1 in 3 US adults are prediabetic.
That’s an alarming number!
Learning how to master your blood sugar levels will leave you with more energy, weight control, stabilized moods, less cravings, and a better memory. Your hormones become more balanced — you feel more balanced.
Also, when you stabilize your blood sugars you set yourself up for less risk of blood sugar-related diseases, such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Scroll down to get your 5 tips to stabilize your blood sugar and decrease cravings!
Today, millions of people are experiencing prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and other forms of insulin resistance. If you are one of them, you may have realized that maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging. These chronic disorders have been reaching epidemic portions. They are also causing some serious side effects such as nerve damage, fatigue, weight gain, vision loss, heart disease, memory loss, and emotional disturbances.
Eating foods that quickly release energy spike your glucose levels and allow them to crash quicker, causing mood swings, fatigue, and hunger. Processed foods and foods filled with refined sugar are synonymous with this — causing you to crash and burn much quicker.
So, what can you do to manage your blood sugar levels and decrease your cravings? As you can see, it takes a combination of eating foods that will help to stabilize your hormones and lifestyle modifications that support the delicate balance of those hormones overall. The key point to take away from this is that a large amount of the power is in your hands. Even if you are currently working through a blood sugar related disorder, you are able to change that around and reverse the symptoms. Here are 5 healthy habits (plus a bonus) that you can implement to take back your control.
How to stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings
- Limit sugar, refined carbs, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners. Sugar is the main culprit in blood sugar spikes. And, even though artificial sweeteners contain no glucose, they can have the same effect on the blood sugar that sugar does. They also continue to prime the palate to crave sugar or sweet treats (meaning, they amplify sugar cravings). Processed foods often contain hidden sugars and artificial sweeteners. They also can cause havoc on hormones and create imbalances within the body.
Pro tip: Choose low glycemic, whole foods as the foundation of your meals. And when you do choose to sweeten foods, choose wisely. Foods sweetened with all natural stevia, coconut sugar, raw honey, and maple syrup are a better alternative.
- Eat protein-rich foods with each meal. This is especially important to do when you eat carbohydrates. Protein helps to slow the release of energy and create more satiety with your meals. Protein also helps to signal to the brain that you are full — less cravings.
Pro tip: Include a serving of lean organic grass-fed meat, salmon, black beans, nuts or nut butters, pasture-raised organic eggs, lentils, grass-fed whey protein, or organic greek yogurt with each meal.
- Eat foods low on glycemic index. Foods labeled “low GI” release energy much slower than “high GI” foods. This is important because the slower they are released, the more stabilized your blood sugar will be.
Pro tip: Eat foods like vegetables, legumes, some fruits (berries, green apples and stone fruits are best), whole grains, nuts and seeds.
- Manage stress levels. Excessive stress can raise blood sugar levels by causing a spike in the stress hormone, cortisol. It is really a vicious cycle of cortisol being raised and then the cravings for comfort foods to kick in. Typically comfort foods do not consist of vegetables and healthy grains — more like pasta and cookies and other sweet treats.
Pro tip: Keep at least a 5-7 day journal of when you get most stressed and what your triggers are. From that, look for patterns. When are you most stressed? What triggers you the most? What do you need in those situations? Make a list of 5-10 self-care items you can do when you are most stressed and commit to doing one each every day (especially around your trigger moments).
- Get your rest. Getting enough sleep and downtime is essential for balancing hormones, decreasing stress levels, and sticking with healthy habits. The more rested you feel, typically the better your outlook on life is. A lack of sleep can elevate cortisol and ghrelin levels, your stress and appetite hormones, making it hard to not give into those sugary treats or refueling with a major overdose of stimulants.
Pro tip: Aim to get 7-9 hours a sleep a night at the same wake up/doze off times. Staying consistent with when you wake and fall asleep each day helps to balance hormones. Having trouble falling asleep? Read this.
- Eat cinnamon. Not only can cinnamon help with balancing blood sugar levels, but it is incredible at warding off sugar cravings. Cinnamon does not contain many vitamins or minerals, but it is loaded with antioxidants that decrease oxidative stress. This may potentially protect against diabetes. It can also lower blood sugar by acting like insulin and increasing insulin’s ability to move blood sugar into cells. Want more? Cinnamon may help lower the risk of diseases related to diabetes, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Pro tip: Studies have typically used 1–6 grams per day, either as a supplement or powder added to foods. One study reported that the blood sugar of people taking either 1, 3 or 6 grams daily all decreased by the same amount.
Getting your blood sugar under control and decreasing cravings is possible. It is really about taking the steps to make changes. You really are in control of how you approach this — one small step at a time!
Did you know that stress ages you? Here is my morning routine to slow the aging process (and make you happier and more energetic!). Click the link below!
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