You wake up in the morning with a blood sugar of 170, and by noon it’s up to 250. Then at 3pm you start feeling woozy; you check and see that it dropped to 60 and you just can’t figure out why. You chug some OJ and check again at 4pm. You spiked to 200 again, and you feel frustrated and out of control. You do everything your doctor said - you take your meds like you’re supposed to, you don’t eat too much, and still feel like you can’t get it right.
Unpredictable blood sugar can be hard on your body, but it can be especially hard on your mentality. It can feel like a never ending battle, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 3 things that you can start doing right now to achieve more stable blood sugars throughout the day.
1. Eat consistently
Maybe you skip breakfast because the morning is busy, but you see donuts in the break room so you grab one. Sometimes you work through lunch, other times you grab a quick sandwich at a gas station. You like to cook healthy dinners most of the time, but tonight you got home so hungry that you snacked the whole way through making the meal.
An inconsistent eating pattern creates big swings in blood sugars throughout the day. You might spike at meals and have a low mid afternoon because you haven’t eaten for 5 to 6 hours. Planning ahead and having consistent meals and snacks will help this tremendously. Don’t know where to start? Take these steps now:
Set aside 5 minutes each night to write down what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks the next day. It doesn’t have to be complex! Knowing ahead of time will prevent you from getting hangry and choosing fast food instead.
Always pack snacks. On your next grocery trip, get snacks that can be kept in your office, your bag, and the fridge. These should include a protein + a carb. Examples include, PB + apple, cheese + whole grain crackers, hummus + veggies, protein bar + fruit.
2. Remember how certain activities affect your blood sugar
Yoga? Walking? HIIT? Weights? Whatever your favorite form of physical activity, be aware of how your blood sugar moves with it, and prepare for that. If you are planning on a hard workout today, make sure you have a piece of fruit with you to replenish. If you plan on recovering today with some stretching and yoga, maybe you have a low carb snack afterward.
3. Learn what foods make you SPIKE or DROP
Food is a complex part of blood sugar patterns, and each food effects everyone differently. For this reason, the glycemic index and carb counting aren’t completely fool proof. I recommend keeping a log of meals and foods that make you spike or that you tend to drop after, and make an action plan accordingly.
Unpredictable blood sugars can be a really frustrating part of your journey. If you’d like to learn more about how to manage your numbers, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit a message on the contact page.