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How to keep your blood sugars low without feeling starved

Many of you feel like having diabetes is going to starve you! You might feel like you need to cut out all carbs and foods you enjoy, and feel restricted.

But it does not have to be this way.

The main goal is to lower your A1C and still enjoy the foods that you love! That way you can keep it low sustainably.

Why Skipping Meals Is Harmful to Diabetes

It's important to keep a consistent eating pattern to maintain stable blood sugars. (Don't skip a meal if your blood sugar is high!)

If you are someone with diabetes who skips meals, you will likely see roller coaster blood sugars. You will have ups and downs, and not be able to predict what it's going to do next. This causes a gradual increase in insulin resistance and continued instability, as well as symptoms like fatigue and excessive hunger.

Follow an approach that involves pairing your carbohydrates with protein, fiber and healthy fats. This helps our bodies to slow down the digestion and absorption of carbs, preventing the spike in glucose levels that we would see if we did not pair our carbohydrates with these 3 key nutrients.

By eating regularly and pairing your foods, you wont feel like you are starving yourself, and your number will be lower and more stable.

Monitoring Sugars Is Vital

The best time to monitor your sugars is when you first wake up in the morning and two hours after you eat. This will give you your baseline of how your body is absorbing carbohydrates. It is important to understand how YOUR body works because everyone is different and needs a personalized approach!

It is important to understand your signs and symptoms associated with low blood sugars. If there are times that you find that your blood sugar is low be sure to follow the 15:15:15 method. Your first sign of low blood sugar is to eat or drink 15 grams of simple sugar - this could be a glucose tablet or 4 ounces of juice. Then wait 15 minutes to check and if your numbers are still not rising then take another 15 grams of simple sugar.

“Starvation Mode”

When you skip meals your body can go into "starvation mode", which is a temporary change in your metabolism. When your body goes into “starvation mode" because you aren’t getting the fuel your body needs, it focuses on storing everything that we eat next, instead of using that food for energy.

This causes weight gain, worsening insulin resistance, and unstable blood sugars.

Here Are Some Tips To Help You Not Feel Restricted and Hungry

Eat healthy fats like:

  • Olive, sunflower, safflower or canola oil

  • Nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, or flaxseed

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna or cod

Try these fiber-rich foods

  • Fruits like tomatoes, peppers or apples

  • Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli or cauliflower

  • Legumes such as beans, chickpeas or lentils

  • Whole grains like whole-wheat pasta or bread, whole-grain rice, whole oats or quinoa

The bottom line?

Make sure you eat wholesome foods throughout the day. Avoid skipping meals (even if your blood sugar is high). The best way to avoid getting to hungry is to pair foods to create balanced meals and snacks. You can find examples of this here.

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