simple strategy to help balance your blood sugar, that you can start using right now and see results in a matter of days.
The Blood Sugar joy ride…. here’s why you need to get off it!
- When you constantly reach for those sugary and carb laden snacks and meals, your blood levels shoot up too quickly.
- High levels of sugar cause your body to produce large amounts of insulin to get the sugar out of your blood stream
- The sugar is delivered to your muscles for energy that in most cases you don’t need… while the rest is whisked to the liver ready to be converted to fat…and stored in your fat cells. (That’s why when our blood sugar is imbalanced we tend to hold more fat around our tummies).
- This flood of insulin causes your blood sugar to drop far too quickly… which sounds alarm bells to the brain.
- Hormones that increase your appetite are produced (the irony being that you have eaten recently)
- The body also produces cortisol, the stress hormone (just what you need now right?) that breaks down muscle tissue, suppresses immunity and increases fat storage. It also affects cognitive function as it primes you for fight or flight.
- More stress into your “stress bucket” … that for many of you is already over flowing!
- The cycle begins again… because despite your recent snack you reach again for a sugary treat…and you go back to number 1.
What can you do?
A very simple tip that is easy to remember and easy to carry out daily… include a handful of protein with every meal and if you must snack, base it around protein.
Why protein? Because as a macronutrient it is released and broken down nice and slowly, providing a slow-releasing form of energy. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels much more balanced, and in turn your energy more consistent.
How can I include more healthy protein?
Protein is found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy but also many plant foods such as hummus and other pulses, quinoa, nuts, seeds and tofu. Some simple ways to include more protein include:
- Add a handful of flaked almonds to your morning cereal or a dollop of plain yoghurt
- Make sure you have enough protein with lunch – a palm size portion of chicken, fish or pulses
- If you’re snacking, choose nut based snacks or make your own flapjacks with nuts and seeds
- Other great snacks include veggie sticks and hummus or an apple with a handful of almonds.